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Old 05-14-2010, 04:07 AM   #31
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Testing a breaker


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Originally Posted by trosenda View Post
..... I did not have the problem pre-printer.....
and your Homeline Ckt Brkr Is advertised as being faster acting than any other circuit breaker.
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Old 05-14-2010, 07:45 AM   #32
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Originally Posted by PaliBob View Post
and your Homeline Ckt Brkr Is advertised as being faster acting than any other circuit breaker.
.
Maybe 'cause no breakers can trip faster than one cycle of 60 Hz? Or if they were made to trip on a half-cycle of 60 Hz we'd be getting nuisance tripping?


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The clamp meter claims to calculate true root mean square
For peak value it doesn't matter.
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Old 05-14-2010, 10:55 AM   #33
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Testing a breaker


If Missouri is on NEC2008, then we should be talking about an AFCI breaker. The construction is only 6 months old, and we're apparently talking about a home office or similar room which should require AFCI.

So if we're swapping wires on circuit breakers, we should be swapping two 20amp AFCIs. And if this is an AFCI, then it's more like $40 to replace the breaker rather than just $10.

However, from what little I've read about AFCIs, it sounds like they can be fikle and simply replacing it with a new one migth eliminate this type of nusance tripping.

While supposedly modern models don't have a problem, when AFCIs first came out, there were many people getting nusance trips when computers were involved... specifically because of surge protectors. A surge would happen, the surge protector would do it's job and shunt the surge rather than allow it to pass on to the electronic equiment, and that shunt would cause the AFCI to think something was wrong and trip the breaker.

Meye II sence
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Old 05-14-2010, 11:00 AM   #34
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Originally Posted by HooKooDooKu View Post
While supposedly modern models don't have a problem,
If some portion of the good arcs look like some portion of the bad arcs, these devices will never, to 100% certainty, be able to distinguish between them.
It is an unsolvable statistics problem dealing with false positives and false negatives. It is at least as complicated as
if you reduce one you raise the other.

http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&c..._nhi=&safe=off

It is arrogant to assume that something as complex as an arc [supposedly the arc plasma is a fourth state of matter] could be reliably categorized, even by using Artificial Intelligence and Neural Networks.
Even if they could, as the certainty approaches 100% the cost approaches $$$$$infinity.

IMO the manufs are capitalizing on people's wish for zero risk, the 'zero risk bias'. But even if the public wises up, it's the law.

Last edited by Yoyizit; 05-14-2010 at 11:09 AM.
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Old 05-14-2010, 12:22 PM   #35
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IMO the manufs are capitalizing on people's wish for zero risk, the 'zero risk bias'. But even if the public wises up, it's the law.
The problem from what I've read about AFCIs, they aren't even close to 'zero risk', they only help prevent fires in limited situations. Based on the read linked below, it sounds like to begin to reach the level of risk everyone seems to THINK AFCIs offer, you really need much more.

http://www.thehomeinspector.com/Insp...OR/AFCI_DH.pdf

IMH, based on the number of times I've heard/read about an AFCI causing a problem vs. the number of times an AFCI has prevented a fire, they seem to be a nussance that is more trouble than they are worth, especially when you consider that they cause a high level of nusance trips (compared to standard circuit breakers), the high cost (almost 10x the cost of a standard breaker) and the fact that I've yet to ever hear anyone say "an AFCI prevented a fire in my house".

Unfortunately, as you say, "it the law"...
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Old 05-14-2010, 12:26 PM   #36
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Testing a breaker


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I've yet to ever hear anyone say "an AFCI prevented a fire in my house".
You might enjoy
http://www.amazon.com/unSpun-Finding.../dp/1400065666

Fear, Uncertainty and Doubt sells a lot of stuff to a lot of people.
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Old 05-14-2010, 01:34 PM   #37
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Testing a breaker


Once again it's not an AFCI breaker. I deliberately chose a non AFCI for this circuit because of the computer equipment on the circuit. In missouri there are no state electrical code requirements but it is governed by counties and municipalities. Columbia, MO has adopted the NEC2008 with amendments including an amendment to not require AFCIs. In my house I chose to only place them on bedroom circuits.

I consider this issue to be resolved until further notice. It the problem reoccurs I will move the laser printer to another circuit.

Thank you for your help this subject has been an interesting discussion I think.
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Old 05-14-2010, 06:34 PM   #38
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and the fact that I've yet to ever hear anyone say "an AFCI prevented a fire in my house".
I've never heard anyone say a GFCI saved my life
But I install them where required
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Old 05-14-2010, 11:59 PM   #39
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Originally Posted by Scuba_Dave View Post
I've never heard anyone say a GFCI saved my life
But I install them where required
I know of someone's daughter who was saved by one. Keep putting them in.
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Old 05-15-2010, 05:31 AM   #40
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I have never needed my seat belt or airbag in my twenty plus years of driving, yet I still strap the sucker on. The fact is that AFCI's do save lives. It is protection against the overzealous installer driving his staples just a little to tight and against the fat Mother-in-law rocking her chair over the lamp cord. I hate to ponder being in a serious car wreck, just as I hate to ponder being trapped in a burning house.

For more information on this subject, I invite the advanced DIYer to read "Overcurrents and Undercurrents, All about GFCI's, AFCI's, and similiar devices, Electrical Safety Advances Through Electronics" by Earl W. Roberts
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Old 05-15-2010, 04:08 PM   #41
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I've never been able to get before and after mortality data for GFCIs.
Sometimes the best intentions result in no change at all, for hard-to-explain reasons.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Law_of_...d_Consequences

The problem is, for statistically meaningful cause-and-effect results you'd need an experimental sample group who have GFCIs and a control sample group who are forced to do without. Not gonna' happen in the US.

GFCIs seem to have much less nuisance tripping than AFCIs, though. They're less complex.

Is this right?
http://www.amazon.com/o/ASIN/0967432308/zenbulogy-20

"Earl W. Roberts is a Registered Professional Engineer and a retired GE engineering manager. Former Chairman of the Electrical Section of NFPA and Chairman of Panel 2 of the National Electrical Code. Former member of the Correlating Committee of the NEC. REpresented USA on several international committees and Working Groupe of the IEC. Retired Lt. Commander in the US Naval Air Reserve."

I don't find this guy unbiased but I'll read his book anyway. People who speak the truth to power do not get to be a Commander of anything and some have a short life expectancy.

Last edited by Yoyizit; 05-15-2010 at 04:36 PM.
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Old 05-15-2010, 09:08 PM   #42
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Testing a breaker


Quote:
Originally Posted by Scuba_Dave View Post
I've never heard anyone say a GFCI saved my life
But I install them where required
Quote:
Originally Posted by Andy-n-ATL View Post
I have never needed my seat belt or airbag in my twenty plus years of driving, yet I still strap the sucker on. The fact is that AFCI's do save lives. It is protection against the overzealous installer driving his staples just a little to tight and against the fat Mother-in-law rocking her chair over the lamp cord. I hate to ponder being in a serious car wreck, just as I hate to ponder being trapped in a burning house.

For more information on this subject, I invite the advanced DIYer to read "Overcurrents and Undercurrents, All about GFCI's, AFCI's, and similiar devices, Electrical Safety Advances Through Electronics" by Earl W. Roberts

In the case of a GFCI, the protection they offer when you're around water is obvious. And statistics have proven seatbelts to be worth it.

But AFCI sounds a bit like putting on a second seatbelt incase something goes wrong with the first (not a perfect annalogy I realize). Doing so would obviously be a bigger hassle (ie many more false trips) for not much benefit (sounds like if you don't get over zelous and do your work right, they are redundant).

Stated another way, the cost/benefit analysis is obvious for seatbelts, and I think the same for GFCI. But I'm not so sure that AFCI has proven itself in the cost/benefit analysis... after all if they were such a panacea of protection, code and laws would make you put then in everything and even make you go back and replace all your good breakers from old installs.

[I'll admit, I'm sort of taking this stance at this time because I'm working on finishing in the basement and some other electrical work... I don't feel the need to use AFCI because of that cost/benefit thing, and they are adding $$$ to the cost of my work... but its code so I've installed them, but it's also caused me to NOT do some of the things I'd like to do because of the additional cost of even more AFCI]
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Old 05-15-2010, 09:57 PM   #43
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GFCi's have been out for a long time
Many people did not like GFCI's when they 1st came out, & still do not like them
AFCI's are fairly new

They only need to prevent my house burning down once
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Old 05-15-2010, 11:53 PM   #44
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Testing a breaker


Quote:
Originally Posted by Scuba_Dave View Post
I've never heard anyone say a GFCI saved my life
But I install them where required
I should have commented on the previous poster's statement, where he observes that no one ever exclaimed that the AFCI saved their life. It is that they don't realize that when the AFCI (breaker) trips it might be that it saved them from fire! I remember one service call in particular where the customer claimed that they hear "Pop" "Pop" "Pop". I rushed over as fast as I could.(Hoping, before the Fire Dep't.) When I got there and I fixed the problem I only realized how valuable the AFCIs are. There was a broken terminal on the Neutral of a receptacle that made intermittent contact. Every time it made and broke contact there was a fat "Juicy" spark. It's like someone taking a match and trying to ignite your house.!
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Old 05-16-2010, 07:38 AM   #45
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Perhaps it will help if doubters realized that an AFCI breaker is actually two breakers in one. There is a GFCI component, which trips at 30mA (as opposed to 4-6mA Of a regular GFCI) which protects against arcing faults to ground. But what if there is no equipment grounding conductor available? Take a walk around your house and examine all the cords you have plugged in. Virtually all are of the 2-wire variety, which is where the arc fault portion of an AFCI steps in and protects.

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