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Old 05-06-2019, 08:03 PM   #1
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AFCI Breaker


Hello...

I have completely wired up this older house with new wiring with the exception of this one circuit that I have described below. Any older wiring has been wired nutted in the junction boxes, and is also not connected in the main panel outside.

I have a 20 amp circuit that my refrigerator is on. The circuit is not grounded. It has a 20 amp GFCI Outlet for the refrigerator, and nothing on the load side. This same circuit also runs a kitchen ceiling light (2 60 amp led bulbs), a bathroom vanity light (4 20 amp led bulbs) the same bathroom 20 amp GFCI Outlet (nothing on load side), and a bedroom ceiling light (2 20 amp led bulbs) and the same bedroom outlet(not GFCI) (TV, clock).

The GFCI for the refrigerator has been randomly tripping; nothing else has been affected. I tried turning everything on at once in the other rooms, and could not get it to trip it just does it randomly every day. The 20 amp breaker in the main panel does not trip.

I put the refrigerator on its own 20amp circuit with new wiring, a regular 20 amp breaker, and used the same 20 amp GFCI outlet it was on. Problem fixed.

I am going to run a new 20 amp circuit for the bedroom. So this older circuit will have a kitchen ceiling light, a bathroom vanity light, a bathroom GFCI outlet, and a bedroom ceiling light.

Would an AFCI breaker help to keep this circuit safe if there are any problems with the wiring? (note: it is not grounded)
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Old 05-06-2019, 08:11 PM   #2
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Re: AFCI Breaker


I believe your bathroom will need its own circuit
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Old 05-06-2019, 08:23 PM   #3
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Re: AFCI Breaker


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Originally Posted by daveb1 View Post
I believe your bathroom will need its own circuit
Yes I did think about doing that, and have room in my panel for another 20 amp breaker. But I would prefer to keep the vanity light on the old circuit. I cannot get into the attic of this house.
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Old 05-06-2019, 09:02 PM   #4
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Re: AFCI Breaker


Quote:
Originally Posted by slipparee View Post

Would an AFCI breaker help to keep this circuit safe if there are any problems with the wiring? (note: it is not grounded)

It wouldn't hurt, but there's probably nothing wrong with the circuit. A GFCI trips either due to a ground fault in the load or a defect with the device itself. With nothing but the refrigerator as the load, it cannot trip due to some other defect on the circuit.
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Old 05-06-2019, 09:12 PM   #5
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Re: AFCI Breaker


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Originally Posted by LawnGuyLandSparky View Post
It wouldn't hurt, but there's probably nothing wrong with the circuit. A GFCI trips either due to a ground fault in the load or a defect with the device itself. With nothing but the refrigerator as the load, it cannot trip due to some other defect on the circuit.
The new circuit did have a ground running to the main panel. The refrigerator does have a grounded three prong plug.

The old circuit was not grounded.

Is this the answer to the question I am about to ask...

Why would this new circuit with the same GFCI outlet, and refrigerator fix the problem?
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Old 05-07-2019, 11:36 AM   #6
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Re: AFCI Breaker


Not sure if my situation parallels yours, but I picked up a used fridge that worked great on a non-GFCI protected outlet, but it would continuously trip a GFCI outlet. I picked up a new defrost heater wire for $35 or something close to that, and I haven't had a problem since (about a year).
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Old 05-07-2019, 01:02 PM   #7
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Re: AFCI Breaker


Quote:
Originally Posted by slipparee View Post
The new circuit did have a ground running to the main panel. The refrigerator does have a grounded three prong plug.

The old circuit was not grounded.

Is this the answer to the question I am about to ask...

Why would this new circuit with the same GFCI outlet, and refrigerator fix the problem?

We don't know that it did fix the problem. The GFCI was tripping randomly. Cause unknown. Now it is not tripping. Could be an intermittent issue with the appliance, or an intermittent problem with the GFCI device. Refrigerators are notorious for this, but quality control and reliability in GFCI device manufacture has also been lackluster.
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