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Old 06-07-2010, 05:35 PM   #46
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Here's the breakdown:
1. New AFCI breaker working for several days with light and recs working.
2. Cut power re-connected ceiling fan.
3. breaker continues to work until husband adjusts speed with remote. Breaker goes.
4. Disconnect ceiling fan - breaker holds until I turn on a light switch for another light on circuit.
5. Pull fan - replace with new fan - breaker holds until I turn on light switch.
6. WTF?

Relevant facts:
1. Pulled switch that controls the light fixture that has been causing breaker to throw - no visible problem.
2. Pulled light fixture - all connections seem good.
Please help, I'm feeling like an idiot.
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Old 06-07-2010, 05:38 PM   #47
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Sounds to me you may have a neutral issue and not a arc fault issue. A single pole arc fault requires a dedicated neutral like a gfci and if you tap off that neutral to feed something on another circuit or use it as a MWBC you will have this problem.
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Old 06-07-2010, 05:48 PM   #48
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Here's the next set of facts:
1. Pulled new fan
2. Circuit holds with load (box fan in rec) - this tells me I have some problem with the part of the circuit that includes the fan? Right?

3. Breaker blows when light fixture is switched on. - So, should I replace the switch?
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Old 06-07-2010, 05:49 PM   #49
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sparks1up View Post
Sounds to me you may have a neutral issue and not a arc fault issue. A single pole arc fault requires a dedicated neutral like a gfci and if you tap off that neutral to feed something on another circuit or use it as a MWBC you will have this problem.
So what would the neutral problem be? This is NOT a MWBC nor has it been used for any other circuit.
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Old 06-07-2010, 05:53 PM   #50
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When the arc fault trips does the light go out? Not the light on the fan the light that trips the arc fault when turned on?
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Old 06-07-2010, 07:13 PM   #51
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sparks1up View Post
When the arc fault trips does the light go out? Not the light on the fan the light that trips the arc fault when turned on?
Here's the sequence with fan disconnected.
- breaker on
- switch light on
- light comes on - for a fraction of a second - breaker trips.

With light switch in the 'on' position breaker will not reset. With the light 'off' breaker will re-set.
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Old 06-07-2010, 07:35 PM   #52
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If you remove the fixture and wire nut the wires in the j-box (isolate them) does throwing the switch still trip the breaker?
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Old 06-07-2010, 07:51 PM   #53
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brric View Post
If you remove the fixture and wire nut the wires in the j-box (isolate them) does throwing the switch still trip the breaker?
Ok, I'm a bit slow so may I double check your suggestion:
1. Remove the fixture and wire nut the wires in the jbox - do you mean in the box for the light?

I'll be trying this in the AM. Was up to 2am last night helping my Dear Husband re-configure his stereo system (he's taking his board exams on thursday and he's a might be jumpy). Trying to chill out tonight. Watching HBOs Band of Brothers. Good stuff.
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Old 06-07-2010, 08:01 PM   #54
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Leah Frances View Post
Ok, I'm a bit slow so may I double check your suggestion:
1. Remove the fixture and wire nut the wires in the jbox - do you mean in the box for the light?

I'll be trying this in the AM. Was up to 2am last night helping my Dear Husband re-configure his stereo system (he's taking his board exams on thursday and he's a might be jumpy). Trying to chill out tonight. Watching HBOs Band of Brothers. Good stuff.
Remove the fixture so that nothing is attached to the wires in the j-box in the ceiling and try the switch. If the circuit holds the problem is within the fixture.
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Old 06-07-2010, 08:05 PM   #55
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brric View Post
Remove the fixture so that nothing is attached to the wires in the j-box in the ceiling and try the switch. If the circuit holds the problem is within the fixture.
I'll give it a try. Thanks.
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Old 06-08-2010, 10:50 AM   #56
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So the new AFCI has changed no symptoms? What make and model is it?
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Old 07-08-2010, 03:47 PM   #57
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WOW - it's been a month since I looked at this


OK folks -
Today I monkeyed around with this and I'm completely stumped.
today's results:

A. Disconnected ceiling fan - for the meanwhile it's out of the picture.

B. Disconnected light fixture and nutted it off (tee-hee)
1. Breaker holds when switch thrown
2. box fan connected to rec associated with the circuit runs

C. Reconnect light fixture/ box fan still plugged in
1. breaker switches off when light fixture switch flipped.

D. I pulled the light fixture and wired in a replacement light (just wire and bulb holder)/ box fan plugged in
1. flipping switch throws breaker.

E. With box fan removed/ test light connected
1. Breaker holds
2. Plugged in my power inverter for my computer
a. breaker holds
3. Plug in box fan
a. breaker fails

So WTF!!!! I thought it was the light fixture, but it seems to be a load problem. What's going on.

HELP. I promise I won't wait a month to try and fix it.
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Old 07-08-2010, 04:00 PM   #58
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F. Replaced light fixture
1. breaker fails immediately when switch is thrown.

~ I've pulled the light fixture apart and checked the obvious connections.

G. Pulled light fixture and nutted it off.
1. Circuit fails with box fan
2. circuit holds with power inverter.

:confused:
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Old 07-08-2010, 04:07 PM   #59
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Last detail. Fan works on other circuit.
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Old 07-08-2010, 07:30 PM   #60
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Need some clarification. . .

Quote:
Originally Posted by Leah Frances View Post

B. Disconnected light fixture and nutted it off (tee-hee)
Breaker holds when switch thrown
box fan connected to rec associated with the circuit runs
aa

C. Reconnect light fixture/ box fan still plugged in
breaker switches off when light fixture switch flipped.
bb

D. I pulled the light fixture and wired in a replacement light (just wire and bulb holder)/ box fan plugged in
flipping switch throws breaker.
cc

E. With box fan removed/ test light connected
Breaker holds

dd

Plug in box fan
breaker fails
ee

F. Replaced light fixture
1. breaker fails immediately when switch is thrown.

ff

1. Circuit fails with box fan

gg

Fan works on other circuit.
hh
aa box fan only = no problem
bb box fan + this light = problem
1Siemens said you need an arc + a minimum current draw to trip the AFCI

cc box fan + replacement light = problem
See 1 above

dd test light + no box fan = no problem
2 what wattage test lamp?

ee box fan (+ test light?) = problem
see 1 above

ff replacement light (+ box fan?) = problem
see 1 above

gg box fan (+replacement light?) = problem
see 1 above

hh Non AFCI circuit?
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