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Old 12-28-2009, 10:44 PM   #1
 
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Use of AFCI devices


I recently build a house, and I installed 16 AFCI ckt breakers.
After about 6 months, at 6AM in the morning, something happened such that 8 of the AFCIs tripped. In addition, all 8 were permanently destroyed and had to be replaced at $40 each. The other 8 AFCIs were not tripped or degraded, as well as all of the standard breakers and GFCIs in the breaker panel. We found out that there was a loose connection in the breaker box out on the light pole next to meter.
Apparently the AFCIs are not as durable as standard circuit breakers or GFCI.
Is this a known problem(ie, not durable and multiple failures at once), or was this a bad batch of parts?
Any ideas?????
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Old 12-29-2009, 04:46 AM   #2
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If the loose connection was on the neutral, it could have sent an over voltage through the breaker and fried the power supply/electronics in the breaker.

GFCI breakers contain a current transformer so, it could possibly handle a possible over voltage condition.

Sounds like those breakers were on the same leg that received the over voltage. IMO, it wasn't defective breakers.
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Old 12-29-2009, 06:02 AM   #3
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Ditto on Wirenut,
Unlike thermal-magnetic breakers, AFCI's contain IC's which like all IC''s don't tolerate abnormal conditions very well.

To see an AFCI block diagram scroll down to figure 5:
http://www.iaei.org/magazine/?p=3966

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Old 12-29-2009, 08:57 PM   #4
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You might want to report this to the manufacturer here...
http://www.afcisafety.org/report.html
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