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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Hello. First-time listener, first-time caller.

I've been studying the Canadian Electrical Code 2021 edition and I have many questions.

I'll start with a few:

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Yellow highlight: If I'm reading this correctly, the word 'receptacles' indicates that only 125V/<20A receptacles (e.g. NEMA 5-15R) are subject to AFCI protection and not, say, Luminaires; otherwise the the code would have used the term 'outlets' which is more general. Is this correct?

In other words, do my light fixtures require AFCI breakers? (And if so, where in the code is this staed?)

Green Highlight: If I wanted to cram a bunch of tandem breakers into my main panel to increase circuit density I could do so provided that the wiring from the tandem breaker to the first (AFCI-protected) receptacle was either BX-style armoured or run in conduit, correct? Are there any reasons aside from cost that this is not advisable?

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Blue Highlights: Why are these exemptions allowed? Are wires feeding bathroom outlets, refrigerators and sump pumps, etc. any less prone to arcing when punctured with a nail or chewed on by a rodent?
 

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Yellow highlight:
That is correct.

Green Highlight:
Correct again and the first AFCI device might be only a few inches of metallic wiring away from the panel.

Blue Highlights:
Two words: nuisance tripping.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 · (Edited)
nuisance tripping.
Why would nuisance tripping be a problem if the fridge is on an isolated outlet? Also we're talking about a new construction here. No existing wiring to leak current.

Still, the wire leading to the fridge receptacle carries the same risk of being punctured as any other length of wire in the house, does it not?

Genuine curiosity, here.

Correct again and the first AFCI device might be only a few inches of metallic wiring away from the panel.
I'm thinking about the specific case of our old family home which is being rebuilt. I'm planning the panel board and circuit layout (for the discretion of our electrical subcontractor, of course) and I know some of the runs will be several meters to the first receptacle.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 · (Edited)
Also, with regard to 26-722, what makes sub-20A circuits special?
Aren't 30-, 40- or 50-amp circuits just as prone to arc faults as 15-amp circuits?
What if a rat gnaws at the stove line?

Again, not trying to quibble; I'm curious about the principles at play.
 

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Why would nuisance tripping be a problem if the fridge is on an isolated outlet? Also we're talking about a new construction here. No existing wiring to leak current.

Still, the wire leading to the fridge receptacle carries the same risk of being punctured as any other length of wire in the house, does it not?

Genuine curiosity, here.
All of these outlets typically supply appliances that can produce a spark and possibly cause the AFCI to trip. Plug an old vacuum in and trip an AFCI, no big deal. Plug an old fridge in and cause a trip while you are on holidays, suddenly a fridge full of rotting food is a much bigger deal.

I'm thinking about the specific case of our old family home which is being rebuilt. I'm planning the panel board and circuit layout (for the discretion of our electrical subcontractor, of course) and I know some of the runs will be several meters to the first receptacle.
What I'm saying is if you place an AFCI outlet beside the panel on a short conduit nipple it can save you the aggravation and expense of running metallic wiring to the first planned outlet.

Also, with regard to 26-722, what makes sub-20A circuits special?
Aren't 30-, 40- or 50-amp circuits just as prone to arc faults as 15-amp circuits?
What if a rat gnaws at the stove line?

Again, not trying to quibble; I'm curious about the principles at play.
You are 100% correct. :)

The biggest principle at play as I see it is manufacturer's of expensive breakers on code committees. Read what you want into that.

IIRC, when AFCI's first came out they were only installed on bedroom receptacles. Reasoning offered was a bed pushed up against an outlet with a lamp plugged in. Over time the motion of the bed against the cord would cause damge to the cord, cause a spark and start a fire. It expanded from there.
 

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I'm glad I live in Michigan where we don't have to worry about any of this AFCI crap! They are no longer required here, as they once were. I wish other states would see thru this BS and push to have the AFCI requirements stricken from their Code.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 · (Edited)
Plug an old fridge in and cause a trip while you are on holidays, suddenly a fridge full of rotting food is a much bigger deal.
Ahhhh, okay, that makes sense. And I suppose that bathroom receptacles are exempt because they power spark-inducing hairdryers (but bedrooms do not? sigh).
What I'm saying is if you place an AFCI outlet beside the panel on a short conduit nipple it can save you the aggravation and expense of running metallic wiring to the first planned outlet.
A-HA! Love me some loopholes! 💡🧠
I'd imagine I would have to plan for a little space on the wall to accommodate a sub-panel for the breakers, yes?

Then again, I feel starting with a larger panel would cost less overall. Certainly in labour.

The biggest principle at play as I see it is manufacturer's of expensive breakers on code committees. Read what you want into that.
Everything's above board on those committees, no doubt.
 

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What I'm saying is if you place an AFCI outlet beside the panel on a short conduit nipple it can save you the aggravation and expense of running metallic wiring to the first planned outlet.
Highly endorsed! I favor the 120mm (that's 4-11/16" to you Canadians ;) ) square deep box with a 2-gang mud ring or domed cover. (The 4x4" box is a mistake, it's way too crammed by the time you get dual DFCI receptacles + wires all in there. Make life easy on yourself.)

You can even install a stack of boxes maybe 1/4" apart with EMT short connectors - just far enough apart the lids don't interfere. (made that mistake lol). Note that very short EMT pipes do not have a 4-circuit limit, so you only face wire fill limits (3/4" EMT: twenty-two #14 wires or sixteen #12 wires). And EMT handles ground for you, so don't need those wires!

In Canada you're not allowed to splice inside a service panel, so you'd have to re-route the circuit to start at the junction box where the AFCI deadfront or receptacle would be. Terminate the ground at the metal box ground screw(s) and let the EMT take it from there.
 

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You can splice in a panel in Canada for rewiring work; providing the panel has room for it. CEC 12-3032 has the particulars.

@Helmanfrow

Are you revising your home with the intent to sell? Are you doing this work with a permit? If not, then I advise against abiding by the latest CEC. What it does it proudly displays to a home inspector that recent work was done, and you have no documentation.

Without permits it's usually better to match the code-vintage of your home, or the latest major reno completed with permits.

If this work is for permitted work, increased peace-of-mind, and/or academic purposes... carry on :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 · (Edited)
You can splice in a panel in Canada for rewiring work; providing the panel has room for it. CEC 12-3032 has the particulars.
This is new construction, so from what you say, splicing in the loadcenter / panel / panelboard (jeebus, industry, just pick a name!) won't be allowed.
I have the CEC 2021 edition. I'll look it up. :)

Are you revising your home with the intent to sell? Are you doing this work with a permit? If not, then I advise against abiding by the latest CEC. What it does it proudly displays to a home inspector that recent work was done, and you have no documentation.
Permits galore.

We're rebuilding the house from the studs out after a fire and turning it into a two-dwelling rental; upstairs and downstairs.
Took over a year until all the red tape was sorted. Construction is now underway.

As this is no longer the home we live in, a licensed electrical contractor will be doing all the electrical work.

I've put myself in charge of doing all the electrical legwork (planning, load estimates, electrical schematics panel layouts, elevations, etc.) because I enjoy it and because someone has to make sure the work is up to my impossible standards (I'm a hard marker). In truth I have only one inviolable rule: make it easy for the next guy.

I will be a the de-facto property manager and as such I expect myself to know the ins and outs of every system so that when work has to be done in the future I will know how to troubleshoot and where to point the contractor.

I've been moonlighting in low-voltage work (networks, telco, coax, automation) for decades so I'll be doing all that stuff, myself. Gotta put all those tools to use.

For the fun of it I'm also modeling the entire house, as-is, down to the studs (easy now that there are no walls). Most complex Sketchup model I've ever created!
 

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Wow, that's impressive. Did I mention how much I loooove EMT metal conduit? That's perfect stuff for that kind of high-standard work.

Even if you use Romex for the electrical, I'd throw some conduit (not necessarily EMT) in there for the telecom/networking.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 · (Edited)
Wow, that's impressive. Did I mention how much I loooove EMT metal conduit? That's perfect stuff for that kind of high-standard work
Something tells me you're being sarcastic... but then also sincere?😂

Even if you use Romex for the electrical, I'd throw some conduit (not necessarily EMT) in there for the telecom/networking
Definitely Romex for electricals.

I do hope to run flexible Carlon-style "smurf tube" conduit for at least three of the LV runs:
1) Demarcation to Junction
2) Junction to wiring panels
2) Upstairs wiring panel to downstairs wiring panel.

Beyond that I will probably be pulling the following bundle to most rooms:
1x F/UTP Cat 6 (if I can a quality spool for, say $150 or less, otherwise two of the following:)
1x U/UTP Cat 6 (dirt cheap everywhere)
1x Cat 3 3-pair (for analog phones. I want to use up the box I've been sitting on for decades, as well as my BIX and 110 blocks)
1x RG6 (because I found spool of Commscope for $80)
I figure I'll rough in all the cables and wire them up over time as required by the tenants. Better to have and not need than need and not have.

Anyway this thread has veered way off-topic and it's my doing. Gotta reel it back in.
 
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