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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
1950's Home. Upstate NY. We needed to replace the old worn out painted over two prong receptacles. We have a GFCI receptacle on the first outlet in each circuit with three prong outlets following..

I just came across the NEC code for AFCI and I want to pull my hair out!

I don't know if our local town(?) has adopted or has overridden the NEC. Do I find a qualified electrician/inspector and ask or assume I need to add AFCIs? I wasn't sure since this is an old home with old wiring OR since I have updated the receptacles I now have to add the AFCIs.

ALSO, we do not have a ground with our old wiring. I have read in the NEC that we cannot have metal screws in the faceplate - is this correct? If so, I need to replace all faceplates with screw-less ones?
 

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A "Handy Husband"
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They make plastic screws. Your local electrical inspector is the one to ask about AFCI.
 

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JOATMON
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Unless you have local codes that say otherwise, just replacing the outlets with new ones is not enough to trigger a code compliance with the latest NEC.

I've never heard about no metal screws with faceplates. If that is the case, every outlet in my house is wrong.
 

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Unless you have local codes that say otherwise, just replacing the outlets with new ones is not enough to trigger a code compliance with the latest NEC.
NEC 2014 406.4 (D) (4) paraphrased; if you replace an existing receptacle in an area requiring AFCI by current code, you must provide AFCI protection for it, effective jan 1 2014.

I've never heard about no metal screws with faceplates. If that is the case, every outlet in my house is wrong.
Metal screws are fine with grounded circuits. It's the ungrounded circuits where they are a no-no, even with a plastic faceplate. A short in the metallic box would electrify the metal screw thru the yoke making a shock hazard.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
In the case of a house fire, if the house is not up to code - ie. we didn't add the AFCIs - is that normally something that causes insurance companies not to pay?

It's hard to believe every older home is up to code especially if you have DIYers replacing receptacles such as us. I've done a lot of research to make sure we are following code but I can't see all DIYers doing that.
 

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As far as I know, it isn't that they wouldn't pay, but how much they would pay.

The insurance companies pretty much consider your electric system to be the same as the year the house was built, unless the owner can show proof of electrical upgrades. This would be bills for the work, copies of permits, etc.

Where you are most likely to get surprised with a fire insurance settlement would be that they only pay replacement cost on what they think you had. So, a older home that was built without AFCI protection, they would pay for 3-5 dollar breakers, not the $50 plus AFCI breakers (or std receptacles vs AFCI receptacles, etc) You would pay the difference.

The AFCI issue is significant, but combine AFCIs with some other major code upgrades ( whether electrical, plumbing or structural) and you can get a fairly substantial bill for code upgrades. Insurance companies do sell a code upgrade endorsement/rider to the policies. You might want to ask your agent if you have code upgrade coverage and what the cost would be to add it.
 

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JOATMON
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NEC 2014 406.4 (D) (4) paraphrased; if you replace an existing receptacle in an area requiring AFCI by current code, you must provide AFCI protection for it, effective jan 1 2014.

Metal screws are fine with grounded circuits. It's the ungrounded circuits where they are a no-no, even with a plastic faceplate. A short in the metallic box would electrify the metal screw thru the yoke making a shock hazard.
They way I read that (and many others as well)

If the branch ckt feeding that outlet is required to have AFCI protection, then you must provide it.

But....a branch ckt before 2010 didn't require it. So unless the OP is making changes to that branch ckt that would trigger code change....I don't think the above applies.
 

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NEC 2014 406.4 (D) (4) paraphrased; if you replace an existing receptacle in an area requiring AFCI by current code, you must provide AFCI protection for it, effective jan 1 2014.

Metal screws are fine with grounded circuits. It's the ungrounded circuits where they are a no-no, even with a plastic faceplate. A short in the metallic box would electrify the metal screw thru the yoke making a shock hazard.
406.6 requires metal plates to be grounded, not the screw.

A plastic plate mounted to an ungrounded receptacle with a metal screw is legal.
 

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They way I read that (and many others as well)

If the branch ckt feeding that outlet is required to have AFCI protection, then you must provide it.

But....a branch ckt before 2010 didn't require it. So unless the OP is making changes to that branch ckt that would trigger code change....I don't think the above applies.
Nope. Oso is correct. The rules are the same for GFCI.
 
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