DIY Home Improvement Forum banner

Arc Fault Problem

1846 Views 6 Replies 3 Participants Last post by  PawPaw
I own a house built in 2007. Arc faults in all bedrooms per code. One bedroom breaker trips. Used to trip on occasion. I installed a ceiling fan. No problems. A few months later it started tripping again when I turned the fan or light on. I removed fan, checked all connections, redid all connections and reassembled fan. Unplugged everything in room. Replaced with new Cutler Hammer 15amp arc fault. Now if I turn the closet flourescent light on it trips. Will not stay on no matter what. I have checked some switches and outlets. All seem properly wired and connected. Any thoughts??
1 - 7 of 7 Posts

· Banned
5,990 Posts
false AFCI trips or not, causes

"Reversed hot and neutral wires - reversed polarity - which is an unsafe condition

Shared neutral wiring on single pole circuit breaker circuits: this is already an existing problem with GFCI's on multiwire branch circuits.

Incorrect or accidental connections between the ground and neutral wire: this is also an unsafe condition which can permit live current to flow on a ground wire that should normally never carry current. We've personally seen this condition lead to an electric shock.

A common source of accidental ground-neutral connections occurs when an electrician over-tightens the clamp connector on BX (armored cable) where it connects to a steel junction box. Our ex-brother-in-law made this mistake at every single BX connector when he did his own over-zealous wiring in a New York City apartment. When he installed a GFCI circuit breaker to protect some circuits, he could not keep the breaker from tripping immediately whenever power was turned on.

We saw that his over-tightening the connector pinched inwards the edges of the BX cable. If the BX cable edge cuts into the hot wire the electrician (or Matthew) discovers this fault immediately when power is restored to the circuit. But if the cable edge cuts into the neutral wire, the electrician (or our brother in law) does not discover this fault until a GFCI or an AFCI is installed on the circuit, or until someone touches a supposedly safe armored cable wire exterior and gets a shock.

Normal arcing in appliances: Nuisance tripping that could occur from the normal arcing that occurs in some appliances (such as a vacuum cleaner motor) has been considered in the design of the AFCI circuit. The AFCI is designed to tell the difference between this ordinary arcing and the type of arcing in a circuit that may cause a fire."

I guess there could also be a ground fault. And one OP lived near a radio station and had to get filters from the AFCI manuf. for the thing to work properly.

If all else fails, contact Mr. Gregory. He works/worked for Square D.

"George D. Gregory and
Gary W. Scott, "The Arc-Fault Circuit Interrupter, An Emerging
Product," IEEE Transactions on Industry Applications,
September/October 1998, pp. 928-933."
1 - 7 of 7 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.