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Electrical arcing can sometimes cause fires, but arcs are unavoidable in switches. These gadgets are supposed to prevent fires due to the bad type arcs.

AFCIs are way more complex than GFCIs and so are subject to nuisance tripping.

If a circuit breaker costs $20 and buys you $20 worth of safety these things should cost about $1 for the additional safety they buy you, IMO.

Fear, Uncertainty and Doubt are used to sell a lot of stuff to the public.
 

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Even more, the public will buy anything in the name of safety, and the government will require everything in the name of safety.

I'm not at all convinced that arc-fault breakers work at all. A couple of years ago, I did an experiment involving a frayed extension cord and an arc-fault breaker. The breaker failed to detect an actual arc that certainly could have resulted in a fire.

They might be better now, but the fact that the requirement for their use was rammed through the code-making committee by the breaker manufacturers casts considerable doubt on the true motive for said requirement.

Rob
 

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the requirement for their use was rammed through the code-making committee by the breaker manufacturers casts considerable doubt on the true motive for said requirement.

Rob
"Regulatory capture is a term used to refer to situations in which a government [or non-governmental] regulatory agency created to act in the public interest instead acts in favor of the commercial or special interests that dominate in the industry or sector it is charged with regulating."

Newspaper code for capture is ". . .they are too cozy with the industry they are policing."

By the time I got onto Stigler's work on this subject I was already being forced out of the door of the agency whose capture I was exposing.

Here's something to really worry about. . .
"Security at the nation's nuclear plants has been grossly inadequate for decades, and the nuclear industry and its captive regulatory agency, the NRC, have refused to do anything about it--both before and after September 11."
 

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Question effectivenes [and necessity] AFCIs

YOYIZIT 9:19PM. I respectfully disagree with your contention about the effectiveness of AFCIs! The early issues of AFCIs were worth next to nothing. Because they only responded to one type of Arcing. Across the leads. H. to N. where any NORMAL Breaker would open the circuit. I myself responded to a call where there was arcing fr. NEUTRAL to NEUTRAL. Heard the "pops". OK. There was no AFCI protecting that circuit. But, (so the mfrs. claim) the newer, Combination AFCIs protect against ALL Arc Faults. H. to H., N. to N., Across the Line and Ground Fault. (The latter Two would be protected by a regular circuit breaker, anyway! It's regs. in NYC, anyway!!!:confused1::yes::no::drink:
p.s.: Words express an idea Smilies express the mood!!!
 

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YOYIZIT 9:19PM. I respectfully disagree with your contention about the effectiveness of AFCIs!
http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&...hts=&as_occt=any&cr=&as_nlo=&as_nhi=&safe=off
:thumbsup:
The problem seems to be in the signature analysis software.
I think patents have more credibility because the applicant is literally putting his money where his mouth is.

Also, at least one forum post showed that AFCIs respond to nearby radio stations.
And,
http://forums.mikeholt.com/showthread.php?t=97059

From the book Unspun
-To evaluate a dramatic factual claim: Who stands behind the info, does the source have an ax to grind, by what method was the info obtained, how old is the data, what data collecting assumptions were made, how much guesswork was involved?
-While everyone has a bias, disinterested people are more likely to be trustworthy than advocates.
-Extraordinary claims need extraordinary evidence.
-Even a good study from a reliable source can be wrong.
-Testing evidence: is the source highly regarded and widely accepted, is the source an advocate, what is their track record, what method is used, does the source show its work, is the sample random, is there a control group, does the source have the necessary skill, have the results been replicated or contradicted?
-correlation may not mean causality.
Summary:
-#1, you can't be completely certain.
-#2, you can be certain enough; preponderance of evidence, clear and convincing, beyond a reasonable doubt.
-#3, look for general agreement among experts (but consensus is not proof).
-#4, check primary sources.
-#5, know what's really being counted.
-#6, know who's talking.
-#7, seeing is not necessarily believing.
-#8, crosscheck everything that matters.
Be skeptical but not cynical.
 

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Reply to Q. about effectiveness of AFCIs

Thanks for posting that article about the [general] reliability of products, where someone might have an ax to grind! I, too have heard the rumors about some individuals with "Interest" sitting on, or influencing [some of] the Code Making Committee/s. Need we say more than the issue with the "Federal" breakers? There is no more prestigious testing agency than the UL (Underwriters' Laboratories). Yet they dropped the ball on the FPE issue!
How is it possible to put a seal of approval on products of such inferior quality. Nay. Dangerous products as the "stab-lok" breakers and low-end panels were! By the time they (UL) removed their stamp, the major damage was already done! Last year, I responded to Eight cases where those breakers failed to trip and caused fire and burns, requiring hospitalization:furious:
p.s.: the most demonstrable problem w. the FPE (Federal Pacific Electric) circuit breakers that they failed to respond to a Ground fault! On overloads, they responded fine.
p.p.s: The effectiveness of the "Federal" BOLT-ON breakers was never questioned!:drink:!!!
 
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