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A couple questions, I am replacing all of my switches and outlets to the decora style ones. I am trying to put the correct outlets in the correct locations though. I am wondering about a couple locations, and if they should have a GFCI or not. I have tried to google this stuff but I am getting really conflicting info.

-Over the range microwave. Its on its own 20amp circuit. Should I use a 20amp standard outlet or a 20amp GFCI?

-Refrigerator, I am not sure off the to of my head if this is a dedicated outlet or not, I will double check of course. I know it is not wired into the kitchen counter outlets though. Should this be a standard outlet or GFCI?

-Washing Machine, I dont remember if this is on its own circuit or not either. Reguardless should it be on a GFCI or standard outlet?

-Also under the sink I have a dedicated 15amp outlet for the dishwaher and a switced outlet for the garbage disposal. Should this be a GFCI? And if the answer is yes, can you make one outlet on a GFCI switched and the other powered all the time? I know with a regular outlet you just break off the tabs in between the terminals but does that work with a GFCI to?
 

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Licensed electrician
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MW, no need for gfi, but a 20 amp device is needed.

DW within 6' of a sink needs gfi under latest codes.

A gfi cannot be split between powered and half switched.

A washer within 6' of a sink needs gfi protection .
 

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Under the 2014 NEC all laundry area receps require GFCI protection. Regrettably this includes the washer.
 

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Under the 2014 NEC all laundry area receps require GFCI protection. Regrettably this includes the washer.
Very true but since he is just replacing the switches and outlets code wouldn't consider it an upgrade so unless he already has a GFCI outlet in the laundry area he is not required to put one in there. Actually that apply for all the places he is questioning but I really would recommend one under the sink at least. I also would ever consider putting one on a refrigerator or freezer, too much risk for very little benefit.
 

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Actually this is one of the few areas that the code is retroactive . If a new install would require afci or gfi protection it is needed to be installed when changing devices.
 

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GFCI technology has, unlike AFCIs, evolved to be very reliable. Nuisance tripping is virtually non-existent. If a GFCI is tripping, you likely have a faulty appliance.
 

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I have AFCI's.....been in service over 2 years....no nuisance tripping. Not even with my compound miter saw.....or any other power tool I've used.
It's not so much that AFCIs nuisance trip. The real issue is that they don't trip on supposed arcing faults reliably. There isn't much evidence that arcing causes fires to begin with. The real culprit, and impossible to detect by a microcontroller, is the glowing connection. In other words, AFCIs are a scam forced onto us by the manufacturers that sit on the code making panels.

I have seen AFCI breakers mistake motors for faults. I have also seen real arcing faults that don't trip the breaker. GFCIs are a tested and valuable safety technology. AFCIs are bunk.
 

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Thanks for replying! How exactly does an Arc Fault work?
There is a microcontroller inside the breaker which senses the waveforms of the current. An arcing fault has a very noisy wave shape. Supposedly the pattern is known to the microcontroller and it activates the trip mechanism when it detects the signature of an arc.

But the truth is they don't work as intended and are just an excuse to sell a $40 breaker vs a $5 breaker.
 

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AFCIs are a marketing we dream. Manufactures lobbied the code making panel to get them into the NEC. All they are is a glorified GFCI, and heck some don't even have the 30/50ma differential protection anymore.
 

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There is a microcontroller inside the breaker which senses the waveforms of the current. An arcing fault has a very noisy wave shape. Supposedly the pattern is known to the microcontroller and it activates the trip mechanism when it detects the signature of an arc.

But the truth is they don't work as I tended and are just an excuse to sell a $40 breaker vs a $5 breaker.
Most of them do it by using GFP for any arc involving the EGC. Had the code required GFCIs at each branch circuit origin we would have had the same level of protection without nuisance tripping.
 

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JOATMON
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Sorry, but I don't exactly agree on the negative AFCI comments.

A couple of years ago I was hooking up an outside GFCI that I had tagged off a bedroom AFCI. It was hard to justify running a single 12/2 60' for just one outlet.

The AFCI kept tripping.

I thought it was a bad GFCI so I replaced it. I could turn it on...worked for a short time then the AFCI would trip.

On close examination the hot wire was broken inside the box. When moving the wires around I noticed the hot bending in one spot in a most unnatural way.

Basically, the copper wire broke but the insulation was intact.

The AFCI did it's job.

As more AFCI's go in, people are going to find more marginal wiring. I did a lot of reading on the subject. One thing that became obvious, unless a ckt just dies, people do not check the 'health' of their electrical systems.

I have a great little method for checking a ckt.
 

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I'm not saying that AFCIs never trip on an arc. I'm saying that they trip on some arcs and not others. They trip on normal arcs caused by some motor brushes and not others. Two different AFCIs will trip on different arcs. They are simply unreliable. Besides that, arcing may be bad, but the real danger is a glowing connection. AFCIs don't detect glowing connections.

If you wanted reliable protection, you would use GFCI breakers. Insulation failures that lead to heating would cause a ground fault as well and the breaker would trip.
 

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Sorry, but I don't exactly agree on the negative AFCI comments.

A couple of years ago I was hooking up an outside GFCI that I had tagged off a bedroom AFCI. It was hard to justify running a single 12/2 60' for just one outlet.

The AFCI kept tripping.

I thought it was a bad GFCI so I replaced it. I could turn it on...worked for a short time then the AFCI would trip.

On close examination the hot wire was broken inside the box. When moving the wires around I noticed the hot bending in one spot in a most unnatural way.

Basically, the copper wire broke but the insulation was intact.

The AFCI did it's job.

As more AFCI's go in, people are going to find more marginal wiring. I did a lot of reading on the subject. One thing that became obvious, unless a ckt just dies, people do not check the 'health' of their electrical systems.

I have a great little method for checking a ckt.


They do trip, but not always. There are a lot of discussions in pro forms and people question them a lot, with supporting documentation that other methods and practices do the same.
 
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