AFCI code questions

david_caryJanuary 25, 2010

I am finishing a basement. I have wired about 7 new circuits as follows. 2 general receptacle, 2 lighting circuits, 2 dedicated circuits for central vacuum and sewer pump and 1 for bathroom receptacle and unfinished area.

Which circuits need AFCI?

Is it okay to run 12/2 to bathroom receptacle and tie off that for a few outlets in unfinished area (to just use the 1 GFCI outlet)? Obviously a 20 amp breaker and 12/2 throughout.

I am still unclear if light circuits in unfinished space needs to be GFCI protected. It seems like that would be crazy overkill but the whole outlet/receptacle name change confuses me.

Last question (unlikely) is that I have 1 outlet circuit outside that ties into my general outlet circuit (finished space), is it okay to put the GFCI inside (for longevity)?

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Ron Natalie

Pretty much all the finished living space with the exception of kitchens and bathrooms require AFCI for the 120V 15 or 20A circuits under the 2008 NEC. Doesn't matter if it is a lighting or receptacle outlet.

Bathrooms require their own 20A circuit for the receptacles (in some cases you can use it for other BATHROOM purposes). You can not feed the unfinished basement or other areas from that circuit.

Only the 120V 15 or 20A receptacles in the unfinished areas need GFCI. Largely lights never need GFCI except when their instructions specify it (commonly, certain wet area fixtures).

There's no restriction as to where the GFCI is located. You can use a GFCI breaker in the panel, you can put it in a legal receptacle location and feed through the protected side, or you can put it at the point of use.

    Bookmark   January 25, 2010 at 9:21AM
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Thanks for the quick answers. It sounds like I would need 4 afci. I assume that I don't need it for the dedicated lines (which are in unfinished space). I'll make the receptacles GFCI although I am pretty sure the sewer pump would not be GFCI.

That all seems like a lot of GFCI and AFCI but oh well.

    Bookmark   January 25, 2010 at 9:56AM
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Ron Natalie

GFCI's are cheap. A GFCI receptacle at the first position on the circuit can protect the other ones.

The AFCI change to the 2008 NEC is pervasive yes.

If the sewer pump is hardwired, it needs not be GFCI. The central vac if it's in the unfinsished space and plug connected (most are) will need it.

    Bookmark   January 25, 2010 at 11:02AM
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Tom Pultz

Before spending the money, you should check with your local inspection people or state and see what policies of the NEC 2008 they have adopted. Ours rejected the need for AFCIs in rooms other than bedrooms because they can cause problems with TVs, etc.

    Bookmark   January 26, 2010 at 12:31PM
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Ron Natalie

If he's in NC (just a wild guess that Cary is the town rather than his last name), then full up compliance with 2008 is required.

    Bookmark   January 26, 2010 at 3:52PM
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Yep. NC is definitely 2008 NEC required and Cary is pretty strict itself. We already have 10 AFCI breakers for the rest of the house.

    Bookmark   January 26, 2010 at 6:13PM
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Have to make as much money as possible before patents expire ...

    Bookmark   January 27, 2010 at 9:07AM
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