Replacing a breaker

jus256December 27, 2012

Problem: breaker is tripping as soon as anything is plugged into any outlet on the circuit or when any one light or fan is switched on. I can't turn on any light on the circuit. I finally unplugged everything and turned off all of the fans. After that, I was able to get the breaker to reset without tripping. I figured I would try something other than the light on one of the ceiling fans after I got it reset. As soon as I plugged in a night light and pushed the button to turn it on, the breaker tripped again. Other than replacing the breaker, I don't know what it could be.

As far as I can tell, this is the breaker that is in the wall:
http://www.homedepot.com/h_d1/N-5yc1v/R-100181419/h_d2/ProductDisplay?catalogId=10053&langId=-1&keyword=eaton+15+amp+single+pole+arc+fault&storeId=10051

This is the breaker that Home Depot has in the store: http://www.homedepot.com/h_d1/N-5yc1v/R-202276733/h_d2/ProductDisplay?catalogId=10053&langId=-1&keyword=eaton+15+amp+single+pole+arc+fault&storeId=10051

I don't have a lot of experience doing anything other than replacing lights, plugs and switches but I think I can manage to replace this. Do you think it would be a problem if I used the second breaker instead?

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jus256

Sorry the link to Home Depot didn't post very well. Posting images isn't much easier.

The first link is supposed to lead to "Eaton 15 Amp Single PoleBR Type Breaker Fireguard AFCI - Model # BR115AFCS"

The second link is supposed to lead to "Eaton 15 Amp Single Pole Combination Type Fireguard AFCI BR Type Breaker - Model # BR115CAFCS"

    Bookmark   December 27, 2012 at 1:21PM
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jus256

Picture of the breaker currently in the wall that is giving me trouble.

Here is a link that might be useful: Breaker currently in the wall

    Bookmark   December 27, 2012 at 1:41PM
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jus256

This is the breaker that is in stock at Home Depot. I am considering this because the other one isn't carried in the store.

Here is a link that might be useful: Breaker currently in stock at Home Depot

    Bookmark   December 27, 2012 at 1:45PM
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weedmeister

This is what I see as different. The Green one is a Combination AFCI. The other is not.

"Both branch feeder and combination AFCIs provide conventional thermal and magnetic
overcurrent protection. Both also provide high current or "parallel" arcing fault detection
and fire mitigation for installed wiring and connected cords. The combination AFCI has
the added benefit of enhanced detection of persistent low current or "series" arcing faults
which mitigate fire hazards in cords connected to outlets."

Hope this helps.

    Bookmark   December 27, 2012 at 4:00PM
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Ron Natalie

Normally, I'd avoid recommending just replacing things, but with older arc faults, you often can get much better nuisance trip behavior with some of the late models.

Branch feeder AFCI's are rapidly disappearing from common stock. The combination is fine (even preferable) for your use.

    Bookmark   December 27, 2012 at 4:27PM
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brickeyee

Did you hook the circuit neutral to the breaker AND land the breaker pigtail on the neutral bar?

ALL the AFCI breakers I have seen have GFCI detection built in, they just are not a low enough current to qualify as a GFCI device.

    Bookmark   December 30, 2012 at 4:35PM
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Ron Natalie

THey do as brick says. Even if they didn't they still need the neutral connection for the arcdetct cricuitry to be powered properly.

    Bookmark   December 30, 2012 at 5:40PM
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