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arc fault

Posted by cappo11 (My Page) on
Thu, Apr 25, 13 at 7:57

Am re-habbing an old farm house and of course replacing all electric. had a question about arc fault breakers. The jurisdiction that I'm in follows the 2005 NEC. my electrician says I will need arc faults for the bedrooms. But I heard arc faults are required in all living areas now. When I called the electrical inspector to ask if he is requiring them in the other rooms, all he would say is "just follow the code book". I have dealt with him before and he has never been helpful. Any advice on this. Thanks


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: arc fault

210.12 (A), 2011 NEC requires the use of ACFI protection for every finished space in a dwelling that isn't already GFCI protected already, such as bathrooms, kitchens, etc. The only exception is for an individual branch circuit supplying a fire alarm system.


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RE: arc fault

NEC 2005 only required bedroom outlets, and that is what the OP is under.

" The jurisdiction that I'm in follows the 2005 NEC."

Note that "outlets" is any [;ace power is used, ad is broader than 'receptacles'.

A fixed ceiling light is an outlet.
A wall switch is NOT (you cannot tap power from just a switch).
Since a wall switch likely feeds an outlet in the room it would be protected anyway.

A wall switch in a bedroom for the lights outside on the front of the house would not require protection (though it may well require a GFCI before or after the switch for outside power).

Any place equipment is connected or could be connected (like a receptacle) is an outlet.


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RE: arc fault

thanks for responding. since my town follows the 2005 edition, can I assume having AFCI's only in the bedrooms will pass inspection?


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RE: arc fault

As brick points out OUTLET means any device or place you can connect a device. So every receptacle, lighting fixture, ceiling fan, etc... is an OUTLET. If it's in a bedroom, it needs a AFCI under the 2005 code.

You're not required (under the 2005 code) to install them elsewhere. Make sure you get "combination" AFCI's. While that shouldn't be a problem with the currently sold ones, if you are scrounging you may find some branch-feeder ones that aren't legal in this situation.

I can also strongly recommend that you buy the LATEST available from the manufacturer. I had some of the mod2 GE AFCI breakers and the nuisance tripping went away when I replaced them with the later mod3 versions.


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RE: arc fault

Beware of old AFCs.

Some of the first generation had problems with arcs as simple as switch openings under higher loads, or plggin in an appliance tat was already turned on.

Even the newest ones can be tripped if you have an appliance on and plug it on slowly enough to cause an arc in the receptacle (or throw a toggle switch very slowly).


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RE: arc fault

great thank you for the help. I would think the electrical inspector would be more help so everyone could avoid confusion


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RE: arc fault

" I would think the electrical inspector would be more help so everyone could avoid confusion"

The AHj's job is to insure code compliance, nothing more.

In many smaller places they often donot have al that much work and may be more willing to prvide a homeowner with at least some advice.

In an area with a lot of work going on they are usually rnning just about al day.
Thay do not have time to do anything but check wrk agaist code requireents.

In some very large places even that becomes prety sloppy.

I have a house now with a tiled backslash and no access from the next room through the wall (large fancy TV built in).

The AHJ missed actually measuring the receptacle spacing.
Receptacle to end of counter is over 36 inches in at least two places.
Spacing between the others is more than 48 inches, but there are two on each edge of the corner mounted sink (instead of being over in a more useful position).

Luckily it was easy to get the GD off the counter circuit since the basement is unfinished.

A vent hood on the counter circuits.

All this on a house just shy if $1,000,000.


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