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  1. #1
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    Nov 2007
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    Question What can be on arc fault breaker?

    When bedrooms are wired to arc fault breaker, is it just the outlets that are on that circuit or can you also include the closet lights and ceiling fan?

  2. #2
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    Default Re: What can be on arc fault breaker?

    Here's a quote from an article i read awhile ago:

    The new arc fault circuit breakers are identified in section 210-12 of the 1999 edition of the National Electric Code. Beginning January 1, 2002, they were required to protect branch circuits that serve residential bedrooms. These areas of the house have been identified as the source of many electrical arc related fires. The state of Vermont has taken a slightly more aggressive stance. They are requiring that these new life saving circuit breakers be used in all circuits that feed residential living areas. Their regulation went into effect on January 1, 2001.
    So based on that I would have to say yes to your question.

    Also check this link : http://www.cpsc.gov/CPSCPUB/PUBS/afci.html

    Hopefully this helps.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: What can be on arc fault breaker?

    Under the US NEC it's everything in the bedrooms including line voltage smoke detectors if you have them.

    The 2008 NEC will require durn near every outlet that's not GFCI protected to be arc fault protected in new residential applications.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: What can be on arc fault breaker?

    Quote Originally Posted by hawk4611 View Post
    can you also include the closet lights and ceiling fan?
    Sorry my post wasn't very clear

    It should have said ... yes to these.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
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    35

    Default Re: What can be on arc fault breaker?

    Right, it's not that closet lights etc. can be on an AFCI, if it's anywhere in the bedroom areas, it must be on an AFCI -- if wired since 2002. Or the whole house interior, in Vermont.

    Now here's the wierd part: The AFCI seems to be a solution in search of a problem. The Number One cause of the arcing that they are intended to protect against, is the aluminum wiring that is no longer allowed in the first place, plus the defective Zinsser breakers that failed to trip even with a dead-short to ground, that were coincidentally allowed at the same time as the aluminum wiring. Retrofitting Zinsser-replacements would solve that situation except for the fact that since Zinsser is long-since gone with the wind, there is no such thing on the market, and copper wiring used with the GE, Square-D, etc., breakers now available isn't going to arc. So why bother?

    I did have one house where a copper wire to a duplex receptacle was loose. I discovered that when a MW oven was plugged in & turned on. It would sputter (arcing) and trip the breaker -- the ordinary breaker. (Obviously I fixed that promptly.) Point is, the arcing immediately tripped the breaker! So where's the big problem?

    The only answer seems to lie in the fact that some electric space heaters occasionally develop a cracked element that can arc and cause a fire if placed near a combustible item -- but all instructions for them ALWAYS warn users NOT to put them near any combustible item! Apparently some folks just don't follow directions.

    Someone told me it is low-end renters that use these space heaters the most, when their oil runs out or their gas is shut off for non-payment. If that's true, it would make one hell of a lot more sense to require AFCI retrofit in all apartment houses, rather than in new single-family houses that are never going to see that situation. Anyway, it is what it is.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: What can be on arc fault breaker?

    The big problem is broken wires on lamps, electric blankets etc. When they arc they can cause a fire and they can do this without drawing enough current to trip and ordinary breaker.
    Jack
    Be sure you live your life, because you are a long time dead.-Scottish Proverb

  7. #7
    Join Date
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    Location
    Shamokin, Pa.
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    Default Re: What can be on arc fault breaker?

    Quote Originally Posted by JLMCDANIEL View Post
    The big problem is broken wires on lamps, electric blankets etc. When they arc they can cause a fire and they can do this without drawing enough current to trip and ordinary breaker.
    Jack
    Electric blankets are a nightmare when combined with AFCIs.
    Try telling a homeowner to ditch the old blanket. Good luck with all that !!!!!

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