I'm new to this forum and have a question regarding Arc Fault Circuit Interrupters (AFCI's).
We recently moved into an older house (circa 1950). The governing electrical code is BC, Canada. The wiring is 100 A service, with a knife switch main breaker and cartridge-type main fuses. A 40A sub-panel has been added for newer wiring, but most of the house is still on two original circuits...bedrooms, bathrooms, lighting and outlets all on the same circuits. There is lots of room in the sub-panel for new circuits. There is no knob and tube wiring anywhere. The house has plaster walls, and running new wiring would be very difficult in some sections of the house. The older circuits seem to be 14ga wire (Romex wiring with the black outer sheath) on standard 15A breakers. The older circuits are not grounded. We are planning a major gut and reno in a few years, and will re-do the wiring at that time, so I don't want to get into a major rewire job now until we do the rest of the upgrade. I'm planning on doing an electrical map and splitting up the old circuits in cases where we have access and can run new wire easily.
Questions for the forum:
1- Is it worthwhile to change the existing breakers on the old ungrounded circuits to newer AFCI breakers? I'm worried about the condition of the old wiring in places that can't be inspected, and I wonder if a greater degree of protection can be achieved with AFCI breakers on an old circuit. The circuit won't be just plugs, but lighting, dimmers, etc. Is this a good idea?
2- Any other suggestions for easy safety upgrades to an old house, short of doing a major electrical reno??
Thanks in advance to the members of the forum for considering our questions.