Breakers (AFCI,GFCI)

Reply

  #1  
Old 02-10-05, 10:14 AM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 30
Smile Breakers (AFCI,GFCI)

So far, with your help, I feel confident of my plan to re-wire my 1900's colonial home. I'm aware of (and was planning on) installing GFI outlets where required and wiring them up as needed (etc..bathrooms). I knew about GFCI Breakers, and although appreciate the "More safety=more better" motto, I didn't want a whole circuit and the mercuy of accidental trips on the GFI breaker. Now I am hearing about AFCI breakers and my promise to myself was that if I were going to re-wire myself, I wouldn't compromise any safety considerations or design improvements. Can Anyone give any suggestions as to which breakers I should use in the board (AFCI, GFCI)? Are some required now as per NEC? My plan WAS standard breakers with GFI outlets where needed....MY wife thanks you again....
 
Sponsored Links
  #2  
Old 02-10-05, 10:46 AM
Speedy Petey's Avatar
Banned. Rule And/Or Policy Violation
Join Date: Nov 2003
Posts: 2,455
Tell us where you are located and which verison (if any) of the NEC your area follows.

Also, since you are obviously doing your homework, I would get a few good books on home wiring and answer this one for yourself. The "Pocket Guide to Residential Installations" is a good code refrence. I have heard of conflicting facts from some DIY books.
You will feel better having the facts in your hands, with some guidance from the pros here.
 
  #3  
Old 02-10-05, 10:52 AM
Member
Join Date: May 2001
Location: Dry Side of Washington State
Posts: 738
Originally Posted by caneren
So far, with your help, I feel confident of my plan to re-wire my 1900's colonial home. I'm aware of (and was planning on) installing GFI outlets where required and wiring them up as needed (etc..bathrooms). I knew about GFCI Breakers, and although appreciate the "More safety=more better" motto, I didn't want a whole circuit and the mercuy of accidental trips on the GFI breaker. Now I am hearing about AFCI breakers and my promise to myself was that if I were going to re-wire myself, I wouldn't compromise any safety considerations or design improvements. Can Anyone give any suggestions as to which breakers I should use in the board (AFCI, GFCI)? Are some required now as per NEC? My plan WAS standard breakers with GFI outlets where needed....MY wife thanks you again....
Here's some info from a pro.

http://www.mikeholt.com/news/archive..._03-1-2003.htm

You'll need AFCI protection (circuit breaker) for all the outlets in your bedrooms. Check with the electrical inspector in your area.

Use GFCI receptacles (cheaper w/same protection) instead of GFCI breakers.
 
  #4  
Old 02-10-05, 11:07 AM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 30
Smile

I had planned on GFI outlets (following code), so I guess my question was really about AFCI breakers. I realize my building department is the one to call for the specifics on "local requirements" but I was interested in getting all of your inputs from a product stand point. Money not being an issue (well, it is but I won't skimp) are AFCI's a no brainer or are they still getting some kinks worked out. Given the health of my wiring system as it is now (old knob & tub mixed with everything else, over-circuited glass fuse panels), standard breakers with gfi outlets is a tremendous improvement. Perhaps I should get AFCI breakers for the bedrooms (as some locals require) even if mine doesn't...Safer is better???
 
  #5  
Old 02-10-05, 12:30 PM
Member
Join Date: Sep 2000
Location: United States
Posts: 18,497
are AFCI's a no brainer or are they still getting some kinks worked out
Somewhere in between.

If money is not an object, I suggest you put in the AFCI breakers. Worst case is that if they give you problems you can always swap back in regular breakers later.
 
  #6  
Old 02-10-05, 01:13 PM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 30
Smile

Last question...Why do some municipalities require them in BEDROOMS. Why are bedrooms circuits more in need than any other...or all.
 
  #7  
Old 02-10-05, 01:51 PM
Andy C's Avatar
Member
Join Date: Jul 2004
Posts: 37
Originally Posted by caneren
Last question...Why do some municipalities require them in BEDROOMS. Why are bedrooms circuits more in need than any other...or all.
Arc-fault breakers detect high resistance faults other than those to ground (which a GFCI senses). So this could for example be hot-to-neutral (say from a cable under a staple driven too deeply), or a series resistance (faulty connection to a switch, intermittent contact in a broken conductor, etc). These are resistive loads that follow the normal conductor path, so a GFCI would not catch them (no leakage to ground). To a standard breaker they are a normal load, so unless the current is very high, it wouldn't catch them either. The AFCI has circuitry to sense the resistance characteristics of these arcing fault.

Point being...the resistance builds up localized heat, possibly leading to a smoldering fire. Hence the requirement for AFCIs for all circuits (light, receptacle, smoke detector) in bedrooms.
 
  #8  
Old 02-10-05, 05:48 PM
Member
Join Date: Sep 2000
Location: United States
Posts: 18,497
It's not the municipalities that chose the bedroom to begin this AFCI experiment. It's the NEC committee. I believe the bedroom was chosen because there are a lot of electrical cords near a lot of drapes and bedding, and people spend a lot of time there. It's just a start. If the experiment works out well, some future code will begin requiring them in other rooms.
 
Reply

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Display Modes
'