New Bedroom Lights on AFCI?

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  #1  
Old 05-24-05, 08:21 AM
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New Bedroom Lights on AFCI?

I am adding a bedroom in my basement. The receptacles will be on a new 15A AFCI circuit. I planned to run lights in the bedroom from the existing basement lights circuit (which can handle the load). Now, I am second guessing whether this is up to code.

Do the lights in a new bedroom have to be on the AFCI circuit for the room?

Thanks!

Nick
 
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Old 05-24-05, 08:47 AM
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Check with your building department. Although the bedroom lights do require AFCI according to the NEC (and the smoke detector too), some local juristictions have amended this code to not require it. But even if you do need to use AFCI, you can still execute your plan. All you need to do is buy two AFCI breakers instead of one.
 
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Old 05-24-05, 08:48 AM
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This would not be up to code. Everything in a bedroom (with the possible exception of the smoke detector) needs to be on an AFCI protected circuit, if your area requires these circuits.

Since you bring up a bedroom in a basement, I will ask my usual questions.

Do you have the required two means of egress from this new bedroom? Does the second exit meet code? Remember, you cannot add a bedroom anywhere unless you have either a second door leading outside or a large enough window. The traditional basement windows do not qualify. If you donít have the egress, donít add the bedroom.
 
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Old 05-24-05, 09:45 AM
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Thanks for the help! I will make sure the light is on an AFCI circuit.

Yes, the room has a door and a proper egress window. Thanks for checking up on me.
 
  #5  
Old 05-24-05, 04:42 PM
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Smokes need to be on AFCI as well ( if in the bedrooms which they are )......what we do it tie all the smokes together and put them on one AFCI breaker and then feed the attic light on a pull chain at the end of the circuit. That way it does not effect the layout of the wiring when you have to get each bedroom on a AFCI circuit.
 
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Old 05-25-05, 06:25 AM
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I moved the lights to the new AFCI bedroom circuit. It was a minor change.

The Smoke Detectors run on the circuit for the bedrooms upstairs (pre-AFCI). Since I am adding to this circuit, am I required to make it AFCI? I suppose I should just replace that breaker and upgrade my upstairs bedrooms to AFCI.

Thanks again!
 
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Old 05-25-05, 06:28 AM
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AFCI's are costly but do save lives I honestly believe more so when it comes to older wiring than todays newer wiring.
 
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Old 05-25-05, 06:42 AM
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Our house was completed in 2000, so I am not protecting old-wiring. I'm no expert, but the wiring looks pretty well done to me (especially the changes I have made).

AFCI protects the devices that are plugged in too. They are just part of the circuit, right? So, I think I will make the existing bedroom/SD circuit AFCI. What's $50 for the extra piece of mind. No answer to my last question: am I required to do that?
 
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Old 05-25-05, 06:58 AM
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When the AFCI requirement was originally added to the code it everything in the bedroom. Since smoke detectors are in the bedroom, they are included in the requirement.

AFCI technology is still rather new (for homes anyway) and there have been numerous issues with false trips, etc. Plus there is the thought that if the AFCI breaker does trip but a fire does start, you don't want the smoke detector to not work.

Because of this reason, many local jurisdictions modified the code to exclude smoke detectors. I believe that in the new code that smoke detectors have specifically been excluded from the AFCI requirement. The only way to know for sure whether the smoke detectors are required to be on an AFCI circuit in your area is to ask the inspector.
 
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