Can I have your opinion? GFCI and AFCI's


  #1  
Old 07-11-05, 05:37 AM
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Can I have your opinion? GFCI and AFCI's

I have dreaded aluminum wiring in my apartment.

I also have outlets in my kitchen and bath.

Should I and could I GFCI the outlets or at the circuit breaker?

Would one be preferable over the other with my wiring?

I know that GFCI circuits are more expensive and I'm okay with that, I'm concerned more with application. I know that there are no such thing as an aluminum wiring approved GFCI outlet, and it would be pigtailed. I guess they figure if you have the wiring your screwed anyways. Hahaha. I'm just looking for an opinion of what would you do? I do have kids and have the concern of an outlet in the bathroom.

Also, I just learned about AFCI's but really cannot find info regarding them with aluminum wiring. So far, I have no *apparent* trouble with my wiring, but the AFCI's sound like a great idea considering what it does. Is the application of AFCI's with alu wiring strongly recommended? Or will I just have to pull a chair up to my breaker box to reset it all the time. Again, I'd just like an opinion.

THANKS!
KELLY
 
  #2  
Old 07-11-05, 06:46 AM
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The biggest problem with aluminium wiring is that connections slowly work loose as they heat up and cool down with use. Eventually the connection is so loose that you get lots of heating and the connection burns under load.

This is known as a 'series fault'.

AFCIs are _supposed_ to detect series faults. That is what they were designed for and what you pay for when you buy them, and IMHO would be _perfect_ for the issues with aluminium wiring.

However, my understanding (hear-say information only, in discussions on various boards) is that they are not very reliable at doing this. Instead what happens is that they miss the series fault, let it grow to a ground fault, and then detect the ground fault. I can't really asses how true these reports are. If this assessment is true, then GFCI breakers would actually be better for protecting the wiring, because the ground fault threshold in an AFCI breaker is higher than that of a GFCI.

-Jon
 
  #3  
Old 07-11-05, 06:01 PM
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Thank you! Your answer is a HUGE helP!

Thanks so much! you've helped in my decision.

KELLY
 
 

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