AFCI Bedroom Circuit


Old 08-04-05, 06:27 AM
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Arrow AFCI Bedroom Circuit

I read in a book based on the 2002 NEC that bedroom circuits need AFCI protection and that this type of breaker is finicky. 2002 NEC applies at my locale.

Does everything in the new bedroom need to be on the AFCI (I assume so), and can the same circuit be used to give power to, say some receptacles in the adjacent rec room?

I'm just looking for a quick rundown on what you guys think of AFCI and how problematic it is.

And it sort of ties into my lack of space for breakers. If I need a separate AFCI for this bedroom, I'll have to come up with 2 empty slots in my panel, whereas the I'll only need 1 if the AFCI circuit can power more than just the bedroom. The square footage for the bedroom and rec room is in total about 400 sqft.

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Old 08-04-05, 07:26 AM
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Location: Near Lansing, Michigan
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2002 NEC requirement for AFCI in bedrooms applies to new construction only. Retrofitting it not required. I'm not familiar with your project, but you very well may be exempt from the AFCI requirement.

If you do need the AFCI, everything in the bedroom must be protected by it, even the smoke detector in some jurisdictions. The receptacles in the adjacent rec room can also be powered by this circuit if you so choose.

I personally don't think AFCI are a big problem for bedroom circuits. I wouldn't put my fridge on one, but it seems to me that AFCI does add a measure of safety to bedrooms.
Old 08-04-05, 07:34 AM
Join Date: Sep 2000
Location: United States
Posts: 18,497
Whether or not AFCIs are finicky is a subject of great debate. Some say yes, others say no.

Yes, everything in the bedroom needs to be on AFCI, unless the NEC has local modifications in this area (and there are a lot of local modifications in this area, so check locally before doing anything).

I say that you should regard AFCI as innocent until you have a problem with it. Put it in with high expectations.
Old 08-04-05, 09:51 AM
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Thanks guys, good stuff.

Innocent until proven guilty.
Old 08-04-05, 05:23 PM
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: Orlando, FL
Posts: 132
I personally don't like them, but unfortunately it's the code. I've had to replace quite a few of them, and I've gotten a few out of the box that were just plain bad. Of course we mostly use Cutler-Hammer, so I can't vouch for other brands.

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