AFCI for BX Cable?

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Old 11-02-05, 12:42 PM
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AFCI for BX Cable?

I have been upgrading the wiring in my 58 year old house (in the rental portion of my duplex). I have replaced the armored cable (no shunt inside) in 4 of the 6 branch circuits with 12-2 Romex, new metal boxes and receptacles, plus added one new circuit so far. (Back when they added a circuit breaker box, they apparently ran Romex to the old fuse box and turned that into a junction box to tie into all of the existing armored cable.) I won't be able to replace the remaining two circuits at this time (harder to get to; no time right now), so I was wondering if I should put in AFCI breakers for those two. If they weren't so expensive, I would consider doing all of them, plus I read that they may not be all they're piped up to be. The two circuits remaining supply 2 bedrooms, the family room, and 2 porch lights. Would the BX cause me to have nuissance trips? Would the AFCI breakers do me any good/ be worth it?

Related question: (probably stupid question) Is it ok to use GFCI receptacles in the kitchen and bathroom if I don't have GFCI breakers? Is this better than nothing?
 
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Old 11-02-05, 01:12 PM
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Originally Posted by Timinindy
The two circuits remaining supply 2 bedrooms, the family room, and 2 porch lights. Would the BX cause me to have nuissance trips? Would the AFCI breakers do me any good/ be worth it?
Code now requires that bedroom circuits have AFCI breakers. Since you are doing a major electrical renovation, I think that not only should you put AFCI breakers on these circuits but that you are required to. When you do get around to replacing the BX with NM, the AFCI breakers will still be required.

The BX would not cause nuissance trips. If the BX did cause a trip it would be the result of a BX cable failure in which case the AFCI would be doing its job in detecting a wire fault and cutting the power.

Is it ok to use GFCI receptacles in the kitchen and bathroom if I don't have GFCI breakers?
Yes. Both GFCI breakers and GFCI receptacles provide the same level of protection; you can use either. Because a GFCI receptacle is about one-third the price, most people use GFCI receptacles unless there is a specific reason for a GFCI breaker.
 
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Old 11-02-05, 04:41 PM
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Thanks. That's what I thought I would hear. I went to Lowe's after work--those darn things are even more than I thought they'd be--$35 a piece!!!

Does anybody know a cheaper place to get them on line? I have an older GE breaker box.

I found these on e-bay, but I'm guessing they won't work:

http://cgi.ebay.com/Murray-Circuit-B...QQcmdZViewItem
 
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Old 11-03-05, 09:37 AM
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That's the going retail price. You can get them cheaper in a 10 pack, but that's a bit of overkill. AFCI breakers had gone through a lot of redesigns and recalls in the past few years. I would only buy the brand-name that matches the panel from a good retailer. On Ebay you might be getting an old recalled breaker and have no recourse to return it.
 
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