Whats The Deal

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  #1  
Old 05-15-06, 07:28 PM
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Whats The Deal

ok this is what i have i reduced down the number of wires in my breaker panel. (see other post's of mine). I ran 12-3 to the first room black (20amp breaker) for lights (bed room 1,2,livingroom,frontporch)red for outlets for bedroom 1 only with (arkfault 20 amp) shared white.i can flip on breaker and its fine i try and flip the sec breaker and they trip,either way i turn the breakers on one will trip.i know the wiring is sound in the rooms because its been working on the old wires till today when the elctrice comp.swaped the lines from overhead to undeground i know that has nothing to do with just more info on the problem.

Also i went into the attic and un hooked every thing from the first junction but the white wire and the first light and it trips just to rule out any problems with me hooking them up.
 
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Old 05-15-06, 11:22 PM
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Originally Posted by builditmymself
ok this is what i have i reduced down the number of wires in my breaker panel. (see other post's of mine). I ran 12-3 to the first room black (20amp breaker) for lights (bed room 1,2,livingroom,frontporch)red for outlets for bedroom 1 only with (arkfault 20 amp) shared white.i can flip on breaker and its fine i try and flip the sec breaker and they trip,either way i turn the breakers on one will trip.i know the wiring is sound in the rooms because its been working on the old wires till today when the elctrice comp.swaped the lines from overhead to undeground i know that has nothing to do with just more info on the problem.

Also i went into the attic and un hooked every thing from the first junction but the white wire and the first light and it trips just to rule out any problems with me hooking them up.
If you're sharing neutrals I don't think you can use an AFCI as one of the breakers. I believe what you are seeing is the reason.
 
  #3  
Old 05-16-06, 03:45 AM
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If you have a multi wire circuit (shared neutral) you have to have a 2 pole AFCI. You will either need to run 2 separate circuits or get a 2 pole AFCI.

Cutler Hammer makes the only 2 pole AFCI I'm aware of, and they make it in a classified version that will work in several other manufacturer's panels. I'm fairly certain this would be a distributor only item.

The reason this happens is that arc-fault devices also contain a GFCI circuit that looks for a difference in current between the hot and neutral. With the neutral shared the current on it is usually different than that on either hot wire. This is what a GFCI looks for and what causes it to trip.
 
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Old 05-16-06, 05:12 AM
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Not to hijack the thread, but I was going to run 12-3 to my garage from a dual pole 20 amp breaker and share the neutral for outlets and lights. I was going to put in GFCI's but from what I'm reading it sounds like the GFCI's would trip. I'm I correct or wrong? Thanks for the help and any other suggestions would be great, too.

John
 
  #5  
Old 05-16-06, 05:37 AM
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Both AFCI and GFCI circuit cannot share a neutral separately. That is, you cannot use an AFCI or GFCI in front of a shared neutral.

builditmymself, To fix your problem, purchase a 240 volt 20 amp AFCI breaker.

johny2050, You cannot share the neutral AFTER a GFCI. This means that you can use a GFCI breaker in the panel (240 volt of course), or you can split into two circuits in the garage at a junction box and then GFCI protect the first receptacle, or you can continue to share the neutral and use all GFCI receptacles.
 
  #6  
Old 05-16-06, 07:03 AM
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Is this a good plan?

Bob, thanks for the help. Will you just verify that what I'm about to do is a good plan? Since I have an attached garage, I was going to run from the main electrical box, this breaker http://www.doityourself.com/invt/6855076 to a junction box in the attic above the garge to make my splices. Tie the neutrals together and run one hot to two lights and a garage door opener/light. Run the other hot to 2 or 3 GFCI outlets. These outlets would be used for power tools such as wet/dry vac, table saw, miter saw, sander, etc. Thanks for the help.
John
 
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Old 05-16-06, 07:08 AM
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That's fine. Make sure that the junction box in the attic remains permanently accessible. You might even consider using the first light or the switch box as the junction box where you separate the circuits.

You can (if you want) save some money by using one GFCI receptacle and having it provide downstream protection to the other receptacles which can then be regular (non-GFCI) receptacles.
 
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Old 05-16-06, 08:31 AM
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well

I went to lowes and bought more 12-2 and ran a line for the light circuit i had the breaker there already so ill make it a home run for all the lights in the front of the house I'll do the same for the back half....The three bedroom recpt.'s are on afci breakers one for each room.and the lights are on the regular 20 amp breaker. Thanks for all the help..
 
  #9  
Old 05-16-06, 08:49 AM
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Unless you have local exceptions, lights in bedrooms need to be AFCI protected as well as receptacles.
 
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