AFCI clarification

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Old 11-08-06, 11:10 AM
wgc
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AFCI clarification

Could someone with access to/familiarity with the NEC clarify the requirements for AFCI?

I've read threads here that the 2005 requirement is all outlets (receptacles, fixtures, detectors) in bedrooms require an AFCI. Sounds like a good idea, especially in kids rooms, but ...

Googling around, I see the requirement tends to be referred to for "new construction" in online articles. Are these mentions wrong, is "new construction" defined to include all re-wiring, or is there really not a requirement for existing houses?

Googling around, I also see many mentions of AFCI receptacles in articles but do not see any such things for sale. I also saw a mention of a rejected proposal in 2002 to allow AFCI receptacles to fulfill the requirement. Do these exist and do they fill the requirement? They would certainly be a lot easier to add to existing houses.
 
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Old 11-08-06, 11:50 AM
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Originally Posted by wgc
Could someone with access to/familiarity with the NEC clarify the requirements for AFCI?

I've read threads here that the 2005 requirement is all outlets (receptacles, fixtures, detectors) in bedrooms require an AFCI. Sounds like a good idea, especially in kids rooms, but ...

Googling around, I see the requirement tends to be referred to for "new construction" in online articles. Are these mentions wrong, is "new construction" defined to include all re-wiring, or is there really not a requirement for existing houses?

Googling around, I also see many mentions of AFCI receptacles in articles but do not see any such things for sale. I also saw a mention of a rejected proposal in 2002 to allow AFCI receptacles to fulfill the requirement. Do these exist and do they fill the requirement? They would certainly be a lot easier to add to existing houses.
All new wiring is required to have AFCI protection for all
15 and 20 amps circuits supplying bedroom OUTLETS. " An OUTLET is any point on the wiring system at which current is taken to supply utilization equipment" Quote form the NEC.
AS you said "(receptacles, fixtures, detectors) in bedrooms require an AFCI in new construction". If you are not rewiring you house you are not required to install AFCI. There in nothing wrong in adding AFCI where ever you want. In the new code
I think it will be require for every outlet in the house.
 

Last edited by wareagle; 11-08-06 at 04:23 PM.
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Old 11-08-06, 12:01 PM
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> Are these mentions wrong, is "new construction" defined to
> include all re-wiring, or is there really not a requirement for
> existing houses?

Generally speaking, if the remodel is significant enough to take down drywall, or if the bedroom is part of an addition, then new construction rules apply. If the project is smaller than complete overhaul it falls to an interpretation by the inspector, and some jurisdictions (or local codes) are more aggressive than others. Upgrades to AFCI breakers as part of a service upgrade or panel change is enforced in many jurisdictions as well, even if the branch circuit wiring is unchanged.

> AFCI receptacles

They do not exist yet to my knowledge. But even if they did, I seem to recall that there is some technicality in the AFCI specification or code that makes hypothetical AFCI receptacles non-compliant anyway; it's something to the affect of: "...the AFCI must de-energize the circuit...". A receptacle device can only de-energize the downstream portion of the circuit, but not the entire circuit like a breaker can.
 
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Old 11-08-06, 04:36 PM
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Afci

2005 , code requires AFCI for all 120v ckts/outlets in a bedroom.New construction.
Some areas are still under the 2002 code or even the 1999.
(If we new your area we could answer better.) This is the main reason ALL states are not reciprocal.
2005, If smoke det. pass thru, then yes it must be AFCI,Aswell as any outlet (light,plug, sw, etc.)
Massachusetts, Had a rule that if there was a panel change/upgrade, You must AFCI all bedroom ckts.. If the smokes and lights were on dif. ckts,They would need AFCI aswell (if passing thru the bedroom). That has just been repealed.
So the importance of location has been noted.

Keep watching this issue, Its expanding fast.


RE AFCI rec: I beleive I saw 1 mfg. who has them. But requires No more than six(6)ft. of wire from source to rec. (including panel loop.) can't remember where I saw this. It just kinda' stuck.

Series/paralell/5A/75A.combos'.....
 
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Old 11-09-06, 12:43 PM
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AFCI and Smoke Detectors?

Originally Posted by lectriclee
...If smoke det. pass thru, then yes it must be AFCI...
I've read this AFCI requirement a few times and it still leaves me scratching my head. I certainly understand the need for AFCI for bedroom circuits if someone pushes a bed up against a receptacle and breaks the attached lamp cord. But I would think that any type of additional "protection" on a smoke detector circuit would be dangerous. What happens if the breaker trips and shuts off the detector in the middle of the night?

Maybe I'm missing something - just curious.

-Mike
 
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Old 11-09-06, 03:29 PM
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> additional "protection" on a smoke detector circuit would be
> dangerous.

Some people believe the wording in the NEC requiring all bedroom "outlets" to have AFCI protection was an oversight for smoke detectors which may be clarified in subsequent revisions.

Many local jurisdictions have addressed this concern by overriding NEC when it comes to smoke detectors. Always check local codes (electrical and building) when it comes to smokes, because the rules vary greatly. Some jurisidictions mandate what others forbid, like smokes sharing a circuit with lights or having AFCI protection.

> What happens if the breaker trips and shuts off the
> detector in the middle of the night?

Hardwired smokes should also have a battery backup. This is a reason why some areas require that smokes share a circuit with frequently used lights; the occupants should notice lights not working and correct the problem.
 
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Old 11-10-06, 05:51 AM
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RE AFCI rec: I beleive I saw 1 mfg. who has them. But requires No more than six(6)ft. of wire from source to rec. (including panel loop.) can't remember where I saw this. It just kinda' stuck.

Found it. 210.12-B ex. A
 
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Old 02-07-08, 02:08 PM
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AFCI clarifications

2008 NEC has done away with the 6 foot rule for feed through (receptacle) type AFCI, but you would have to install the wiring from the breaker to the AFCI device in a metal wiring method, (EMT, RIGID, or more likely AC cable).

Combination type AFCI's protect the wiring in the walls, and cord connected equipment. The focus is not just on the things in the room, but on smoldering fires caused by the wiring in the walls as well. Check out UL's website for more info. http://database.ul.com/cgi-bin/XYV/t...888&sequence=1

The new wiring versus remodel issue is answered jurisdiction by jurisdiction by whoever the inspecting/permitting authority is. Anywhere I have worked, adding new outlets is new work, regardless of whether you removed sheet rock, so if I were to cut in a new outlet in a residential bedroom here in Washington state I would be required to protect the whole branch circuit.

Breakers are the only currently available option that I can find to buy. Feed through receptacles have been rumored to be in the pipe since the 2002 NEC came out but none have materialized, at least in reputable electrical wholesale houses. You might be able to mail order one from a Chinese or Korean manufacturer, if you want to take the risk, but in any jurisdiction with permitting and inspection they will be looking for a UL label (as you should as well)


hope this helps
 
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