Combo AFCI/ GFCI GE circuit breakers?

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Old 10-10-07, 08:24 PM
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Combo AFCI/ GFCI GE circuit breakers?

1. I have been searching online for combination AFCI/GFCI circuit breakers for a General Electric service panel. I would like to protect the whole house with these circuit breakers if they exist.

2. Would another option be to just install the AFCI 20 Amp single pole breakers i found at my nearby home improvement center, and then install GFCI receptacles to protect the rest of the loads down the circuit branch? Would one cancel the other one out? Would it be a hazard?

Thanks to anyone that can help.
 
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Old 10-11-07, 04:10 AM
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1) WHY???

2) No. No hazard at all.........buy WHY GFI protect the whole house?????
Are you THAT concerned about safety? If so I hope you don't drive a car.
 
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Old 10-11-07, 04:32 AM
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Why would you want to do this? Yes, your house would be safer. But I think you would also get numerous tripped breakers.
 
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Old 10-11-07, 06:22 AM
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GE AFCI already have a good measure of GFCI built-in; under 50mA trip sensitivity as I recall. You really don't want the refrigerator on these, as false trips do occur. I, myself have about 4, one year old AFCI breakers in my GE box. Two tripped with only a near lightning hit this last summer. Other than that, they have worked OK, and they did detect an incorrectly shared neutral wire when they were first installed.
 
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Old 10-11-07, 07:01 AM
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Note that all AFCI breakers provide some measure of GFCI protection too. However, the GFCI protection in most AFCI breakers is not sufficient to meet the code requirements for GFCI in bathrooms, kitchens, etc.

David, just in the interest of science, I think you ought to go ahead and do this. Then report back from time to time as to how the experiment is going. Many of the posters here are worried that you might have a lot of false trips and spoil a lot of food and freeze your pipes, but nobody really knows if that bad-news scenario will actually happen. We need more data, and you sound like just the person to provide it.

So go ahead and put AFCI breakers everywhere (except that I don't think you'll find double-pole AFCI breakers yet), and then put GFCI receptacles where code-mandated (which you probably already have).
 
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Old 10-11-07, 07:28 AM
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Okay, the reason why we are thinking about using all those AFCI circuit breakers is because we heard that according to the new 2008 NEC codes, the whole house needs to be AFCI protected. We are almost done rewiring the whole house, and we just want it as up-to-code as possible.

And as for the GFCI protection, it would be a lot easier to just install GFCI breakers also, than to buy all the GFCI receptacles and try to wire everything to them.
 
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Old 10-11-07, 07:55 AM
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GFCI receptacles can usually do exactly the same job as GFCI breakers for a fraction of the cost. You may have some unusual situation that dictates otherwise, but GFCI breakers are not usually "easier"--just more expensive.
 
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Old 10-11-07, 07:55 AM
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If your permit is pulled before the new code is issued, you are still wiring according the current law. If we wired according to future laws, man would I make alot of money, because the change notices would be never ending.

GFIC breakers are way more costly than recepts., why not just use one GFIC recept. at the beginning of the cct. and wire the rest downstream of that one. You would still be GFIC protected.
 
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Old 10-11-07, 08:01 AM
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Originally Posted by davidsalgado23 View Post
according to the new 2008 NEC codes, the whole house needs to be AFCI protected.
The 2008 code will expand the AFCI requirements, but not to the extent of covering the entire house. Furthermore, few jurisdictions adopt a new code immediately. For example, we're sill on the 2002 code in Michigan.

We are almost done rewiring the whole house, and we just want it as up-to-code as possible.
Check with your city building department to find out which revision of the NEC your local code is based on and where you can find the local amendments. This is particularly important, because Chicago has a history of making big modifications to the NEC in the local code.

Even if you wire to the letter of the '08 code, the local inspector will still fail you if local code contradicts or if he is simply ignorant of the '08 code changes which haven't been adopted yet.

And as for the GFCI protection, it would be a lot easier to just install GFCI breakers also, than to buy all the GFCI receptacles and try to wire everything to them.
I don't know GE product lines very well, but I do know that combination AFCI/class-A-GFCI are quite rare -- maybe only one or two on the market. While all AFCI breakers provide a level of GFCI protection, very few provide the class A GFCI rating which is required for bathrooms, garages, etc. The best solution in this case is to use a GFCI receptacle in addition to the AFCI breaker (if required).
 
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Old 01-21-08, 09:44 AM
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Forgive a silly question but do you use a special panel for the GFCI and/or AFCI breakers, or do the breakers have extra connections to bring the neutral into the breaker and then to the neutral buss?

-- Rich
 
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Old 01-21-08, 10:16 AM
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The breakers have a pigtail that connects to the neutral buss, and a neutral terminal on the breaker for the circuit neutral wire.
 
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