Arc fault breaker trips same time every day

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Old 06-21-10, 10:27 AM
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Arc fault breaker trips same time every day

I live in a condo that was constructed in 2007. I have my office in what was designed as a bedroom. Its outlets are connected to a 20amp Eaton "Arc fault breaker type BRAF." Since I have lived here, this breaker has periodically tripped, perhaps 3 or 4 times a year, usually with nothing in the room turned on except for a wall clock and some wall warts that power computer equipment. Recently I have been working at home, and for the past several days this breaker has tripped every morning at almost exactly 9:00 AM. While I am home, my desktop computer and monitor stay on, and my computer speakers are also on some of the time. There are 3 or 4 additional external transformers plugged into plug bars for equipment that is not typically turned on (scanners, etc). It doesn't matter whether I am in the room working or not; the breaker trips at nine. I am able to reset it immediately, and the circuit functions normally until the next morning. Looking back on the history of this problem, I now realize that the earlier periodic episodes also occurred at about this same time of day. Since they were infrequent, I never considered time of day as a factor. Even now, I know of nothing that would explain this occurence. Nothing special I am aware of is happening at nine, in this room, in the condo, outside, in this area, whatever. I haven't been able to identify any other common element. I can say for sure that the breaker has tripped while the air conditioner was not running (it and the electric range are the largest power consumers). I say with all modesty that I am perhaps the most "unhandy" person who has ever visited this board. No one could have a lower mechanical aptitude than I do. Nonetheless, nothing I have read about circuit breakers in general or GFCI breakers even remotely concerns this phenomenon. I would appreciate any ideas or suggestions.
 
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Old 06-21-10, 10:48 AM
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Start by disconnecting the power wire to the breaker before 9:00. If it still trips it is the breaker. If it doesn't trip reconnect.

If it doesn't trip at 9:00 with the wire disconnected at the breaker the next day unplug everything on the circuit including wall-warts. If it doesn't trip at 9:00 the next day plug in one item. If it doesn't trip add an item the next day and so forth till all items are plugged in.

If it does trip with nothing plugged in first you must look for something on the circuit you didn't know was on the circuit. That can be done by shutting off the breaker and checking what else is dead.
 
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Old 06-21-10, 08:52 PM
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Try Ray's suggest first that should do some trick however it may not be a foolproof but try it and also you describing it always trip at 09:00 so sound like something hevey load kick on somewhere on the system.

Few case the POCO supply may have switching power factor capaitour sometime it may affect some brand of AFCI's

How old this AFCI breaker you have in there the later model may slove the issue if you have AFCI combation verison.

Merci,Marc
 
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Old 06-22-10, 09:02 AM
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Is the condo stand-alone or do you share common walls with other units? Does the affected room share a common wall? Are the electrical services separate or grouped for the building?
 
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