GFCI and Arc Fault

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  #1  
Old 08-21-11, 04:18 PM
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GFCI and Arc Fault

I'm attempting to upgrade system to code.

Main Panel only had one(1) GFCI and uses a lot of halfs. Three other circuits need GFCI per code, so may not have room for Arc Fault without sub-panel (jury out on this one). Questions:

1) Is there a newer (easier) way to find end of neutral and ground wire associated with line wire in panel? My "old" school way, is to pull receptacle which circuit feeds, disconnect wires at receptacle, and install a jumper. Then remove line wire in panel and run a resistance test until associated neutral and ground located?

2) GFCI wire (siemens) will not reach neutral bar (located on left) from right bar of panel. Moved several circuits to right bar so GFCI can be installed on left bar. This has shifted most of load to Right bar. Would prefer balanced load on bars. Any suggestions appreciated?

3) Whomever initially wired has some circuits mixed, such that they will require both GFCI and Arc Fault. Haven't seen a combo breaker and don't particularly want to redo circuit to correct. Any suggestions appreciated?

Thanks
David
 
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Old 08-21-11, 04:51 PM
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Originally Posted by dw85745 View Post
I'm attempting to upgrade system to code.

Main Panel only had one(1) GFCI and uses a lot of halfs. Three other circuits need GFCI per code, so may not have room for Arc Fault without sub-panel (jury out on this one). Questions:

1) Is there a newer (easier) way to find end of neutral and ground wire associated with line wire in panel? My "old" school way, is to pull receptacle which circuit feeds, disconnect wires at receptacle, and install a jumper. Then remove line wire in panel and run a resistance test until associated neutral and ground located?
You can buy a breaker finder for about $35 or so. You plug it into a receptacle and then run a wand down the breakers until you hear the beep. You can also plug a radio with the volume turned up. Flip the breakers on and off until the radio goes off. You will need to find the neutral associated by tracing the hot back to the proper cable. Your panel should have already been labeled for safety reasons so you can quickly shut off the power should you need to,

2) GFCI wire (siemens) will not reach neutral bar (located on left) from right bar of panel. Moved several circuits to right bar so GFCI can be installed on left bar. This has shifted most of load to Right bar. Would prefer balanced load on bars. Any suggestions appreciated?
Buss bars are typically arranged in an ABAB pattern from top to bottom, not left/right. Balancing means very little in a single phase residential panel. Balancing is more important with three phase panels.

3) Whomever initially wired has some circuits mixed, such that they will require both GFCI and Arc Fault. Haven't seen a combo breaker and don't particularly want to redo circuit to correct. Any suggestions appreciated?
First, you will not find a AFCI or GFI breaker that fits in a half size slot. Both require a full size single pole space. GFI protection is added by adding a GFI receptacle to the circuit.
 
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Old 08-21-11, 05:15 PM
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Originally Posted by dw85745 View Post
1) Is there a newer (easier) way to find end of neutral and ground wire associated with line wire in panel? My "old" school way, is to pull receptacle which circuit feeds, disconnect wires at receptacle, and install a jumper. Then remove line wire in panel and run a resistance test until associated neutral and ground located?
If you're doing this then you already know which breaker is controlling the circuit. If the circuit is run with cable, just follow the wire from the breaker back to where it enters the panel. If the circuit is in conduit and it's not obvious, then your method would locate the proper neutral. Neither with a GFCI or AFCI breaker does the ground wire have to be found, just that it's proper and intact throughout the circuit.

Originally Posted by dw85745 View Post
2) GFCI wire (siemens) will not reach neutral bar (located on left) from right bar of panel. Moved several circuits to right bar so GFCI can be installed on left bar. This has shifted most of load to Right bar. Would prefer balanced load on bars. Any suggestions appreciated?
As PCBoss mentioned. In addition, the neutral tail off the GFCI or AFCI breaker can be pigtailed to a longer piece of white wire the appropriate size and extended to be able to reach the neutral bar. The breaker doesn't necessarily have to be mounted on the same side as the neutral bar.


Originally Posted by dw85745 View Post
3) Whomever initially wired has some circuits mixed, such that they will require both GFCI and Arc Fault. Haven't seen a combo breaker and don't particularly want to redo circuit to correct. Any suggestions appreciated?

Thanks
David
As PCBoss said.
 
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