AFCI Requirements?

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Old 08-12-12, 06:44 PM
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AFCI Requirements?

How come my house doesnt have any afci breakers, is afci required in new house/renovations?
 
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Old 08-12-12, 09:05 PM
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When was your house built, and what code cycle was adopted by your AHJ when it was built? The AFCI protection requirement is relatively new, dating in full force, basically, from the 2008 code cycle.

is afci required in new house/renovations?
Yes, if your AHJ has adopted the 2008 or 2011 code. It's a good idea, and very easy to do, regardless of the code in effect.
 
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Old 08-12-12, 10:35 PM
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i was thinking of replacing all my breakers anyway. I have 2 20amp breakers and a 15 so far. Isn't that really expensive in new installations too? wow
 
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Old 08-12-12, 10:40 PM
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Isn't that really expensive in new installations too?
It adds a little bit to the job, but nothing really when compared to the materials and labor to do the whole thing. It would add a tad more if we bought all the breakers one or two at a time from Big Orange or Big Blue.
 
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Old 08-13-12, 12:32 AM
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my breakers (Murray AFCI) were about $40.00 each, compared to $6.00 each for a regular breaker, so doing my whole panel will/could cost for 20 breakers about $800.00...yikes... Why cant they have AFGI and GFCI all in one breaker? I know some dont need GFCI.
 
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Old 08-13-12, 03:50 AM
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AFCI and GFCI serve two purposes. Generally GFCI's are installed in bathroom and kitchen locations for the small appliance circuits, as well as basements, crawlspaces and garages (usually on any concrete floor). AFCI's provide arc fault protection and initially were required in bedrooms only. With current code requirements, all circuits are to be AFCI, unless protected by GFCI.
Yep, $40 each can get expensive. It was an industry driven change to the code. Although it is a great safety feature, the breaker manufacturers stood to reap huge gains from having the code people to adopt the rules.
 
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Old 08-13-12, 09:10 AM
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my breakers (Murray AFCI) were about $40.00 each, compared to $6.00 each for a regular breaker, so doing my whole panel will/could cost for 20 breakers about $800.00...yikes...
Retail, and that's only an incremental cost of $680.00, if that makes you feel better.

Do you have a small panel, or are you figuring that you only need to upgrade about 20 circuits?

Why cant they have AFGI and GFCI all in one breaker? I know some dont need GFCI.
  • Two different technologies;
  • If it could be done, how would you like to have to pay for those breakers?
  • Can't think of areas that would need both;
  • Most importantly, AFCI protection is required for all "branch circuits serving..."
That last point means that AFCI protection has to start in the panel. That's why you don't see AFCI receptacles, and won't. It would be kinda tricky to protect lights and fire alarm circuits from a receptacle, anyway. GFCI protection is required for the space, but not for the circuit.

That said, I've installed a fair number of GFCI breakers over the years. I find them useful and/or cost-effective for two applications. One is providing the required protection in an older home, using more traditional standard receptacles to be visible. The other is protecting a string of outlets for several baths, a basement, or outdoors. I don't know why more builders don't use them in that case.
 
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Old 08-13-12, 10:41 AM
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Old 08-13-12, 06:19 PM
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The AFCI protection requirement is relatively new, dating in full force, basically, from the 2008 code cycle.
Actually, I think AFCI protection first appeared in the 2002 NEC to go into effect in January 2003, but this was just for bedroom outlets to include receptacles, lights and smoke detectors (dates are from memory and may not be exact)

That last point means that AFCI protection has to start in the panel. That's why you don't see AFCI receptacles, and won't
But, AFCI receptacles have been referenced in the NEC since 2005 and still are, but no one makes them.

Most importantly, AFCI protection is required for all "branch circuits serving..."
That would be combination type AFCI protection. There is a difference between combination type and the earlier versions. The big box stores probably sell both and most likely don't know the difference between the two.
 
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Old 08-13-12, 08:14 PM
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Originally Posted by Nashkat1
That last point means that AFCI protection has to start in the panel. That's why you don't see AFCI receptacles, and won't.
But, AFCI receptacles have been referenced in the NEC since 2005 and still are, but no one makes them.
Yep, that's it.

Originally Posted by Nashkat1
Most importantly, AFCI protection is required for all "branch circuits serving..."
That would be combination type AFCI protection. There is a difference between combination type and the earlier versions. The big box stores probably sell both and most likely don't know the difference between the two.
Two good points. FYI, everybody, what Joe is reminding us of is that the NEC requires that the branch circuit be protected with a combination type breaker. Only those meet the code requirement. And yes, you need to take responsibility for making sure you got the correct one.
 
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Old 08-13-12, 08:16 PM
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I enjoyed that, and I look forward to your next assignment.
 
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