radiant flooring & circuit type (AFCI vs. GFCI)

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Old 04-07-13, 09:47 PM
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radiant flooring & circuit type (AFCI vs. GFCI)

Greetings:

We are finishing our basement and will be installing radiant heating under the tile flooring. Our original plan--based on reading installation manuals from a couple of manufacturers--was to power it using a 12/2 wire to a dedicated 15A GFCI breaker.

Another part of the reasoning for this is that we will be doing the installation in roughly an "L" shape, where the longer portion will be in what will be the family room, and the shorter portion will go through the hallway into the bathroom. Because NEC also likes GFCI in the bathroom, this seemed to cover all bases.

We had our rough-in inspection last week, and the state inspector was questioning whether or not we needed to use an AFCI breaker instead of--or in addition to--the GFCI breaker. He was not sure what NEC had to say on the matter, but he stated that usually it defers to the manufacturer on such things, so he said he would research it and get back to us.

He called a few days later, and gave us the following options:

- use an AFCI breaker for the circuit and a GFCI receptacle where the controls/thermostat will be installed
- wire it to a 230V GFCI breaker, as that would bypass NEC due to a "loophole"
- wire each section separately: GFCI in the bathroom; AFCI in the family room

Does this make sense? I was hoping I could just go with the GFCI solution we originally had planned to use. Once we determine exactly which manufacturer's product we are using, I plan on contact them as well, but if anyone can either affirm the solutions the inspector provided, or provide an alternative to run by him, that would be great.

Thanks!
 
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Old 04-07-13, 10:38 PM
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- use an AFCI breaker for the circuit and a GFCI receptacle where the controls/thermostat will be installed
- wire it to a 230V GFCI breaker, as that would bypass NEC due to a "loophole"
- wire each section separately: GFCI in the bathroom; AFCI in the family room

Does this make sense?
No, but he's the inspector.

I would install AFCI protection. Not GFCI.

Only loads that require 240V (230V is not available here) should be protected by a 240V breaker.

See answer #1.
 
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Old 04-08-13, 05:33 AM
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The floor heating mat systems I have seen and installed come with GFI protection in the T-stat.
 
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Old 04-08-13, 07:15 AM
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Thanks, all. I'll confirm with the manufacturer that the thermostat has GFI protection. Based on what I've read here, it would seem to make sense to go AFCI on the circuit--as I am doing with the other circuits in the room (lights and outlets)--and this was one of the options the inspector originally told me, before calling me back with the three options listed above.
 
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