Need help choosing the correct breaker. Picture inside

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Old 06-03-14, 12:27 PM
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Need help choosing the correct breaker. Picture inside

Hi all. I need help choosing the right breaker for my home box. The townhome is a new build in 2011. The faulty breaker is the "master" breaker. It's a 15A AFCI. The verbiage on the sticker confuses me though. It says "common trip only on arc fault" with an arrow pointing to the "loft" breaker. Loft breaker is also a 15A with the label "arc fault breaker" with an arrow pointing to the master breaker. There is NO physical handle tie between the two breakers like what I understand common trip breakers should have. But it seems that in the past when the master trips, the loft trips and vice versa. Right now the master room lights are out and resetting the breaker doesn't turn them on. Also the test button on the master breaker doesn't trip the switch. The loft lights are fine and the breaker test button trips the switch. The loft breaker however presently trips when I "mess around" with the master breaker (attempts to reset, turn off).

Can I just replace the master breaker with a single pole 15A AFCI breaker, do I need to use a handle tie with the loft breaker? (There was no pre existing handle tie). Should I get a 15A double pole breaker that replaces both loft and master breakers? ... Or none of the above? I appreciate any input. Thanks in advance. Please see the picture below.
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Old 06-03-14, 04:10 PM
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Are you familiar with a multiwire branch circuit? 2circuits sharing one neutral, can you determine if conductors on the two breakers are from the same cable? This would be unlikely but possible. If it should be the case you would be best served by installing a 2 pole 15 amp cutler hammer AFCI breaker.
Geo
 
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Old 06-03-14, 05:14 PM
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Can you remove the panel cover and give a picture of the wiring into those same breakers ?
 
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Old 06-03-14, 10:23 PM
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Thanks for the responses. Sorry for the late reply. Here are pictures of the breakers with the panel cover off.

The first from the front, the second is a closer view of the wiring in the back. The "master bedroom" breaker is the one with the red arrow.

Thanks guys!!

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Old 06-04-14, 05:45 AM
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So it is a double pole independent trip breaker. I think part number is CH215AFIT and could cost a couple hundred. The installers saved money in wire but spent a lot more on breakers.

I see that the new version is CH215CAF - the C is "combination" arc fault type now required by code but the IT (Independent Trip) is no longer an option.
 
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Old 06-04-14, 05:53 AM
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It appears that is a multiwire branch circuit, Are the black and red wires coming out of the same cable?if so I would suggest replacing the 2 single poles with a 2 pole 15 amp AFCI breaker,the circuit shares a neutral which could be causing the problem.
Geo
 
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Old 06-04-14, 06:30 AM
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I see that the new version is CH215CAF - the C is "combination" arc fault type now required by code but the IT (Independent Trip) is no longer an option.
It was a 2011 build. The original AFCI breakers should have been combination type.
 
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Old 06-04-14, 08:51 AM
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It was a 2011 build.
Good point. Thinking that the installer had a stock of old branch AFCIs that he wanted to get rid of as CH does not have combination 2 pole independent trip breakers.
 
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Old 06-04-14, 08:46 PM
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Thanks everyone for the input so far.

Are the black and red wires coming out of the same cable?
Just turned off the main and was able to follow the wires. The red and black do come from the same bundle. It least I assume. (red/black/white coming out of a conduit with a bunch of other wires, but these 3 were electrical taped together right outside the conduit)

So is this this the item I'm needing to purchase?
http://www.amazon.com/Eaton-CH215CAF...le+15+amp+afci

Is it not an option to just replace the one master bedroom breaker with a single pole 15 amp afci?

Could this "uncommon" wiring be the cause of the breaker failing? From what I understand, it is very uncommon for one of these to fail. I'd hate to install a $200+ part just to see it fail again.

Thanks again for your help everyone.
 
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Old 06-05-14, 06:04 AM
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So is this this the item I'm needing to purchase?
I believe I'd just take the old breaker to a Cuter-Hammer distributor and take advantage of the lifetime warranty on CH series breakers.
 
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Old 06-13-14, 07:25 PM
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Update

Hey guys, here's the update. I purchased the part CH215CAF. I just wanted to check with you guys about the proper installation. Below is a picture of the part.

Here's a link to the instructions/diagrams:
http://www.eaton.com/ecm/groups/publ.../pub-49744.pdf

Does this sound right?
- Turn off main
- Take out both 'loft' and 'master bedroom' breakers
- Black wire from the old 'loft' breaker goes to where the black arrow is pointing
- Red wire from the old 'master bedroom' breaker goes to where the white arrow is pointing
- White wire from the old 'master bedroom' breaker goes to where the white arrow is pointing
- White pigtail wire from the new 2 pole breaker goes to where the pigtail wire from the old 'master bedroom' went.
- Turn on the main

Thanks guys!!

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Old 06-13-14, 07:31 PM
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That should do it,did CH replace the breaker under warranty?
Geo
 
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Old 06-13-14, 07:38 PM
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That should do it,did CH replace the breaker under warranty?
I was directed to call one of the distributors. I called two of them and they both didn't know what I was talking about. My wife and I got tired of living in the dark, so I just ordered the part. Luckily I found it for ~$85. It was going to upwards to $200+ in some stores.
 
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Old 06-13-14, 10:17 PM
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The black and red connections do not matter on the breaker.
 
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Old 06-14-14, 08:15 AM
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I was directed to call one of the distributors. I called two of them and they both didn't know what I was talking about.
I think I would have just taken the bad breaker to a Cutler-Hammer distributor and asked for a warranty replacement and saved my $85. The lifetime warranty is no big secret.
 
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Old 06-14-14, 08:46 AM
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And while the pros don't like the aluminum bus bars in GE panels prices like that for a single breaker are why I like GE.
 
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Old 06-14-14, 12:57 PM
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Breaker is installed. Power is back on in the room. I'm still alive. Thanks for all of your help guys.
 
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