CAFCI breaker or not?

Reply

  #1  
Old 01-19-18, 01:58 PM
S
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Ca
Posts: 226
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
CAFCI breaker or not?

OK, installing new breakers in new panel. Code requires GFCI breakers for garage, laundry room, outside lights and outlets but doesn't require CAFCI protection. Plug on neutral GFCI/CAFCI breakers are same price as GFCI breakers with a pigtail. Is there any reason in those areas to not go with GFCI/CAFCI breakers since they would be slightly easier to install? Would anything normally used in those circuits cause them to trip because of the CAFCI protection?

skeeter
 
Sponsored Links
  #2  
Old 01-19-18, 07:12 PM
L
Member
Join Date: Nov 2015
Posts: 1,438
Received 56 Votes on 51 Posts
In most cases, AFCI won't trip.

Only thing I can think of that will trip AFCI in garage is 120V welder. It is meant to create an arc.
 
  #3  
Old 01-20-18, 08:17 AM
E
Member
Join Date: May 2017
Location: USA
Posts: 5
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
The area doesn't require AFCI protection, AFCI won't trip until arc hits it. GFCI alone will be better.
 
  #4  
Old 01-20-18, 08:51 AM
core's Avatar
Member
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Des Moines, IA
Posts: 1,127
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
Only thing I can think of that will trip AFCI in garage is 120V welder. It is meant to create an arc.
I'm sure you were just being cute, but... A welder should not trip an AFCI because the arc is not on the 120V side. If anyone is getting "nuisance" trips with a welder I would bet money there are problems with the wiring that only appear when a high load is placed on the circuit.
 
  #5  
Old 01-20-18, 10:05 AM
S
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Ca
Posts: 226
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
Electrical985,
I understand the the CAFCI is not required but with the dual circuit breaker being the same price and not having to deal with the pigtail is there any reason not to use the GFCI/CAFCI breaker?

skeeter
 
  #6  
Old 01-20-18, 11:30 AM
P
Member
Join Date: Feb 2016
Location: United States, Virginia
Posts: 1,436
Received 93 Votes on 73 Posts
Are you getting your breaker names mixed up? A CAFCI breaker is not the same as a dual function AFCI/GFCI breaker. The dual function breaker does have a pigtail for the GFCI function. The CAFCI does not have a pigtail because it only provides AFCI protection. The "C" means combination arc-fault which senses arcs in parallel and in series.
 
  #7  
Old 01-20-18, 11:56 AM
core's Avatar
Member
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Des Moines, IA
Posts: 1,127
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
pattenp- He apparently has one of those "plug-on neutral" panels, as mentioned in the OP. I missed it at first too and was confused.

So the neutral connection is still there, it's just a tiny bit easier to install. I highly doubt that the manufacturer (who?) doesn't make GFCI-only breakers too that utilize the plug-on neutral, but who knows.

Skeeter- If they are the same price I'd just go with the AFCI/GFCI ones. You are unlikely to have any problems. The folks that are opposed to arc faults are more against the requirement to have them and the cost more than anything else. I'm quite sure all the arc fault haters would gladly install them if they were free.

If you do have some screwball device that causes nuisance trips you can always swap out that _one_ breaker for a plain GFCI. (And then you still may have problems with your screwball thing anyway.)
 
  #8  
Old 01-20-18, 12:24 PM
S
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Ca
Posts: 226
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
Thanks core.

Pattenp,
Not getting confused at all. The Square D Homeline plug-on-neutral CAFCI/GFCI breakers DO NOT have pigtails. But the Square D GFCI only breakers do have pigtails according to my searches. So it looks like they don't have any plug-on-neutral GFCI only breakers.

skeeter
 
  #9  
Old 01-20-18, 12:34 PM
L
Member
Join Date: Nov 2015
Posts: 1,438
Received 56 Votes on 51 Posts
I'm sure you were just being cute, but... A welder should not trip an AFCI because the arc is not on the 120V side.
There has been some false positive tripping of AFCI. So, I was just saying it may trip.
I heard even gas stove ignitor something tripping AFCI. I'm sure those were just poorly made devices causing false tripping of AFCIs, but possible.
AFCI works by detecting certain frequency, so false tripping is possible with poorly made devices.
 
  #10  
Old 01-21-18, 12:08 PM
CasualJoe's Avatar
Member
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: United States
Posts: 10,638
Received 83 Votes on 73 Posts
But the Square D GFCI only breakers do have pigtails according to my searches.

Square D has had both QO series and Homeline series GFCI Plug-On Neutral breakers (no pigtail) for several years. Only recently has Square D quietly been buying these breakers back from retailers and pulling them off the market. I haven't yet found anything on an official recall, but expect that to happen before long.


The CAFCI does not have a pigtail because it only provides AFCI protection.

Wrong, AFCI breakers need a neutral connection too.

https://www.amazon.com/Square-QO120C...p+gfci+breaker


Code requires GFCI breakers for garage, laundry room, outside lights and outlets but doesn't require CAFCI protection.

Outside lights do not need GFCI protection. The other areas can be provided GFCI protection with GFCI receptacles.
 
  #11  
Old 01-21-18, 03:44 PM
core's Avatar
Member
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Des Moines, IA
Posts: 1,127
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
I haven't yet found anything on an official recall, but expect that to happen before long.
Wow, that's big news; what's this about? Safety issue or nuisance issue? Is it some secret still?
 
  #12  
Old 01-21-18, 07:31 PM
S
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Ca
Posts: 226
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
Well I just checked HomeDepot and they have no CAFCI's in stock but they can be ordered. Don't know if that is an indication but they also don't carry the panel I wanted either but I guess they can't stock everything. I did a search and nothing came up about problems with the newer CAFCI breakers. Just the old recall 5 or more years ago.

skeeter
 
  #13  
Old 01-23-18, 06:07 PM
CasualJoe's Avatar
Member
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: United States
Posts: 10,638
Received 83 Votes on 73 Posts
Wow, that's big news; what's this about? Safety issue or nuisance issue? Is it some secret still?

Yea, something is going on there, but I don't know what yet. Just a guess, but it could even be a patent issue of some sort. If I recall correctly, Eaton/Cutler-Hammer was the first to come out with the plug-on neutral type loadcenter and breaker. I don't know, it's just a strange issue. I am confident that eventually the story will come out.
 
Reply
Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Thread Tools
Search this Thread
 
Ask a Question
Question Title:
Description:
Your question will be posted in: