Installing SPD on an AFCI 2 pole breaker

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Old 02-20-18, 08:45 AM
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Question Installing SPD on an AFCI 2 pole breaker

I bought Siemens FS140. Instructions call for a 2 pole 20amp breaker. I have an AFCI 2 pole 20 amp breaker that is spare. The question is, can i use this for SPD and if yes, where should the neutral of SPD be connected? If its connected to neutral bus bar, wouldnt this cause AFCI to trip in the event of a surge which will turn off the SPD? If its connected to the AFCI first then AFCI’s own neutral wire will add extra length to the overall circuit?

I understand non AFCI breaker is better but I have this thing which I will have no other use plus I want added protection just in case.
 
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Old 02-20-18, 08:57 AM
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With the cost of a standard breaker being under $10 I wouldn't use the AFCI breaker on the SPD. You are over thinking the benefit of the AFCI. Can you return the AFCI breaker to where you purchased it?

From EC&M site....
http://www.ecmweb.com/power-quality/...rge-protectors
Ground fault circuit interrupter (GFCI), arc fault circuit interrupter (AFCI), and combination arc fault circuit interrupter (CAFCI) breakers are not recommended for use with surge protectors; however, they may coexist with standard thermal-magnetic breakers in the same panel.
 
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Old 02-20-18, 11:07 AM
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Originally Posted by pattenp View Post
With the cost of a standard breaker being under $10 I wouldn't use the AFCI breaker on the SPD. You are over thinking the benefit of the AFCI. Can you return the AFCI breaker to where you purchased it?

From EC&M site....
The Basics of Using Circuit Breakers with Surge Protectors | Electrical Construction & Maintenance (EC&M) Magazine
Ground fault circuit interrupter (GFCI), arc fault circuit interrupter (AFCI), and combination arc fault circuit interrupter (CAFCI) breakers are not recommended for use with surge protectors; however, they may coexist with standard thermal-magnetic breakers in the same panel.
I am overthinking things yes, its in my nature The reason for AFCI was because in the end, its a circuit that draws current in a breaker box with all other wires and as such it is subject to the same rules of nature, damage etc can cause a fire OR the device itself can malfunction.

But I guess its basic laws of physics, any kind of abnormality in that circuit in the event of a surge could cause the AFCI to trip and render the SDP useless, or at least thats what I understand this to be, is that correct?

Lastly, from that aricle you posted, it looks like not all breakers created equal. Its talking about specific kind of double pole breakers that are suited for surge protection. In that regard, which specific breaker should I use? Its a siemens panel that takes QP breakers. I m attaching the breaker box sheet for reference
 
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Old 02-20-18, 11:18 AM
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I'd imagine you don't want the AFCI/GFCI breaker to trip with ground current while the surge protector is doing it's job, shunting current to ground. Or possibly trip with a small surge event, and not be available for a larger surge event next time.

I agree with Pattenp, I'd use a standard breaker!
 
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Old 02-20-18, 11:18 AM
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A SPD does not t have current flowing in it. It is there to divert excess voltage.
 
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Old 02-20-18, 11:41 AM
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Installation instructions recommend 20 amp breaker. Siemens QP220 is the one you need.
https://www.homedepot.com/p/Siemens-...220U/100074746
 
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Old 02-20-18, 11:53 AM
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Thanks but that ECM article is also talking about different type of breakers. Are they different classes/types of regular breakers or should I get a standard siemens QP breaker? Are all standard breakers same? The article says there are breakers that are compatible for high loads like A/C etc. it says ul 489 listed HACR rated high inrush breakers.
 
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Old 02-20-18, 12:14 PM
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Use the QP220 as suggested by Astuff.
 
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Old 02-20-18, 12:17 PM
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Originally Posted by pattenp View Post
Use the QP220 as suggested by Astuff.
Thanks sorry I didnt see his message for some reason. I m getting the QP one now.
 
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Old 02-20-18, 03:21 PM
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Actually on the topic of SPDs, I understand they dont protect against lightning. What exacfly is the proper lightning protection? My area has very frequent thunderstorms so maybe if I m doing a whole house SPD, I should do that as well.
 
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Old 02-20-18, 05:14 PM
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Lighting rods is about all you can do.
 
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Old 02-20-18, 05:40 PM
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Originally Posted by pattenp View Post
Lighting rods is about all you can do.
I m guessing this is not a DIY project though or is it?
 
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Old 02-21-18, 08:40 AM
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Got the SPD today and have a question. The conductors come out directly with no protection on them, do i need to use a conduit of some sort between thisnand the box? There appears to be a threaded hole there as well.

This will be literally right next to the breaker box, i expect maybe 1-2 of exposed wiring at the most.
 
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Old 02-21-18, 08:57 AM
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Originally Posted by Derstig View Post
Got the SPD today and have a question. The conductors come out directly with no protection on them, do i need to use a conduit of some sort between thisnand the box? There appears to be a threaded hole there as well.

This will be literally right next to the breaker box, i expect maybe 1-2” of exposed wiring at the most.
The SDP needs to be connected to panel with a short nipple or a short piece of flex. Wires need to be inside a raceway to panel, not exposed.
 
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Old 02-21-18, 09:00 AM
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Originally Posted by Derstig View Post
I m guessing this is not a DIY project though or is it?
Can be a DIY project if you do the research and don't mind heights climbing up on the roof.
 
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Old 02-21-18, 01:12 PM
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Robust lightning protection is basically 99.5% manual labor up and the roof and digging trenches. You basically need to install rods at the high points of the building and along the ridges, run copper wires down the exterior walls and bond them to a copper grounding ring buried around the building perimeter. Ground rods should be sunk at about 20 foot intervals along the ring and bonded on. All the wires to the rods should be run as straight as possible and stood off from the building a little bit on brackets. The wire splices should be done with permanent crimps or welding as lightning blows mechanical connections apart.
 
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Old 02-24-18, 04:29 PM
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Install was done and it was very hard. First I used PVC and realized PVC doesnt bend The breaker box and the mounting surface have an angle. Then i used flexible plastic conduit (not sure what its called). Couldnt use FMC. Attaching the pictures of my install. Device works, not sure if I did a good job. Routing 4 those 10 gauge wires in that cable mess was so hard. I had to use those 3 pieces of wood to make it level with the board that breaker box is mounted on.
 
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Old 02-25-18, 04:56 AM
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Can someone provide any feedback?
 
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Old 02-25-18, 07:23 AM
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What's the deal with the wirenut connecting multiple blacks?
 
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Old 02-25-18, 08:07 AM
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That conduit works, but it is overkill.
You could have heated a PVC conduit and bend, or use a 90 and adjust angle to fit your height. If you need a narrow turn, a pull elbow can be used.

How is your SPD wired? It appears you have it on a single pole breaker. Not very clear on your picture.
It should be on 2 pole breaker and wired to each legs for it to protect both legs.
It is also best to wire SPD to closest breaker from the main breaker.
 
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Old 02-25-18, 08:28 AM
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It is a double pole breaker. Two blacks into the breaker's each leg, white and ground to the bus bar.

As for that wire nut, there are no multiple blacks, its 2 blacks in that wirenut but because one of them wraps around the other wire it looks like multiple wires. That pigtail belongs to another breaker, has nothing to do with SPD.

As part of this clean up, I rewired (inside the breaker box) every single breaker as 95% of them had incredibly bad pigtails (not tightened properly, overheated, disaster waiting to happen) as well as every single breaker had its neutral grouped with 2 others. So basically whoever did this, when they installed the new panel 20 some years ago, the wires didnt reach and for whatever reason (probably because it was easier), the neutrals were grouped in groups of 3 and connected to bus bar with pig tail. Not to mention, they were also all on 14 gauge wire, even on 20A circuits. I cleaned that all up.

Point being, I know better than sharing hots like that in a pigtail
 
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Old 02-25-18, 03:28 PM
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You can pigtail and share neutral as long as hot is wired to a same breaker (meaning hot would be pigtailed and sharing as well). Sharing neutral form 2 different breakers is a big problem because it will overload neutral.
However, this is no longer allowed in latest NEC (don't remember exact year) to prevent load center (breaker panel) from being used as a splice point.
 
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Old 02-25-18, 03:55 PM
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Originally Posted by lambition View Post
You can pigtail and share neutral as long as hot is wired to a same breaker (meaning hot would be pigtailed and sharing as well). Sharing neutral form 2 different breakers is a big problem because it will overload neutral.
However, this is no longer allowed in latest NEC (don't remember exact year) to prevent load center (breaker panel) from being used as a splice point.
In my case hots were not pigtailed. Each were seperate circuit but neutrals were in groups of 3. And like that wasnt bad enough, they were in the wrong gauge of wire as pigtail as well. Ever since I fixed my panel and changed all my breakers, my lights stopped flockering qhen I turn on heavy load itsems as well (dryer, car lift, vacuum etc).

I have also discovered close to 10 boxes around the house (light switches, receptacles, light fixtures) where either the switch was cracked in half and melted insode, screws were loose, or due to excessive incandescant bulb heat completely melted and crumbled conductor wires. Literally I am amazed how this stuff can happen.
 
 

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