General/service panel-AFCI's

Old 07-12-02, 01:46 AM
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General/service panel-AFCI's

Question is what brand AFCI's breakers are compatable with an older General brand breaker/service panel. I have an older house and with some older wiring in the walls. Most is the cloth covered romex, with some new plastic jacket romex mixed in. There was some evidence of rodents in the house and thought the AFCI's would add some piece of mind that if a short were to occur in a wall cavity or other less than visible area, that the AFCI would open the circuit and prevent a possible fire. I have contracted to rewire the kitchen to current codes and install GFCI's in the bath and laundry areas. I don't have any experience with the AFCI breakers as of yet, I do mostly old work, remodels and the like.
The clamping rail for the breakers there now look like Cutler-Hammers, but I wondered if anyone knew what is correct to install in a General brand panel. The main breaker says Zinsco on it. Are they reliable or should this be replaced. Thanks for any help or opinions. Joe
Old 07-12-02, 06:40 AM
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Zinsco can be replaced with Sylvania. As for the AFCI that stands for arc fault circuit interrupter. This a device is sensitive to arcing conditions and will trip when it senses the condition of an arc. Not sure it will work for the purpose you are using it for.
I would contact a supply house for some literature or I am sure that can get information here on the internet at a manufacturers site.
Old 07-12-02, 01:16 PM
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Arc fault breakers are so new that I don't believe any manufacturer makes an AFCI that is listed for other manufacturer's panels (yet). You may want to consider installing a small subpanel or a small circuit breaker enclosure off of the main panel. Then you can use that manufacturer's AFCI breaker in the new enclosure.
If it's too much trouble, it may be time to consider a service upgrade with a totally new panel. Hope this helps.

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