A Bulletin from Siemens Canada:
Subject: AFCI breakers in cold ambient environments (test button inoperative)
Date: January 12, 2004
Business Unit: Automation & Drives - Electrical Installation Technologies
Contact: Phil Gundevia
Subject: Arc-Fault Interrupter Update
Issue No. IU-ET-1001-04
Subject: AFCI Devices
Siemens Energy & Automation, Inc. and Siemens Canada Limited have discovered that, in a cold ambient environment, the push-to-test feature on some arc fault circuit interrupters (AFCI) may not function in a timely manner or per expectations. This affects only the push-to-test function, and is not an indication that the AFCI will not perform as intended. The AFCI functions properly with regard to overload, short circuit and arc detection.
In typical ambient conditions above zero degrees Celsius (00C) the test button functions as required. In ambient conditions below zero degrees Celsius (00C) the test button may experience the situation described above.
Should you experience this condition, we recommend that you take the following course of action in the order outlined below:
¬∑ Increase the ambient temperature above zero degrees Celsius (00C) in the area where the AFCI is installed and push the test button.
¬∑ If ambient temperature cannot be corrected to above zero degrees Celsius (00C), use a hand-held AFCI tester to independently test the device.
¬∑ If after performing the above the AFCI does not pass, Replace the affected unit with another Siemens AFCI and return the affected unit to your local Siemens distributor for Warranty Replacement.
Once again, this interruption of the test functionality is not an indication that the device will not detect and open the circuit on an arcing condition.
Please note that the test circuit of Siemens (CSA / UL Listed) AFCI devices are being modified to ensure that the push-to-test function performs reliably -- even at temperatures below zero degrees Celsius (00C).
Future production will include the above change.
Siemens Canada Limited.