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#13471 - 09/05/02 08:42 AM AFCI be aware
tsolanto Offline

Registered: 09/03/02
Posts: 131
Loc: Long Island NY
We do alot of new construction houses and we learned the hard way about a problem with AFCI breakers. Here it is: We were wiring a bedroom and since the bedroom had a door to a porch outside we decided to install a GFI outlet by the door, no problem right...
when the inspector came to do his thing he tested the GFI outlet by the back door with a GFI tester. before the GFI popped the AFCI breaker did. The AFCI breaker reacts faster than the GFI. Am I still code compliant? The inspector let it go. The moral is don't put GFI outlets on AFCI circuits.

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#13472 - 09/05/02 03:29 PM Re: AFCI be aware
Sandro Offline

Registered: 12/30/01
Posts: 449
Loc: Stoney Creek, ON, Canada
Since the AFCI has GFI capabilities, could't you have just put a normal receptacle on the balcony and let the AFCI carry both duties?

#13473 - 09/05/02 03:53 PM Re: AFCI be aware
resqcapt19 Offline

Registered: 11/10/00
Posts: 2209
Loc: IL
The normal AFCI is not listed as a Class A GFCI and can't be used for that purpose. I think that C-H does have a combo AFCI/GFCI and that could be used. If it is a standard AFCI, I'm surprised that the GFCI tester is tripping it. The GFP circuit in the AFCI is set for 30 to 50 mA. The test current in the AFCI tester should be less than 10 mA.

#13474 - 09/05/02 04:41 PM Re: AFCI be aware
sparky Offline

Registered: 10/18/00
Posts: 5544
inspedtors that show up with cheap testers, and little insight should not impress anyone.

#13475 - 09/05/02 04:42 PM Re: AFCI be aware
arseegee Offline

Registered: 01/28/02
Posts: 321
Loc: Statesboro, GA USA
For the record, a GFI tester will trip the GE arc faults too. We make sure to catch our GFI recepts off a non arc fault circuit.

#13476 - 09/05/02 06:12 PM Re: AFCI be aware
Cindy Offline

Registered: 06/23/01
Posts: 196
Loc: PDX, OR, US
several months ago i put a 15amp afci cb in place of my 20amp bathroom cb and left the gfci receptacle in the bathroom and have not had any tripping problems.
why do you consider using a gfci on an afci circuit a bad idea? it's just extra protection for the circuit isn't it?

#13477 - 09/05/02 06:22 PM Re: AFCI be aware
Fred Offline

Registered: 04/30/01
Posts: 461
Loc: Straughn, IN 47387
I posted here and on several other electrical forums 10 months ago that my Ideal GFCI receptacle tester consistantly tripped Siemens, CH and Square D AFCI circuit breakers. This is the test our county inspector uses on final inspection to see if bedroom receptacles are actually on AFCI protected branch circuits.

#13478 - 09/05/02 08:02 PM Re: AFCI be aware
nesparky Offline

Registered: 06/21/01
Posts: 650
Loc: omaha,ne
All the inspectors in my area use cheap GFCI testers to test the AFCI circuits. When I asked why they said because it will trip any AFCI breaker.
I wonder what they are really testing. I doubt they are testing the arc fault portion of the AFCI breaker. Maybe these inexpensive testers are not only 5-7 ma load to ground. Maybe the testers short to ground when the button is pressed.
I wonder if we really were accuratly testing GFI outlets and/or breakers at all.
Maybe these testers need a good look at them.


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