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#187383 - 06/25/09 12:09 AM AFCI breakers  
jay8  Offline
Member
Joined: Jul 2005
Posts: 183
Vancouver, BC
FYI,I just noticed Siemens has put out a two pole AFCI breaker, I am sure the other manufacturers will follow. It was the first I had heard of this.


Tools for Electricians:

#187452 - 06/27/09 02:04 AM Re: AFCI breakers [Re: jay8]  
Check Pilot  Offline
Member
Joined: Nov 2005
Posts: 141
Edmonton Alberta Canada
Hey jay8, can you post a link or something??. I've been looking for about a hour now and don't see it.

Thanks.


#187470 - 06/27/09 07:25 PM Re: AFCI breakers [Re: Check Pilot]  
canuck  Offline
Member
Joined: Jul 2006
Posts: 27
Canada

Last edited by canuck; 06/27/09 07:37 PM.

#187472 - 06/27/09 07:56 PM Re: AFCI breakers [Re: canuck]  
canuck  Offline
Member
Joined: Jul 2006
Posts: 27
Canada
Here's Schneider's info concerning shared neutrals and AFCI's:
http://ecatalog.squared.com/pubs/Ci...rrupters%20%28AFCI%29/0760DB0203R902.pdf
more at:
http://arcfault.ca


#187481 - 06/28/09 02:14 AM Re: AFCI breakers [Re: Check Pilot]  
jay8  Offline
Member
Joined: Jul 2005
Posts: 183
Vancouver, BC
sorry, forgot to include a link, thanks to canuck for taking care of business.


#187544 - 07/01/09 12:40 AM Re: AFCI breakers [Re: jay8]  
Sandro  Offline
Member
Joined: Dec 2001
Posts: 444
Stoney Creek, ON, Canada
2 pole has been available for at least 2 years now in the Cutler Hammer line.



#187586 - 07/02/09 03:00 PM Re: AFCI breakers [Re: Sandro]  
mikesh  Offline
Member
Joined: Jun 2006
Posts: 613
Victoria, BC, Canada
I am wondering what would require a 2 pole AFCI? I can't think of any branch circuit that requires it. Maybe the latest NEC has a few? Nothing mandatory in the CEC.
I am not saying there are no good or rational reasons for an AFCI 2 pole branch circuit just nothing in the code requiring one.


#187587 - 07/02/09 04:11 PM Re: AFCI breakers [Re: mikesh]  
renosteinke  Offline
Cat Servant
Member
Joined: Jan 2005
Posts: 5,316
Blue Collar Country
I am not aware of how the Canadian codes treat what we call "multi-wire branch circuits,' or, less formally, 'shared neutrals.'

This is the practice of running a three wire cable from the panel to the first junction box, where the two circuits are separated. Thus, they both use the same neutral for the final run back to the panel.

For such a circuit, the GFCI or AFCI breaker must, necessairily, control both of the 'hot' wires; thus the need for a two-pole breaker.

Here the more current issue relates to a design change in the AFCI's themselves .... no point opening that can of worms here!

It's also not unusual for the room air conditioner or baseboard heat to be a 240v circuit.

Last edited by renosteinke; 07/06/09 04:03 PM.

#187660 - 07/06/09 03:01 PM Re: AFCI breakers [Re: renosteinke]  
mikesh  Offline
Member
Joined: Jun 2006
Posts: 613
Victoria, BC, Canada
Yes we do have multi wire branch circuits as you describe but if I was doing it I would not use a 2 pole breaker since the cost is more than double a 1 pole. For GFCI we generally install a GFCI outlet at the first outlet and seldom use a breaker. IE normal 1 pole breaker and GFCI outlet at the first required location. No common trip is required for a 3 wire circuit unless the devices are on the same mounting strap like as for split receptacles. It is possible to run 2 circuits from 2 X 1 pole CB on different buss with 1 neutral and a GFCI outlet at the first receptacle in each branch. Obviously the neutrals cannot share beyond this point or the service guy will slap someone on the back of the head ;-)
An AFCI circuit requires breaker protection as the entire branch must be AFCI protected. The only outlets required to be AFCI protected are the bedroom Plugs only. No smoke alarms may be on the circuit and lighting may be on the circuit. The cost of an AFCI 1 pole breaker was around CDN $70.00 and 2 pole around $250.00 even for a long home run it is still much cheaper to run 2 circuits.


#187662 - 07/06/09 04:17 PM Re: AFCI breakers [Re: mikesh]  
renosteinke  Offline
Cat Servant
Member
Joined: Jan 2005
Posts: 5,316
Blue Collar Country
Oh, I won't argue the economics one bit. Indeed, that's been at the heart of the AFCI debate here!

Originally, they were to allow AFCI devices, so you could handle things as you did with GFCI protection. When the requirement actually took efect (1999), though, the code was suddenly re-written to proscribe the devices. Later editions have made devices acceptable under certain restricted situations .... but the device makers have not made the devices available. Once bit, twice shy! For the guy in the field, it remains a puzzle how a 'protection' available in the device costs only $10 extra, while it costs at least $35 additional if the protection is placed in the breaker.

There are any number of reasons why MWBC's are used ... what is worth noting is that our most recent edition (2008) surprised us with numerous new restrictions upon their use. The next edition has several proposals to restrict them even further. Much to my surprise, one breaker manufacturer (Square D) is leading the charge, with a published opinion that MWBC's ought to be eliminated altogether. Personally, I cannot understand why Square D is concerned about this design issue.


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