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#24643 - 04/16/03 06:14 PM Problem circuit/ Arc Fault
Electric Eagle Offline

Registered: 04/20/02
Posts: 928
Loc: Alpharetta, GA
This is kind of long, but please help me if you can. Thanks.

We wired a room addition and upgraded the service to 400 amp. The home owner wanted dercora style receptacles, the only problem was he didn't have a ground. So as allowed by code, we put in 1 GFI recep and put the rest of the circuit on the load side. Then labeled all receps "no equipment ground" "GFCI protected". The only problem was the GFI would trip all the time(never when we were there). We figured out that a florescent fixture was on the circuit, so we replaced all recepatcle with their own GFI recep wired line only. This seemed to solve the problem.

Then we got the final inspection and they made us put in arc fault breakers and this circuit was connected to one of the bedrooms. Now the circuit breaker has tripped.

Do you think it's just the arc fault nusaince tripping or is it something else? Does the florescent fixture cause a problem? Would you change the breaker back to a regular one(it was good enough for the first 30 years)?

BTW, we didn't do anything on this cicuit except change devices.

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#24644 - 04/16/03 06:45 PM Re: Problem circuit/ Arc Fault
caselec Offline

Registered: 04/14/02
Posts: 557
Loc: San Jose, CA
I don't have any experience with AFCI's yet but have had fluorescent fixtures connected to GFCI's many times without any problems. I would guess you have some bad insulation somewhere or this circuit is sharing wires with another circuit. Maybe someone used the hot from this circuit and the neutral from another circuit (or the other way around) to feed a light or other load. Every time the homeowner turns on the load the breaker or GFCI would trip.

Curt Swartz

#24645 - 04/16/03 07:30 PM Re: Problem circuit/ Arc Fault
arseegee Offline

Registered: 01/28/02
Posts: 321
Loc: Statesboro, GA USA
Ahh, the plot thickens. How ya been Eagle? Things booming down here. The first thing I would do is break the lites off the circuit and ohm it out just to see if its fault free. Now dont ask me me why but i have been told that GFI's will cause arc faults to trip. I never catch a gfi off an arc fault circuit cause i dont want to find out if it's true! lol.

Did you change out the panel that the circuit landed in? Its all in how far the AHJ makes you go with the upgrade. We did two service upgrades today. One one a 1940's house and one on a house 15 years old. The 40's house we had to do a disco and new panel but left all branch circuits as afci and no gfi. I still dont feel that all the kinks have been worked out of this new technology, especially when it is used in a retrofit application. I wont tell you to remove afci breaker, but ________ (you fill in the rest)

#24646 - 04/16/03 11:11 PM Re: Problem circuit/ Arc Fault
Trumpy Offline


Registered: 07/05/02
Posts: 8540
Loc: SI,New Zealand
Are you sure that the RFI capacitor in the Fluorescent fitting is not faulty?.
These can sometimes leak quite a bit of current.
Is this fitting Earthed?, if it is, it will imbalance the GFCI, what trip current level does it have?.
Let's face it, these days if you're not young, you're old - Red Green grin

#24647 - 04/17/03 01:30 PM Re: Problem circuit/ Arc Fault
zapped208 Offline

Registered: 02/18/03
Posts: 201
Loc: Somewhere in USA
arseegee,- I have not had any problems with GFI"S and AFI"s together yet , all is normal, so far. By the way, what does BTW stand for, i am new at this computor stuff.
Shoot first, apologize later.....maybe

#24648 - 04/17/03 01:46 PM Re: Problem circuit/ Arc Fault
elektrikguy Offline

Registered: 05/25/02
Posts: 133
Loc: woodstock,ga,usa
LOL .....Zapped....BTW that is funny by the way.

#24649 - 04/17/03 01:56 PM Re: Problem circuit/ Arc Fault
zapped208 Offline

Registered: 02/18/03
Posts: 201
Loc: Somewhere in USA
Gezz o'man thanks elektrikguy! Zapped208
Shoot first, apologize later.....maybe


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