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#76300 - 01/10/01 05:58 PM arc-fault circuit interrupters
sparky66wv Offline
Member
Registered: 11/17/00
Posts: 2232
Loc: West Virginia
Arc-fault Circuit Interrupters

Got a few questions concerning this new technology...

How do they work?

How much will they cost?

Why does the NEC think that arcs only happen in bedroom receptacles? (Or realistically, why the requirement for bedrooms over any other part of the house?)

Why not protect every non-dedicated circuit with one? (probably cost prohibitive)

Should I start installing them in new dwellings now, or wait til 2002?
_________________________
-Virgil
Residential/Commercial Inspector
5 Star Inspections
Member IAEI
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#76301 - 01/11/01 05:11 AM Re: arc-fault circuit interrupters
sparky Offline
Member
Registered: 10/18/00
Posts: 5303
Hi 66' , i'd like to see a component schematic, like the gfi's. i have'nt found much on line as yet. My state (Vt) is stipulating installation this year 2001, on any new construction.
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#76302 - 01/11/01 07:15 AM Re: arc-fault circuit interrupters
therain4 Offline
Member
Registered: 12/18/00
Posts: 38
Loc: Dunmore,Pa. U>S.A.
In the july/augest 2000 issue of IAEI magazine there where two articles on afci's"Arc-Fault circuit interrupters"&"Arc Detection with the AFCI".You may be able to access them from their website.
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#76303 - 01/11/01 08:28 AM Re: arc-fault circuit interrupters
Bill Addiss Offline
Member
Registered: 10/07/00
Posts: 3875
Loc: NY, USA
I saw those articles also, and thought they were good. But I don't think they are available online. I will write the webmaster at IAEI.
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#76304 - 01/11/01 09:06 AM Re: arc-fault circuit interrupters
sparky Offline
Member
Registered: 10/18/00
Posts: 5303
I wonder if they'd be good for those old knob& tube circuits that just won't go away?
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#76305 - 01/11/01 04:29 PM Re: arc-fault circuit interrupters
Vin Offline
Member
Registered: 11/10/00
Posts: 13
Loc: North Jersey
I'm curious about how the local AHJ will be able to properly enforce this code.

If a couple with grown children decide to convert one of their three bedrooms into a den or office will the inspector approve of not having an arc fault in the office? Now let's say he does and a year later the couple put the house up for sale and still list it as a three family do they have to upgrade that "office"? If it got missed during the house inspection during the sale and three months later one of the new owners got electrocuted in the old "office" who would be liable?

Just a thought.
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#76306 - 01/11/01 05:23 PM Re: arc-fault circuit interrupters
Bill Addiss Offline
Member
Registered: 10/07/00
Posts: 3875
Loc: NY, USA
Vin,

That's a good point. I'm more curious to see what kind of problems develop with nuisance tripping of the AFCI. It is designed to open when arcing can cause a fire and is supposed to be able to tell the difference between a "good" arc (switch turning on) and a "bad" (dangerous) arc . We'll see ...

'66,
They probably only mention bedrooms as a minimum. I'm guessing that it's because they want to give you a little more protection in the place where you are sleeping. By the time a smoke alarm goes off it may be too late to get out of the room.
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#76307 - 01/12/01 03:36 PM Re: arc-fault circuit interrupters
sparky66wv Offline
Member
Registered: 11/17/00
Posts: 2232
Loc: West Virginia
I finally got a decent explanation for the use in bedrooms, if you consider the widespread use of electric blankets...

I personally don't use E-blankets, so I didn't think of their hazards right away.

Any other ideas on why bedrooms circuits are more likely to arc?
_________________________
-Virgil
Residential/Commercial Inspector
5 Star Inspections
Member IAEI
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#76308 - 01/12/01 04:49 PM Re: arc-fault circuit interrupters
Tom Offline
Member
Registered: 01/01/01
Posts: 1044
Loc: Shinnston, WV USA
Cost will be about $40 to $50 wholesale.

I personally know of two fires in my area that could have been prevented by AFCI's. Both fires were in bedrooms, luckily, only moderate property damage was involved.
_________________________
Few things are harder to put up with than the annoyance of a good example.
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#76309 - 01/15/01 10:18 PM Re: arc-fault circuit interrupters
Joe Tedesco Offline
Member
Registered: 10/07/00
Posts: 2749
Loc: Boston, Massachusetts USA
Look here for information on the AFCI:
http://www.homesafetycentral.com/pdf/afci.pdf
_________________________
Joe Tedesco, NEC Consultant
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