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#7745 - 02/20/02 11:44 AM AFCIs tripping
motor-T Offline

Registered: 11/10/01
Posts: 293
Loc: Girard, Ohio, USA
I officially installed my first AFCI today. When I tested the receptacles with my Ideal tester it tripped the AFCI. Also when I checked the voltage to ground it also tripped. Is this normal operation for these new paragons of safty.???

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#7746 - 02/20/02 03:55 PM Re: AFCIs tripping
golf junkie Offline

Registered: 04/22/01
Posts: 511
Loc: York, NE
I haven't seen one yet. We don't do much residential anymore.

But I'm very interested to hear about everyones experience with them. Maybe it will save me some headaches down the road.


#7747 - 02/20/02 03:58 PM Re: AFCIs tripping
resqcapt19 Offline

Registered: 11/10/00
Posts: 2209
Loc: IL
It is my understanding that AFCIs also have GFP protection and will trip with a 20 to 30 mA load to ground. Would the testers that you used provide this load?

#7748 - 02/20/02 05:32 PM Re: AFCIs tripping
motor-T Offline

Registered: 11/10/01
Posts: 293
Loc: Girard, Ohio, USA
Hmmmmmmm ? I wasnt aware of a GFP function, Yes the Ideal tester has a coil in it, I figured some type of inductive loading, or kickback. After i reset it I had the carpenter plug in his electric planer and it worked fine and then told him to turn the switch on and then plug it in and it worked fine again, so maybe that's it, other than that it worked great. Maybe now I should read the instructions ?? Ha ha ha........ You know what they say if all else fails read the instructions.

#7749 - 02/20/02 05:48 PM Re: AFCIs tripping
Electricmanscott Offline

Registered: 01/12/02
Posts: 1478
Loc: Holden, MA USA
What are instructions? Is that what that extra paper everything comes with is all about. Ha who knew!

#7750 - 02/20/02 05:59 PM Re: AFCIs tripping
sparky66wv Offline

Registered: 11/17/00
Posts: 2334
Loc: West Virginia
Oh, I thought that was packing material...

And I was getting ready to say "It was only a matter of time..." but since it holds under load and under switching (yeah, I know, switching is a series arc) then I'd call it good.

By all means if anyone has trouble with AFCI's "nuissance" tripping, then please report here about it whether you've solved the problem or not... We all need to know as soon as possible, to help combat the inevitable.

Steve, (sparky) you've still had mostly good luck with 'em?

#7751 - 02/20/02 06:31 PM Re: AFCIs tripping
Redsy Offline

Registered: 03/28/01
Posts: 2138
Loc: Bucks County PA
I wonder if an electric drill (you know guys, the old-fashioned type with the CORD) will cause AFCIs to trip due to the arcing at the brushes.

#7752 - 02/20/02 07:16 PM Re: AFCIs tripping
bdaddyc1 Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 12/05/01
Posts: 5
Has anyone herd what the harmonics from a computer will do to these things?

#7753 - 02/27/02 05:18 PM Re: AFCIs tripping
donles Offline

Registered: 04/28/01
Posts: 82
Loc: Bridgeville, PA USA
I'm doing work on a pre-fab home that was delivered to the foundation after Jan 1. In addition to the basement, garage, HVAC and gameroom wiring, I had to replace three regular breakers with 15A AFCI breakers.
The circuits that the breakers feed are not strictly bedroom circuits but a bedroom along with a bathroom or a utility room (laundry) or the living room. Evidently, the home designers weren't thinking AFCI or 2002 NEC when they built this home.
I've had two problems so far. The first was an AFCI that tripped whenever an under-cabinet fluorescent light fixture mounted in a bedroom clothes closet was switch on. I took the fixture apart and made sure that none of the solid conductors inside the fixture were near sharp metal edges. I also found that one of the lamp sockets was broken with the plastic missing from part of the socket. This was the side of the socket that was near the metal case. I applied strips of Scotch 88 to the case to prevent arcing from the socket and the breaker no longer trips.
Another AFCI breaker trips apparently for no reason and will not usually reset. I swapped circuits with an adjacent AFCI breaker and that one did not trip. I suspect the breaker is defective and will attempt to return it to Cutler Hammer.

#7754 - 02/28/02 02:33 AM Re: AFCIs tripping
sparky Offline

Registered: 10/18/00
Posts: 5545
Steve, (sparky) you've still had mostly good luck with 'em?

yeah Virg....

I'm still climbing the bell curve associated with any new widget. There seems to be a number of situations where the AFCI is not as user friendly.

Case in point is thier installation after an invereted supply, this is not a true wavefrom per se', it is a 'stepped' one.

I've yet to receive concise info on the efficy and/or diagnostic approach to a specific waveform monitor's (AFCI) interpetation of an imperfect or distorted waveform.

The suppliers are completely in the dark, salesman simply along for the ride, not much more....

The manufacturer's have few that can converse about such maladys, and frustrate me with thier 'installer error' stonewalling.

The only tester i've found looks $$$$....rumors about other testers abound. The methods will probably spring up from the forums

[This message has been edited by sparky (edited 02-28-2002).]

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