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#78613 - 10/06/01 11:49 AM AFCI
Fred Offline
Member

Registered: 04/30/01
Posts: 461
Loc: Straughn, IN 47387
Building code requires dual voltage, interconnected smoke alarms in each sleeping room in 1 & 2 family dwellings. It is my understanding that, according to the 2002 NEC Art. 210.12(B), the smoke detector in the bedroom must be supplied by an AFCI protected circuit. Comments anyone?

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#78614 - 10/06/01 02:03 PM Re: AFCI
sparky66wv Offline
Member

Registered: 11/17/00
Posts: 2339
Loc: West Virginia
Haven't thought about it, but you are right! Every branch circuit, correct? Lights too, AFCI protection on the feeders...

Sounds like it to me!

Thanks for pointing that out, it's something to remember during rough-in!
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Residential/Commercial Inspector
5 Star Inspections
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#78615 - 10/06/01 02:14 PM Re: AFCI
sparky Offline
Member

Registered: 10/18/00
Posts: 5545
hmmmm,
hopefully the AFCI will do it's thing before the smoke has to....however, the branch circuit that serves the smoke may be off something other than the bedroom circuit, due to interconnection.

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#78616 - 10/06/01 02:26 PM Re: AFCI
sparky66wv Offline
Member

Registered: 11/17/00
Posts: 2339
Loc: West Virginia
Whoa, I never thought about the safety implications here... Dual voltage, though...

Then there's the "dead batteries" scenario...

Hmmm. Good point Steve.
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-Virgil
Residential/Commercial Inspector
5 Star Inspections
Member IAEI

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#78617 - 10/06/01 02:39 PM Re: AFCI
Fred Offline
Member

Registered: 04/30/01
Posts: 461
Loc: Straughn, IN 47387
I will be starting the rough-in on a 2500 sqft. custom home early next month. It's a doctor and his wife with no children still living at home. It will have a master bedroom suite and 2 guest bedrooms. I am planning on using 4 AFCI breakers. 2 for master suite recepts.and lights, 2 for the 2 guest room recepts. and lights. I'm thinking of powering the smoke detectors off of one of the master suite AFCI circuits just so it would be obvious if the smoke detector circuit was off. I know there are valid arguments opposing smokies on a bedroom circuit but there are just as many valid arguments for not having smokies on a dedicated circuit. Anyone want to share an opinion?

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#78618 - 10/06/01 03:54 PM Re: AFCI
sparky66wv Offline
Member

Registered: 11/17/00
Posts: 2339
Loc: West Virginia
Consider this not-too-unlikely scenario:

Electric blanket gets bunched up at the foot of a child's bed, hot spot occurs, causes insulation failure and resulting arc. AFCI trips to prevent more arcing, but shuts down the Smoke Detectors as well and with the unmaintained batteries, the smoldering blanket from the first arc is now set to go undetected...

I realize the impossible task to prepare for every scenario, but this one doesn't seem overboard to me...



[This message has been edited by sparky66wv (edited 10-06-2001).]
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#78619 - 10/06/01 05:15 PM Re: AFCI
Fred Offline
Member

Registered: 04/30/01
Posts: 461
Loc: Straughn, IN 47387
Virgil, That's exactly the situation I was thinking about. I investigated a fire about 4 years ago that started with an arcing fault in a bedroom receptacle where an electric blanket was plugged in under the bed right in the center below the headboard of the bed. Teenage girl awoke to her arm being burned by the headboard(wood)and the wall was on fire. Maybe I'll keep the bedroom lighting on an AFCI circuit by itself and tag the smokes off of it. Keep the receptacle circuits on their own AFCI circuit. Or run a 5th AFCI circuit and put the smokes and the livingroom recepts. on it. What do you think?

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#78620 - 10/06/01 07:20 PM Re: AFCI
Bill Addiss Offline
Member

Registered: 10/07/00
Posts: 4196
Loc: NY, USA
Fred,

Is battery backup required on the smokies near you? I think that they make a chirping noise when the batteries are worn out or not in place, don't they? In that case they'd be more likely to replace the batteries. Your questions are good ones and I'm not sure what I think is best, but I would not recommend a dedicated circuit, that much I will say.

Bill

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#78621 - 10/06/01 07:33 PM Re: AFCI
Fred Offline
Member

Registered: 04/30/01
Posts: 461
Loc: Straughn, IN 47387
Bill, Yes battery back-up smokies are required. I agree, dedicated circuits for smokies is a not-so-good idea.

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#78622 - 10/07/01 02:27 PM Re: AFCI
glenn35 Offline
Member

Registered: 07/21/01
Posts: 48
Just curious, but are AFCI's required in new wiring of a residence? In what areas are they, if they are?

My cousin is building a new home and there are GFI circuits but not AFCI's.

thanks glenn

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