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#14374 09/20/02 10:13 AM
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Okay guys, I need your opinions. I have a customer who is converting some attic space into an storage area. She had the rafters covered over with floorboards, and wants me to install some lighting and an exhaust fan. Since the area is all DRY exposed wood, and will be filled with cardboard boxes. I feel this would be a good place to utilize an AFCI breaker. What are your opinions? Would you spend the extra money?

Joined: Oct 2000
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Why, if your wiring methods are to code ?

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I have to come back with the question "If bedrooms are wired to code, why do they now require AFCI breakers"? In a bedroom the wiring is located within walls that are covered with 5/8" sheetrock (here in Cook County, Illinois). In my application, the area surrounding my installation is all bare wood. The underlayment of the roof, the roof joists, the ceiling joists below as well as the new OSB that was laid on top of them. As well as all the cardboard boxes the homeowner will be storing in the general area. An area that might not be accessed for months at a time.

Maybe I'm thinking too deeply into this, Or maybe I've been reading too many of Mike Holt's newsletters. I just wanted to raise a topic of discussion. And get an educated opinion from my peers.

Thanks in advance,
Steve

Joined: Oct 2000
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Pearlfish,

Are you using an AFCI to protect NM in an area of exposure to damage?

Quote
I have to come back with the question "If bedrooms are wired to code, why do they now require AFCI breakers"?

you make my point for me......

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NO, here in the Chicago area, the only game in town is THHN in 1/2" EMT. My work is all mounted overhead.

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Another point strikes me on this. If an AFCI is necessary to guard against arcs that may occur at joints feeding bedroom receptacles, why does the NEC not require AFCIs on all the other circuits that may also pass through bedroom walls? (e.g. tA circuit feeding an adjoining room.)

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a good ,and overlooked point Paul,
as the AFCI breaker is listed primarily for branch circuit protection, and not beyond the outlet....

Pearlfish,
then what is it that would suggest added protection?

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Pearlfish
Since AFCIs are not listed as tested with anything but romex, and you already are protected with EMT, I would not waste money and buy an AFCI.
You will not be increasing safety enough to warrent the cost.


ed
Joined: Oct 2000
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Pearlfish,
we in Vermont have been a code cycle ahead of the nation (210.12).

at first i did many service upgrades with AFCI's pedaling them to customers as a fail safe for older wiring , in that they need fear no arc again.

of late, all the fallicies and inconsistencies have surfaced, i no longer advocate them as a 'bandaid' for older wiring, or any that would be installed in the grey 'exposed' area.

here's one....

compare GFCI's to AFCI's in the sense of survivability, read Mr. Ken Silerstien's article on page 150 of the Sep. 02' Electrical Contractor mag....

I had seen that GFCI's had many ROP's in the last cycle to this end,( probably it went some cycles back) inspectors etc had seen many malfunction in the field....

note most are not proximal to the panel,( as AFCI's) where voltage variants/sags/swells/spikes, and all form of dirty power will occur....

one would think .....good for the goose/good for the gander

???


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