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Joined: Jan 2005
Posts: 5,316
Cat Servant
This was debated here, among the inspectors, and it was decided not to require such breakers for panel changes / service changes.

Indeed, they went even further, and decided not to ask for it when the actual circuit is worked on.

The reasoning was two-fold: first, until the AFCI requirement was introduced, bedroom circuits were almost never segregated from other circuits. Secondly, the lack of AFCI devices meant that the slightest work on a circuit that happened to serve a bedroom would require a service change as well.

How's that? Well, we have a lot of homes here still using fuse boxes - let alone breaker panels that are no longer available.

There is also the nightmare of shared neutrals in K&T installations. Someone wanting to add a receptacle, or even upgrade their service, ought not be required to re-wire the entire house.

Joined: Jun 2006
Posts: 7
Junior Member
In S.C. as long as no changes to the interior wiring is made you don't have to add AFCI'S or GFCI'S.

Joined: Feb 2002
Posts: 375
derater ---

"home inspectors" have a right to their opinions. Often times their clients insist on following those opinions or they walk away from the deal.

As to if AFCIs are required. It all depends on where you stand in the matter.

If the AHJ has had a policy that a panel change requires updating then it seems reasonable to require AFCIs here.

If I were paying for the panel replacement, I would expect AFCIs and GFCIs in the panel.

If I were being paid for the replacement, I would know the policy of the AHJ and follow it.

Joined: Apr 2007
Posts: 2
New Member
I'll second the post of not requiring the AFCI breakers for a panel change out. One breaker replaced, no permit required, whole panel replaced; permit & inspection required. Any addition to existing bedroon circuits or new would require AFCI's

Joined: Nov 2005
Posts: 141
This won't help you much, but Canadian rules - CEC 2006, as adopted, do require AFCI's on a total panel change out. AT least, that's what most of the Alberta AHJ's seem to demand. And I emphasize "most", because there is still a bit of confusion between the different AHJ's on exactly how to interpret the CEC. I've quoted the same code item to at least 5 different Inspectors now and the consensus is still split 2 to 3 on what is required.

The easiest thing we have done is just quote the customer on AFCI's ( and GFCI's as well) before we do the reno and just put them in when we change the panel. I know it's a few bucks more on the quote - maybe $200.00 to $500.00, but it sure saves a lot of hassle later on at Inspection time, and in the ultimate end, if some fool partially shorts out the good old bedroom extension cord to the clock radio, at least it's saved their life and --- drum roll---- I get a chargeable callback when the beast downstairs decides it's gonna keep tripping.

Joined: May 2003
Posts: 2,876
e57 Offline
C-H panel and you could AFCI any circuit you want - 3-wire circuits too.

But no, IMO you shouldn't be required to do so for a panel change, or any other repair work.

I'll also step out to say that third party 'Home Inpectors' for Real Estate sales are the biggest ruse short of Real Estate Agents themselves. There should be laws against these people, or laws to hold them to a much higher set of standards. They often do more harm than good by misinforming people about what is on thier little check-lists, and often miss, or have no idea about what is not on the check-list. After all, there are laws in just about every state concerning incompetant or unscupulous contractors. I think they often cause either false senses of security, or unnessesary law suits or repairs - all for a rubber stamp.

Mark Heller
"Well - I oughta....." -Jackie Gleason
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