I rewired an old house a few months ago. The owner has not moved in as of yet, since a lot of remodeling had to be done. I wired the dining room circuit on a AFCI. The breaker had been tripping when a wet vac was plugged into the circuit. I traced the problem to one outlet on a shallow wall on the back side of a fireplace. Every time I would disconnect the feed to that outlet, everything worked fine. I went up into the attic and cut the wire just before it went down into the wall to the outlet. I tried plugging something into the other outlets on the circuit then and everything was fine. I then proceeded to fish another wire down to the outlet, assuming that there was a "nick" in one of the wires. This was of course after I had checked the outlet itself. After I fished the new wire down to the outlet and hooked it up, IT STILL TRIPPED THE BREAKER!!. Since I had already spent around 3 hours checking the different outlets etc.... I proceeded to put a regular breaker on that circuit for now. The only thing I can figure is, that when I was pulling the new wire down the wall, it got scraped or something on the way down. It was a rough pull since it was right against the concrete on the back side of the fireplace. Only problem with that thought is, that I checked the wire I pulled out and didn't see any evident signs of anything wrong with it. Does anyone have another idea other than the thought that I'm crazy?? It had to work with a new wire, right??? Only thing I would know to do would be to pull another new wire down and hope it don't scrape the same thing the other two may have come in contact with. The wall was sheetrocked and paneling was put up on the lower half of the wall. Possibly a nail?? After going through with that, I just got my tools up and went home.... Thanks
I switched the circuit to a breaker that was working, and it still tripped. I tried the wet vac in another AFCI circuit and it worked fine. There is nothing else plugged into the circuit, since no one is living there yet. I don't have a megger. Got to be something in that wall that is snagging the wire as it goes down or something they haven't discovered yet that's in the fireplace that triggers the AFCI's It's a mystery UIAIW (unidentified alien in wall) :0
if all else fails cut in a metal box and use MC. But first a few diagnostic steps, remove the receptacle outlet from the box and try the circuit,remove the receptacle from the wire,disconnect the wires at the junction box. If you grt to the last step and now are holding take your meter and do an Ohm check beteen hot-neutral,hot-ground,neutral-ground this would show if any short exists.