Article 210.12 (2012) Arc Fault Circuit Interrupter Protection does not include bathrooms, kitchens or garages in the list of required circuits to be protected, but it does list “or similar areas”. Does this mean that the lighting circuits in the garage, bathroom and kitchen do not need to be AFCI protected? Does this also mean that any kitchen receptacle circuits that do not serve the countertops need not be AFCI protected, even if they are not GFCI protected (i.e. dishwasher, fridge, range hood microwave)?
I was at lunch with a Leviton rep who had one of the elusive AFCI devices a week or so ago and he says they believe the length restriction to the first device will be gone in 2014 and we will be able to drop a device in the first box to protect the circuit downstream
What about lights in detached garage? As BigB said, would they have to be on a AFCI? As some of you know, that code section that states "AND SIMILAR AREAS" is not a very good way to write that code section. Plus AFCI's were originally to protect just the bedroom receptacles from those annoying extension cords.
Regarding a 'detached' garage...NO AFCI requirements. Receptacles are required to be GFI, and that's it.
Argue that if the garage is attached....the word 'garage' is not mentioned, nor would a lot of us think it is 'similsr' to the areas listed. Now, for some of us that think 'ahead', what if the garage is used for a 'play area' like with a ping-pong table??
Evenyually, IMHO, a house will soon be ALL AFCI &/or GFI.
I agree that AFCI is not required in a garage and I also foresee AFCI and GFCI will be required for the whole house. I am still not "sold" on the idea that AFCI is a stable product. I haven't used any of them yet, but I still hear a lot of EC's complaining about them.