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#72242 - 11/21/06 11:04 PM Arc Fault Circuit Breakers  
Obsaleet  Offline
Joined: Apr 2003
Posts: 362
Hi All,
I am wondering if you are installing arc fault breakers when upgrading and/or replacing residential services? Are AHJ looking for them? How are you handling the cost?


Choose your customers, don't let them choose you.

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#72243 - 11/21/06 11:07 PM Re: Arc Fault Circuit Breakers  
Theelectrikid  Offline
Joined: Apr 2004
Posts: 810
Levittown, PA
I'd also like to know this for when I move and have about four new circuits run for the upstairs of our new house. (2 on an AFCI I think, 1 for an A/C, 1 for the bathroom.)

Ian A.

Is there anyone on board who knows how to fly a plane?

#72244 - 11/22/06 03:53 AM Re: Arc Fault Circuit Breakers  
Luketrician  Offline
Joined: Jul 2006
Posts: 272
Sale Creek, TN USA
Seems to me that if you are upgrading the service you would have to follow the guidelines of 210.12 (B). As far as the cost for the afci's...I adjust my billing accordingly for them.


Luke Clarke
Electrical Planner for TVA.

#72245 - 11/22/06 07:53 AM Re: Arc Fault Circuit Breakers  
REW  Offline
Joined: Nov 2006
Posts: 30
Sykesville, Maryland
We install AFCIs in each service upgrade that we do, and we charge for them. I don't believe that the AHJ is insisting on them. The only time that we don't is if the bedrooms are wired in a multiwire circuit.

I don't think that we should even give the H/O a choice about the matter. It's required by current code on new residences, and if its not done with the service change, when else will the H/O ever willingly pay for this safety device? Probably never. Let them know it is for their family's safety and include the cost in your price.


#72246 - 11/22/06 08:59 AM Re: Arc Fault Circuit Breakers  
Zapped  Offline
Joined: Oct 2002
Posts: 482
Huntington Beach, CA, USA
AFCI's are currently required in bedrooms in my area, but read this thread to find out more about impending code changes...

#72247 - 11/23/06 12:17 PM Re: Arc Fault Circuit Breakers  
Obsaleet  Offline
Joined: Apr 2003
Posts: 362
How do you charge for them on a 60A to 100A upgrade that is 100yrs old and has 30a fuses with multiple wire under the terminal and not 1 marking. Estimate how? It would be easier if all were required to be Arc Faults. My biggest bone right now is some are requiring and some aren't(AHJ). This last inspector didn't even know you couldn't install an arc fault on a 3 wire circuit [Linked Image]

Choose your customers, don't let them choose you.

#72248 - 11/23/06 12:34 PM Re: Arc Fault Circuit Breakers  
Obsaleet  Offline
Joined: Apr 2003
Posts: 362
Thanks Zapped,
I used some these same comments with the inspector. He was not aware of the costs involved. Sqd D Hom Arc faults are about $40. Ea my cost so retail is about $50.adding $ $400 to the costs. I have never had one trip for any good reason (fortuanatlly) but alot of false tripps. mostly from Vacuums and power tools.


Choose your customers, don't let them choose you.

#72249 - 11/23/06 12:42 PM Re: Arc Fault Circuit Breakers  
sl95ram  Offline
Junior Member
Joined: Oct 2006
Posts: 3
andover ct
what do you mean you cant install an arc fault breaker on a mutli wire circuit? I have done it numerous times. CH make a 2 pole independent trip arc fault breaker specifically designed for 3 wire homeruns. I think that you should reconsider who you are buying your panels from untill they become more knowledgeable about what is available out there. There is a substantial cost savings with the price of copper nowadays to use these 2 pole arc faults. Of course if you are using GE panels they arent available. I used to use GE Panels for everything untill i started have 4 out of every 10 arc fault breakers being defective. Since i have switched to CH i have installed roughly 65 Arc faults and only had one bad one. I will never switch back to GE.



#72250 - 11/23/06 02:13 PM Re: Arc Fault Circuit Breakers  
renosteinke  Offline
Cat Servant
Joined: Jan 2005
Posts: 5,316
Blue Collar Country
We discussed this at some length at our local IAEI meeting. As a esult, locally, we are not expected to install AFCI breakers on service upgrades.

One reason was that earlier wiring practices did not segregate bedroom circuits from others; each bedroom wall very well might be fed from a different circuit.

The real kicker was that remodels are often done on homes with obsolete equipment. When the older equipment has no ability to accept an arc fault breaker, the only option would be a complete service change ... which is quite an additional expense, when all the customer wants is another receptacle!

#72251 - 11/23/06 03:05 PM Re: Arc Fault Circuit Breakers  
SteveFehr  Offline
Joined: Mar 2005
Posts: 1,213
Chesapeake, VA
I've been putting AFCIs in all circuits (lights, receptacles and fire alarms) that end in bedrooms or go under the bedroom floor- basically, anything that doesn't have 1/2" of gypsum between it and a bedroom. I install only GFCI-protected breakers, too, except for dedicated receptacles.

They may be more expensive, but not THAT much more expensive in the whole scheme of things.

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