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.
REW, 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 (Ob)Phil
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 $100.to $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.
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.
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!
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.