Since the wording in 210.12(B) is a requirement for AFCI protection on the branch circuit installed for the bedroom outlets, we would not be required to protect an outlet if we were just adding an outlet to an existing branch circuit in the bedroom. As the attorney says "What say you?"
That seems to be the issue here. The wording in 210.12(B) is talking about branch circuit(s) installed to supply outlets in bedrooms shall be protected by an AFCI device that protects the entire branch circuit. So it's talking about a branch circuit rule. This is the way it was presented at a recent IAEI seminar code panel session. I personally am still wrestling with it.
Okay- I understand how you have interperted this text. Your stress is on "outlets installed." I too see how it could be enforced that way. But, and this is a big but, if we install an outlet and I agree with you I'm sure what an outlet is, the code requires it to be grounded 410.18 for lighting outlets and 406.3 receptacle outlets. There is a whole list of reguirements for GFCI protection for receptacles installed in location itemized in 210.8. When we get t0 210.12 they are talking about installing a circuit to feed the outlets in the bedrooms. It is clear that this circuit is required to have AFCI protection for the entire circuit. There is no wording that says "AFCI protection is required for an existing bedroom circuit." There was some talk about asking for AFCI protection on bedroom circuits when there a Service change involving the breakers feeding the bedrooms but that didn't make it into the code. So the more I think about the issue I can accept the fact that adding an outlet to an existing circuit will not necessarily trigger changing to AFCI protection of the existing circuit. Adding a circuit on the other hand does require AFCI protection.
[This message has been edited by George Little (edited 03-12-2005).]
To break it down: I believe this is all field judgement call stuff. The intent of the code section is to provide arc hazard protection in sleeping rooms. New constuction w/ panel that will accept AFCI: arc-fault circuit (easy call)! New outlet in existing room with 2w NM, no ground, exist. panel that cannot accommodate AFCI-no question: no AFCI. Everything in between: if there's a way to add AFCI protection to the existing circuit, or to REASONABLY revise wiring so that AFCI protection can be provided to some or all of the room outlets, then require it. P.S. if we're only adding smoke's to the bedroom, do you require a separate circuit w/AFCI protection for the smokes?
Greg, The AFCI will work on a circuit that does not have an EGC, but it will not be near as effective. Much of the time it is the GFP part of the AFCI and not the arc detection circuit itself that opens the circuit. If there is no EGC, it is harder to create a ground fault. Don
Re: Interesting Observation#92308 03/15/0511:58 AM03/15/0511:58 AM