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Posted By: ElectricAL New Technical Data on AFCIs? - 06/30/04 06:02 PM
It has been a while since the technical data on AFCIs has been summarized.

In warming up to the 2005 NEC proposal deadline in October 2002, this Forum pulled together a lot of data, but surprisingly little technical data for specific models of AFCIs currently being manufactured for sale and installation.

What information has been released in the last two years?
Posted By: CharlieE Re: New Technical Data on AFCIs? - 06/30/04 06:35 PM
First, I want to apologize for loosing it with Joe and causing the removal of the previous thread. [Linked Image]

I do not know where to get technical data on the individual AFCIs. I do know that the only basic advantage that an AFCI has over a standard circuit breaker is the "GFI" portion of the circuitry. The GFI portion is set at 30 to 50 mA depending on the manufacturer and it will not start to react to anything until the load current exceeds 75 amperes. UL has the testing requirements that all the standard AFCIs must meet. The circuitry is different for each manufacturer. If you are looking for something from the individual manufacturers, I doubt it will be available.

I don't think any new information has been made available in the last couple of years. I really expect to see a lot of information about the combination type as time passes. [Linked Image]
Posted By: Bill Addiss Re: New Technical Data on AFCIs? - 06/30/04 07:04 PM

You did not cause removal of anything. It was one of those threads that was going down the wrong road from early on.

Posted By: ElectricAL Re: New Technical Data on AFCIs? - 06/30/04 07:21 PM
No Worries, CharlieE.

The absense of new technical information concerns me.

I have a 3" binder on the shelf here that is full of what I could glean about AFCIs from the collective wisdom and knowledge of the Forum contributors and other parties. I haven't had anything to add to the folder since December, 2002.
Posted By: Joe Tedesco Re: New Technical Data on AFCIs? - 06/30/04 08:29 PM

Here is a link to some AFCI information on the UL site:

I was unable to find any dates later than January 2002.

I will search for more.

Was there anything in the NFPA transcript for the adoption of the 2005 NEC?


I see where the meeting ended at 8 PM, that was a long day.
Posted By: Roger Re: New Technical Data on AFCIs? - 06/30/04 11:36 PM
Well UL is not coming off the good info for free.

From: [] On Behalf Of
Sent: Thursday, June 03, 2004 4:56 PM
Subject: Re: Database Directory Assistance Form SR168502 Diane Lively

Dear Mr. Deas,

Thank you for contacting Underwriters Laboratories. The standard for "basic standard used to investigate AFCI's" is UL1699.
(I already knew that [Linked Image] ) You can purchase this standard by contacting Comm2000 by email at or by phone at 1-888-853-3503.

Please feel free to contact me if I can be of any further assistance.


Diane Lively
Customer Service Professional
Northbrook Division
Underwriters Laboratories Inc.
333 Pfingsten Road
Northbrook, IL 60062
Ph 877 UL HELPS (854-3577) Ext. 44873
Fax 847-407-1395
E-mail -


***UL now has Customer Service Professionals to handle all your nontechnical matters and deliver fast, efficient service to meet your needs. The Customer Service Professionals can be reached from 7 am - 6 pm CST, Monday - Friday; in the US at 1-877-UL HELPS (1-877-854-3577) or worldwide at or via Fax 847-407-1395***

This was my request

05/11/2004 09:06 AM

Subject: Database Directory Assistance Form

It was submitted on 05/11/04.
Name: Roger Deas
Title: Project Manager
Organization: Hayes and Lunsford Electric
Address: 226 Hilliard Ave
City: Asheville
State: NC
Postal Code: 28801

How do I find Category UL 1649 "basic standard used to investigate AFCI's" I have searched and can not find this information.

I have not purchased this yet.


[This message has been edited by Roger (edited 06-30-2004).]
Posted By: ElectricAL Re: New Technical Data on AFCIs? - 07/01/04 03:22 AM

One copy of UL1699 in Adobe Reader file format (.pdf) will cost $420.00. [Linked Image]
Posted By: Joe Tedesco Re: New Technical Data on AFCIs? - 07/01/04 03:43 AM
UL 1699

1 Scope

1.1 The requirements of this Standard cover arc-fault circuit-interrupters (AFCIs) of the branch/feeder, outlet circuit, portable, and cord type intended for use in dwelling units. These devices are intended to mitigate the effects of arcing faults that may pose a risk of fire ignition under certain conditions if the arcing persists.

1.1.1 The requirements of this Standard also cover Leakage-Current Detector-Interrupters (LCDIs), which are not prohibited from being provided with cord sets or power-supply cords. These devices are intended to sense leakage currents flowing between or from the conductors of a cord set and interrupt the circuit at a predetermined level of leakage current.

1.1.1 added effective July 15, 2004
1.2 These devices have a maximum rating of 20 A and are intended for use in 120-V ac, 60-HZ circuits.

1.3 These devices are not intended to detect glowing connections.

1.4 In these requirements the term device is used generically to apply to all of the devices covered by these requirements and is modified when the requirement does not apply to all types.

1.5 An AFCI that is also intended to perform other functions, such as overcurrent protection, ground-fault circuit-interruption, surge suppression, any other similar functions, or any combination thereof, shall comply additionally with the requirements of the applicable Standard or Standards that cover devices that provide those functions.

1.6 Deleted and Relocated to Foreword July 15, 2002

1.6 revised July 15, 2002
Posted By: ElectricAL Re: New Technical Data on AFCIs? - 07/01/04 11:19 PM
December 19, 2003 National Association of Homebuilders report by Robert Huddleston, Jr., PE, titled:
[i][b]The Arc Fault Circuit Interrupter - Why We Have a Problem With It[/b][/i]
Posted By: Roger Re: New Technical Data on AFCIs? - 07/02/04 12:48 AM
Hello Al,
One copy of UL1699 in Adobe Reader file format (.pdf) will cost $420.00.

At that price I'll bet you'll be purchasing a few for gifts. [Linked Image] [Linked Image] [Linked Image]

I couldn't get your link "The Arc Fault Circuit Interrupter - Why We Have a Problem With It" to open but I've been having other internet or dial up problems too.

Posted By: ElectricAL Re: New Technical Data on AFCIs? - 07/02/04 02:39 AM
Hey Roger,

The NAHB document is a 480K .pdf file that, at least as far as my computer experiences it, is set up to download completely before Adobe Reader displays it.

On my 256K DSL connection this takes about a third of a minute. An alternative route would be using the homepage at and use the Search box in the upper right corner and type in "arc fault". The return will include "Why We Have A Problem With It".
Posted By: SolarPowered Re: New Technical Data on AFCIs? - 07/06/04 04:56 AM
It loads fine now.

The gist is that they built a test setup where they made arcs, made loose connections, and simulated other faults, and the three ACFIs they tested, from two manufacturers, never tripped--not even once.
Posted By: sparkystudent Re: New Technical Data on AFCIs? - 07/06/04 05:05 AM
has anyone had problems with nuisance tripping of these (afci) we have had 2 callbacks each callback referenced 3 breakers each. the HO installed childproof/tamperproof receptacle plugs (all plastic) every breaker we installed tripped after the covers were plugged in. this concerns me as it must mean that there is current there.
Posted By: sparky Re: New Technical Data on AFCIs? - 07/06/04 11:12 AM
Vt was subjected to AFCI's in the 99' cycle

we had virtually no info, although many of us wrote UL , or sought spec's through whatever channels we could

nobody gave up anything, all answers were tempered vagarities, even the rep B.F. that posted here did not forward pertinent info

until 210.12 became a national code in the '02

the Marchand & Dini finally forwarded specifics in the Jan/Feb NEC digest....

'the Truth about AFCI's, pt 1 & 2'

they knew they were in at this point, how often does the code backpeddal right?

add to it, that the majority of 02' proposals were roundfiled with the rationale of a 6 yr old....

for those of us that have followed this it was as our own trades enron, we've fallen from grace.

it's just that simple

Posted By: ElectricAL Re: New Technical Data on AFCIs? - 07/06/04 12:51 PM
Hey Steve!

Nice to hear from you. Hope you have the opportunity to drop in more, again.
Posted By: sparky Re: New Technical Data on AFCIs? - 07/08/04 11:16 AM
will do Al

on a similar matter, Vt has required all single family homes to have ALL ;living area' circuitry via AFCI

at first i was stuffing 30-40 afci's in a panel here, try it and you'll realize what a piece of overpriced crap they are, adds $600 to a bid, and creates a world of callbacks....

the reps are ZERO help, belive me

the thing is, VT does not inspect single family homes, and i found i was the only EC around being the good dubie

i meet the national code only now, and i see many a new home without an afci at all

so sue me

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