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#101588 - 01/15/02 08:30 PM AFCIs in Canada  
Bill Addiss  Offline
Joined: Oct 2000
Posts: 3,878
What are the requirements for AFCIs in Canada? (Where are they required)

I heard that Smoke Detectors are not allowed on these circuits. If this is true, what is the rationale behind it?

Thanks in advance (TIA)


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#101589 - 01/16/02 08:13 PM Re: AFCIs in Canada  
Tony Moscioni  Offline
Joined: May 2001
Posts: 144
In the Canadian Electrical Code, Part I - 19th edition (2002 issue)the following will be added to Section 26.

Branch Circuits in Dwelling Units.

(f) Branch circuits that supply receptacles installed in sleeping facilities of a dwelling unit shall be protected by an arc-fault circuit interrupter; and

(g) For the purpose of Paragraph (f), an arc-fault interrupter means a device intended to provide protection from the effects of arc-faults by recognizing characteristics unique to arcing and functioning to de-energize the circuit when an arc-fault is detected.

In section 32 we deal with the issue of AFCI's and Smoke Detectors.

Rule 32-110(a) (see Appendix B)

A smoke alarm shall be supplied from a lighting circuit, or from a circuit that supplies a mix of lighting and receptacles, and in any case shall not be installed where prohibited by Rule 26-704; or protected by a GFCI or AFCI.

The requirement for AFCI protection is for the circuit supplying receptacles in bedrooms – thus AFCI breakers will typically be installed in the panelboard. It is important to stress that smoke detectors may not be connected to a circuit fed from an AFCI breaker. Smoke detectors may be connected to a lighting circuit, or a combination lighting / receptacle as long as the receptacles are not in bedrooms requiring an AFCI (e.g. bathroom circuit ahead of the GFCI)

Tony Moscioni
Electrical Inspector
© Electrical Safety Authority – 2002

#101590 - 01/17/02 11:51 PM Re: AFCIs in Canada  
Bill Addiss  Offline
Joined: Oct 2000
Posts: 3,878

Thanks for your response. I am still trying to figure out how I personally feel about having the Smoke Detectors on a Bedroom AFCI circuit. I was just wondering if you had any compelling arguments either way.

I heard today that it will be up to the individual Electrician where I am. The local Inspection Agencies will not enforce the 2002 NEC requirement that smoke detectors in a bedroom must be on a AFCI protected circuit.


#101591 - 02/13/02 08:24 AM Re: AFCIs in Canada  
sparky  Offline
Joined: Oct 2000
Posts: 5,306
Actually we could get definitional about this...

Outlet. A point on the wiring system at which current is taken to supply utilization equipment.
An example is a lighting outlet or a receptacle outlet.

Utilization Equipment. Equipment that utilizes electric energy for electronic, electromechanical, chemical, heating, lighting, or similar purposes.

but this drags up the old "Is a smoke a 'device' or 'fixture' argument.... [Linked Image]

#101592 - 05/09/02 11:44 PM Re: AFCIs in Canada  
SamC  Offline
Joined: Mar 2002
Posts: 15
I will be called upon this summer to swap out a 60amp fused panel to a 100amp breaker panel. Last summer when I was first called over to give a quote on swapping out the service they also wanted all recp's and light sw's replaced with the decora style. So I factored in gfci breakers for the upper floor bedrooms recp's which are only 2 wire circuits (no ground), this would allow me to use 3 prong outlets on ungrounded circuits with out having to try and rewire the top floor. Will these bedroom circuits require AFCI protection?


#101593 - 05/16/02 05:52 PM Re: AFCIs in Canada  
Tony Moscioni  Offline
Joined: May 2001
Posts: 144

In Ontario, AFCI breakers will not be required retroactively, even if the service is upgraded. They would however be required for an addition containing a bedroom.

Arc Fault Circuit Interrupters will only be required for new construction, and additions or renovations when a new circuit is provided for a bedroom. AFCI's will not be required when existing receptacles are simply replaced.

Tony Moscioni
Electrical Inspector
© Electrical Safety Authority – 2002

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