arseegee....... Nonetheless, IF they can produce an AFCI receptacle cheaper than an AFCI breaker (ever compare the price of a GFCI breaker to a GFCI receptacle?), then it would save a contractor a significant sum by running the circuit right next to the panel box and into a 'feed-thru' AFCI receptacle, just as many contractors use this concept with a 'feed thru' GFCI receptacle device.
I willing to bet money that if they can produce an AFCI receptacle for much cheaper, the demand will be great.
The UL, Jan. 28,2002 article "Arc Fault Testing & Arc Fault Scenarios" lists 6 different product categories for AFCI devices. The UL product category/Type definition for AWBZ is: AFCI, Outlet Branch Circuit Type (aka: AFCI Receptacle)- 'A device intended to be installed as the first outlet in a branch circuit. It is intended to provide protection to downstream branch circuit wiring, cord sets, and power supply cords against the unwanted effects of arcing. This device also provides protection to upstream branch circuit wiring. It is intended to be provided with or without receptacle outlets.'
I haven't been required to use one of these yet. I think the state of GA hasn't adopted the 2002 NEC yet and none of the contractors I know have been putting them in and no inspector has mentioned them to me. I got one from a home owner that tried to do his own work and had replaced a GFCI with an AFCI. I plan to do some testing with it to see if they fail as often as everyone says.
[This message has been edited by Electric Eagle (edited 09-09-2002).]
210-12(a) (1999 or 2002)Does Not say: "the entire circuit". In the article I just mentioned from UL, each of the 6 categories of AFCI devices protect different aspects of the branch circuit (this definition includes the AFCI circuit breaker).
Given the 210-12(a) definition: "AFCI is a device intended to provide protection ....by functioning to de-energize the circuit when an arc fault is detected."
Every one of the 6 UL AFCI categories meets that requirement....there is not one single device (within the UL categories, including the AFCI circuit breaker) that can detect and protect against all arc fault conditions for the entire circuit.
To meet the 'entire circuit' definition two or more UL category devices must be combined (e.g. the AFCI circuit breaker + AFCI receptacle [cat AWBZ]) to obtain this ideal:'protection from arc faults...on the entire circuit'.
The AFCI circuit breaker protects against about 1/6 of the arc fault conditions - how can you say this device [standing alone] satisfies the AFCI requirements?
I have no problem with a jurisdiction requiring the combination of 2 or more AFCI devices to meet the 210-12 code section; I do have a problem with a jurisdiction saying they accept the AFCI circuit breaker alone as meeting the requirements. (Isn't that like telling a cruise liner they only need boats and life jackets for 1/6 passengers?)
Boy do I hear the hooting and hollering now about the added cost!! ...but at least with this added cost you are getting some protection.
Arsee - I was looking at 1999 210-12(a)&(b) and 2002 210-12(a)...didn't see that in 2000 (b) [cuz I didn't look that far].....however we(CA) are still on the 1996 and will shortly be going to 1999.
But you could still argue the AFCI circuit breaker does not fulfill the 'entire circuit' requirement either. (Receps are part of the 'entire branch circuit' and circuit breaker type AFCIs don't cover those kinds of faults).