I like the idea of holding off for a while. For the time being offer AFCI protection as an option. After a few years, a track record will exist. Also, the costs probably will have dropped. I don't know if, during a service upgrade, you can convince a customer to foot the extra $200-300 for something most of the competition probably won't insist on anyway. New construction though, absolutely.
Why do we need this product for new construction. Are our wiring methods so poor that we must provide additional protection for the fixed wiring of the building. If this requirement was for the protection of portable wiring, it would make much more sense to me. The code requires branch circuit protection and most of the branch circuit AFCIs provide only limited protection for the portable wiring. Are we admitting that most of the electrical fires in new construction start as a result of faults in the fixed wiring???????? If so we need to change the wiring methods. Maybe Chicago's all conduit code isn't so silly after all. Don(resqcapt19)
What I've heard (from a UL rep) basically supports what Don is saying about limited protection to items past the fixed wiring system. I think the problem is in the sensitivity and testing standards in effect. It's ironic that it will be required (here) only in New Construction and not Remodel Jobs (unless more than 50% is renovated)
(What if that 50% does not include the Bedrooms ?? - hmm, not sure )
There was a recent IAEI article per UL1699,on AFCI's. One section stated the listing was for new branch circuits only. This surprised me as I am being told to AFCI all bed & living area outlets during a service upgrade here in VT. (Yes I know, the NEC is'nt retroactive..)
In asking UL, the listing is supposively being altered for 'old work'. And they are less effective on older circuitry at best.
It's nice to have rationale follow NEC changes, makes it easier to pedal as an end installer/marketer/justifier than simply saying 'because it's code...'.
I try not to ever just say "because it's code". much more professional to say 'this is a code requirement because...." At least this is how I try to explain to the customer, you'd be surprised how much their confidence level in you increases.Besides it drives me nuts, and my helpers and apprentices never say that particular phrase because they know I'll ask why. And I think that drives them nuts. Aren't our jobs great or what.
Joe, So you and the CPSC are saying that our installation and wiring methods for the fixed wiring in new dwelling units are so poor that these fires are occurring in the fixed building wiring? Don(resqcapt19)