What’s Behind Your Customer’s Walls?

What’s Behind Your Customer’s Walls?

Sponsored by: Leviton Manufacturing Co.

When customers think of electrical safety in the home, they typically focus on electrical hazards they can see. A few that come to mind are damaged electrical cords, outlets that are broken, old or give off heat or spark when in use, the absence of tamper-resistant outlets in households with children and visible frayed wiring near load centers or other electrical hubs. Seeing such hazards should prompt immediate action to correct the problem. But what about electrical hazards they can’t see?

The unseen electrical hazards are often hidden behind walls. Do any of your customers live in older homes? Homes built in the mid to late 1960’s often have aluminum wiring. Certain conditions associated with aluminum wiring may lead to loose connections, which can cause arcing events and may lead to fire. The simple action of hanging a picture can inadvertently damage electrical wiring behind the wall, creating a hazard. Or perhaps a circuit is constantly tripping, potentially indicating trouble behind the wall.

Now if you’re thinking, “How can I help protect my customers from an electrical problem they can’t see?”, we have an answer. Arc-Fault Circuit Interrupters, or AFCIs, detect hazardous arc-faults and respond in a fraction of a second by interrupting power, thereby helping to reduce the likelihood of the home’s electrical system being an ignition source of a fire.

What exactly is an arc-fault?

An arc-fault is an unintentional arcing (think sparking) condition in a circuit. Arcing creates high intensity heating at the point of the arc, resulting in burning particles that can exceed 10,000 degrees Fahrenheit and may ignite surrounding material such as wood framing or insulation. Arcing can be caused by damaged, stressed or overheated electrical wiring or devices.

There are two types of potentially dangerous arcs – series arcs and parallel arcs. The images below illustrate the dangerous current flow as it occurs in each event.

series arcs and parallel arcs

Let’s take a look at some of the conditions we mentioned that can lead to dangerous arcing within wiring:

dangerous arcing within wiring

Solution Options

AFCI protection is important to have in every home to help protect against fires that may be caused by arcing conditions. Leviton offers two solutions – AFCI Outlets and AFCI Circuit Breakers.

AFCI Outlets may be used on any wiring system as specified in the National Electrical Code® (NEC®). They are easy to install as replacement devices or in new construction. AFCI protection is now required by the NEC in many areas of the home including kitchens, family rooms, dining rooms, living rooms, parlors, libraries, dens, bedrooms, sunrooms, recreation rooms, closets, hallways, laundry rooms and similar areas.

The second solution is Leviton AFCI Circuit Breakers which are designed to be used in the Leviton Load Center. Only Leviton circuit breakers feature the fastest installation available on the market today and offer optional internet connectivity for remote monitoring and diagnosing of circuit breakers – a critical tool for the modern contractor.

So, take some time to conduct an electrical audit of your customer’s homes. You may be surprised to discover areas that may present hazards – seen and unseen.

Join Leviton for a special edition FREE webinar on Monday, May 18th at 2PM EST: Electrical Safety Month and Changes in the 2020 NEC®. Click here to learn more.

Leviton Manufacturing Co.
Sponsored by: Leviton Manufacturing Co.
From electrical to lighting to networking, Leviton is engineering thoughtful solutions that help make life easier, safer, more efficient and more productive

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