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Old 01-22-2010, 12:56 PM   #41
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what is a "similar area" as defined by the NEC? An area surrounded by walls? An area with a roof overhead?

Not the kitchen even if it has outlets which aren't small appliance outlets? How about a dedicated refrigerator circuit? What about a gas stove's convenience outlet? Attics? Basements?

Gotta love it.
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Old 01-22-2010, 01:01 PM   #42
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"Similar areas" appears 6 times in the NEC, but has no definition. I guess we're supposed to use our brains.
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Old 01-22-2010, 01:46 PM   #43
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 480sparky View Post
"Similar areas" appears 6 times in the NEC, but has no definition. I guess we're supposed to use our brains.
Well, what does "similar areas" mean to you and is it the same as it means to me? For example, I consider a finished basement to be a "similar area" but not an unfinished one. I guess the finished parts of residences are used for some specific purpose otherwise identified.

I have one AHJ which disallows any receptacle outlets in the kitchen that aren't part of the small appliance circuits -- including the refrigerator and stove. Is this common elsewhere?
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Old 01-22-2010, 02:03 PM   #44
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(B) Small Appliances.
(].) Receptacle Outlets Served.
In the kitchen, pantry,

breakfast room, dining room, or similar area of a dwelling
unit, the two or more 20-ampere small-appliance branch
circuits required by 210.1l(C)(1) shall serve all wall and
floor receptacle outlets covered by 210.52(A), all countertop
outlets covered by 210.52(C), and receptacle outlets for
refrigeration equipment.
Exception No.1: In addition to the required receptacles
specified by 210.52, switched receptacles supplied from a
general-purpose branch circuit as defined in 210.70(A)(1),
Exception No.1, shall be permitted.
Exception No.2: The receptacle outlet for refrigeration
equipment shall be permitted to be supplied from an individual
branch circuit rated
15 amperes or greater.
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Old 01-22-2010, 03:53 PM   #45
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Interesting. Dining room is GFCI protected as a small appliance branch circuit which also requires an AFCI, but the kitchen doesn't?

Gotta love it....
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Old 01-22-2010, 04:39 PM   #46
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Quote:
Originally Posted by codeone View Post
Check this link
http://www.cpsc.gov/CPSCPUB/PUBS/afcifac8.PDF

The National Electrical Code requires GFCI protection for receptacles located outdoors;
in bathrooms, garages, kitchens, crawl spaces and unfinished basements; and at certain
locations such as near swimming pools. A combination AFCI and GFCI can be used to
satisfy the NEC requirement for GFCI protection only if specifically marked as a
combination device.
With further investigation THIS IS A FALSE STATEMENT, checked several today. My appologies for referencing the article. Please Ignore!
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Old 01-22-2010, 04:42 PM   #47
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RE: Similar Area = AHJ driving you CRAZZZZZZY!
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Old 01-22-2010, 05:07 PM   #48
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Quote:
Originally Posted by waco View Post
Interesting. Dining room is GFCI protected as a small appliance branch circuit which also requires an AFCI, but the kitchen doesn't?

Gotta love it....

The GFCI protection of dining room would not be required. Only the portion of the SABC supplying Countertop requires GFCI. It might be easier to GFCI protect the whole circuit, but not required.
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Old 01-22-2010, 11:04 PM   #49
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ElectricBill View Post
The GFCI protection of dining room would not be required. Only the portion of the SABC supplying Countertop requires GFCI. It might be easier to GFCI protect the whole circuit, but not required.
Good point.
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Old 01-27-2010, 03:47 PM   #50
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Quote:
Originally Posted by waco View Post
what is a "similar area" as defined by the NEC? An area surrounded by walls? An area with a roof overhead?

Not the kitchen even if it has outlets which aren't small appliance outlets? How about a dedicated refrigerator circuit? What about a gas stove's convenience outlet? Attics? Basements?

Gotta love it.
See my edit to my long post on page 2 about GE calling me. My interpretation of "similar area" is to not put AFCIs where there are most likely going to be a lot of normally stationed nuisance-tripping loads like motors and compressors. Unfortunately, my interpretation is not of much use, since it doesn't mean squat. I can also poke lots of holes in it: window air conditioners, vacuum cleaners, etc.. The question for me becomes what do we do with homeowners who have AFCIs and vacuum cleaners that trip the circuits? Do we ask them to always plug in their long-corded electronic equipment which gets moved around a *lot* during use (vacuum) in rooms that have running water, because lo and behold, those rooms also don't require AFCIs? I can see a lot of injuries from people going into their garage in slippery footwear to plug in their vacuum cleaner.

Perhaps the vacuum cleaner and window air conditioner need an internal power signature recorder, which sends the signature via ethernet-over-powerline to the AFCI, and the AFCI can then recognize that signature and remove it from consideration. The window air conditioner and vacuum cleaners would get IP addresses via DHCP from the CAFCIs, and log in automatically. (I'm being sarcastic; that would be an absolute nightmare.)
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Old 02-02-2010, 05:03 PM   #51
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O.P. here with an up-date. Since my post, GE engineers have flown out to Denver to meet with us and a few other electrical contractors, to see first hand the problems we were having. I personaly took them to home owner houses and brand new spec homes.
I'll spare all the details, ( except this one,) we went into a new spec home so they could run some tests, They go to plug their high tec computer that will read all the sign waves and what not (again I'm not an electrical engineer) any way, their test equipment trips the breaker! They can't use it. We have to take the circuit off arc-fault so they can get a reading.

Basically their side of the story is they have to make a product that meets UL requirments. They have done so. And so has Square D and all the others. Problem is, those requirments are not nessecarily compatible with all the hundreds if not thousands of appliance products out on the market!

As far as new flat screen TVs, computers, phone chargers, humidifiers, etc. etc. GE suggests the use of noise reducing fillters that fillter EMI and RFI signals. FYI since I have been telling this to about 10 or more home owners I have not heard back from any of them so I'm assumeing this works.
However other appliances, vacuums, various motors can/will trip arc faults even with the RFI/EMI fillters.

My boss is on the phone every day with Square D and GE about this, We spend hours dealing with warranty calls. Both manufacturers tell us they have "new and improved " breakers in production and should be on the shelves soon. We mainly deal with these two manufacturers but I know the others are having problems as well.

Until then I guess we keep dealing with pissed-off home owners, and try to explian the problem by pointing our fingers to their brand-new TV and the breakers in their brand-new house. Yeah that will put them at ease>

However like I said in alot of these cases the RFI/EMI fillters seem to be working. I have yet to see it in person, but I haven't heard back from any of the people I've told this to... FYI they range in price $7 to $75 they come in power strips or plug blocks at any hardware store. But people have to read the specs. Just buying any power strip/surge protecter doesn't automaticaly mean it has RFI/EMI filter capability.

Well I'm off to do a service call,
Later.
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Old 02-02-2010, 05:13 PM   #52
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If you were there when they tested what did the waveform look like? Was it spikes? Was it erratic waveforms as in harmonics? Did they describe it to you. To say that their product is made UL approved did they explain why it did not function correctly? Were the guys they sent engineers or salesmen?
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Old 02-02-2010, 06:04 PM   #53
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Haven't you guys received the new Arc-Fault Homeowners Excemption Waivers yet?? They just came out here in Montana.
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Old 02-03-2010, 04:01 AM   #54
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I think it is funny that their test equipment trips their own product!!!
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Old 02-03-2010, 10:44 PM   #55
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Just removed two of them and replaced them with regular Square D breakers. I'm not keen for anything required by the code to not work right and the manufacturer just says, "Get over it."
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Old 02-03-2010, 10:54 PM   #56
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr. Sparkle View Post
Not that I am accusing the OP of this but I am baffled at the amount of "electricians", and electricians helpers that don't understand that you need to make sure you keep downstream grounded conductors separated. More often than not I bet this is what is causing many of the issues with arc-faults.....speaking of which I am in the middle of estimating my first addition that I will have to use AF breakers and TP recepts. Oh joy.....
Got a question for you. If you have a receptacle that is three feet horizontal from the panel and then 3 feet vertical from the panel, does it have to be AFCI protected?
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Old 02-04-2010, 08:44 AM   #57
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Originally Posted by RIVETER View Post
Got a question for you. If you have a receptacle that is three feet horizontal from the panel and then 3 feet vertical from the panel, does it have to be AFCI protected?
Is it similar to other receptacles? (That's a joke.)

Last edited by waco; 02-04-2010 at 08:51 AM. Reason: editorial comment
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Old 02-04-2010, 08:55 AM   #58
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I do think the issues we are seeing with AFCIs should be better addressed (which I didn't do) especially the EGC contacting the "grounded conductor" aka "neutral" in outlets. As I wrote elsewhere, we did find damaged conductors on three AFCI protected circuits to a new addition.

I guess we don't deal well with variations when sometimes there really is a problem and sometimes not.
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Old 02-04-2010, 06:07 PM   #59
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Waco

So you had a real life problem with your AFCI breaker. If this correct?

If there any test equipment on the market other than a simple meter,
that can test out electrical circuts, and tell us the different between,
a nail driven into a cable that makes contact with both hot and ground
conductors, and poorly made up electrical boxes.

And if I might ask, what became of the AFCI outlet??.

Does anyone out there know.

Thanks to all who answer.
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Old 02-04-2010, 06:14 PM   #60
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Quote:
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..............And if I might ask, what became of the AFCI outlet??.............
AFCI receptacles were in the R&D stage when AFCI protection was first required....... the Code that just receps be protected was introduced in the 1999, but the 2002 required all outlets to be AFCI'd, so development was halted.

I've heard anecdotal stories that P&S has some AFCI receps from those days sitting around. They were made for listing purposes, but never submitted. Of course, they would not be the combination type required today.
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