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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
At a recent 2011 code seminar, I asked a question to a couple fellow electricians and no one could give a good answer.

What is the end purpose of AFCI's? Is it for the home wiring or to protect against faults with what is connected to the home wiring? Both?

The reason I ask is that I am trying to figure out why certain areas of the home are exempt from the AFCI requirement. I understand 2014 eliminates many of those areas, but there are still some areas exempt.
 

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In Canada consensus seems to be to protect arc fault fires from things like lamp cords getting crushed under table legs and then arcing in the carpet.

But we only do AFCI in the bedrooms.. probably next code cycle we'll adopt some crazy rules compliments of NEC. Then the reasoning will change.
 

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Arc Fault breakers are supposed to protect the wiring within the walls as well as anything externally connected. It provided both parallel and series faults.
 
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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Arc Fault breakers are supposed to protect the wiring within the walls as well as anything externally connected. It provided both parallel and series faults.
Then I ask...why are some areas excluded? A specific example would be outside receptacles.
 

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At a recent 2011 code seminar, I asked a question to a couple fellow electricians and no one could give a good answer.

What is the end purpose of AFCI's? Is it for the home wiring or to protect against faults with what is connected to the home wiring? Both?

The reason I ask is that I am trying to figure out why certain areas of the home are exempt from the AFCI requirement. I understand 2014 eliminates many of those areas, but there are still some areas exempt.
During the '99 review, i asked the same basic q's here. (Vt was a code cycle ahead of the nation with 210.12B) 14 years later, i STILL have no viable answer

~CS~
 

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At a recent 2011 code seminar, I asked a question to a couple fellow electricians and no one could give a good answer.

What is the end purpose of AFCI's? Is it for the home wiring or to protect against faults with what is connected to the home wiring? Both?

The reason I ask is that I am trying to figure out why certain areas of the home are exempt from the AFCI requirement. I understand 2014 eliminates many of those areas, but there are still some areas exempt.
To help manufacturers make more profit in the residential market. Even if a house is wired code minimum the required circuits alone will generate breaker revenues then if the house was wired with extra circuits using 3 buck breakers.

The theory pelted around should an arc form from say a frayed cord or a nail pierced romex the arc along with the resulting fire would be stopped.

Im sure in the next code cycle commercial areas will ask for it with the next code cycle wanting it on all resi 240 volt circuits while the next code cycle after that wants them everywhere. People will blindly obey and believe, while Cutler Hammer celebrates the power of covert bribery.
 

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To help manufacturers make more profit in the residential market. Even if a house is wired code minimum the required circuits alone will generate breaker revenues then if the house was wired with extra circuits using 3 buck breakers.

The theory pelted around should an arc form from say a frayed cord or a nail pierced romex the arc along with the resulting fire would be stopped.

Im sure in the next code cycle commercial areas will ask for it with the next code cycle wanting it on all resi 240 volt circuits while the next code cycle after that wants them everywhere. People will blindly obey and believe, while Cutler Hammer celebrates the power of covert bribery.
Oh no, corporations are never corrupt and are as pure as the driven snow. :rolleyes:

That's what's really aggravating about AFCI's is that they are an unproven, unknown technology that was forced upon us and all consumers. Much like the ACA. :whistling2:
 

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The original substantiations for the AFCI rules said that ~40% of the dwelling unit fires that are said to be of electrical origin were caused by the fixed wiring of the building and the other 60% originated beyond the outlet. The original AFCI had a very limited ability to detect any problems beyond the outlet. That was the branch circuit/feeder type of AFCI. The current combination type AFCI is said to be able to detect faults beyond the outlet.
 

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Then I ask...why are some areas excluded? A specific example would be outside receptacles.

I think they were always planning to phase it in. I think bath areas are not in because they don't want people to be in a shower and have the lights go off on them. Just a guess. Perhaps someday they will also be included. Not sure why unfinished basement areas are excluded but I bet they won't be soon.
 

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I think they were always planning to phase it in. I think bath areas are not in because they don't want people to be in a shower and have the lights go off on them. Just a guess. Perhaps someday they will also be included. Not sure why unfinished basement areas are excluded but I bet they won't be soon.
That's exactly what I said.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
So what seems to be the fact is that WE are their testing/quality control department. They dont require all area because it is an unproven technology. They make more money while we eat the warranty labor.

I'm curious, what happens when a home burns to the ground due to arcing that an AFCI doesn't detect?
 

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I'm curious, what happens when a home burns to the ground due to arcing that an AFCI doesn't detect?
Well if you listen to CS you will be held reponsable for installing NEC required and listed equipment that did not work. I think that is ridiculous.
 

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Well if you listen to CS you will be held reponsable for installing NEC required and listed equipment that did not work. I think that is ridiculous.
Which part? Do you think they do that? Or do you think they wont? I don't know what to think about liability any more.
 

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Which part? Do you think they do that? Or do you think they wont? I don't know what to think about liability any more.
In my opinion the chances of an EC being found responsible by the courts for the failure of an AFCI to do its job is so remote that it does not merit worrying about.

Do you know of ECs being found responsible for the failure of an OCPD to operate when installed as required by the NEC and correctly as required per listing and labeling?


My TV show law diploma:jester: tells me that with all the documentation from many sources that all point to the manufacturers that an EC would be fine.
 

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So what seems to be the fact is that WE are their testing/quality control department. They dont require all area because it is an unproven technology. They make more money while we eat the warranty labor.

I'm curious, what happens when a home burns to the ground due to arcing that an AFCI doesn't detect?
Everyones off the hook. To start with it would be difficult to prove an arc fault started it, second when the fire starts it will melt/destroy everything within sight, breaker will probably trip any ways along with all the evidence of what caused the arc being burned up.
 
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