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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I was testing a Leviton AFCI I was going to do a demonstration at a show about how they worked. Used a lead cord that I cut and plugged in a space heater started to touch the wires together causing a sparking light show and nothing didn't even trip. I was making a nice fireworks show with the two wires but nothing tripped. If I was on a carpeted floor there would have been a fire. Luckily I tried it the night before I was going out. And didn't have power in our area so just did some other stuff.

I am wondering if anyone has tested any AFCI's and what they had to do to get them to trip.
 

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It's been well documented that an AFCI is all but useless for a series high impedance connection, aka a glowing fault. It will only trip if the glowing fault develops into a ground fault or parallel arc (line to neutral), however, the GFPE portion is no longer built into AFCI's. Basically, all AFCI's do now is detect parallel arcing, which is extremely rare.
 

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I would say that goes for most of the newer AFCIs. If those did actually work half the stuff you buy would trip it under normal use.
 

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I was testing a Leviton AFCI I was going to do a demonstration at a show about how they worked. Used a lead cord that I cut and plugged in a space heater started to touch the wires together causing a sparking light show and nothing didn't even trip. I was making a nice fireworks show with the two wires but nothing tripped. If I was on a carpeted floor there would have been a fire. Luckily I tried it the night before I was going out. And didn't have power in our area so just did some other stuff.

I am wondering if anyone has tested any AFCI's and what they had to do to get them to trip.
I did the exact same thing a few years ago, except it was a breaker.

And I got the exact same results you did. Tons of sparks that would have ignited anything even remotely flammable, but no trip.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I am not sure about the insides of one of these but it also concerns me that the test button trips the unit even when there is no power going to it.
 

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I am not sure about the insides of one of these but it also concerns me that the test button trips the unit even when there is no power going to it.

Sounds like part of the lev lock technology. In Leviton GFCIs the test button will trip even without power or electronic control failure. However it can only reset if the ground fault circuit is working, ie pressing the reset button also tests the circuitry and causes the trip solenoid to activate allowing the reset interlock to take place. If the solenoid does not activate the reset button will not hold. Im guessing the same goes for the AFCIs.


As for tripping on an actual arc faults its any bodies guess. AFCI technology is a witch hunt on nearly all levels.
 
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