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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Ok, so i got to a service call. House has been rewired, new panels and the like. Looks like the guy did a decent job. problem is= Arc fault trips. heres' what i did. Take down the offending light fixture and take off the hot wire. flip the switch and breaker stays on. take the lamps out and hook the black back to the fixture and it stays on, then i screw in the bulb and pop. So i switch the polarity on the fixture figuring sometimes they are wired wrong from the factory. Nope still trips. Hang a brand new outta the box fixture....same deal. i figured next its the breaker so i pop in a new breaker and same gig. then i check the switch for another wire in the circuit but figure not gonna be it because its stays on till i flip the switch with bulbs in. isolate the feed in and switch leg. still trips. so short of taking a piece of romex and lay it on the ground wired to the switch and fixture (which i didnt do) i know its gotta be the nuetral on the switch leg wire. we all know the bulb completes the path back on the nuetral and thats what the arc faults sense. so log story short i wasnt gonna fish a new wire notch the ceiling and all that because the propery owner wasnt having it and just wanted it safe. so i put it under a regular breaker and all is on. I figured the clamp pinched or a staple made the nuetral come in contact with the ground. what would you guys have done?
 

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So you think a bad neutral connection never gets hot enough to damage anything huh? Did you at least measure the resistance between neutral and ground on this switch leg with them disconnected at the panel?
 

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So you know there is a problem and all you do is swap out the arc fault. Pray that baby does not burn because you will be penniless.
If it trips everytime it could not get any easier to troubleshoot.
If one of my guys repalced an arc fault with a normal breaker we would have words.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
nope, But how sensitive are these stupid arc faults. Before arc faults we all used regular breakers and we never would know of this kinda problem, lets be honest guys. lets not be all "correct". would any of you guys have refished a new switch leg or just put it under a regualr breaker and called a day?
 

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Some AFCIs need a load of at least 60 watts to trip. Maybe there was a nicked or even pinched switched like you said.
Me personally I'd have disconnected the switch leg and left the AFCI breaker in only because you and I both know that guy won't ever fix it right and not knowing exactly what the issue is I don't want to give anyone the ammo to sue if there's an issue.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
So youre sayin run a new wire? please...really? how about its a 3wire, grab the red and tape it white and abandon the possible damaged white?
 

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I would have found and repaired the problem. I never ever would have replaced the breaker as a permanent solution.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
i let the property manager know and he said is it safe? i said yes because the breaker with still trip if there is a short or over amperage
 

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nope, But how sensitive are these stupid arc faults. Before arc faults we all used regular breakers and we never would know of this kinda problem, lets be honest guys. lets not be all "correct". would any of you guys have refished a new switch leg or just put it under a regualr breaker and called a day?
I already told you what I would have done after reading the part how another arc breaker trips also. There is a short between neutral and ground in your stuff. Either that or you have two neutrals from different circuits tied together someplace. Your job is to go find and fix.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
didnt say that was my permant solution. i asked what you al would have done. some say run a new switch leg and i assume charge the property manager more than he's willing to pay on a service call. i did what i did to get it on and inform him the the situation and give him options and and ultimate solution of needing the wire replaced and let him make the call.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
not trolling. breaker is still gonna do its job. just cause its not an arc fault doesnt mean it wont trip on a nuetral problem
 

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didnt say that was my permant solution. i asked what you al would have done. some say run a new switch leg and i assume charge the property manager more than he's willing to pay on a service call. i did what i did to get it on and inform him the the situation and give him options and and ultimate solution of needing the wire replaced and let him make the call.
Do you really think a property manager is going to do anything. Something happens and this is on your aas.
You are crazy.
 

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A little off topic here but I was wondering does the NEC requires you guys to pull a neutral in the switch loops and why??

Its just a switch loop and we have been wiring them with 2 wire for many years.....so I find it strange.
 
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