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Thread: Smoke Alarms - Hardwired & Interconnecting

  1. #16
    Plumber Cass's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by joe in queens

    And what about heat? You put enough of AFCI and GFCI breakers in a panel and the panel gets pretty warm, if not hot. This is another growing problem, and if the next code cycle expands AFCI onto more circuits, we may end-up with buildings burning down. Ins't that what AFCI is supposed to prevent?



    All that being said, in my own home, nearly every single breaker in my home is AFCI (or GFCI) protected, well beyond code requirement. EVERY lighting circuit is AFCI, and nearly every receptacle circuit that is not GFCI is AFCI... living room, dining room, hallways, finished basement, attic, and so forth. My smoke, security, and emergency lighting circuit, however, is not AFCI.

    Joe
    So now that you have done that with you own panel are you concerned about burning down your house?

  2. #17
    Electrical Contractor/Instructor jwelectric's Avatar
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    Joe

    I can remember when GFCIs were first introduced to the code and you know I listened to the same stories then about them as I am hearing today about arc-fault.

  3. #18
    Plumber jimbo's Avatar
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    Some really good post here from "Joe in Queens" . thank you.

    You might realize we are a little skitzy about electricians named Joe !!

  4. #19
    Moderator & Master Plumber hj's Avatar
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    You do not want to power the smoke detectors through any controlled circuit whether it be a GFCI, Arc fault, or toggle switch. If any of these were to function it would cut power to the smoke detectors and if they did not activate in a power failure mode, whether because of weak batteries or other problems, the system would be ineffective.

  5. #20

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    So now that you have done that with you own panel are you concerned about burning down your house?
    Absolutely not; I've "staggered" my breakers to reduce potential heat buildup. In other words, each row of two AFCI or GFCI breakers is separated by a row of standard breakers. And in cases where that couldn't be done, and I must stack AFCI and GFCI breakers, I do with so with the lowest potential expected load on them, like halway circuits, guest bedroom outlets, and such.

    I can remember when GFCIs were first introduced to the code and you know I listened to the same stories then about them as I am hearing today about arc-fault.
    I don't think this is quite the same, because GFCI had always been fairly effective at the get-go, and there were GFCI receptacles when it was a code requirement. I have yet to see an AFCI receptacle. The only real concern on GFCI was nuisance tripping, and they weren't required on critical circuits like a refrigerator (single receptacle).

    Now as we see from the debate here, AFCI is required on critical circuits. I view any security circuit - especially smokes - as critical. I agree with HJ here (who happens to also be an outstanding plumber, by the way) 100% on this. Also, in many tests, AFCI has been proven ineffecitve on variety of arcs - but I suppose some protection is better than none (hence, why I have them). Let's put it this way, if you were on life support, would you rather the breaker feeding the equipment to be standard or AFCI?

    It should also be noted that quite a few AHJ's have pretty much ignored AFCI requirements, and don't even want to see them.

    You might realize we are a little skitzy about electricians named Joe !!
    Hahaha... and apparently we were practically neighbors in Queens!

    Joe

  6. #21
    General Contractor dx's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by joe in queens
    It should also be noted that quite a few AHJ's have pretty much ignored AFCI requirements, and don't even want to see them.
    Joe
    Correct. In my area none of the AHJs require AFCI anywhere and I bet most inspectors would take issue with an AFCI on a smoke alarm. Nobody I know has actually tried it, but in casual conversation a couple inspectors said they would turn down an AFCI on a smoke.

    dx

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