(206) 949-5683, Top Rated Plumber, Seattle
Results 1 to 11 of 11

Thread: Arc Detect Breakers

  1. #1
    DIY Senior Member seaneys's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Chicago Suburbs
    Posts
    192

    Default Arc Detect Breakers

    Hello,

    I'm redoing my basement and adding a small addition. The project is permitted. I am doing the electrical and plumbing.....

    I'm seriously considering using arc detect breakers for many of the circuits. It seems like a small incremental expense in light of the amount I save doing the work myself.

    Is there a downside to using Arc Detect Breakers? The only annoying point I've found is that they only have a single branch connection.

    Steve

  2. #2
    One who lurks Basement_Lurker's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    Victoria, BC
    Posts
    668

    Default

    All gfi and afi breakers only work on a single circuit. I am required by code to install afi circuits for all plug receptacles in all bedrooms, and I am required by code to install gfi circuits for all plug receptacles within 5' of a kitchen sink. I guess if you think about it, the added protection is worth it on all circuits if you have the money, but each one of those breakers run a hundred dollars here, so it adds up quickly.

  3. #3
    Licensed Electrical Contractor Speedy Petey's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    NY State, USA
    Posts
    976

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Basement_Lurker
    All gfi and afi breakers only work on a single circuit.
    I'm not sure about Canada, but in the US we have available many varieties of two-pole GFCI breakers in many amperages, and a few companies making 15&20A AFCI two-pole breakers for use in 240v and multi-wire applications.

    I know Canada is mainly Fed Pioneer (sp?) territory so that may be the reason.

  4. #4
    One who lurks Basement_Lurker's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    Victoria, BC
    Posts
    668

    Default

    There are about 4 major electrical brands here in Canada. I believe square d and stab-lok are the two most prevalent.

    Yes there are lots of 2P versions of the gfci and afci breakers available, but as far as I understood it, those are only to be used for running a 240v 3 wire protected circuit. Running two circuits off of a 2P gfci/afci breaker would entail using a shared neutral which renders the gfci/afci breaker useless. If not, then it's news to me and I will have learned something new

  5. #5
    Licensed Electrical Contractor Speedy Petey's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    NY State, USA
    Posts
    976

    Default

    Sure. It is perfectly fine to use two-pole AFCI and GFCI breakers for multi-wire circuits.

    They monitor BOTH 120v & 240v loads at the same time, hence the neutral tail connection from the breaker. If they only worked with 240v loads no neutral tail would be required.

  6. #6
    DIY Senior Member seaneys's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Chicago Suburbs
    Posts
    192

    Default

    Is there any reason not to use them on a sump circuit? I just realized that I instinctively put an afi on my sump.. I'm using afi's whenever possible to be paranoid.

    Thanks,
    Steve

  7. #7
    Licensed Electrical Contractor Speedy Petey's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    NY State, USA
    Posts
    976

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by seaneys
    Is there any reason not to use them on a sump circuit? I just realized that I instinctively put an afi on my sump.. I'm using afi's whenever possible to be paranoid.
    Yes, motors inherently arc. Ever see the brushes when a motor is running? This is also why many/most vacuums trip AFCIs.
    You WILL get nuisance trips. This may happen at a very inopportune time, especially with a sump pump.

    Paranoia is not always a good thing.

  8. #8
    Electrician Chris75's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Litchfield, CT
    Posts
    608

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Speedy Petey
    Sure. It is perfectly fine to use two-pole AFCI and GFCI breakers for multi-wire circuits.

    They monitor BOTH 120v & 240v loads at the same time, hence the neutral tail connection from the breaker. If they only worked with 240v loads no neutral tail would be required.

    Actually the neutral tail would still be there, I believe it is required for the electronics in the AFI or GFI breaker to operate....

  9. #9
    In the Trades Bob NH's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Location
    New Hampshire
    Posts
    3,307

    Default

    AFCI breakers are required only on new bedroom circuits.

    They are susceptible to nuisance trips and are an expensive and virtually useless device promoted by the manufacturers.

    GFCIs are a different story. The best (least expensive) way to get GFI protection is to put a GFI outlet as the first outlet on a circuit and connect the rest of the outlets through the load terminals.

  10. #10
    DIY Senior Member BrianJohn's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    VA
    Posts
    151

    Default

    Sean:

    It is hard to fault someone that is erring on the side of safety. In my house all branch circuits that feed 15 and 20 receptacles are GFCI protected. ARC Fault were not available at the time I built the house.

    I have always felt since the arrival of Arc Fault, why the limited it to bedrooms, I mean if your asleep and the living room has an electrical issue what good is the bedroom being on AF protected circuit?

    KEEP THOSE SMOKE DETECTORS WORKING.

  11. #11
    DIY Senior Member seaneys's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Chicago Suburbs
    Posts
    192

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Bob NH
    AFCI breakers are required only on new bedroom circuits.

    They are susceptible to nuisance trips and are an expensive and virtually useless device promoted by the manufacturers.

    GFCIs are a different story. The best (least expensive) way to get GFI protection is to put a GFI outlet as the first outlet on a circuit and connect the rest of the outlets through the load terminals.
    I've ended up using individual GFCIs on every outlet. It is more expensive (especially with pro grade), but iI tend to run branches between floors. It's also more convenient for my wife / kids when they trip.

    Steve

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •