Afci circuit with gfi extension cord?

Discussion in 'Electrical Forum discussion & Blog' started by chuck b, Feb 5, 2012.

  1. chuck b

    chuck b sea-bee

    Messages:
    82
    Location:
    levering, michigan
    Hi! I have rewired my enitire 800 sq. ft. cottage to code. Interior non-GFI protected circuits are wired on breaker AFCI's (non bathroom, kitchen, laundry, exterior circuits). I am thinking that when I use hi amp power tools I could benefit from connecting to an AFCI protected circuit, when using them with a GFI protected extension cord. Make sense? Thanks.
  2. kreemoweet

    kreemoweet Member

    Messages:
    378
    Location:
    Seattle. WA
    High-amp power tools are notorious for causing nuisance trips on GFCI devices. If you use 'em, be prepared
    to push the reset button every two minutes.
  3. cacher_chick

    cacher_chick Test, Don't Guess!

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    Location:
    Land of Cheese
    I'm not sure I see any need for having such protection, but there is nothing wrong doing it, and it will work.
  4. Speedy Petey

    Speedy Petey Licensed Electrical Contractor

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    Location:
    NY State, USA
    I am very curious as to why you think this.
  5. chuck b

    chuck b sea-bee

    Messages:
    82
    Location:
    levering, michigan
    Guess the GFCI makes sense, but are you saying that the AFCI usage is in question? I did not mention that the wires for the AFCI are not new, and I am concerned that until I get the chance to take down walls to expose them and put in new romex, they could overheat, arc.
  6. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

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    Location:
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    You said you did things to code, so, that means that you didn't put heavier gauge receptacles or other things on wire that was too small. There should be nothing to overheat. The only time you might overheat wiring is with bad connections, or using too small wire for the protection (i.e., circuit breaker).
  7. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Messages:
    27,304
    Location:
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    Circuit breakers are sized to protect the wire. If the wire overheats you used the wrong circuit breaker for it and it SHOULD be changed until the wire is upgraded.
  8. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

    Messages:
    22,360
    Location:
    New England
    You can use heavier wire than the minimum, but you can never use wire that is smaller than the minimum for the protection device, the circuit breaker (as long as you stay within the range of acceptable wire for the device- i.e., it has to be able to fit in the clamp or screw). As long as you do that, there should never be any overheating...the protection device would trip first.
  9. ActionDave

    ActionDave Electrician

    Messages:
    368
    Location:
    Colorado
    What power tools? How many Amps? I can't imagine any power tool that plugs in to a 120V recpt that would draw more Amps than a hot tub and they are all GFCI protected.
  10. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

    Messages:
    22,360
    Location:
    New England
    I'm guessing here, but I would guess a brush type motor where the brushes are getting old (and maybe not!) might give an AFCI a workout. If you've ever looking through the cooling vents, it's likely you could see all sorts of sparks occuring. It probably wouldn't unbalance a GFCI, but might an AFCI. Don't have any AFCI in my (older) place, so can't experiment without costs, and I'm not up for that at the moment.
  11. cacher_chick

    cacher_chick Test, Don't Guess!

    Messages:
    3,284
    Location:
    Land of Cheese
    I run my shop-vac, drills, saws, etc., on an AFCI circuit all the time.

    It has never tripped. Yet.
  12. ActionDave

    ActionDave Electrician

    Messages:
    368
    Location:
    Colorado
    I have had no trouble with motors in power tools tripping an AFCI. I have had problems with electronics making them trip, more specifically tools that have a soft start.
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