AFCI Questions

Discussion in 'Electrical Forum discussion & Blog' started by romumok, Dec 27, 2011.

  1. romumok

    romumok New Member

    Messages:
    13
    Location:
    So Cal
    I hope that you had a good Christmas with your love ones....
    My house will be rewire after new year with provision for additional circuits. I understand that every living spaces now requires AFCI breakers (excluding kitchen and bathroom). Right now my washer and gas dryer is located in a closet room in the family room. A new laundry room will be build after plans gets approved (small extension build) with their dedicated circuits. My question is, Will the AFCI breaker will cause problems with the washer and dryer? Again this is temporary until the new extension gets completed.
    Thanks.
  2. jwelectric

    jwelectric Electrical Contractor/Instructor

    Messages:
    2,540
    Location:
    North Carolina
    Washer and dryer do not need Arc-Fault protection
    Only the 125 volt 15 and 20 circuits will need AF potection
  3. DonL

    DonL Jack of all trades Master of one

    Messages:
    4,333
    Location:
    Houston, TX
    Like JW said the New install should not require AF protection.

    It sounds like you want to run them temporarily on a protected outlet for now, until your room is built.

    If your dryer has electronic ignition, It could trip the breaker. And You should not continue to use it.


    You would just to Hide and watch, but gas is not safe, when the ignition does not work properly.


    If it trips the breaker then I would not use it.
  4. romumok

    romumok New Member

    Messages:
    13
    Location:
    So Cal
    Thank you all for your advice. Just to clarify a bit, I don't have a dryer only a washer. Yep, the house never had a gas or electrical connection for a dryer since I bought it a 6 years ago. I either dry my clothes the old fashion way with the clothe line in the back yard or go to my parents house (long story). This the the reason why the extension build is being planned to include dedicated laundry room.

    I understand your concern about gas dryer, but where I live is pretty common as long as the done properly.
    Understood.... No need of AFCI in the laundry room, only GFCI. So, do you think or have you seen the the motor or contactors/solenoids in the washer will trip the AFCI as well?

    Again right now the family room circuit has a regular Fed Pacific breaker. But after the whole house rewire the room will have an AFCI breaker. I guess if washer trips the breaker, I have to get the AFCI changed for a regular one until the new laundry room gets build.
    Last edited: Dec 27, 2011
  5. jwelectric

    jwelectric Electrical Contractor/Instructor

    Messages:
    2,540
    Location:
    North Carolina
    There is no requirement to install arc fault circuits in the laundry area. There is no requirement to install GFCI in the laundry area unless there is a sink within 6 feet of the receptacle.

    210.8 (7) Laundry, utility, and wet bar sinks — where the receptacles are installed within 1.8 m (6 ft) of the outside edge of the sink

    210.12 (B) Dwelling Units. All 120-volt, single phase, 15- and 20-ampere branch circuits supplying outlets installed in dwelling unit family rooms, dining rooms, living rooms, parlors, libraries, dens, bedrooms, sunrooms, recreation rooms, closets, hallways, or similar rooms or areas shall be protected by a listed arc-fault circuit interrupter, combination-type, installed to provide protection of the branch circuit.
  6. Chad Schloss

    Chad Schloss Member

    Messages:
    330
    Location:
    USA
    definition of outlets includes light fixtures as well as outlets, correct? i know all outlets in the bedrooms used to be just just the recepts but was changed to include lighting (and smoke detectors) in each room from what i read on mike holt. what about living room lights and din. room lights? i am wiring my house with those separate from the outlets.
  7. jwelectric

    jwelectric Electrical Contractor/Instructor

    Messages:
    2,540
    Location:
    North Carolina
    this is correct

    This is correct and is only needed in those areas outlined in the post above
  8. Chad Schloss

    Chad Schloss Member

    Messages:
    330
    Location:
    USA
    Thanks for clearing that up for me. I have been meaning to ask, lol. I have all the wires ran to the panel waiting to be connected and have bought most breakers, but was holding off on those two :)
  9. jwelectric

    jwelectric Electrical Contractor/Instructor

    Messages:
    2,540
    Location:
    North Carolina
    all lights and receptacles in these areas

    210.12 (B) Dwelling Units. All 120-volt, single phase, 15- and 20-ampere branch circuits supplying outlets installed in dwelling unit family rooms, dining rooms, living rooms, parlors, libraries, dens, bedrooms, sunrooms, recreation rooms, closets, hallways, or similar rooms or areas shall be protected by a listed arc-fault circuit interrupter, combination-type, installed to provide protection of the branch circuit.
  10. Chad Schloss

    Chad Schloss Member

    Messages:
    330
    Location:
    USA
    I know it isn't listed or required but if the bath lights are on AFCI is that ok? I planned to have the smoke detectors on an AFCI and tie the bath lighting onto that as well as a front closet light and an attic light/outlet.
    I know about the separate 20a GFCI circuit for the bath recepts and was running that separately.
  11. jwelectric

    jwelectric Electrical Contractor/Instructor

    Messages:
    2,540
    Location:
    North Carolina
    Yes this will be okay and you shouldn't have any problems.
    Arc-Fault breakers are not very unforgiving is the circuits are not installed properly
  12. Chad Schloss

    Chad Schloss Member

    Messages:
    330
    Location:
    USA
    Actually I got to see how an arc fault breaker actually protected a fault in an outlet last week. I tried to plug in a vacuum in the bedroom and it tripped the afci. thought that was strange since i've been reading how they are not supposed to trip on motor loads. i reset it, it came back on just fine. lights/tv all worked until i tried the vacuum again. then i started taking the outlets apart, looking for anything. i found a loose connection that was not properly twisted together in one of the boxes. it was just connected enough for the lighting but would arc when the load of the vacuum was plugged in. after I repaired the connection, no problems since then.
  13. romumok

    romumok New Member

    Messages:
    13
    Location:
    So Cal
    chad,
    Thanks for sharing your experience with AFCI breakers. I will remember your post if there any issues.
  14. DonL

    DonL Jack of all trades Master of one

    Messages:
    4,333
    Location:
    Houston, TX

    That is good that Chad took the time to repair the problem.

    Sounds like the AFCI did exactly what it was designed to do.


    Good Job Chad.
  15. ballvalve

    ballvalve General Engineering Contractor

    Messages:
    3,261
    Location:
    northfork, california
    Funny, but I would have torn into the vaccum first.
  16. DonL

    DonL Jack of all trades Master of one

    Messages:
    4,333
    Location:
    Houston, TX
    That is Funny Ballvalve.

    Remove the brushes and problem Solved.

    I would have never used that outlet in the first place. I would have used an extension cord.

    There is arcing on the brushes. Just turn off the light and you can take a look see.
    Last edited: Dec 28, 2011
  17. romumok

    romumok New Member

    Messages:
    13
    Location:
    So Cal
    Update

    Just to update regarding AFCI breakers.
    My Electrician finished rewire my house. So far the AFCI breakers is not giving me any problems in the temporary location of the clothes washer. So, I am set until the new laundry room gets build.

    On the side note, yesterday I had a first hand experience with the effectiveness of AFCI breaker. I was installing a new light fixture, the way this particular fixture was wired is power -> switch -> light fixture So with the switch off, I did not have power at the fixture so I proceed to installed the new fixture. The electrician ran the new NM cable a bit too long so I decided to shortened a bit. But before, I did that I made sure that i did not have any power by probing with the non contact probe. Once checked, I proceed to cut the NM cable. As soon as I made the cut, the light in this particular circuit went off almost instantly. Wondering, why have happened I decided not to reset it after finishing installing the light fixture.

    Once done, I went to reset the AFCI breaker, and it did showed with the led lights that it was an arc fault to ground. It made perfectly sense since the neutral and ground are separated because it is being in a sub-panel. Now I am more firm believer of these AFCI breakers even though there are in the expensive side. Funny thing that according to my electrician the local code only requires AFCI breaker in the bedrooms and lights circuits, but I insisted to install them in every living area per the latest NEC code. The inspector said that this one of the things that he doesn't mind having installed that exceed the minimum requirements. Overall I am happy of how thing are now.... From worrying about electrical problems and hazards to having peace of mind.
  18. DonL

    DonL Jack of all trades Master of one

    Messages:
    4,333
    Location:
    Houston, TX
    I do not trust non contact Voltage probes.

    Nor should you.

    Be careful, not dead...
  19. romumok

    romumok New Member

    Messages:
    13
    Location:
    So Cal
    Thanks for the advice. So, I should have my multimeter with me all the time. and the probe as a last resort.
  20. DonL

    DonL Jack of all trades Master of one

    Messages:
    4,333
    Location:
    Houston, TX
    Most of them non contact meters can not read the voltage unless there is current on the line.

    If the breaker or line under test is Off, or not drawing current, they are useless.

    A good meter that connects to the wires is best.

    Check www.mcmelectronics.com for a safe one that meets your needs, for a good price.


    I like to use the 600v rated ones for around the house.

    P.S. A good safety measure is to just Place a Shorting conductor across the lines, if it is not dead, It will be, or should be in short order.

    That is what the big boys do, on high power lines, Their life could be at stake if not.
    Last edited: Jan 17, 2012
Similar Threads: AFCI Questions
Forum Title Date
Electrical Forum discussion & Blog AFCI breaker (in Wisconsin) needed for dedicated light circuit? Jul 30, 2014
Electrical Forum discussion & Blog Afci & gfci on same circuit?? Aug 27, 2012
Electrical Forum discussion & Blog Afci circuit with gfi extension cord? Feb 5, 2012
Electrical Forum discussion & Blog Gfci--afci----> lcdi Jan 17, 2012
Electrical Forum discussion & Blog AFCI's Apr 6, 2011

Share This Page