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Here's the FINAL AFCI rule in the 2008 NEC


Joe Tedesco
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Here's the FINAL rule in the 2008 NEC available here:

http://www.necplus.org/default.aspx

Chapter 2 Wiring and Protection :: ARTICLE 210 Branch Circuits :: I. General Provisions

70-2008:210.12(210.1-210.18)702008210.12 Arc-Fault Circuit-Interrupter Protection.

(A) Definition: Arc-Fault Circuit Interrupter (AFCI). A device intended to provide protection from the effects of arc faults by recognizing characteristics unique to arcing and by functioning to de-energize the circuit when an arc fault is detected.

(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.

Changed From 2005

•210.12(B): Expanded AFCI protection requirements to include all outlets supplied by 15- and 20-ampere, 120-volt branch circuits installed in family rooms, dining rooms, living rooms, parlors, libraries, dens, bedrooms, sunrooms, recreation rooms, closets, hallways, or similar rooms or areas, and deleted effective date on use of branch/feeder AFCIs.

FPN No. 1: For information on types of arc-fault circuit interrupters, see UL 1699-1999, Standard for Arc-Fault Circuit Interrupters.

FPN No. 2: See 11.6.3(5) of NFPA 72®-2007, National Fire Alarm Code®, for information related to secondary power supply requirements for smoke alarms installed in dwelling units.

FPN No. 3: See 760.41(B) and 760.121(B) for power-supply requirements for fire alarm systems.

Exception No. 1: Where RMC, IMC, EMT or steel armored cable, Type AC, meeting the requirements of 250.118 using metal outlet and junction boxes is installed for the portion of the branch circuit between the branch-circuit overcurrent device and the first outlet, it shall be permitted to install a combination AFCI at the first outlet to provide protection for the remaining portion of the branch circuit.

Changed From 2005

•210.12(B) Exception No. 1: Revised exception to permit branch-circuit conductors without AFCI protection from the panelboard to the first outlet if conductors are installed in rigid RMC, IMC, EMT, or steel AC cable for that portion of the circuit and the remaining portion is protected by a combination AFCI.

Exception No. 2: Where a branch circuit to a fire alarm system installed in accordance with 760.41(B) and 760.121(B) is installed in RMC, IMC, EMT, or steel armored cable, Type AC, meeting the requirements of 250.118, with metal outlet and junction boxes, AFCI protection shall be permitted to be omitted.

Changed From 2005

•210.12(B) Exception No. 2: Added exception to permit omission of AFCI protection for conductors of an individual branch circuit supplying a fire alarm system that are installed in RMC, IMC, EMT, or steel AC cable.

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Originally posted by Joe Tedesco

Here's the FINAL rule in the 2008 NEC . . .

(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. . . .

It's particularly interesting since none of the manufacturers have any combination-type AFCI's out on the market yet.

- Jim Katen, Oregon

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Yes, I guess I meant every outlet in the home other than those required to be GFCI-protected.

That's gonne be interesting inspecting; so you kill all the AFCI breakers in the panel to test 'em. The whole house goes dark!

Boy, and we think we get some grief sometimes when we trip a GFCI that may have a clock or other timer somewhere on the circuit.

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What's going to be more interesting is trying to keep track of which town adopts the entire thing and which decide to adopt it piece meal. We can take solace out here, I suppose, from the fact that most of them will probably remain one code cycle behind and won't adopt any of this until the next version of the code.

ONE TEAM - ONE FIGHT!!!

Mike

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[:-bigeyes[:-bigeyes[:-bigeyes

Unbelievable... Like Randy said, somebody's pockets are being lined... But then again, when aren't someone's pockets being lined these days.

Never thought I'd consider myself fortunate to live in NJ, but we've never had to deal with the AFCI issue. It hasn't been adopted in the entire State. Guess the manufacturers haven't payed off the State politicians.

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I still think it's one of those things that's missing a very large point.

Weren't these originally intended to counteract the tangle of extension cords and plug in outlet strips that overlap, get hot, and cause arcs/fire?

Don't new houses have outlets every couple feet, negating, for all practical purpose, the need for extension cords?

Can someone explain how these make new housing w/new wiring and more than enough outlets "safe"?

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Hi Kurt,

Well, you know that my strong suit isn't electricity, but, wouldn't they also be trying to protect against the faulty appliance?

I've got a torchiere [sic] lamp in my office that was made in China and has got a short in it. When I turn the thing on I can actually hear it sputter as it's arcing. I would hope that the danged AFCI was meant to sense that and trip. Is it?

ONE TEAM - ONE FIGHT!!!

Mike

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Originally posted by kurt

. . . Can someone explain how these make new housing w/new wiring and more than enough outlets "safe"?

If the new combination-type AFCIs actually do what they're supposed to do, this will be a very good thing. The new ones are supposed to be able to react to both series and parallel faults. If they do, and if they aren't prone to nuisance trips, this will be a huge step forward in electrical safety. I just think it's silly to require new and unproven technology this soon.

-Jim Katen, Oregon

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  • 2 weeks later...
I just think it's silly to require new and unproven technology this soon.

-Jim Katen, Oregon

Ditto.

Question - How many of you trip AFCI breakers in occupied homes? I read that these should only be tripped in unoccupied homes since when being tripped they send a small surge in the line which can damage things plugged into them.

If new homes after 2008 are going to have AFCI in almost every 120V circuit, that should be very interesting.

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