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How do you handle AFCI's on your inspections?


Michael Carson
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Wisconsin is meeting this month to adopt Arc Faults, outlet safety covers, etc can you guys give me hints and tips as how to handle Arc faults during an inspection? I feel uneasy tripping these things because one only knows what else they are going to feed. So, any help is appreciated. Also, I have seen Arc fault testers at the big box, is purchasing this product also a good idea?

Thank you in advance.

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Below is the text I have in my report. The first section goes in all reports. I then add one of the three lines below depending on what I do.

Arc Fault Circuit Interrupters (AFCIs) are electrical safety devices designed to detect an arc (spark) and disconnect the power. AFCI breakers were observed in the main distribution service panel protecting the bedroom circuits.

AFCI breaker test buttons were depressed, the breakers tripped, and the breakers were reset.

AFCI breakers were NOT tested because clocks and or other sensitive electronic equipment were observed in the bedrooms.

AFCI breakers were not required when the property was built. AFCI breakers were not installed in the main distribution service panel.

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Sounds so passive......

I tell folks they have them if they have them. I explain what they do. I hit the button, and check the outlets they are ostensibly protecting. I tell folks that if their BR circuits are dead, check the AFCI's.

My report reads.....

Arc Fault Circuit Interrruptors @ X, Y, and Z... / Tested and reset

If they don't have them, I don't talk about them. Maybe when they figure out the technology and get it into wide distribution, I'll start pushing them.

For now, I think they're a perfect storm of what happens when special interests get hold of the code writing process.

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I used to always test them with the integral button and my SureTest, but I stopped testing them in occupied houses. Too many computers hooked up to bedroom/office outlets. I know I would be pretty p'd if someone killed the power on my computer that way. Of course that couldn't happen cause I have a UPS, but most folks don't.

If the house is occupied I explain to my clients what they are and what they are "supposed" to be for. I report that they are present, weren't tested and why. If the house is empty I test 'em at the panel and at the receptacle with my tester.

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  • 3 weeks later...
Originally posted by caryseidner

I used to always test them with the integral button and my SureTest, but I stopped testing them in occupied houses. Too many computers hooked up to bedroom/office outlets. I know I would be pretty p'd if someone killed the power on my computer that way. Of course that couldn't happen cause I have a UPS, but most folks don't.

If the house is occupied I explain to my clients what they are and what they are "supposed" to be for. I report that they are present, weren't tested and why. If the house is empty I test 'em at the panel and at the receptacle with my tester.

Ditto. I do the exact same.

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