2 Questions, Arc Fault & Light Feed - Electrical - Contractor Talk

2 Questions, Arc Fault & Light Feed

 
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Old 12-22-2008, 07:44 AM   #1
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2 Questions, Arc Fault & Light Feed


Arc fault breakers:
I'm not an electrician or pretend to be, growing up I was lucky to have been able to work with an Uncle who was an electrician whenever he needed me to work with him. That was over 30 years ago. I've wired my own houses I built earlier in life, ect.

Today, different story, to many changes.
To the 1st question, arc fault breakers
The past few years I have noticed at Lowes when purchasing a new breaker or misc electrical parts, they now sell so many arc fault breakers.
Reading the package, (in short), they seem to be for accidents if drilling in walls & stricking a wire with a drill bit. I'm sure there is more but just as an example.
While working at a customers house last year, I had to temp tap in one of their sub panels, (needed 220 for my compressor), that was added in the garage for outdoor items, fountain, sprinklers, ect.
I noticed an arcfault installed for the outdoor water fountain. I never questioned it, don;t even know if correct or not, but know it was hooked up by a lisc electrician. (not going to mention the company's name, but is a liget business here).
Can arc fault be used for outdoor / wet applications?

2nd question, feeding a room light off an outlet.
Question is: because it is allowed is this why it is typically always done? Or is this the best way today because of not being a saftey hazzard any more do to improved lighting and wires as well as breakers being more sensitive?
I know this is legal and used in so many homes, if not all today.
Uncle has long passed away, so unable to discuss this with him & one of them questions I just never recall when speaking an electrician.
Years ago when working with my uncle, (fuses back then) and after when I did my own homes. A 20 amp was used for all outlets & single breaker / lines for appliances. All lights were on a 15 amp breaker.
When I first began doing this with my Uncle and I did question this, he stated for 2 reason, 1 if an outlet blows a fuse there is still light in the room, 2n most important the watts needed for lights vs outlets are different, If wires ge thot in a light due to a bad fixture the lower amps will trip faster than if on a higher amp breaker. He use for example an auto, if you blow you radio fuse & replace it the way you teens do, buy wraping foil paper around the blown fuse, next time there is an improper draw you will burn your radio and or wires.
Teens & radio, even back then, he knew our priorities

Thanks in advance & Merry Christmas to all
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Old 12-22-2008, 10:00 AM   #2
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Re: 2 Questions, Arc Fault & Light Feed


Afci breakers can be used for outdoor or wet applications , but they would still need to be gfci protected. Afci beakers are code for bedrooms and trip on arc fault(example short-circuit). and look similar to gfci breakers which basically work on ground fault and will trip when the input and output of voltage varies -shock hazard. The electrician may have installed the afci by mistake and meant to install gfci breaker. Yes it is legal to feed lights from a receptacle circuit. Hope this helps !

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Old 12-22-2008, 10:19 AM   #3
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Re: 2 Questions, Arc Fault & Light Feed


Quote:
Originally Posted by Hidyusbeast View Post
Afci breakers can be used for outdoor or wet applications , but they would still need to be gfci protected. Afci beakers are code for bedrooms and trip on arc fault(example short-circuit). and look similar to gfci breakers which basically work on ground fault and will trip when the input and output of voltage varies -shock hazard. The electrician may have installed the afci by mistake and meant to install gfci breaker. Yes it is legal to feed lights from a receptacle circuit. Hope this helps !
It does offer an understanding, thank you.
You may know what it is like asking info at a Lowe's and why I decided to ask here.
When I did question the guy working in electrical at Lowe's, I forget his answer, but it was one that left me laughing more than understanding..

I guess I can see the sence in the need for bedrooms, but shoultn;t that be for "TEENS" bedrooms more than not, hahahaha

Thanks again and Merry Christmas to you & yours
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Old 12-22-2008, 02:45 PM   #4
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Re: 2 Questions, Arc Fault & Light Feed


It depends on your current electrical code. We are using the 2008 NEC. ALL 120V circuits in living spaces must be arc fault.
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Old 12-22-2008, 04:14 PM   #5
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Re: 2 Questions, Arc Fault & Light Feed


Quote:
Originally Posted by Burby View Post
Arc fault breakers:
I'm not an electrician or pretend to be, growing up I was lucky to have been able to work with an Uncle who was an electrician whenever he needed me to work with him. That was over 30 years ago. I've wired my own houses I built earlier in life, ect.

Today, different story, to many changes.
To the 1st question, arc fault breakers
The past few years I have noticed at Lowes when purchasing a new breaker or misc electrical parts, they now sell so many arc fault breakers.
Reading the package, (in short), they seem to be for accidents if drilling in walls & stricking a wire with a drill bit. I'm sure there is more but just as an example.
While working at a customers house last year, I had to temp tap in one of their sub panels, (needed 220 for my compressor), that was added in the garage for outdoor items, fountain, sprinklers, ect.
I noticed an arcfault installed for the outdoor water fountain. I never questioned it, don;t even know if correct or not, but know it was hooked up by a lisc electrician. (not going to mention the company's name, but is a liget business here).
Can arc fault be used for outdoor / wet applications?

2nd question, feeding a room light off an outlet.
Question is: because it is allowed is this why it is typically always done? Or is this the best way today because of not being a saftey hazzard any more do to improved lighting and wires as well as breakers being more sensitive?
I know this is legal and used in so many homes, if not all today.
Uncle has long passed away, so unable to discuss this with him & one of them questions I just never recall when speaking an electrician.
Years ago when working with my uncle, (fuses back then) and after when I did my own homes. A 20 amp was used for all outlets & single breaker / lines for appliances. All lights were on a 15 amp breaker.
When I first began doing this with my Uncle and I did question this, he stated for 2 reason, 1 if an outlet blows a fuse there is still light in the room, 2n most important the watts needed for lights vs outlets are different, If wires ge thot in a light due to a bad fixture the lower amps will trip faster than if on a higher amp breaker. He use for example an auto, if you blow you radio fuse & replace it the way you teens do, buy wraping foil paper around the blown fuse, next time there is an improper draw you will burn your radio and or wires.
Teens & radio, even back then, he knew our priorities

Thanks in advance & Merry Christmas to all
2nd question, feeding a room light off an outlet.
According to my ray c mullin residential book it says to wire lights, receptacles, and smoke detector on one circuit in the bedroom.
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Old 12-22-2008, 05:35 PM   #6
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Re: 2 Questions, Arc Fault & Light Feed


Quote:
Originally Posted by thom View Post
It depends on your current electrical code. We are using the 2008 NEC. ALL 120V circuits in living spaces must be arc fault.
That is not entirely accurate - now is it?

A closet is not living space, but a light in it must be AFCI'ed......whereas the lighting circuit serving only a kitchen and/or a bathroom does does not.


[Intentionally skipping all things requiring GFCI protection]
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Old 12-22-2008, 05:49 PM   #7
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Re: 2 Questions, Arc Fault & Light Feed


Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeff (socal) View Post
2nd question, feeding a room light off an outlet.
According to my ray c mullin residential book it says to wire lights, receptacles, and smoke detector on one circuit in the bedroom.
Mr. Mullin's book is a book of "opinions" ~ not to be confused with "code".
While Mr. Mullin is a respected author [I have some titles from him], he does not write "code".

If your understanding of Mr. Mullins is to be believed, what you are saying is:
ALL outlets [which includes recept., lighting AND interconnected smokes] in bedrooms are to be on ONE circuit.
Speaking from a practical and economic standpoint, that interpretation is flawed.
The bedrooms in my own home consist of over 30 recessed cans:
30 x 65w = 1950watts;
1950/120v = 16.25A
#12 & a 20A CB to cover the bedroom outlets with smokes?
IF all the lights were ON, and someone should plug in a vacuum, all the bedrooms lose power.
Not a very good design...legal code wise, but a very poor design.

Take it one step further to a much larger home consisting of 4,5 or even 6 bedrooms....with greater numbers of recessed lighting, and you'd be lucky to fit all the lights on a 20A circuit.


IMHO, I would rather have MORE 15A circuits as opposed to LESS 20A circuits.
In my home, the lighting in the bedrooms is 15A [(x2) appx 1000w per]; recepts are 20A to EACH bedroom; and the smokes are on their own 15A.
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Old 12-22-2008, 07:59 PM   #8
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Re: 2 Questions, Arc Fault & Light Feed


Quote:
Originally Posted by Celtic View Post
Mr. Mullin's book is a book of "opinions" ~ not to be confused with "code".
While Mr. Mullin is a respected author [I have some titles from him], he does not write "code".

If your understanding of Mr. Mullins is to be believed, what you are saying is:
ALL outlets [which includes recept., lighting AND interconnected smokes] in bedrooms are to be on ONE circuit.
Speaking from a practical and economic standpoint, that interpretation is flawed.
The bedrooms in my own home consist of over 30 recessed cans:
30 x 65w = 1950watts;
1950/120v = 16.25A
#12 & a 20A CB to cover the bedroom outlets with smokes?
IF all the lights were ON, and someone should plug in a vacuum, all the bedrooms lose power.
Not a very good design...legal code wise, but a very poor design.

Take it one step further to a much larger home consisting of 4,5 or even 6 bedrooms....with greater numbers of recessed lighting, and you'd be lucky to fit all the lights on a 20A circuit.
If you're only calculating your lighting circuit why are you insinuating receptacle load/smoke detectors causing a problem? Your 20 amp cb will only cover the lighting, if you plan on using receptacles also in the same circuit why aren't you adding that into your calculation? Or am I missing something?
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Old 12-22-2008, 08:03 PM   #9
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Re: 2 Questions, Arc Fault & Light Feed


Quote:
Originally Posted by Celtic View Post
Mr. Mullin's book is a book of "opinions" ~ not to be confused with "code".
While Mr. Mullin is a respected author [I have some titles from him], he does not write "code".

If your understanding of Mr. Mullins is to be believed, what you are saying is:
ALL outlets [which includes recept., lighting AND interconnected smokes] in bedrooms are to be on ONE circuit.
Speaking from a practical and economic standpoint, that interpretation is flawed.
The bedrooms in my own home consist of over 30 recessed cans:
30 x 65w = 1950watts;
1950/120v = 16.25A
#12 & a 20A CB to cover the bedroom outlets with smokes?
IF all the lights were ON, and someone should plug in a vacuum, all the bedrooms lose power.
Not a very good design...legal code wise, but a very poor design.

Take it one step further to a much larger home consisting of 4,5 or even 6 bedrooms....with greater numbers of recessed lighting, and you'd be lucky to fit all the lights on a 20A circuit.


IMHO, I would rather have MORE 15A circuits as opposed to LESS 20A circuits.
In my home, the lighting in the bedrooms is 15A [(x2) appx 1000w per]; recepts are 20A to EACH bedroom; and the smokes are on their own 15A.
Sorry for the miss interpretation. I didnt mean to say put all the bedroom loads on 1 AFCIed crkt. Off course we want to stay below the CB amp rating .
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Old 12-22-2008, 09:07 PM   #10
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Re: 2 Questions, Arc Fault & Light Feed


Quote:
Originally Posted by Full Spool View Post
If you're only calculating your lighting circuit why are you insinuating receptacle load/smoke detectors causing a problem? Your 20 amp cb will only cover the lighting, if you plan on using receptacles also in the same circuit why aren't you adding that into your calculation? Or am I missing something?
Riddle me this....what is the recept. VA in a dwelling unit?
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Old 12-22-2008, 09:08 PM   #11
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Re: 2 Questions, Arc Fault & Light Feed


Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeff (socal) View Post
Sorry for the miss interpretation. I didnt mean to say put all the bedroom loads on 1 AFCIed crkt. Off course we want to stay below the CB amp rating .
Thanks for clarification
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Old 12-22-2008, 09:43 PM   #12
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Re: 2 Questions, Arc Fault & Light Feed


Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeff (socal) View Post
Sorry for the miss interpretation. I didnt mean to say put all the bedroom loads on 1 AFCIed crkt. Off course we want to stay below the CB amp rating .
If you want to know how much below it is : 80% max load, and this applies to devices like dimmers also.
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Old 12-22-2008, 10:53 PM   #13
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Re: 2 Questions, Arc Fault & Light Feed


No such thing as a calculated VA rating for a receptacle in a single family dwelling unit. The rule of 180 VA only applies to non-dwelling units.

Last edited by Magnettica; 12-23-2008 at 01:27 AM. Reason: (for a receptacle)
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Old 12-23-2008, 05:50 PM   #14
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Re: 2 Questions, Arc Fault & Light Feed


Quote:
Originally Posted by Magnettica View Post
No such thing as a calculated VA rating for a receptacle in a single family dwelling unit. The rule of 180 VA only applies to non-dwelling units.

Shush

Let the man answer himself.


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