Contractor Talk - Professional Construction and Remodeling Forum banner

1 - 20 of 50 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,038 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've been building a large extension on my home that's turning into a life long project .My sparkies installed a couple of main lug sub panels throughout the extension and existing home .They installed the breakers a couple of weeks ago and fired up the panels and checked to make sure everything was in working order . So everything looks good and I'm finally excited to begin rocking . My sparkies show up Saturday morning and start pulling out a few breakers from the panels and replace them with arc fault breakers that cost $30 ea. If I remember correctly they said I need about 35 of these breakers .I walked away without asking them why. My question is shouldn't they have known about this from the beginning and installed them from day one .I'm also assuming that they are required by code , but when did they become code and why ?
 

·
Capra Aegagrus
Remodeler
Joined
·
24,937 Posts
Yeah, they should have known (and probably did). The idea is that electrical arcs can obviously start fires, so there should be a lot less electrical fires with arc-faults in place. Been code since at least '08.

Arc-faults can be a little eccentric at times, popping when there's not really any problem--though they've gotten better than in years past. The sparkies may have just wanted to establish a baseline before installing 'em.

Yeah, they do hurt the wallet...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,038 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Yeah, they should have known (and probably did). The idea is that electrical arcs can obviously start fires, so there should be a lot less electrical fires with arc-faults in place. Been code since at least '08.

Arc-faults can be a little eccentric at times, popping when there's not really any problem--though they've gotten better than in years past. The sparkies may have just wanted to establish a baseline before installing 'em.

Yeah, they do hurt the wallet...
Why is it that they aren't replacing all of them and just a few in each panel ?
 

·
Capra Aegagrus
Remodeler
Joined
·
24,937 Posts
Why is it that they aren't replacing all of them and just a few in each panel ?
'08 code requires them in:

family rooms, dining rooms, living rooms, parlors, libraries, dens, bedrooms, sunrooms, recreation rooms, closets, hallways, or similar rooms or areas
Believe it or not, that still allows for a couple of places you don't have to have them. :laughing:

Not required in kitchen and bath (though GFCIs are), and a few other places. Though I'm sure they'd love to have 'em everywhere. :rolleyes:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
12,902 Posts
From the description of the time frame, you may have gotten caught in a code transition.

The old one does not apply because no final inspection has been done. You need to comply with the code in force at the time of the inspection.

I would never install an AFI main.

Tom
 

·
I'm a Mac
Joined
·
5,487 Posts
Eaglei said:
Good question , lets see what the sparkies have to say . I have one 200 amp main and five sub panels .
You realize I'm kidding I hope. I have enough trouble fixing the time twice a year on the microwave, I can't imagine every time the arc fault pops doing that, a few alarm clocks, etc and then to fumble around to the basement to find the damn panel
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
8,043 Posts
I had some trouble with tripping when they first came out. For the most part haven't had any trouble with them in several years.

Have never heard of 35 in a house though, I have the same question as speedy - just how big is this house?
 

·
Contractor of the Month
Joined
·
26,075 Posts
I had some trouble with tripping when they first came out. For the most part haven't had any trouble with them in several years.

Have never heard of 35 in a house though, I have the same question as speedy - just how big is this house?
Agreed the ones that came out at first were crap.
 

·
Registered
Remodel
Joined
·
29,585 Posts
Arc fault breakers catch a couple of problems.

One could be something like a nail shot into a wire - when the conductor gets too flaky, the arc fault should trip (if under load). I know of one development outside of Dallas that had wiring 1/2" from the stud edge (all the same builder, and I'm betting all the same inspector). Two houses burned from this problem.

The other would be something like a faulty appliance or connection to an outlet. I've seen new expensive refrs have problems popping the arc fault, but you could plug a table saw in and it would be fine.

FWIW, I looked at a circuit diagram for an arc fault breaker, and it's actually pretty complex.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
12,902 Posts
Each AFI will cost about about $1.00 a year to "run" in my area. They all draw a slight amount of current continually.

Tom
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,213 Posts
Seriously.... Whata ya got there..... with 35 arc fault protected branch circuits.... a whorehouse with high amp vibrators in every bedroom?

Is this a misprint or a joke.

I didn't even know you could obtain a main arc fault... and even less why you'd want that apart from mere cost.... and I agree with everyone else.... where is someone even finding them at $30.

Something is strange/screwy here.... Just my tentative guess/opinion.
 
1 - 20 of 50 Posts
Top