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Thread: AFCI Situation

  1. #1
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    Apr 2012
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    AFCI Situation

    I went to meet a couple today at the house they've recently bought. The service is one much like we've all seen: a collection of about 6 small fuse panels all hooked together, so they'd like an upgrade. There are about 20 single pole circuits.

    I'm curious how others are handling this situation. By the time you buy and mark up an arc fault, you're looking at about $50 each. So when I add in this $1000 in breakers, I'm gonna look like a thief.

    I'm also faced with the dilemma of having to compete in a market where other contractors are using an inspector that will pass just about anything as long as he gets paid. So when they come in around 50% lower than I do because he's not making them use the arc faults, there's no way I'm gonna get the job, but I refuse to use this inspector just on principal.

    Also, even though the odds of having a problem later are slim, I don't want to take the chance of not installing them and then have to explain why I didn't do the job according to NEC in the event they do have a problem.

    Thoughts?

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by Speshulk View Post
    I went to meet a couple today at the house they've recently bought. The service is one much like we've all seen: a collection of about 6 small fuse panels all hooked together, so they'd like an upgrade. There are about 20 single pole circuits.

    I'm curious how others are handling this situation. By the time you buy and mark up an arc fault, you're looking at about $50 each. So when I add in this $1000 in breakers, I'm gonna look like a thief.

    I'm also faced with the dilemma of having to compete in a market where other contractors are using an inspector that will pass just about anything as long as he gets paid. So when they come in around 50% lower than I do because he's not making them use the arc faults, there's no way I'm gonna get the job, but I refuse to use this inspector just on principal.

    Also, even though the odds of having a problem later are slim, I don't want to take the chance of not installing them and then have to explain why I didn't do the job according to NEC in the event they do have a problem.

    Thoughts?
    Its not an NEC requirement on a service upgrade or a panel changeout and the odds are the AHJ wont require it either.
    Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do it with thy might - Ecclesiastes

  3. #3
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    I would check with the local inspector. Most areas do not require afci on a panel change out and the NEC does not require it. I would have no problem installing a new pael and not using afci's if I did not change the circuit in any manner.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by stevebea View Post
    Its not an NEC requirement on a service upgrade or a panel changeout and the odds are the AHJ wont require it either.
    Where are you seeing this exception? Having trouble finding it.

  5. #5
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    We don't put them on panel changeouts either. Add a circuit, yes.
    Tom
    TBLO

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Speshulk View Post
    Where are you seeing this exception? Having trouble finding it.
    Where are you seeing the requirement?

  7. #7
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    The 2011 NEC has made it clear that it is only if you modify the circuit.

    (B) Branch Circuit Extensions or Modifications — Dwelling Units. In any of the areas specified in 210.12(A), where branch-circuit wiring is modified, replaced, or extended, the branch circuit shall be protected by one of the following:
    (1) A listed combination-type AFCI located at the origin of the branch circuit
    (2) A listed outlet branch-circuit type AFCI located at the first receptacle outlet of the existing branch circuit
    Last edited by Dennis Alwon; 05-11-12 at 10:21 PM.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dennis Alwon View Post
    Where are you seeing the requirement?

    210.12 says ALL 120-volt, single phase, . . . . etc. Doesn't mention anything about a panel changeout being exempt.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Speshulk View Post
    210.12 says ALL 120-volt, single phase, . . . . etc. Doesn't mention anything about a panel changeout being exempt.
    Read above-- I posted while you did. The NEC never intend the article to include panel change outs.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dennis Alwon View Post
    Read above-- I posted while you did. The NEC never intend the article to include panel change outs.
    The wording is a bit confusing. Wouldn't changing from fuses to breakers be a modification?

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