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Thread: Cost of AFCI breaker vs Receptacle

  1. #41
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    To be fair I want to clarify my statement that AFCI receptacles are not code compliant. Starting with the 2014 Code that would be correct since that's where the requirement for the receptacle/breaker combo and no NM from the panel to the receptacle was introduced. Problem is there is no listed receptacle/breaker combo available.

    If you are on the 2011, the use of AFCI receptacles is permitted and they can be connected with any length of NM to a regular breaker. That's probably why they sell them.

    There was no mention of AFCI receptacles in the 2008 or prior.

    -Hal

  2. #42
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    Quote Originally Posted by hbiss View Post
    To be fair I want to clarify my statement that AFCI receptacles are not code compliant. Starting with the 2014 Code that would be correct since that's where the requirement for the receptacle/breaker combo and no NM from the panel to the receptacle was introduced. Problem is there is no listed receptacle/breaker combo available.
    Wait, why cant I use a AFCI recep under 210.12(A)(5) in 2014?
    Ethan Brush - East West Electric. NY, WA. MA

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  3. #43
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    Quote Originally Posted by George Stolz View Post
    Sort of. 90.4 gives an AHJ latitude to waive requirements when similar results are achieved outside of code structure; an astute AHJ can waive 210.12 if they decide they are snake oil and standard breakers achieve equivalent safety.

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  4. #44
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    Quote Originally Posted by electrofelon View Post
    Wait, why cant I use a AFCI recep under 210.12(A)(5) in 2014?
    You're right, it looks like for both the 14 and 17 using a metallic sheathed wiring method and boxes or embedding it in concrete from the panel to the AFCI receptacle negates the requirement for the special breaker.

    -Hal

  5. #45
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    Nov 2008
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    210.12 (4) is a little ambiguous because of the wording. "A listed outlet branch-circuit type arc-fault circuit interrupter installed at the first outlet on the branch circuit in combination with (I'm ok so far) a listed branch-circuit overcurrent protective device where all of the following conditions are met". It doesn't say they have to be listed with each other or go together so up to this point it looks like you could interpret the code to allow a regular 20A circuit breaker that was listed for that panel and then a listed arc-fault circuit receptacle at the first outlet. But then we look at the conditions to be met. The conditions in a., b., and c. about continuous, distance and marking the first box are self explanatory and easily understood. So far a regular listed circuit breaker and a listed AFCI seem to be permissible. Condition d. is where the problem is. "the combination of the branch-circuit overcurrent device and outlet branch-circuit AFCI shall be identified as meeting the requirements for a system combination-type AFCI' (there is more). Well a combination AFCI provides overcurrent protection and arc-fault protection. A regular circuit breaker and an AFCI receptacle at the first outlet do the same things. So far I could argue that means we could use a regular receptacle and an AFCI. The rest of part d. states "and shall be listed as such". Now it has been said that there is no such listing now and that is correct. My point would be that there never will be other than if SQ D, for instance, puts a stamp on its 15 and 20A circuit breakers that say listed for use with AFCI receptacles. They aren't going to invent anything new that meets that requirement any better than just putting a listing stamp on a regular circuit breaker. It makes no sense to make a special breaker that provides arc-fault protection have to be listed to go with a receptacle that also provides arc fault protection. That would be like putting a GFCI breaker on a circuit and also having the first receptacle be GFCI and while we are at it lets also have all the other receptacles on that circuit be GFCI.
    So, if an inspector is thinking thoroughly thru this wording he may come to the same conclusion as I did. A regular circuit breaker and an AFCI receptacle at the first outlet should be acceptable.

  6. #46
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    Quote Originally Posted by trojans4 View Post
    210.12 (4) is a little ambiguous because of the wording. "A listed outlet branch-circuit type arc-fault circuit interrupter installed at the first outlet on the branch circuit in combination with (I'm ok so far) a listed branch-circuit overcurrent protective device where all of the following conditions are met". It doesn't say they have to be listed with each other or go together so up to this point it looks like you could interpret the code to allow a regular 20A circuit breaker that was listed for that panel and then a listed arc-fault circuit receptacle at the first outlet. But then we look at the conditions to be met. The conditions in a., b., and c. about continuous, distance and marking the first box are self explanatory and easily understood. So far a regular listed circuit breaker and a listed AFCI seem to be permissible. Condition d. is where the problem is. "the combination of the branch-circuit overcurrent device and outlet branch-circuit AFCI shall be identified as meeting the requirements for a system combination-type AFCI' (there is more). Well a combination AFCI provides overcurrent protection and arc-fault protection. A regular circuit breaker and an AFCI receptacle at the first outlet do the same things. So far I could argue that means we could use a regular receptacle and an AFCI. The rest of part d. states "and shall be listed as such". Now it has been said that there is no such listing now and that is correct. My point would be that there never will be other than if SQ D, for instance, puts a stamp on its 15 and 20A circuit breakers that say listed for use with AFCI receptacles. They aren't going to invent anything new that meets that requirement any better than just putting a listing stamp on a regular circuit breaker. It makes no sense to make a special breaker that provides arc-fault protection have to be listed to go with a receptacle that also provides arc fault protection. That would be like putting a GFCI breaker on a circuit and also having the first receptacle be GFCI and while we are at it lets also have all the other receptacles on that circuit be GFCI.
    So, if an inspector is thinking thoroughly thru this wording he may come to the same conclusion as I did. A regular circuit breaker and an AFCI receptacle at the first outlet should be acceptable.
    That is not what "combination" means when talking AFCI's. Before they made "combination AFCI" they were called "feeder/branch AFCI's" The difference is the combination is supposed to detect series arcing faults - that they originally told us the feeder/branch units would do, then they came about a few years later and said we need these combination devices to detect series acring faults

    I believe only way NEC recognizes a feeder/branch other then when it was installed when it was first allowed is to supplement it with a AFCI receptacle type device (in the first outlet?) to get the "combination" rating.
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