Results 1 to 2 of 2

Thread: AFCI requirement - is it time for split panels?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2018
    Jamaica and london

    AFCI requirement - is it time for split panels?

    Due to design of AFCI which I believe are similar to RCD in the UK, is it time we look at a new style of panel, similar to what is used in the UK? Just a thought, but, the new BS 7671 18th edition is supposed to require RCD on all circuits including lights. This is much easier when you use 240 volt circuits that allow the washers and cookers and such to operate on a single phase two wire and ground system.
    That said, the USA requires cookers, or stoves, to use multicircuit wiring... for two live wires and a neutral and a ground. This is impossible to put AFCI on, due to the cross talk, if I am reading some of the old papers correctly. Plus, the current breed of AFCI circuits are having many problems with not actually protecting the circuits in some cases, especially in multiwire circuits.
    so, is it time to switch to a split panel system? Obviously, this would be complicated at first, for design and wiring, yet, it would also be safer in the long term.
    There are very few circuits in the normal residence that require what we call three phase circuits. The water heater, the stove, and sub panel s are the only areas that come to mind off the top of my head, except for those running welders, etc, in their garage. This means that one could effectively run from the meter to a dedicated three phase panel area, then split the two phases below that section, each on its own large volume RCD... like the UK uses in its single phase systems.
    then one would have effective low milliamperes protection covering standard breakers after that, the safety aspect thus covered, and the breakers back to overcurrent protection that they are best at. This however requires that the neutral bars be separated back to the RCD, again like the UK uses, and means that one could no longer use a multiwire circuit in the kitchen, but would need to use two circuits. However, testing procedures for installation and periodic checking would be easy as we would just adapt the British test procedures for radial circuits to our installations.
    I don’t think it as too onerous, especially if the UK style breakers and panels and RCD devices might be adaptable. It seems like the glowing connection problems would be overcome as well as fixing the problems with circuits that do not trip at fault current, or trip after a fire occurs.
    however, as I am not a fully qualified sparky but just a fifty year old handyman that is constantly studying the codes, I may be missing something...

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    The forum rules do not allow us to help you.

    Read Before Posting: Forum Rules / Treatment of New Members

    This site is designed for:

    • Contractors
    • Electricians
    • Engineers
    • Inspectors
    • Instructors
    • Other electrically related individuals

    * This NEC� Forum is for those in the electrical and related industries. Questions of a "How-To" nature by persons not involved in the electrical industry will be removed without notice.


Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts