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Beat the elephant in the room (again!) about AFCI breakers...

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    Beat the elephant in the room (again!) about AFCI breakers...

    This is more of a rant versus request for suggestions,

    I did a basement finish out. I roughed it out last fall and put in some SP switches and some pigtail screw shells for the HO to have lighting for Sheetrock (they did it themselves). I had LED bulbs in the screw shells.

    Everything worked fine all winter with no tripping issues on the lighting circuit.

    I trimmed it out a couple days ago, using the LED 6" fixtures that resemble a can light 16 total. 2 bedrooms (4 each) and family room (8).

    I had 2 dimmers in for the family room.

    Now they're having arc fault tripping issues.

    As an experiment I took out the dimmers and put the SP switches back in. Didn't help.

    Last night he texted me to say that it tripped again, along with a circuit that feeds main level living room. That circuit has never tripped before! He had a hard time getting that circuit to reset. That breaker isn't located near my AFCI breaker in the panel.

    I'll look at it today, but so much for making a profit on that project!
    Frustrating!

    #2
    Siemens breaker.
    I have the worst luck with them (AFCI)!

    Comment


      #3
      Originally posted by sw_ross View Post
      Siemens breaker.
      I have the worst luck with them (AFCI)!
      Siemens have trip indicators. Is it showing GF or AF?
      Curt Swartz
      Electrical Contractor

      Comment


        #4
        Originally posted by sw_ross View Post

        Everything worked fine all winter with no tripping issues on the lighting circuit.

        I trimmed it out a couple days ago, using the LED 6" fixtures that resemble a can light 16 total. 2 bedrooms (4 each) and family room (8).
        Are there any other loads on this lighting circuit ?

        Also the Siemens has a self test function to see if the breaker is functioning properly. The breaker may be bad.
        The 95% of people that you can't trust give the other 5% a bad name.

        Comment


          #5
          Originally posted by curt swartz View Post
          [COLOR=#ff0000]…..[/COLOR] have trip indicators. Is it showing GF or AF?

          The two questions that should be asked or answered at the beginning of each AFCI thread
          Tom
          TBLO

          Comment


            #6
            It shows AF on each of the trips.

            The liv room circuit that trips is the older style that only has an indicator for AF.
            The newt breakers I installed have AF and GF indicators.

            The house isn’t that old (2014). The living room breaker that is now tripping is attributed to something I did... Even though I never touched the circuit!

            I could change out the old breaker but the HO won’t pay for it since “I caused it”!

            Comment


              #7
              Originally posted by sw_ross View Post
              It shows AF on each of the trips.

              The liv room circuit that trips is the older style that only has an indicator for AF.
              The newt breakers I installed have AF and GF indicators.

              The house isn’t that old (2014). The living room breaker that is now tripping is attributed to something I did... Even though I never touched the circuit!

              I could change out the old breaker but the HO won’t pay for it since “I caused it”!
              Of course! You're guilty!
              Tom
              TBLO

              Comment


                #8
                Originally posted by sw_ross View Post
                The house isn’t that old (2014). The living room breaker that is now tripping is attributed to something I did... Even though I never touched the circuit!

                I could change out the old breaker but the HO won’t pay for it since “I caused it”!
                Originally posted by ptonsparky View Post
                Of course! You're guilty!
                I had a service call a couple of years ago where an AFCI breaker was tripping and the home owner assumed it was the security company installers that had done something while installing the security system.

                After checking things out I found that it was a new cable box that was causing the breaker to trip. I also figured out that it only tripped an older version breaker and so a new AFCI solved the problem.

                My point here is that you may have to solve the problem to prove that it's not your fault and when you do then it's OK to charge them.

                Change out the breaker and see if the problem goes away and if it does then bill for a service call. AFCI breakers go bad all the time so it's not uncommon.
                The 95% of people that you can't trust give the other 5% a bad name.

                Comment


                  #9
                  Originally posted by growler View Post
                  I had a service call a couple of years ago where an AFCI breaker was tripping and the home owner assumed it was the security company installers that had done something while installing the security system.

                  After checking things out I found that it was a new cable box that was causing the breaker to trip. I also figured out that it only tripped an older version breaker and so a new AFCI solved the problem.

                  My point here is that you may have to solve the problem to prove that it's not your fault and when you do then it's OK to charge them.

                  Change out the breaker and see if the problem goes away and if it does then bill for a service call. AFCI breakers go bad all the time so it's not uncommon.
                  Was the new Cable box required for the security system?
                  Tom
                  TBLO

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Originally posted by ptonsparky View Post
                    Was the new Cable box required for the security system?
                    Just regular cable TV in a bedroom.

                    Just another coincidence of someone being there when something decides to fail and getting blamed for it.
                    The 95% of people that you can't trust give the other 5% a bad name.

                    Comment


                      #11
                      How long were the screws he used to hang the rock?

                      Comment


                        #12
                        They were normal length, 1 1/4” - 1 1/2”.
                        They hung the Sheetrock 2-3 months ago. It wasn’t until I put the permanent LED fixtures and dimmer switches that the tripping started.

                        I know there’s always a possibility that I’ve got a bare ground that is intermittently touching an exposed portion of a neutral. I’m not casting 100% of the blame on afci’s, but it’s just frustrating to have to deal with something that from the HO’s perspective “I caused”.

                        Comment


                          #13
                          Originally posted by sw_ross View Post
                          They were normal length, 1 1/4” - 1 1/2”.
                          They hung the Sheetrock 2-3 months ago. It wasn’t until I put the permanent LED fixtures and dimmer switches that the tripping started.

                          I know there’s always a possibility that I’ve got a bare ground that is intermittently touching an exposed portion of a neutral. I’m not casting 100% of the blame on afci’s, but it’s just frustrating to have to deal with something that from the HO’s perspective “I caused”.
                          First use the diagnostic feature of the breaker to identify the kind of trip that occurred.

                          Comment


                            #14
                            Originally posted by GoldDigger View Post
                            First use the diagnostic feature of the breaker to identify the kind of trip that occurred.
                            See post #6

                            Comment


                              #15
                              Originally posted by sw_ross View Post
                              See post #6
                              You said it tripped on AF. If that's true then a bare ground to neutral shouldn't be the cause. But I know nothing about how the breakers differentiate between a GF and AF. I suppose it could give a false code.
                              [COLOR=navy]If you aim at nothing, you will hit it every time![/COLOR]

                              Comment

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