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Laundry room retrofit. Maytag washer triggering Leviton AFCI. Alternatives?

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    Laundry room retrofit. Maytag washer triggering Leviton AFCI. Alternatives?

    I've got a laundry room retrofit going. The Leviton AGTR1-W AFCI/GFCI/TR is tripping when the Matag MHW3505FW washer is mid cycle.
    Inspection is due very soon. What are my options?

    The trip happens mid-cycle. The washer is six months old. The area is existing unfinished space with surface mounted metal boxes and armored cable. The circuit is 20 amps, and a dedicated single home run to the single outlet (no stab wiring in sight). The wire and circuit itself is probably from the 1980's, the 20 amp breaker is new, the AFCI/GFCI/TR is new. The panel is old and frankly crappy. Code area is California.

    I've put a scavenged GFCI alongside the AFCI/GFCI/TR for now. The tenant speaks only a foreign language, so access and communication are hard.

    Resources:
    [LIST][*]https://www.esasafe.com/contractors/resources/afci[/LIST]

    Years ago I found an USA based AFCI problem report line, but I can't find it now -- does it still exist?

    #2
    Not near a code book to see if afci is required there but I would try just a gfci.
    Tom
    TBLO

    Comment


      #3
      210.12 - AF required in laundry.

      Comment


        #4
        Run an extension cord from the washer to another afci protected receptacle, see what happens.

        You said the washer trips mid-cycle... I would see if I could duplicate the problem. See if the power cord is pinched or an out-of-balance spin cycle is causing a loose connection issue. If not that, I would swap the afci for another, different brand if possible, and see if the problem repeats itself.

        I take it your GFCI receptacle is holding fine, so that sort of rules out a ground fault, and more toward a "does not play nice" issue between the appliance and the arc fault circuitry.
        Electricians do it until it Hertz!

        Comment


          #5
          Originally posted by brycenesbitt View Post
          The panel is old and frankly crappy. Code area is California.

          I've put a scavenged GFCI alongside the AFCI/GFCI/TR for now..
          Megger @ 100 volts wont damage old wiring, but may help find loose wires.
          Some appliance noise from Micro's, Vacs, & Efficiency Washer motor drives are tripping AFCI's.
          GE THQL AFCI breakers & Leviton's Dual Function A/GFCI devices are not immune to appliance issues, which begs for more Impedance.

          Home-run wire impedance may do the trick. If outdoor fuse box fits AFCI breakers, it may need cleaning of dirt/debris/ cleaning oil for busing.
          Roger Ramjet NoFixNoPay

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            #6
            Grease?

            Is there any point in greasing the contacts on the subpanel breaker (it's indoors)? Can a fault upstream of the outlet cause the AFCI to trip under load?

            The armored cable has three wires, one remarked green for ground. Thus there are two ground paths (the cable sheath and the remarked green). Any issue?
            I can replace this run pretty easy, it's all under the house.
            Last edited by brycenesbitt; 11-14-18, 01:21 AM.

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              #7
              Originally posted by brycenesbitt View Post
              Is there any point in greasing the contacts on the subpanel breaker (it's indoors)? Can a fault upstream of the outlet cause the AFCI to trip under load?

              The armored cable has three wires, one remarked green for ground. Thus there are two ground paths (the cable sheath and the remarked green). Any issue?
              I can replace this run pretty easy, it's all under the house.
              Yes, you cannot remark a conductor as a grounding conductor... It must be green, green with yellow stripe, or bare per 250.119. you cannot put green tape around any other color wire. that written, afci breakers and receptacles do not depend on a ground path for operation

              Faults or interference upstream or line side of an afci device have been reported to trip the device, especially with radio interference, and power surges.

              The first thing I would do is the extension cord to another afci receptacle method, the second thing is changing out the afci for another.
              Electricians do it until it Hertz!

              Comment


                #8
                Other than the Leviton, are there any available AFCI/GFCI/TR outlets for sale in the USA?
                I can't find an alternative, and as mentioned have this problem. The only other AFCI on site is not accessible via extension cord.

                Is there any high end computerized tool available for rental, to paint a detailed picture of what's happening on a circuit and to see what the AFCI may have reacted to?

                Comment


                  #9
                  Originally posted by ramsy View Post
                  Megger @ 100 volts wont damage old wiring, but may help find loose wires.

                  I second the megger test. I get called out to megger AFCI problems at 900V for 1 minute, there is a megger test described in the code under manufactured homes we have used for years (550.17 was the code reference but that may not be up to date). Also a voltage drop test like an Ideal Sure Test is quite handy. Just make sure to remove all appliance cords, powered devices, lightbulbs, dimmers and USB/AFCI/GFCI receptacles etc.
                  Last AFCI tripping problem I solved was a piece of protective paper had not been removed from a screw shell. Many I find are romex with nails or screws thru wires or romex chewed bare.
                  Hope this helps.
                  Comments based on 2017 NEC unless otherwise noted.

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Has anyone found a problem upstream of an AFCI, that tripped the AFCI?
                    This is a single home run from AFCI to the sub-panel, but the sub-panel itself has lots of things
                    connected from new MC to a common neutral K&T breaker.

                    Comment


                      #11
                      The area is existing unfinished space with surface mounted metal boxes and armored cable. The circuit is 20 amps, and a dedicated single home run to the single outlet (no stab wiring in sight). The wire and circuit itself is probably from the 1980's, the 20 amp breaker is new...
                      What did you do that requires the installation of the AFCI?

                      I wouldn't over think this by believing the AFCI is not what's causing the problem and it has to be elsewhere by the way. Dollars to donuts you will never get that machine to work with one.

                      Years ago I found an USA based AFCI problem report line, but I can't find it now -- does it still exist?
                      That had to be a joke.


                      -Hal

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Originally posted by brycenesbitt View Post
                        Years ago I found an USA based AFCI problem report line, but I can't find it now -- does it still exist?
                        The US version is run by NEMA. Here is a link: https://www.afcisafety.org/home-owners/unwanted-tripping/

                        By all means knock your self out. Would love to see a response.

                        Comment


                          #13
                          Originally posted by texie View Post
                          The US version is run by NEMA. Here is a link: https://www.afcisafety.org/home-owners/unwanted-tripping/

                          By all means knock your self out. Would love to see a response.
                          It is a problem report line, not a solutions line
                          I live for today, I'm just a day behind.

                          Comment


                            #14
                            So,,,,, Run an extension cord from another AFCI protected receptacle and watch it trip mid cycle,,, be sure to come back and check for an out of balance spin cycle issue,,,,, swap the AFCi breaker and retest,,,,,, megger the wiring,,,,, clean the dirt and debri from the panel and clean the bussbars,,,, check for any phantom radio interferences or power surges while it's doing it's job,,,, go rent and hook up an oscilloscope that will paint a good picture of what the circuit is doing while the tenants are doing their laundry,,,remove all of the USB/GFI/AFCI outlets and do another meggar test,,,, test all wiring for nailed through and or chewed through romex or AC cable,,,,,


                            More or less move in and make this your lifetime service call of duty.


                            JAP>

                            Comment


                              #15
                              The OP still hasn't told us how the work he did triggered the installation of the AFCI receptacle. From what I can see none of the electrical was changed.

                              -Hal

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