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  • kwired
    replied
    Originally posted by nysprkdude View Post
    Hal,

    I understand that everyone has differing opinions about the effectiveness of an AFCI circuit breaker compared to the cost imposed upon the property owner, however; the data collected since AFCI became mandatory in bedrooms in the 2002 code continue to reflect that these devices save lives. When the requirement to utilize GFCI protection initially appeared in the code, I remember as a young electrician hearing the more seasoned guys expressing their dislike as well due to the fact that they were misunderstood and tripped out for the precise reason that they were designed for, much of which was current leakage on old appliances.

    When we consider that ordinary circuit breakers are more than half a century old, many of which have been sitting in a damp basement for that time, we have to accept that the AFCI circuit breaker is a 21st century version of those antiquated breakers. I may be misinterpreting how a customary breaker functions but I believe that the severe corrosion I have observed with the numerous devices I have opened up subsequent to a “failure to trip” circumstance convinces me to accept the protective aspects of the AFCI. Of course, I realize that I am seeing this from the inspector’s perspective so I comprehend the difference of opinion of others as it pertains to these expensive devices. I maintain that an AFCI panel which would only require a microprocessor and circuit breakers similar to shunt trips with one wire that could both monitor the circuit and trip the breaker when an arc is sensed would be a less expensive way of complying with the code.

    Having said all that. The most recent data I have come across supports the notion that AFCI protection saves lives and substantially limits property damage. I keep these figure on post-it notes at my desk so that I can reiterate them to those who still try to argue that “it’s a ridiculous requirement.” I get that a lot because I work in a medium sized city with a lot of poorly maintained properties for which the expense of AFCI circuit breakers causes a financial hardship.

    This is from the Internet so it must be true, right? Per the NFPA, from 2010 through 2014:
    [LIST][*]45,210 fires in the US were electrical in nature.[*]420 people died as a result of these fires.[*]1370 people were seriously injured.[*]$1.4 Billion in property damages.[/LIST]

    I also have data from before that as well but IMO, if 420 lives could have been saved by AFCI protection, then it would be hard to argue with. Of course, the Marine Corps taught me that “figures don’t lie, but liars can figure” so there is no indication as to whether these statistics include homes that were AFCI protected or not. I ‘ll leave it up to the reader to decide.

    I hear the acronym YOLO used daily lately. I contend that "you only live once is not true." You live every day. You only die once. YODO
    Where are the statistics that show those fires would have been prevented? Some I can agree with, I'd guess not all were started as a result of something an AFCI would have prevented. Portable heater too close to the curtains - might be noted as as an electrical fire, though it is simply misuse of a product more so than an electrical mishap.

    Originally posted by ActionDave View Post
    I don't believe this. Show the evidence that AFCI breakers do anything to prevent fires.

    What has been proven that AFCIs can not stop a glowing arc and that there is no way an arc can be sustained at 120V. AFCIs are useless other than the ground fault component


    GFCIs are different, and anyone who understands the difference between the two technologies would not compare them.
    I agree. I also think those installed in 2002 are just now starting to get to the point where they may or may not be relied on more often to do what they were supposedly designed to do. Things are now getting old enough the little things start compiling, a weak connection here or there, time and loads weakening it even more, receptacle contact points getting weaker, etc. But the question is do ADCI's still even work when they are called upon, presuming they work in the first place?

    Leave a comment:


  • jap
    replied
    Originally posted by hbiss View Post
    There are better wiring methods than NM. If there is going to be an increased awareness about safety, maybe it's time to ban NM and use MC.

    -Hal

    It does seem odd that the wiring method used in structures where people spend most of their time seem to be the most delicate.


    JAP>

    Leave a comment:


  • ActionDave
    replied
    Originally posted by nysprkdude View Post
    ... the data collected since AFCI became mandatory in bedrooms in the 2002 code continue to reflect that these devices save lives.
    I don't believe this. Show the evidence that AFCI breakers do anything to prevent fires.

    What has been proven that AFCIs can not stop a glowing arc and that there is no way an arc can be sustained at 120V. AFCIs are useless other than the ground fault component

    When the requirement to utilize GFCI protection initially appeared in the code, I remember as a young el and circuit breakers similar to shunt trips with one wire that could both monitor the circuit and trip the breaker when an arc is sensed would be a less expensive way of complying with the code.
    GFCIs are different, and anyone who understands the difference between the two technologies would not compare them.

    Leave a comment:


  • nysprkdude
    replied
    Originally posted by hbiss View Post
    A lawyer in bankruptcy court asks the question, "Was there a way you could have avoided going bankrupt and paid all your creditors?" Of course the answer is yes, I could have bought lottery tickets.

    Actually that's more of a sure thing than an AFCI saving a life.

    -Hal
    The odds of winning the lottery are approximately 300 million to one. I would have to respectfully disagree with the statement. LOL

    Leave a comment:


  • nysprkdude
    replied
    Originally posted by hbiss View Post
    The only way to stop litigation involving the alleged safety of AFCI's on the contractor level is to once and for all bring a class action suit against the manufacturers, UL, the CPSC and the NEC and prove the snake oil that they are. A daunting task to be sure that may unfortunately take government intervention as it did with the SawStop situation.

    As for rodent damage, yeah, I've seen it too but using the flawed argument that AFCI's can protect against it is ridiculous. There are better wiring methods than NM. If there is going to be an increased awareness about safety, maybe it's time to ban NM and use MC.

    -Hal
    Hal,

    I understand that everyone has differing opinions about the effectiveness of an AFCI circuit breaker compared to the cost imposed upon the property owner, however; the data collected since AFCI became mandatory in bedrooms in the 2002 code continue to reflect that these devices save lives. When the requirement to utilize GFCI protection initially appeared in the code, I remember as a young electrician hearing the more seasoned guys expressing their dislike as well due to the fact that they were misunderstood and tripped out for the precise reason that they were designed for, much of which was current leakage on old appliances.

    When we consider that ordinary circuit breakers are more than half a century old, many of which have been sitting in a damp basement for that time, we have to accept that the AFCI circuit breaker is a 21st century version of those antiquated breakers. I may be misinterpreting how a customary breaker functions but I believe that the severe corrosion I have observed with the numerous devices I have opened up subsequent to a “failure to trip” circumstance convinces me to accept the protective aspects of the AFCI. Of course, I realize that I am seeing this from the inspector’s perspective so I comprehend the difference of opinion of others as it pertains to these expensive devices. I maintain that an AFCI panel which would only require a microprocessor and circuit breakers similar to shunt trips with one wire that could both monitor the circuit and trip the breaker when an arc is sensed would be a less expensive way of complying with the code.

    Having said all that. The most recent data I have come across supports the notion that AFCI protection saves lives and substantially limits property damage. I keep these figure on post-it notes at my desk so that I can reiterate them to those who still try to argue that “it’s a ridiculous requirement.” I get that a lot because I work in a medium sized city with a lot of poorly maintained properties for which the expense of AFCI circuit breakers causes a financial hardship.

    This is from the Internet so it must be true, right? Per the NFPA, from 2010 through 2014:
    [LIST][*]45,210 fires in the US were electrical in nature.[*]420 people died as a result of these fires.[*]1370 people were seriously injured.[*]$1.4 Billion in property damages.[/LIST]

    I also have data from before that as well but IMO, if 420 lives could have been saved by AFCI protection, then it would be hard to argue with. Of course, the Marine Corps taught me that “figures don’t lie, but liars can figure” so there is no indication as to whether these statistics include homes that were AFCI protected or not. I ‘ll leave it up to the reader to decide.

    I hear the acronym YOLO used daily lately. I contend that "you only live once is not true." You live every day. You only die once. YODO

    Leave a comment:


  • victor.cherkashi
    replied
    Originally posted by hbiss View Post
    The only way to stop litigation involving the alleged safety of AFCI's on the contractor level is to once and for all bring a class action suit against the manufacturers, UL, the CPSC and the NEC and prove the snake oil that they are. A daunting task to be sure that may unfortunately take government intervention as it did with the SawStop situation.

    As for rodent damage, yeah, I've seen it too but using the flawed argument that AFCI's can protect against it is ridiculous. There are better wiring methods than NM. If there is going to be an increased awareness about safety, maybe it's time to ban NM and use MC.

    -Hal
    I believe when AC/MC is used, AFCI should be omitted.

    Sent from my ONEPLUS A6013 using Tapatalk

    Leave a comment:


  • hbiss
    replied
    Originally posted by nysprkdude View Post
    Respectfully, my response would be that I encounter a substantial amount of rodent activity. I did not believe this occurred because for over 20 years as an electrical contractor before becoming an inspector in 2003, however; since I have observed this circumstance on so many occasions, I am aware that this is merely a "teeth sharpening" exercise on behalf of the rodents. My scenario related was a fire due to arcing caused by rodent damage and in the specific case, an AFCI would recognize the arc created which sparked the fire. Otherwise, I have also observed numerous rodent chewing incidents where they apparently stopped before an arc occurred as well as many situations where an arc did occur, thereby effectively "frying" the rodent with a customary style circuit breaker that never de-energized the circuit.

    In the end, the point is, in today's litigious society where everyone wants to sue anyone involved, especially those with insurance, is performing an installation to the minimum of an outdated code merely enough to protect an electrical contractor?
    The only way to stop litigation involving the alleged safety of AFCI's on the contractor level is to once and for all bring a class action suit against the manufacturers, UL, the CPSC and the NEC and prove the snake oil that they are. A daunting task to be sure that may unfortunately take government intervention as it did with the SawStop situation.

    As for rodent damage, yeah, I've seen it too but using the flawed argument that AFCI's can protect against it is ridiculous. There are better wiring methods than NM. If there is going to be an increased awareness about safety, maybe it's time to ban NM and use MC.

    -Hal

    Leave a comment:


  • nysprkdude
    replied
    Originally posted by kwired View Post
    What about suing the exterminator for not eliminating the rodent??

    AFCI may or may not have prevented that either. Really depends on conditions and what actually happened. I have seen rodent damaged cables that continue to work just fine if left undisturbed. An arcing fault would have to occur for an AFCI to respond, other things could possibly happen that don't involve an arcing fault. Defense hopefully finds good witnesses to counter some of the things that industry claims that may or may not be myth.
    Respectfully, my response would be that I encounter a substantial amount of rodent activity. I did not believe this occurred because for over 20 years as an electrical contractor before becoming an inspector in 2003, however; since I have observed this circumstance on so many occasions, I am aware that this is merely a "teeth sharpening" exercise on behalf of the rodents. My scenario related was a fire due to arcing caused by rodent damage and in the specific case, an AFCI would recognize the arc created which sparked the fire. Otherwise, I have also observed numerous rodent chewing incidents where they apparently stopped before an arc occurred as well as many situations where an arc did occur, thereby effectively "frying" the rodent with a customary style circuit breaker that never de-energized the circuit.

    In the end, the point is, in today's litigious society where everyone wants to sue anyone involved, especially those with insurance, is performing an installation to the minimum of an outdated code merely enough to protect an electrical contractor?

    Leave a comment:


  • peter d
    replied
    Originally posted by kwired View Post
    What about suing the exterminator for not eliminating the rodent??

    I have seen rodent damaged cables that continue to work just fine if left undisturbed.
    Likewise.

    Even pyrophoric carbonization is undetectable by AFCI's, and that's what actually causes fires.

    Leave a comment:


  • peter d
    replied
    Originally posted by readydave8 View Post
    yeah, but

    I started in '79

    and would have made a similar statement in '97
    Good point.

    Leave a comment:


  • kwired
    replied
    Originally posted by readydave8 View Post
    yeah, but

    I started in '79

    and would have made a similar statement in '97
    So the amount of simplicity in 79 is exponential in comparison to 97, right?

    I was only about 11 years old then, but think I can agree with that anyway.

    Leave a comment:


  • readydave8
    replied
    Originally posted by peter d View Post
    I really miss when I started in the trade in 1997. Things were so much simpler then.
    yeah, but

    I started in '79

    and would have made a similar statement in '97

    Leave a comment:


  • kwired
    replied
    Originally posted by ActionDave View Post
    What makes you sure about that? What evidence is there that AFCI circuit breakers do anything to prevent fires in houses?
    I don't doubt they can reduce the possibility, certainly wouldn't say it is a guarantee they will though.

    Leave a comment:


  • ActionDave
    replied
    Originally posted by nysprkdude View Post
    ... let's assume for the sake of argument that a rodent chews through the dedicated bathroom circuit which causes a fire with property or life loss. Subsequently, a lawsuit occurs and the electrical contractor who would be included because lawyers will sue everyone, is on the witness stand. The lawyer asks the question, "Was there a device that could have prevented the fire and the loss?" Of course the answer is yes, an AFCI circuit breaker would more than likely recognize this fault and de-energize the circuit. .....
    What makes you sure about that? What evidence is there that AFCI circuit breakers do anything to prevent fires in houses?

    Leave a comment:


  • hbiss
    replied
    The lawyer asks the question, "Was there a device that could have prevented the fire and the loss?" Of course the answer is yes, an AFCI circuit breaker would more than likely recognize this fault and de-energize the circuit.
    A lawyer in bankruptcy court asks the question, "Was there a way you could have avoided going bankrupt and paid all your creditors?" Of course the answer is yes, I could have bought lottery tickets.

    Actually that's more of a sure thing than an AFCI saving a life.

    -Hal

    Leave a comment:

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