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Thread: AFCI - Supplemental vs Combination vs Outlet Branch-Circuit

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    AFCI - Supplemental vs Combination vs Outlet Branch-Circuit

    In Article 210.12 it appears to indicate three different types of arc-fault circuit interrupters: a) listed combination-type, b) listed branch/feeder-type, and c) a listed supplemental-type. What are the differences between these three AFCI devices? From the code it appears if the listed combination-type is used the conductor length limitations cited for the other combinations does not applied. Is there a preferred configuration of AFCIs to use? Is one combination safer than the others? Is configuration more economical?

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    Bigger question for me is why they made such an allowance...

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    Branch Feeder : protects like a standard thermal magnetic breaker plus detects parallel arc's

    Combination type: protects like a standard thermal magnetic breaker plus detects parallel and also series arc's ( older code)

    supplementary : I believe there is no known such product. Was supposed to be a breaker that worked in conjunction with a outlet branch type afci device. (newer Code)

    I know of no footage limitation. Only that under the 2014 code you may use a listed pair ( breaker and OBCD) However there is no listed device now or probably ever.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sierrasparky View Post
    Branch Feeder : protects like a standard thermal magnetic breaker plus detects parallel arc's

    Combination type: protects like a standard thermal magnetic breaker plus detects parallel and also series arc's ( older code)

    supplementary : I believe there is no known such product. Was supposed to be a breaker that worked in conjunction with a outlet branch type afci device. (newer Code)

    I know of no footage limitation. Only that under the 2014 code you may use a listed pair ( breaker and OBCD) However there is no listed device now or probably ever.

    Thank you! The footage limitation I mention is Art. 210.12(A)(3) and (4): 50 ft for 14 AWG and 70 ft for 12 AWG.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Leo1 View Post
    Thank you! The footage limitation I mention is Art. 210.12(A)(3) and (4): 50 ft for 14 AWG and 70 ft for 12 AWG.

    That exception and footage limitation only applies to where a listed breaker in conjunction with a OBCD AFCI. We have the OBCD's however there are no Listed supplementary breakers made. It is doubtful there will ever be one from what others here have said. Why would Sqd list a breaker they make to be used with a Leviton OBCD AFCI?
    They would not.
    Maybe Leviton will make a Universal breaker and list it with their outlet.
    Doubtful but plausible.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Leo1 View Post
    Thank you! The footage limitation I mention is Art. 210.12(A)(3) and (4): 50 ft for 14 AWG and 70 ft for 12 AWG.
    It has to do with length being long enough to trip the breaker magnetically when shorted. An supplemental arc protection device is simply a standard thermal magnetic breaker with a known magnetic trip level, however UL did testing and confirmed that newer single pole breakers all trip magnetically under 500amps.

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    Quote Originally Posted by mbrooke View Post
    It has to do with length being long enough to trip the breaker magnetically when shorted. An supplemental arc protection device is simply a standard thermal magnetic breaker with a known magnetic trip level, however UL did testing and confirmed that newer single pole breakers all trip magnetically under 500amps.
    That may be so, however there is no supplementary breaker nor is there a listed pair of devices. Many feel there will not be. Eaton is one that has the ability to do so. Eaton makes breakers, AFCI breakers and outlets. They have the current ability to do so but have not.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sierrasparky View Post
    That may be so, however there is no supplementary breaker nor is there a listed pair of devices. Many feel there will not be. Eaton is one that has the ability to do so. Eaton makes breakers, AFCI breakers and outlets. They have the current ability to do so but have not.
    Ive heard from Don19 is that the idea was scrapped. However I read the ROPs and there is debate about just using the same rule with standard breakers and AFCI receptacle devices.

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    Obviously Eaton isn't about to market a $100 DP larger ampacity combination afci that will do the job of (soon to be '17 requirement) 20 SP afci's @ $50 ea Sierra.

    ~RJ~

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    Quote Originally Posted by romex jockey View Post
    Obviously Eaton isn't about to market a $100 DP larger ampacity combination afci that will do the job of (soon to be '17 requirement) 20 SP afci's @ $50 ea Sierra.

    ~RJ~

    Huh?

    Sorry if I don't follow your comment.

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