AFCI Michigan

iwire

Moderator
Staff member
Location
Massachusetts
Which one is more likely? A law firm taking on the Consumer Product Safety Commission or a local electrical contractor?
So clearly for you it has nothing to do with what is right and what is wrong.

It's really not a scare tactic.
It is exactly that, even if it is true your only purpose in bringing it up is to scare and intimidate.


It's just precautionary information for anyone that thinks the code is going to serve as personal protection against lawsuits. It will not...
Please post some evidence of an EC successfully being sued for not following unadopted NEC codes.


Here is the real issue I have, you are a paid spokesman for an organization that's mission is to increase sales of electrical products.

NEMA's Mission
​As the voice for the electrical and medical imaging industries, NEMA is a pacesetting champion for safety, innovation, interoperability, environment, and market enhancement through advocacy, business information, and standards for products, systems, and technologies.​
http://www.nema.org/About/pages/default.aspx


As such you have only two choices regarding forum participation if you desire to retain that job.

1) Post in support of your employers

2) Don't post at all

With those being facts I can only look at your posts as being entirely biased.
 
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romex jockey

Senior Member
Location
Vermont
Which one is more likely? A law firm taking on the Consumer Product Safety Commission or a local electrical contractor?

It's really not a scare tactic. Ever since I made it to the position of Building Official, my perspective on things of this nature changed dramatically. Most BO's operate on a "plan for the worst, hope for the best" mentality. It's just precautionary information for anyone that thinks the code is going to serve as personal protection against lawsuits. It will not...
And you'd be right BP

But what you don't know is both Lee & Trotta have been on the litigant radar for over a decade , on an international scale

Unfortunately , the way class action suits work in the USA has changed in recent times.

There has to be a 'victim' you see....

But it's just a matter of time before the afci technology is seen as ineffective to the chief incendiary culprit of electrical fires

So please do your part to proliferate them in the NEC

There's an entire contingent waiting for the inevitable epiphany :)

cheers!

~RJ~
 

bphgravity

Senior Member
Location
Florida
So clearly for you it has nothing to do with what is right and what is wrong.
Lawsuits are rarely about right and wrong. It's about who can be made to pay the most with the least amount of effort. Contractors shouldn't be under the delusion that following the law will protect them from being sued. The system is not designed to protect the little guy.


It is exactly that, even if it is true your only purpose in bringing it up is to scare and intimidate.
Not true. It's information. Is telling someone that working on live equipment is dangerous a scare tactic? 99% of the questions on this Forum are code-based. Probably less than 1% are business oriented and even less are with regard to laws and rules. We don't spend enough time understand the laws and rules that determine our success and failures. I instruct courses on ethics, laws & rules and contractor & inspector liability. Some of the stuff is scary, be it not likely or a worst case scenario.


Here is the real issue I have, you are a paid spokesman for an organization that's mission is to increase sales of electrical products.

As such you have only two choices regarding forum participation if you desire to retain that job.

1) Post in support of your employers

2) Don't post at all

With those being facts I can only look at your posts as being entirely biased.
So I can't possibly have anything else to offer this Forum? Now that is silly. NEMA is a resource for the electrical industry at-large. And much like the NFPA, the NRTLs, NECA, IAEI and other industry advocates, many of the projects and activities we undertake do not have direct returns for our members and clients.

90% of NEMA standards are FREE to anyone. Every White Paper and Engineering Bulletin (150+) are FREE to anyone. Code Alerts, ei Magazine, NEMA Currents, NEMACasts, ESFI literature, Field Rep education and training, ALL FREE TO ANYONE.

NEMA's Mission
​As the voice for the electrical and medical imaging industries, NEMA is a pacesetting champion for safety, innovation, interoperability, environment, and market enhancement through advocacy, business information, and standards for products, systems, and technologies.​
What a diabolical and devious mission! Without NEMA, the electrical industry would be half the size and strength it is today. The products you buy would cost twice as much and there would be no standardizing of those products.

When I look back and read some of the statements you guys make about our industry, it appears you guys are not for a free and open market, you oppose capitalism, you despise the success of others, you distrust anyone that doesn't have exactly your same beliefs, you have set your mind on many aspects of our industry and refuse any new information or viewpoints, your all pretty miserable acting and kind-of whinny. With all due respect.

Don't try to run me off because you haven't figured out how to use me and NEMA as a resource like many others have on this Forum and throughout the industry.
 

kwired

Electron manager
Location
NE Nebraska
Lawsuits are rarely about right and wrong. It's about who can be made to pay the most with the least amount of effort. Contractors shouldn't be under the delusion that following the law will protect them from being sued. The system is not designed to protect the little guy.

Very true, all one can do is take information and use it as one feels is the best course of action. And even then bad things happen sometimes.

We all break rules, some maybe we don't know we are breaking a rule, others we just disagree with the rule - but also need to realize potential consequences. With an issue such as the topic of this thread where there is a lot of controversy over the rule - those consequences are not so clear either. Then there is risk factor - which are a little like the risk factor of winning the lottery. The chance of hitting the big one is not all that high, and many are willing to accept that they won't be lucky enough to win the big one when they violate an AFCI rule.
 

iwire

Moderator
Staff member
Location
Massachusetts
Very true, all one can do is take information and use it as one feels is the best course of action. And even then bad things happen sometimes.

We all break rules, some maybe we don't know we are breaking a rule, others we just disagree with the rule - but also need to realize potential consequences. With an issue such as the topic of this thread where there is a lot of controversy over the rule - those consequences are not so clear either. Then there is risk factor - which are a little like the risk factor of winning the lottery. The chance of hitting the big one is not all that high, and many are willing to accept that they won't be lucky enough to win the big one when they violate an AFCI rule.
:thumbsup:

Well put.
 

mbrooke

Batteries Not Included
Location
United States
Occupation
*
Lawsuits are rarely about right and wrong. It's about who can be made to pay the most with the least amount of effort. Contractors shouldn't be under the delusion that following the law will protect them from being sued. The system is not designed to protect the little guy.

I think we can both agree on this one, the system is imperfect in this regard. However, if people spoke up and went after things that mattered, we would not have these problems to start with. Same can be said about electrical fires, if people were open and unbiased instead of blindly following what they are told lives actually would actually be saved without billions being spent on empty fire extinguishers like AFCIs.


Not true. It's information. Is telling someone that working on live equipment is dangerous a scare tactic?
No, because in this case we have a legit danger to worry about. Statistics even back it up...


99% of the questions on this Forum are code-based. Probably less than 1% are business oriented and even less are with regard to laws and rules. We don't spend enough time understand the laws and rules that determine our success and failures.
Correct, because we all want to do it safely. Much of what is in the code has actually to do with preventing fires. I sure would like to know the code does not allow #12 to carry 60amps.




I instruct courses on ethics, laws & rules and contractor & inspector liability. Some of the stuff is scary, be it not likely or a worst case scenario.
A true patriot is an authority himself. It is the job for everyone do their own research and speak up where injustice takes place. This is why I am so vocal. To stay silent is a crime. And while we may not agree, I applaud you for sharing what you know. :thumbsup:


So I can't possibly have anything else to offer this Forum? Now that is silly. NEMA is a resource for the electrical industry at-large. And much like the NFPA, the NRTLs, NECA, IAEI and other industry advocates, many of the projects and activities we undertake do not have direct returns for our members and clients.
Not having direct returns is not the same as having no returns. When these organizations make off the wall claims that 30,000 home fires per year are the result of arcing without a shred of evidence it supports the NFPA's code mandate and the manufactures; creating the public perception that a large number of professional entities have confirmed guesstimated speculation as reality. So yes, these entities are vital instruments in creating and disseminating propaganda. And if anything, they are the sacrificial lambs should a class action lawsuit take place and organizations like the NFPA need to cover themselves as to where they obtained their statistics 'but it was ESFI that said 30,000 fires are from arcing, not us'. I feel sorry for everyone caught up in this insanity.




90% of NEMA standards are FREE to anyone. Every White Paper and Engineering Bulletin (150+) are FREE to anyone. Code Alerts, ei Magazine, NEMA Currents, NEMACasts, ESFI literature, Field Rep education and training, ALL FREE TO ANYONE.

Does not mean its 100% correct and unbiased. After all, whats in it for them if they stained to make no money selling those standards?

What a diabolical and devious mission! Without NEMA, the electrical industry would be half the size and strength it is today. The products you buy would cost twice as much and there would be no standardizing of those products.
Perhaps, I am not disputing that, but they sure make some convincing propaganda.


When I look back and read some of the statements you guys make about our industry, it appears you guys are not for a free and open market,
False, I am open to a free market.

you oppose capitalism,
False, I appose monopolies.


you despise the success of others,
False, I want others to be successful, that is one reason why I spend time giving away what little I know. As for AFCIs, they are far from a success, especially being an IEC RCD and disconnect time rip off.



you distrust anyone that doesn't have exactly your same beliefs,
I distrust those who have given me reason too. In this case I see a lot fishy so I will remain suspicious.


you have set your mind on many aspects of our industry and refuse any new information or viewpoints,
False. I have extensively researched AFCIs, fire statics, standards, foreign codes, paschens law... the list goes on. I am not refusing any new information, on the contrary, most new information contradicts everything AFCIs claim to be doing.


your all pretty miserable acting and kind-of whinny. With all due respect.
You refuse to even consider for a half second AFCIs just might be ineffective at achieving what they are intended to do.


Don't try to run me off because you haven't figured out how to use me and NEMA as a resource like many others have on this Forum and throughout the industry.
NEMA is a great resource, but when it comes to AFCIs its feeding a massive fraudulent lie. I know its not your fault, in fact I feel sorry the powers that be are taking advantage of your trust and good intentions.
 

ActionDave

Moderator
Staff member
Location
Durango, CO, 10 h 20 min without traffic from wing
Occupation
wire pulling grunt
Lawsuits are rarely about right and wrong. It's about who can be made to pay the most with the least amount of effort. Contractors shouldn't be under the delusion that following the law will protect them from being sued. The system is not designed to protect the little guy.....
We live in a land where a father can sue his son to recoup the cost of raising him and make it to court, so yes, lawsuits are not always about right and wrong. But the truth is for the most part the court system works well. Most of those cases you hear about like the McDonald's coffee get overturned; the media doesn't hype that though.

Given all that, where is there one case of an electrical contractor being successfully sued for not following a more restrictive code?

Personally I hope an AFCI case does make it to court.
 

iwire

Moderator
Staff member
Location
Massachusetts
Lawsuits are rarely about right and wrong. It's about who can be made to pay the most with the least amount of effort.
Again back to scare tactics.

Contractors shouldn't be under the delusion that following the law will protect them from being sued. The system is not designed to protect the little guy.
Anyone can sue anyone for anything at all, that is not in question. Being successful in the suit is another story and while you keep saying we can be sued for not following unadopted codes you have yet to provide any instance of that happening.

Not true. It's information.
Yes, intentionally scary information without a shred of back up except your word on it.

Is telling someone that working on live equipment is dangerous a scare tactic?
As was pointed out there are thousands of incidents that prove working live is dangerous. You have yet to show us one case of an EC successfully being sued for not following unadopted NEC code sections.

99% of the questions on this Forum are code-based. Probably less than 1% are business oriented and even less are with regard to laws and rules. We don't spend enough time understand the laws and rules that determine our success and failures.
It is primarily a code forum so no surprise that the questions tend to run that way.

I instruct courses on ethics, laws & rules and contractor & inspector liability. Some of the stuff is scary, be it not likely or a worst case scenario.
So that being the case you must have the info at your fingertips about ECs being successfully sued for not following unadopted NEC code sections. Please share it.

So I can't possibly have anything else to offer this Forum? Now that is silly. NEMA is a resource for the electrical industry at-large.
That is a strawman argument, I never said any such thing or insinuated that.

I simply stated your posts can not be critical of NEMA or the manufacturers or their products because you are their paid employee. You have a lot to offer us here, you have a great deal of code knowlegd and other information that is of use to many of us.

None of that changes the fact you are on a leash.

And much like the NFPA, the NRTLs, NECA, IAEI and other industry advocates, many of the projects and activities we undertake do not have direct returns for our members and clients.
Just like any business, not everything an electrical contractor does has direct returns but everything is done for the benefit of the company. I am not saying they is anything wrong with that, that is business. But please don't spin it that it was done for the good of the people.

90% of NEMA standards are FREE to anyone. Every White Paper and Engineering Bulletin (150+) are FREE to anyone. Code Alerts, ei Magazine, NEMA Currents, NEMACasts, ESFI literature, Field Rep education and training, ALL FREE TO ANYONE.
That is great, I have some on my PC now, but again those are all decisions made ultimately for the long term the benefit of NEMA. Again, nothing wrong with that, but it is true.

What a diabolical and devious mission!
Again, another strawman argument, that is not what I said at all.

I was simply pointing out that you are employed by an organization mission is the sale of electrical products and again I see nothing wrong with that. But it does mean you cannot be critical of NEMA or any of its members if you wish to retain your position.

Without NEMA, the electrical industry would be half the size and strength it is today. The products you buy would cost twice as much and there would be no standardizing of those products.
I do not have any problem with NEMA or what it does. But as employee of NEMA you could not say something bad about it or its members products here on a public forum.

When I look back and read some of the statements you guys make about our industry, it appears you guys are not for a free and open market,
Funny, I think that is exactly what most of us want, we simply do not want to have product crammed down our throat without proof it is worth the money and trouble it causes.

you oppose capitalism,
Not I.

you despise the success of others,
No, I despise people who insist bragging about their success.

you distrust anyone that doesn't have exactly your same beliefs,
No, I distrust words coming from any paid spokesperson.

you have set your mind on many aspects of our industry and refuse any new information
Please provide some new information proving the effectiveness of AFCIs or new information about these lawsuits that ECs face for not going beyond the adopted NEC codes. A number forum members have asked for that.

or viewpoints,
No one is stopping you from expressing your views but you seem to feel you should be able to express your views without being questioned about them. That is not how a forum works, I think you have a forum confused with a blog.

your all pretty miserable acting and kind-of whinny.
Because we disagree with things you say.

So not only are we uneducated (you explained in previous threads how AFCI troubles are simply installer issues that training will fix) we are whinny as well.

You think highly of your fellow trade members. :roll:

Don't try to run me off because you haven't figured out how to use me and NEMA as a resource like many others have on this Forum and throughout the industry.
And a third strawman argument, I have no desire or ability to 'run you off'.
 
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romex jockey

Senior Member
Location
Vermont
I'll not embellish on the points made here , as they are better worded than i could muster anyways.

What i will say is, the grass root contingent of sparks dedicated to electrical theory has grown since the late 90's , which is the real crux of afci technology...

Perhaps Mr Holland, you should consider the inevitable as nema tightens it's grip

~RJ~
 

kenman215

Senior Member
Location
albany, ny
BPH, I don't diminish what you can and have added to this forum. However, I asked one simple question of you that has been reiterated by more than one member. Can you or can you not provide us with case law supporting your statement?

It's a very simple question. "Yes, and here it is." "No, I cannot." Yet, by all appearances, the question has been skillfully dodged by a philosophical condemnation of our legal system. Although I certainly don't entirely disagree with your point about the judicial system as a whole, your opinion of it does grant you the right to make "factual" assertions of what has happened, when they are simply your opinion of what might happen.

In my opinion, there exists a possibility that someday in the future the government is going to implant tracking chips under the skin of every newborn. I'm not out there on a public forum telling mothers to start breaking out the kitchen knives.

So please, either fact up or man up.
 

romex jockey

Senior Member
Location
Vermont
The legal basis for suing a compliant EC is mighty thin Ken .

But i'll forward an anecdotal for you.....

Mr Big shot PM wants the latest/greatest ocpd's for a service upgrade, panel moved more than 6'... 210.12b) refers to the branch circuitry in 210.12(a)

The furnace (exempt from 210.12(a) ) is tangled up with what is required to meet 210.12(a), so the furnace ends up afci protected along with it

It trips, the 2nd home freezes up, and litigant parasites are unleashed on yours truly.....:(

~R(no good deed goes unpunished)J~
 

iwire

Moderator
Staff member
Location
Massachusetts
The legal basis for suing a compliant EC is mighty thin Ken .

But i'll forward an anecdotal for you.....

Mr Big shot PM wants the latest/greatest ocpd's for a service upgrade, panel moved more than 6'... 210.12b) refers to the branch circuitry in 210.12(a)

The furnace (exempt from 210.12(a) ) is tangled up with what is required to meet 210.12(a), so the furnace ends up afci protected along with it

It trips, the 2nd home freezes up, and litigant parasites are unleashed on yours truly.....:(

~R(no good deed goes unpunished)J~
Did you follow the code?

Did the court make you pay for repairs?
 

romex jockey

Senior Member
Location
Vermont
Did you follow the code?
The ahj singed off on it......

Did the court make you pay for repairs?
It never went TO court Mr Iwire , largely (my assumption) due to my compliance.

They were fishing and they knew it , the threat often being greater than the execution in the legal arena

But it gets better, because you know the '17 change to 210.12 may well recreate this story

~RJ~
 

iwire

Moderator
Staff member
Location
Massachusetts
The ahj singed off on it......
That was not the question.



It never went TO court Mr Iwire , largely (my assumption) due to my compliance.

They were fishing and they knew it , the threat often being greater than the execution in the legal arena
So really there is nothing here.

As has been already stated anyone can sue anyone for anything, it is prevailing that counts.
 

romex jockey

Senior Member
Location
Vermont
That was not the question.
It was compliant, ergo the ahj passed it Mr Iwre.

that said, they've a level of sovereign immunity an EC does not....

So really there is nothing here.
Acute rectal pucker aside, no....


As has been already stated anyone can sue anyone for anything, it is prevailing that counts.
True , but the devil be in the details, as 'prevailing' in the litigant arena's ugly little secret usually equates to deeper pockets , and/or what bureaucratic plausible deniability one can throw down.


~RJ~
 

Strathead

Senior Member
Or stop it, that is more paid spokesperson scare tactics.

Just as easily a smart lawyer representing the people can make the claim AFCIs where pushed into the code strictly as a money making device for the manufacturers.
And in this litigious society, someone is just as likely to be sued because the AFCI tripped when hooked up to an important piece of medical equipment, like a CPAP machine. In same ways, more likely since when was the last time a fire was prevented by and AFCI?
 

mbrooke

Batteries Not Included
Location
United States
Occupation
*
And in this litigious society, someone is just as likely to be sued because the AFCI tripped when hooked up to an important piece of medical equipment, like a CPAP machine. In same ways, more likely since when was the last time a fire was prevented by and AFCI?

Its funny, because in the UK BS7671 has a special subclause that lets a circuit skip RCD (AFCI/GFCI) protection if use presents a greater hazard then which it guards against. So medical equipment is often legally exempt.


But being the NFPA it looks like we may not have a choice:


http://www.leviton.com/OA_HTML/SectionDisplay.jsp?section=64252&minisite=10251
 

bphgravity

Senior Member
Location
Florida
All electrical equipment and any cord-and-plug connected appliance that is listed to a U.S. based electrical product standard (typically UL, but many CSA & IEC standards as well) will NOT trip an AFCI if it is operating under the normal parameters outlined in it's applicable standard. Period. If the branch circuit wiring is completely free of defects, damage, and unintentional mis-wiring, an AFCI will not produce and unwanted trip. Period. If the AFCI device is operating and functioning within the parameters outline in UL 1569, it will not produce an unwanted trip when connected to a code compliant and defect free branch-circuit supplying electrical equipment. Period.

There is less than a 1% chance that a listed AFCI device is defective and not operating properly. This is based on batch testing, NRTL field reports, & data from the CPSC. So, there is likely a 99% change that what is being described as an unwanted or nuisance trip is more likely an AFCI device responding, properly, to a defective appliance or an unintentional mis-wire of the branch-circuit.

Much like GFCIs in the recent past, AFCIs are exposing the lack of workmanship and qualified electricians we have in our industry. They are also exposing the manufacturers of appliances and equipment that are not in compliance with their product standards. And, they are exposing the counterfeit and unlisted products that are flooding the market.

As soon as these three problems are corrected, the issue of unwanted AFCI tripping goes away. NEMA has strategic initiatives currently in place to combat these three issues. In the meanwhile, more needs to be done to educate the installers and users about these issues so they know how to respond properly to AFCI tripping. This too is a major focus of NEMA activities, related to AFCIs.

The hyper-focus and obsession with the AFCI device itself has no merit. Our efforts need to be on workmanship, appliance standards, and preventing unlisted and counterfeit products. Period.
 

ActionDave

Moderator
Staff member
Location
Durango, CO, 10 h 20 min without traffic from wing
Occupation
wire pulling grunt
All electrical equipment and any cord-and-plug connected appliance that is listed to a U.S. based electrical product standard (typically UL, but many CSA & IEC standards as well) will NOT trip an AFCI if it is operating under the normal parameters outlined in it's applicable standard. Period. If the branch circuit wiring is completely free of defects, damage, and unintentional mis-wiring, an AFCI will not produce and unwanted trip. Period. If the AFCI device is operating and functioning within the parameters outline in UL 1569, it will not produce an unwanted trip when connected to a code compliant and defect free branch-circuit supplying electrical equipment. Period. ....
.
That is flat out the biggest box of cargo labelled store high in transport that could ever be packaged.

I have personally talked to GE reps who have sent me new AFCI breakers and admitted that the their were changes made to the breaker to account for electronic loads.

I have personally seen power tools with electronic soft starts trip AFCI breakers and the same tools do not trip GFCI breakers. One was a brand new, out of the box Hitachi chop saw.

I have personally had to go investigate an existing AFCI protected circuit that started tripping when the HO switched his lamps from BR 30 incandescents to LED lamps.

I could go on. All this and I only work on one or two custom homes or remodels about every five years. I can't imagine the horror stories from guys that do resi all the time.

I have personally had a breaker nuisance trip, changed positions in
 
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