GFCI Receptacle for garbage disposal

Strathead

Senior Member
The new wording in 210.8 NEC 2018 states that when determining distance for GFCI's it is "would follow without ... passing through a door. My first thought is that if the receptacle has to pass through a door, then a GFCI isn't required on the other side of the door. But I think I have read here where it is believed to be required. Can we discuss the reasoning? I can see where one might state, a cabinet door isn't a "door" in this case, for example.
 

jap

Senior Member
The new wording in 210.8 NEC 2018 states that when determining distance for GFCI's it is "would follow without ... passing through a door. My first thought is that if the receptacle has to pass through a door, then a GFCI isn't required on the other side of the door. But I think I have read here where it is believed to be required. Can we discuss the reasoning? I can see where one might state, a cabinet door isn't a "door" in this case, for example.
If a cabinet door is not a door, then what is it?


JAP>
 

Dennis Alwon

Moderator
Staff member
I don't see how that can be clearer. IMO, the receptacle under the sink does not need to be gfci protected assuming this is a dwelling.

For the purposes of this section, when determining distance
from receptacles the distance shall be measured as the shortest
path the cord of an appliance connected to the receptacle
would follow without piercing a floor, wall, ceiling, or fixed
barrier, or passing through a door, doorway, or window.


Kitchens — where the receptacles are installed to serve
the countertop surfaces
(7) Sinks — where receptacles are installed within 1.8 m
(6 ft) from the top inside edge of the bowl of the sink
 

infinity

Moderator
Staff member
I don't see how that can be clearer. IMO, the receptacle under the sink does not need to be gfci protected assuming this is a dwelling.

I agree. I would also guess that the specific wording in the NEC that mentions the word door is actually referencing a cabinet door.
 

jap

Senior Member
Ajar. At least in my house, it is. :D
Mine's usually always shut, except for the brief moments when we open it to get the dishwashing liquid out.

I let my wife do that while I stand guard next to the non-gfi garbage disposal receptacle, just in case some sneaky B_ _ T _ _ D tries to plug something in when we aren't looking.


JAP>
 

jap

Senior Member
I have my boy watch the disposal switch during this period of time also.

Just in case they happen to get by me to plug something in,,, they dang sure aint gonna get by him to flip the switch on.


JAP>
 

Strathead

Senior Member
Thank you all I read an old thread where there was much more controversy about it. That wording is not in the 2014 code book. We are still under that one. Do you think an inspector would be wrong to fail you under that code? I think they would be within their rights.
 

kwired

Electron manager
Thank you all I read an old thread where there was much more controversy about it. That wording is not in the 2014 code book. We are still under that one. Do you think an inspector would be wrong to fail you under that code? I think they would be within their rights.
I think that is exactly why the change was made, as written before anything that was within six feet was up to AHJ how they want to enforce it, now they are telling you how to measure that six feet. In extreme case one could have said that bedroom receptacle on the other side of the wall was within six feet of the sink and required GFCI protection, reality is if the wall is finished and you don't pass any cord through the wall in any way you may need at least 25 feet of cord to reach from the receptacle to the sink.
 

don_resqcapt19

Moderator
Staff member
The intent of the 2017 language was that a cabinet door is not a door, but that is not what the words say. The 2020 will remove the words door and doorway from that section to make it clear that receptacles under the cabinet that are within 6' from the sink will require GFCI protection. This change will also require GFCI protection in some unusual locations. For example in my master bedroom the master bath sink is located such that one of the bedroom wall receptacles would require GFCI protection if the 2020 language was applied.
 

kwired

Electron manager
The intent of the 2017 language was that a cabinet door is not a door, but that is not what the words say. The 2020 will remove the words door and doorway from that section to make it clear that receptacles under the cabinet that are within 6' from the sink will require GFCI protection. This change will also require GFCI protection in some unusual locations. For example in my master bedroom the master bath sink is located such that one of the bedroom wall receptacles would require GFCI protection if the 2020 language was applied.
So what is their intent? If it is based on "what if" then why not GFCI protection of everything? That still won't prevent all electrocutions but will get quite a few of them.
 

Strathead

Senior Member
I must admit that it is nice to ask a question that ends up having multiple answers so I don't feel like it was a stupid question. For once.:p
 

jap

Senior Member
The intent of the 2017 language was that a cabinet door is not a door, but that is not what the words say. The 2020 will remove the words door and doorway from that section to make it clear that receptacles under the cabinet that are within 6' from the sink will require GFCI protection. This change will also require GFCI protection in some unusual locations. For example in my master bedroom the master bath sink is located such that one of the bedroom wall receptacles would require GFCI protection if the 2020 language was applied.

Electricians disagreeing on whether a cabinet door is not actually a door, pulling 6' strings from the receptacle to the sink for measurements trying to decide whether or not a GFI is required, then disagreeing on exactly how that measurement should be taken.

It's almost comical.

I'm glad our fathers and forefathers didn't waste this much time on such small matters because nothing would have ever gotten accomplished.

Someone make a rule that works and lets roll with it.

This is not that difficult.


JAP>
 

Strathead

Senior Member
Electricians disagreeing on whether a cabinet door is not actually a door, pulling 6' strings from the receptacle to the sink for measurements trying to decide whether or not a GFI is required, then disagreeing on exactly how that measurement should be taken.

It's almost comical.

I'm glad our fathers and forefathers didn't waste this much time on such small matters because nothing would have ever gotten accomplished.

Someone make a rule that works and lets roll with it.

This is not that difficult.


JAP>
Frankly, it is that difficult. Remember when a disconnect had to be within sight. 100 yards across a football field is within sight, they had to define it better. The code requires a service disconnect nearest the point of entrance. Even within a 50 mile radius of my house that distance is everywhere from 10 feet to 3 feet
 

ramsy

Senior Member
...The 2020 will remove the words door and doorway from that section to make it clear that receptacles under the cabinet that are within 6' from the sink will require GFCI protection..
"Readily Accessible" currently prohibits "to climb over or under, to remove obstacles"
See first paragraph of 210.8 and 210.12
 

david

Senior Member
The new wording in 210.8 NEC 2018 states that when determining distance for GFCI's it is "would follow without ... passing through a door. My first thought is that if the receptacle has to pass through a door, then a GFCI isn't required on the other side of the door. But I think I have read here where it is believed to be required. Can we discuss the reasoning? I can see where one might state, a cabinet door isn't a "door" in this case, for example.
For the purposes of this section, when determining distance
from receptacles the distance shall be measured as the shortest
path the cord of an appliance connected to the receptacle
would follow without piercing a floor, wall, ceiling, or fixed
barrier, or passing through a door, doorway, or window.

680.22
(4) GFCI Protection. All 15- and 20-ampere, single-phase, 125-volt receptacles located within 6.0 m (20 ft) of the inside walls of a pool shall be protected by a ground-fault circuit interrupter.

(5) Measurements. In determining the dimensions in this section addressing receptacle spacings, the distance to be measured shall be the shortest path the supply cord of an appliance connected to the receptacle would follow without piercing a floor, wall, ceiling, doorway with hinged or sliding door, window opening, or other effective permanent barrier.

If there was a rec in a cabinet say 7 ft from a pool i would require it to have ground fault protection
 

lordofthisworld

Senior Member
The new wording in 210.8 NEC 2018 states that when determining distance for GFCI's it is "would follow without ... passing through a door. My first thought is that if the receptacle has to pass through a door, then a GFCI isn't required on the other side of the door. But I think I have read here where it is believed to be required. Can we discuss the reasoning? I can see where one might state, a cabinet door isn't a "door" in this case, for example.

Is the disposal Recept within 6’ of the edge of the sink?
 

kwired

Electron manager
For the purposes of this section, when determining distance
from receptacles the distance shall be measured as the shortest
path the cord of an appliance connected to the receptacle
would follow without piercing a floor, wall, ceiling, or fixed
barrier, or passing through a door, doorway, or window.

680.22
(4) GFCI Protection. All 15- and 20-ampere, single-phase, 125-volt receptacles located within 6.0 m (20 ft) of the inside walls of a pool shall be protected by a ground-fault circuit interrupter.

(5) Measurements. In determining the dimensions in this section addressing receptacle spacings, the distance to be measured shall be the shortest path the supply cord of an appliance connected to the receptacle would follow without piercing a floor, wall, ceiling, doorway with hinged or sliding door, window opening, or other effective permanent barrier.

If there was a rec in a cabinet say 7 ft from a pool i would require it to have ground fault protection
What if it is on other side of a wall, effectively in another "room" than what the pool is in? Certainly wouldn't hurt to GFCI protect it in most cases, but may not be all that necessary.

Problem with making rules is all the "what if's" that didn't come up initially when making the rule.

Is the disposal Recept within 6’ of the edge of the sink?
When it comes to a direct line regardless of obstacles, usually they are, the topic of discussion is how to measure that distance when there is obstacles, openings, etc.
 

don_resqcapt19

Moderator
Staff member
"Readily Accessible" currently prohibits "to climb over or under, to remove obstacles"
See first paragraph of 210.8 and 210.12
That has nothing to do with the requirement that the receptacle have GFCI protection. It just says you can't use a GFCI receptacle in that location to provide the required protection.
 

ramsy

Senior Member
That has nothing to do with the requirement that the receptacle have GFCI protection. It just says you can't use a GFCI receptacle in that location to provide the required protection.
Master's won't let monkeys use 2-pole GCFI's for MWBC's under sinks, but they might use 1-pole breaker for both dishwasher / disposer, and cap off extra leg in box.
 

romex jockey

Senior Member
Given all the recent torriod nec inclusions, I'm waiting for the decending ma (main, submains, ocpd's) model to debut here

~RJ~
 

david

Senior Member
What if it is on other side of a wall, effectively in another "room" than what the pool is in? Certainly wouldn't hurt to GFCI protect it in most cases, but may not be all that necessary.

Problem with making rules is all the "what if's" that didn't come up initially when making the rule.

When it comes to a direct line regardless of obstacles, usually they are, the topic of discussion is how to measure that distance when there is obstacles, openings, etc.
Doorway seems to have an understood meaning in the building trades the difference in the two sections

680 specifies a doorway with a hinged or sliding door (barrier) to separate the swimming pool area from the room in your post

My point is most would require, if a rec was in a cabinet in the swimming pool area to have GFCI protection. The wording is the same in both sections. As written the cabinet door does not create a separation that would be considered a barrier.

I agree if the code intends to exempt the rec in a cabinet it needs to be clear
 

kwired

Electron manager
Doorway seems to have an understood meaning in the building trades the difference in the two sections

680 specifies a doorway with a hinged or sliding door (barrier) to separate the swimming pool area from the room in your post

My point is most would require, if a rec was in a cabinet in the swimming pool area to have GFCI protection. The wording is the same in both sections. As written the cabinet door does not create a separation that would be considered a barrier.

I agree if the code intends to exempt the rec in a cabinet it needs to be clear
I did not check out what is in 680 but as far as 210.8 goes, 2017 they added wording that I thought was clear the cabinet door is such a barrier. Now it is mentioned that will go away again. Must have been a failed attempt at whatever they were trying to get out of the first time around?
 

kwired

Electron manager
Master's won't let monkeys use 2-pole GCFI's for MWBC's under sinks, but they might use 1-pole breaker for both dishwasher / disposer, and cap off extra leg in box.
Why? It is either GFCI protected or it is not, why does it matter if it is single pole, two pole or even three pole?
 

ramsy

Senior Member
Why? It is either GFCI protected or it is not, why does it matter if it is single pole, two pole or even three pole?
Maybe it's just me. Never found one in resi fuse box in last 10 years.
How many 2-pole resets have you installed, and where, much less 3-pole?
 

romex jockey

Senior Member
Doorway seems to have an understood meaning in the building trades the difference in the two sections

680 specifies a doorway with a hinged or sliding door (barrier) to separate the swimming pool area from the room in your post

My point is most would require, if a rec was in a cabinet in the swimming pool area to have GFCI protection. The wording is the same in both sections. As written the cabinet door does not create a separation that would be considered a barrier.

I agree if the code intends to exempt the rec in a cabinet it needs to be clear
Didn't the '17 focus on accessibility of gfci's??? ~RJ~
 

david

Senior Member
Didn't the '17 focus on accessibility of gfci's??? ~RJ~
Not sure how the test/ reset being accessible effects anything as far as GFCI protection of a Rec. goes.

"Readily Accessible" currently prohibits "to climb over or under, to remove obstacles"
See first paragraph of 210.8 and 210.12
That has nothing to do with the requirement that the receptacle have GFCI protection. It just says you can't use a GFCI receptacle in that location to provide the required protection.
 

romex jockey

Senior Member
Not sure how the test/ reset being accessible effects anything as far as GFCI protection of a Rec. goes.
Imho, there's more than one consideration, which is confusing to me :(

Accessibility (210.8, 210.12) became more prevelant , so digging under a sink to find the gfi became an issue.

422.16 (B) , addresses specific appliances , all of which insist on accessibility

Part III of 422 goes on about disconnecting them all , 110.25 w/in sight. This ends up w/422.33 (&430 ) allowing a male cord cap said duty.

Then 422.34 seems to blow it all away

~RJ~
 

kwired

Electron manager
Maybe it's just me. Never found one in resi fuse box in last 10 years.
How many 2-pole resets have you installed, and where, much less 3-pole?
For residential - mostly just for a hot tub when it comes to needing 2 pole. Certainly isn't prohibited if you wanted to use it on a MWBC.

2017 NEC has situations where a 3 pole GFCI can be required. Those that do a lot of commercial kitchens likely are seeing it a lot, or are opting to hardwire some things where possible that used to be cord and plug connected.
 
GFCI PROTECTION FOR DISPOSAL UNDER SINK

GFCI PROTECTION FOR DISPOSAL UNDER SINK

I don't see how that can be clearer. IMO, the receptacle under the sink does not need to be gfci protected assuming this is a dwelling.
IMO, if the receptacle is within 6 feet of the sink, no matter how you measure it, it should be GFCI protected. IF the origin of the rule as it pertains to 6 feet is specified because boom boxes, etc. have a 6 foot cord, then it is conceivable that some dullard could plug his radio into the receptacle while working under the sink. It has been my experience, that the majority of times that an individual dies from a 120VAC shock is when they cannot get away from it. I would certainly surmise that lying on one's back under the sink would not be conducive to recoiling from such a 120V contact.

Since it is under the sink and assuming the first contention above is correct, I would not allow for the use of a GFCI receptacle because it does not meet the definition of "Readily Accessible."

Article 100 Definitions.

Accessible, Readily (Readily Accessible) Capable of being reached quickly for operation, renewal, or inspectionswithout requiring those to whom ready access is requisite to actions such as to use tools, to climb over or remove obstacles, or to resort to portable ladders, and so forth.

Most cabinets under residential kitchen sinks are crowded with the disposal itself and a myriad of cleaning products, etc., that would require removing depending on the location of the receptacle. If one needs to merely open the door to access the receptacle and such access is not impeded by the above reiterated, then a GFCI receptacle would be acceptable.

Just one inspector's opinion.

People commonly use the phrase "YOLO - you only live once." I maintain that "you live every day....you only die once."

 

augie47

Moderator
Staff member
We had a Code Making Panel member at one of our meetings and, as don states, the intent of the change according to the CMP panel member was to address areas within 6 ft of the sink but on the other side of a walk-thru door such as in a bedroom, not a cabinet "doorway".
It being an outlet in the kitchen, AFCI would be required. It would seem to me economically one would just use a dual function breaker and avoid the controversy.
 

kwired

Electron manager
IMO, if the receptacle is within 6 feet of the sink, no matter how you measure it, it should be GFCI protected. IF the origin of the rule as it pertains to 6 feet is specified because boom boxes, etc. have a 6 foot cord, then it is conceivable that some dullard could plug his radio into the receptacle while working under the sink. It has been my experience, that the majority of times that an individual dies from a 120VAC shock is when they cannot get away from it. I would certainly surmise that lying on one's back under the sink would not be conducive to recoiling from such a 120V contact.

Since it is under the sink and assuming the first contention above is correct, I would not allow for the use of a GFCI receptacle because it does not meet the definition of "Readily Accessible."

Article 100 Definitions.

Accessible, Readily (Readily Accessible) Capable of being reached quickly for operation, renewal, or inspectionswithout requiring those to whom ready access is requisite to actions such as to use tools, to climb over or remove obstacles, or to resort to portable ladders, and so forth.

Most cabinets under residential kitchen sinks are crowded with the disposal itself and a myriad of cleaning products, etc., that would require removing depending on the location of the receptacle. If one needs to merely open the door to access the receptacle and such access is not impeded by the above reiterated, then a GFCI receptacle would be acceptable.

Just one inspector's opinion.

People commonly use the phrase "YOLO - you only live once." I maintain that "you live every day....you only die once."

Risk of shock when under said sink working in the cabinet is quite different when there is all non metallic plumbing, non conductive floors, etc. vs when there is metallic plumbing, conductive floors, etc.

There are many other "what if's" one could apply also ultimately leading to why not just GFCI everything.

I guess I can't speak for everyone, but why plug the radio in under the sink when you likely have many other places in the kitchen to do so? A trouble light or other tool you intend to use under sink, is more understandable.
 

PaulMmn

Senior Member
If 'readily accessible' is the issue, wouldn't a dead front gfci mounted on the side of the cabinet (or some cabinet), feeding the outlet under the sink meet the requirements??
 

jap

Senior Member
Because all most all inspection authorities say it is not readily accessible.
Not readily accessible for who?

Inspectors are not the ones in the kitchen when a GFI might trip, and, if they were, if the garbage disposal didn't work, the first place they'd probably look for a problem would be under the sink for a reset button or where it's plugged in.

So what's the big deal about having to reset it under there?

It's not like the cabinet door below the sink is screwed shut, or, a padlock on it that's only accessible by certain individuals.

Just seems odd of why it needs to be "readily" accessible.

JAP>
 

PaulMmn

Senior Member
Not readily accessible for who? ... It's not like the cabinet door below the sink is screwed shut, or, a padlock on it that's only accessible by certain individuals. JAP>
Of course, if the cabinet door has a 'child-proof' (resistant) latch, no adult will be able to open it! :)
 

jap

Senior Member
I think they "should" require the reset for the GFI to be in the same area as the Garbage disposal.

It would require someone to at least look under there to see if any other odd thing might have happened, such as a frayed cord or the like, to make it trip out instead of just assuming, without looking at the Garbage disposal at all.


JAP>
 

kwired

Electron manager
If 'readily accessible' is the issue, wouldn't a dead front gfci mounted on the side of the cabinet (or some cabinet), feeding the outlet under the sink meet the requirements??
Topic of thread isn't about accessibility of the GFCI, it is about how far from sink can the receptacle be before it is no longer required to have GFCI protection, and whether the cabinet and/or cabinet door becomes a barrier in determining this distance.

I think they "should" require the reset for the GFI to be in the same area as the Garbage disposal.
NO way. Option to put it there is OK, but do not require it there.
 

peter d

Senior Member
I have suggestion for the device manufacturers. Make an AFCI/GFCI and switch combination device for disposals that can be mounted in a device box above the counter. That way, the protection is located at the point of use for easier troubleshooting and resetting.
 

kwired

Electron manager
I have suggestion for the device manufacturers. Make an AFCI/GFCI and switch combination device for disposals that can be mounted in a device box above the counter. That way, the protection is located at the point of use for easier troubleshooting and resetting.
There are GFCI/switch combinations out there. AFCI needs to protect the entire circuit (most the time anyway) and would still need an AFCI breaker.
 

peter d

Senior Member
There are GFCI/switch combinations out there. AFCI needs to protect the entire circuit (most the time anyway) and would still need an AFCI breaker.
I know but I'm talking about one without a receptacle. Just the GF/AF functions and a switch. This device would be good for refrofits.
 

romex jockey

Senior Member
I have suggestion for the device manufacturers. Make an AFCI/GFCI and switch combination device for disposals that can be mounted in a device box above the counter. That way, the protection is located at the point of use for easier troubleshooting and resetting.
you missed your calling Pete, coulda made a stellar manufacturing rep, all the cmp seats would be buying you lunch.....brews...etc etc....:happyyes:~RJ~
 
Risk of shock when under said sink working in the cabinet is quite different when there is all non metallic plumbing, non conductive floors, etc. vs when there is metallic plumbing, conductive floors, etc.

There are many other "what if's" one could apply also ultimately leading to why not just GFCI everything.

I guess I can't speak for everyone, but why plug the radio in under the sink when you likely have many other places in the kitchen to do so? A trouble light or other tool you intend to use under sink, is more understandable.
kwired,
I know that you have been a member for a long time so I respect your opinion as it pertains to this subject. I still maintain that if a GFCI receptacle is under a sink in a residential dwelling, it does not meet the definition of "readily accessible." Having said that, as an inspector for almost 20 years in a medium sized city, there isn't enough time in a day to reiterate the stupid things that I encounter on a daily basis that people do. It still baffles me as to the lack of intelligence by tenants as well as the lack of conscious by so-called electricians that results not only in code violations but direct hazards to life and property. Someday, electrical inspectors can collaborate on a book of the inane circumstances we encounter.
 
Not readily accessible for who?

Inspectors are not the ones in the kitchen when a GFI might trip, and, if they were, if the garbage disposal didn't work, the first place they'd probably look for a problem would be under the sink for a reset button or where it's plugged in.

So what's the big deal about having to reset it under there?

It's not like the cabinet door below the sink is screwed shut, or, a padlock on it that's only accessible by certain individuals.

Just seems odd of why it needs to be "readily" accessible.

JAP>
As I routinely reiterate, "I didn't write the code, I am merely tasked with the responsibility of enforcing it." There are numerous code sections I disagree with as well as numerous mistakes identified in the 2014 NEC. Many have been corrected in the 2017 edition, some have not, but I work in a state where we are always a code cycle behind. How many inform electricians that "the code is the minimum." IMO, if you are working with a code that is 3 or more years behind and you perform to the minimum standard(s) of that code, you are rolling the dice as it pertains to a potential law suit.
 

kwired

Electron manager
kwired,
I know that you have been a member for a long time so I respect your opinion as it pertains to this subject. I still maintain that if a GFCI receptacle is under a sink in a residential dwelling, it does not meet the definition of "readily accessible." Having said that, as an inspector for almost 20 years in a medium sized city, there isn't enough time in a day to reiterate the stupid things that I encounter on a daily basis that people do. It still baffles me as to the lack of intelligence by tenants as well as the lack of conscious by so-called electricians that results not only in code violations but direct hazards to life and property. Someday, electrical inspectors can collaborate on a book of the inane circumstances we encounter.
I can live with GFCI under the sink being considered not readily accessible even if I have disagreements on that - NEC needs to make it's intent on this more clear somehow IMO. This is one of those things I agree should have fairly easy access to, but also isn't something that needs emergency access to, but as an installer if it is clear I can live with it even if I don't agree with it.

My bigger issue on this is the need for GFCI period. As I said earlier, you can throw all the "what if's you want out there, but if you are going to do that, why not require GFCI for "everything". Otherwise how many statistics are there for shock and electrocutions from an otherwise properly installed/maintained receptacle under the sink? I bet it is fairly low.

As I routinely reiterate, "I didn't write the code, I am merely tasked with the responsibility of enforcing it." There are numerous code sections I disagree with as well as numerous mistakes identified in the 2014 NEC. Many have been corrected in the 2017 edition, some have not, but I work in a state where we are always a code cycle behind. How many inform electricians that "the code is the minimum." IMO, if you are working with a code that is 3 or more years behind and you perform to the minimum standard(s) of that code, you are rolling the dice as it pertains to a potential law suit.
Us installers aren't rolling the dice, the AHJ is when it comes to being 3 years behind. Us installers are just following laws set for us, AHJ may have more immunity to some degree, especially from an individual lawsuit, but get large group together and even if they can't win any monetary award, there is more potential to get something done.

I don't know about how it works for you, but here next code isn't in the law books until it goes through State Legislature, so it sort of puts such issue on the Legislature and not the Electrical Division itself. So depending on how legislation goes, in a new code year the bill often won't even be introduced until March or April. All bills passed don't go into effect for 90 days unless there is an emergency clause attached to them, so we don't see adoption of new code until maybe June through September depending on when bill was passed. If bill gets any objections or hung up for other reasons, happened with 2008 NEC, it may not even make it in the current legislative session and may be another year before it gets visited again. We only used 2008 for maybe about a year and a half before 2011 was adopted in a fairly usual time frame.
 

jap

Senior Member
NO way. Option to put it there is OK, but do not require it there.
You're correct.

That was a bad choice of words on my part.

I think they "should" allow the reset to be under the sink

Not allowing it under there for the reasoning of not being "readily accessible" just seems to stem from laziness rather than any safety concerns.


JAP>
 

kwired

Electron manager
You're correct.

That was a bad choice of words on my part.

I think they "should" allow the reset to be under the sink

Not allowing it under there for the reasoning of not being "readily accessible" just seems to stem from laziness rather than any safety concerns.


JAP>
Not even laziness, stupidity is more like it.

The need for ready access to service disconnect in an emergency situation makes sense. How often is testing/resetting a GFCI an emergency?

It is still readily accessible from the appliance location with a disposer, dishwasher in adjacent space - that is more questionable, but then the dishwasher needing GFCI is another topic that makes no sense either.
 

jap

Senior Member
Not even laziness, stupidity is more like it.

The need for ready access to service disconnect in an emergency situation makes sense. How often is testing/resetting a GFCI an emergency?

It is still readily accessible from the appliance location with a disposer, dishwasher in adjacent space - that is more questionable, but then the dishwasher needing GFCI is another topic that makes no sense either.
That's why I questioned earlier "who" exactly are we making it readily accessible for, and, why?

JAP>
 

romex jockey

Senior Member
In reality, servicing.

code wide, an appliance needs a readily accesible disconnect (pigs, DW's ,trash compactors) can get away w/male cord caps

the ocpd could be DF ,in the basemnet of a single fam

~RJ~
 

kwired

Electron manager
In reality, servicing.

code wide, an appliance needs a readily accesible disconnect (pigs, DW's ,trash compactors) can get away w/male cord caps

the ocpd could be DF ,in the basemnet of a single fam

~RJ~
Non GFCI receptacle need not be readily accessible but is still the disconnecting means. NEC is fine with disconnecting means that is accessible at the location of equipment it disconnects even if it isn't readily accessible. For some reason it is deemed necessary to make GFCI's readily accessible. I see a possible inconvenience to some circumstances of needing to reset a GFCI, but don't see any general safety rule - I say general because safety may depend on what is supplied and how much danger is presented by loss of power - but that should be more of an issue with that equipment and it's use and not the general rules of NEC.
 

romex jockey

Senior Member
Non GFCI receptacle need not be readily accessible but is still the disconnecting means. NEC is fine with disconnecting means that is accessible at the location of equipment it disconnects even if it isn't readily accessible. For some reason it is deemed necessary to make GFCI's readily accessible. I see a possible inconvenience to some circumstances of needing to reset a GFCI, but don't see any general safety rule - I say general because safety may depend on what is supplied and how much danger is presented by loss of power - but that should be more of an issue with that equipment and it's use and not the general rules of NEC.
I agree Kwired, and so what happens is, we are sparks are involved in kitchen design by default, as least as far as 'lectrical configuration. The last commercial one we did had a dedicated subpanel out of, but w/in sight. It was full of gfic ocpd's & lockable. My ahj was ok w/it....



I really miss when I started in the trade in 1997. Things were so much simpler then. :(
ah...well....one can never really go home Pete....:p~RJ~
 

kwired

Electron manager
I agree Kwired, and so what happens is, we are sparks are involved in kitchen design by default, as least as far as 'lectrical configuration. The last commercial one we did had a dedicated subpanel out of, but w/in sight. It was full of gfic ocpd's & lockable. My ahj was ok w/it....





ah...well....one can never really go home Pete....:p~RJ~
NEC specifically excludes lock/key from the tools one may need to gain access when it comes to "readily accessible" though.

Screwdriver is pretty universal tool, but a key can be more limiting - makes sense right?
 
I can live with GFCI under the sink being considered not readily accessible even if I have disagreements on that - NEC needs to make it's intent on this more clear somehow IMO. This is one of those things I agree should have fairly easy access to, but also isn't something that needs emergency access to, but as an installer if it is clear I can live with it even if I don't agree with it.

My bigger issue on this is the need for GFCI period. As I said earlier, you can throw all the "what if's you want out there, but if you are going to do that, why not require GFCI for "everything". Otherwise how many statistics are there for shock and electrocutions from an otherwise properly installed/maintained receptacle under the sink? I bet it is fairly low.

Us installers aren't rolling the dice, the AHJ is when it comes to being 3 years behind. Us installers are just following laws set for us, AHJ may have more immunity to some degree, especially from an individual lawsuit, but get large group together and even if they can't win any monetary award, there is more potential to get something done.

I don't know about how it works for you, but here next code isn't in the law books until it goes through State Legislature, so it sort of puts such issue on the Legislature and not the Electrical Division itself. So depending on how legislation goes, in a new code year the bill often won't even be introduced until March or April. All bills passed don't go into effect for 90 days unless there is an emergency clause attached to them, so we don't see adoption of new code until maybe June through September depending on when bill was passed. If bill gets any objections or hung up for other reasons, happened with 2008 NEC, it may not even make it in the current legislative session and may be another year before it gets visited again. We only used 2008 for maybe about a year and a half before 2011 was adopted in a fairly usual time frame.
I agree with the notion that any liability on behalf of the state being behind in adopting the most recent code should not and does not impact the electrical inspectors. We can only enforce the code that has been adopted and we can only be held liable if one can prove that we were cognizant that an installation was improper and approved it regardless. All of our certificates sent subsequent to an approved inspection include a disclaimer that indicates that "inspections are visual only and we are not responsible for installations that are concealed...." It would not surprise me however; if a good attorney could take advantage of the fact that the NEC stipulates that the code requirements are "the minimum." Just for example, in NY, we are on the 2014 NEC where bathrooms are not required to be AFCI protected. I understand that I am "what if'fing" here and that no code exists that begins with "What if" but 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. Is it beyond the realm of possibility that a jury would not comprehend that the electrician performed the installation in accordance with the code being enforced by the state at the time of the installation? Would the contractor be found not liable for the same reason? In today's litigious society, I would appreciate the opinions of inspectors and electricians alike as it pertains to this scenario. I was concerned about this when I was a contractor and I continue to be concerned as an electrical inspector for the past 16 years. The next code may not be enforced until approved by the state but is performing to the minimum standard an acceptable defense for failing to utilize a device that does exist and is called for in the more recent code? Just a thought.

Everyone uses the term YOLO these days - you only live once. I contend the opposite. You only die once. You live every day.
 

PaulMmn

Senior Member
"You only live twice-- or so it seems... One life for yourself, and one for your dreams....."
 

kwired

Electron manager
I agree with the notion that any liability on behalf of the state being behind in adopting the most recent code should not and does not impact the electrical inspectors. We can only enforce the code that has been adopted and we can only be held liable if one can prove that we were cognizant that an installation was improper and approved it regardless. All of our certificates sent subsequent to an approved inspection include a disclaimer that indicates that "inspections are visual only and we are not responsible for installations that are concealed...." It would not surprise me however; if a good attorney could take advantage of the fact that the NEC stipulates that the code requirements are "the minimum." Just for example, in NY, we are on the 2014 NEC where bathrooms are not required to be AFCI protected. I understand that I am "what if'fing" here and that no code exists that begins with "What if" but 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. Is it beyond the realm of possibility that a jury would not comprehend that the electrician performed the installation in accordance with the code being enforced by the state at the time of the installation? Would the contractor be found not liable for the same reason? In today's litigious society, I would appreciate the opinions of inspectors and electricians alike as it pertains to this scenario. I was concerned about this when I was a contractor and I continue to be concerned as an electrical inspector for the past 16 years. The next code may not be enforced until approved by the state but is performing to the minimum standard an acceptable defense for failing to utilize a device that does exist and is called for in the more recent code? Just a thought.

Everyone uses the term YOLO these days - you only live once. I contend the opposite. You only die once. You live every day.
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.
 

hbiss

EC, Westchester, New York NEC: 2014
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
 

ActionDave

Moderator
Staff member
... 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?
 

kwired

Electron manager
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.
 

kwired

Electron manager
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.
 

peter d

Senior Member
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.
 
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?
 

hbiss

EC, Westchester, New York NEC: 2014
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
 

victor.cherkashi

Senior Member
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
 
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 21[SUP]st[/SUP] 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:

  • 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.

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
 
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
 

ActionDave

Moderator
Staff member
... 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.
 

jap

Senior Member
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>
 

kwired

Electron manager
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 21[SUP]st[/SUP] 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:

  • 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.

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.

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?
 

hbiss

EC, Westchester, New York NEC: 2014
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 21[SUP]st[/SUP] 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:

  • 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.

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
You are new here so I'll cut you some slack. If you do some research of this site you will find input from engineers (one who was involved with the original design process), hundreds of ECs who have experience with AFCIs and members of the NEC code making panels themselves. Read how the NEC was compromised by manufacturer influence to require the installation of AFCIs thus creating a huge win for manufacturer profitability.

Believe me, if our findings were that AFCI technology was viable we would embrace it with open arms. We aren't just against AFCIs because it costs more or we don't like it. The fact is that in the almost 20 years AFCIs have been available they have NEVER been proven to have saved one life. That NFPA data you quote has been shown to be fudged from manufacturers and other proponents of AFCIs.

AFCIs were a pipe dream back when it was hoped that technology could be developed to build a functional arc sensing device. But unfortunately, 20 years later we now know that the amount of "horsepower" to accomplish that can't be contained within the space relegated to a standard breaker.

If manufacturers were to throw in the towel now and give up on AFCI technology it would open them up to huge lawsuits which would probably put some of them out of business.

-Hal
 

romex jockey

Senior Member
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.

-Hal
I know of 3 countries that tried and backed down....

Hal,

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:

  • 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.

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.
Do you realize how and where these stats are collected?

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.
We do have a resident fire forensic poster, he has posted his findings.

~RJ~
 

romex jockey

Senior Member
If manufacturers were to throw in the towel now and give up on AFCI technology it would open them up to huge lawsuits which would probably put some of them out of business.
I'd only stae that it almost happened....which is why we have the term 'supplemental' in 210.12

~RJ~
 
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 am not comparing the function of an AFCI to a GFCI despite the fact that I encounter licensed electricians on a daily basis that do not understand how either device functions. The statement was made to reflect that when people do not understand the technology, they routinely scoff at it.

There is a plethora of data that reflects that AFCI has resulted in property damage reduction as well as a reduction to human injuries and death as a result of electrical fire. You can look this up for yourself if you don't accept what I posted. How do you think these requirements become code? They are approved by code making panels with data presented to reflect their necessity. Many codes are the result of a previous documented incident. The insurance industry has a significant influence in the making of codes. Code panels don't just arbitrarily accept proposals without data to batten the request.
 

ActionDave

Moderator
Staff member
....There is a plethora of data that reflects that AFCI has resulted in property damage reduction as well as a reduction to human injuries and death as a result of electrical fire.
There is none. The only data that exist about AFCIs is how they fail to perform as intended.

You can look this up for yourself if you don't accept what I posted
What you posted was a list of stats about fires in general. If there was any evidence that AFCIs were effective I would be in favor of them.

How do you think these requirements become code?
It's a sad and sorry tale. The short story is they were rammed into the code by the manufacturers.

Many codes are the result of a previous documented incident.
Many are, that's how code changes and additions should work.

The insurance industry has a significant influence in the making of codes.
If AFCIs were effective insurance companies would be offering financial incentives to policy holders to have them installed.

Code panels don't just arbitrarily accept proposals without data to batten the request.
That is both false and naive. We have rules about automatic transfer switches and generators that were rammed into the code by generator manufacturers with no evidence of problems.

We have rules about derating wires on roof tops that were rammed into the code by the copper producers with no evidence of prior failures.

The three story limit on the use of romex was removed as a horse trade between code panel members to get a favorable vote on another proposal.

In use receptacle covers, changing the listing on rain tite fittings, ....and on it goes
 

PaulMmn

Senior Member
...In use receptacle covers...
Well, the screw-on caps (with the beaded chain so they don't get lost), the flip-up caps, and IIRC the 'front door' style of protection for outdoor outlets all have issues.

When you plug in the Christmas lights for their 4-month display, I'm glad there are the bubble covers to keep the connections dry.

Biggest problem with in-use covers is the ones that don't have gaskets around the cord exits, and don't give a clear view of the interior. I do NOT like wasps!
 

peter d

Senior Member
That is both false and naive. We have rules about automatic transfer switches and generators that were rammed into the code by generator manufacturers with no evidence of problems.

We have rules about derating wires on roof tops that were rammed into the code by the copper producers with no evidence of prior failures.

The three story limit on the use of romex was removed as a horse trade between code panel members to get a favorable vote on another proposal.

In use receptacle covers, changing the listing on rain tite fittings, ....and on it goes
This is why I say manufacturers should have no direct participation in the code making process. I'm fine with them serving in an advisory role but I'm adamantly opposed to them being directly involved in the code making and voting process.
 

hbiss

EC, Westchester, New York NEC: 2014
How do you think these requirements become code? They are approved by code making panels with data presented to reflect their necessity.
I'll say it again- the code making panels have representitives who work for the manufacturers and are voting members. This is where all that manipulated data you found came from. We've seen it all before. They used it to help convince the other members to vote with them.

We ain't just a bunch of hicks here. Some of our members sit on code making panels themselves so we know what goes on.

One of our members (and a manufacturer's rep) who I believe was a voting member of the CMP that was involved with AFCIs, was so pompus that he was banned from here for a few months. Basically he told us to go screw ourselves if we don't agree with AFCIs. We need to do what they tell us to do and it isn't going to change. Nice.

Remember one thing, there's a lot of money being made off this if you know what I mean.

-Hal
 

ActionDave

Moderator
Staff member
He was not comparing technologies, he was comparing old electricians reaction to new technologies.
Everybody that defends AFCIs compares them to GFCIs.

GFCIs trip when there is a five millamp fault to ground.

What makes an AFCI trip?
 
There is none. The only data that exist about AFCIs is how they fail to perform as intended.

That's a statement without proof. There is data regarding the effectiveness of AFCI vs. 1950's technology circuit breakers.



What you posted was a list of stats about fires in general. If there was any evidence that AFCIs were effective I would be in favor of them.

What I posted were the latest stats about fires in general when compared to previous stats reveals a substantial decrease in electrical fires which cause property damage, injuries and death. I'm certain there are other factors but if there are so many that disagree with the effectiveness of AFCI, work towards changing the code.



It's a sad and sorry tale. The short story is they were rammed into the code by the manufacturers.

I can't argue with that but why is it that residential sprinkler systems haven't been added to the code? They've been proposing that requirement for 20 years.

Many are, that's how code changes and additions should work.

I'm glad that we agree on something here, however: you stated that manufacturers can force things into the code so apparently that's not always how it works. I refer again to the sprinklers.



If AFCIs were effective insurance companies would be offering financial incentives to policy holders to have them installed.

Why would an insurance company offer a discount for something that is required by code already? Insurance companies routinely compel property owners to change fuse panels and Federal Pacific panels or threaten to cancel the policy. I have no love for insurance companies myself.



That is both false and naive. We have rules about automatic transfer switches and generators that were rammed into the code by generator manufacturers with no evidence of problems.

I'm not certain about what in particular you are claiming to be false and untrue but research 702.12B and follow the protracted path that requirement leads you down. The requirements are poorly written and they should just come out and say that electronic circuitry is required to ensure that "all ungrounded conductors can be simultaneously disconnected," "disconnects shall be capable of being locked in the open position," "shall be capable of being locked with or without a lock applied." Electrical inspectors are backed into a corner with these requirements. The state once again replies that these installations require a variance. There are numerous codes that are improperly written, difficult to comprehend or explain to the electrician or just plain wrong. As an inspector, we don't ge tto pick and choose which codes we like.

We have rules about derating wires on roof tops that were rammed into the code by the copper producers with no evidence of prior failures.

Copper producers? More likely electrical engineers.

The three story limit on the use of romex was removed as a horse trade between code panel members to get a favorable vote on another proposal.

I don't have knowledge of that however; where's the proof that there was ever a reason to limit the installation of NM cable to three stories?

In use receptacle covers, changing the listing on rain tite fittings, ....and on it goes
I don't disagree. Time to retire rather than fight a corrupt system on a daily basis.
 

hbiss

EC, Westchester, New York NEC: 2014
nysprkdude said:
What I posted were the latest stats about fires in general when compared to previous stats reveals a substantial decrease in electrical fires which cause property damage, injuries and death. I'm certain there are other factors but if there are so many that disagree with the effectiveness of AFCI, work towards changing the code.
Think about it. AFCI's haven't been installed in a large enough base yet to cause such a "drastic" change in data. And of the ones installed we know that they don't work. So, yeah, there are other factors at work here.

We already talked about changing the code and the only way that's going to happen is litigation. There is just too much money at stake here for any one party to just throw in the towel.

nysprkdude said:
... why is it that residential sprinkler systems haven't been added to the code? They've been proposing that requirement for 20 years.
And we've been saying the same thing for 20 years! We are all big proponents of sprinklers. All I can surmise is that it's a different code and sprinkler manufacturers don't have the deep pockets the the electrical industry does to lobby for the changes.

nysprkdude said:
Why would an insurance company offer a discount for something that is required by code already?
There are plenty of dwellings that are between fuses and brand new that could be retrofitted with AFCI breakers.

nysprkdude said:
... where's the proof that there was ever a reason to limit the installation of NM cable to three stories?
Same reason that it can't be used in places of assembly for instance. NM is not a "robust" wiring method. Where there are large numbers of people in one place you don't want to rely on an electrical system that can be compromised by an over-driven staple or rodents.
 

jap

Senior Member
Where there are large numbers of people in one place you don't want to rely on an electrical system that can be compromised by an over-driven staple or rodents.
Yet it's perfectly acceptable to be used in a dwelling unit where we eat, sleep, and spend 3/4's of our time. :)


JAP>
 

hbiss

EC, Westchester, New York NEC: 2014
Guess they think the possible loss of only a few people justifies the lower expense. :eek:hmy:

-Hal
 

tortuga

Senior Member
There is none. The only data that exist about AFCIs is how they fail to perform as intended.



What you posted was a list of stats about fires in general. If there was any evidence that AFCIs were effective I would be in favor of them.



It's a sad and sorry tale. The short story is they were rammed into the code by the manufacturers.



Many are, that's how code changes and additions should work.



If AFCIs were effective insurance companies would be offering financial incentives to policy holders to have them installed.



That is both false and naive. We have rules about automatic transfer switches and generators that were rammed into the code by generator manufacturers with no evidence of problems.

We have rules about derating wires on roof tops that were rammed into the code by the copper producers with no evidence of prior failures.

The three story limit on the use of romex was removed as a horse trade between code panel members to get a favorable vote on another proposal.

In use receptacle covers, changing the listing on rain tite fittings, ....and on it goes
The question you all seem to be debating is should UL standards drive the NEC
or should the NEC drive the UL and other construction & performance of equipment standards?

The NEC used to cover the construction & performance, installation and mintenence of electrical equipment.
The future scope of the NEC is basically restricted to installation of electrical equipment in new construction and retrofits.
When the NEC requires Equipment to be Listed it generally is assuming UL’s Standards Technical Panels (STPs) provide the construction & performance requirements for the electrical equipment.
In reality an AHJ can adpot any IEC or other listing standard or waive the requirement for listing (as is necessary with raintight EMT fittings used with Bell boxes).

Since around '02 there has been a push to remove product construction & performance requirements from the NEC.
I suspect the NEC is a little more 'open' of a standard than the UL or other construction & performance standards a AHJ should adopt.
And removing construction & performance standards from the NEC may have been a mistake.
 

kwired

Electron manager
Think about it. AFCI's haven't been installed in a large enough base yet to cause such a "drastic" change in data. And of the ones installed we know that they don't work. So, yeah, there are other factors at work here.

Same reason that it can't be used in places of assembly for instance. NM is not a "robust" wiring method. Where there are large numbers of people in one place you don't want to rely on an electrical system that can be compromised by an over-driven staple or rodents.
The first required AFCI's are just starting to get old enough that we may start to see if they are any good at preventing fires. Then comes the question of whether they still function at their age. The biggest concern for electrical fires in the permanent wiring of a structure IMO is the "glowing connection" though, which AFCI's will not detect.

The question you all seem to be debating is should UL standards drive the NEC
or should the NEC drive the UL and other construction & performance of equipment standards?

The NEC used to cover the construction & performance, installation and mintenence of electrical equipment.
The future scope of the NEC is basically restricted to installation of electrical equipment in new construction and retrofits.
When the NEC requires Equipment to be Listed it generally is assuming UL’s Standards Technical Panels (STPs) provide the construction & performance requirements for the electrical equipment.
In reality an AHJ can adpot any IEC or other listing standard or waive the requirement for listing (as is necessary with raintight EMT fittings used with Bell boxes).

Since around '02 there has been a push to remove product construction & performance requirements from the NEC.
I suspect the NEC is a little more 'open' of a standard than the UL or other construction & performance standards a AHJ should adopt.
And removing construction & performance standards from the NEC may have been a mistake.
Seems to me the manufacturers are driving both UL and NEC more than anybody else is.
 
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