Go Back   InterNACHI Inspection Forum > Specific Inspection Topics > Electrical Inspections

Notices

Electrical Inspections Contains discussions about electrical systems. This includes receptacles, panels, wiring, etc.

Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools
  #1  
Old 6/8/06, 12:10 PM
gbeaumont's Avatar
gbeaumont gbeaumont is offline
InterNACHI Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: Clearwater, FL
Posts: 6,255
Send a message via AIM to gbeaumont Send a message via MSN to gbeaumont Send a message via Yahoo to gbeaumont
Default Can an AFCI offer GFCI protection

Hi to all,

I was asked this question by a member this morning, here is the sutuation:
  • Newley nemodeled basement including a bathroom
  • Bathroom is served by a dedicated 20 amp AFCI breaker
  • Electrician states that AFCI will offer GFCI protection
I believe I know the answer to this issue but think it is worth some discussion.

Paul, Joe T where are you? (please keep it simple )

Regards

Gerry



"To realize our true destiny, we must be guided not by a myth from our past, but by a vision of our future."
(Mark B Adams)

Commercial property Inspection Tampa, Orlando, Sarasota, Jacksonville, Ft Launderdale, Miami, Florida.
NACHI cell 484-429-5466
NACHI02121106

Reply With Quote
  #2  
Old 6/8/06, 12:18 PM
Jeffrey R. Pope, CMI's Avatar
Jeffrey R. Pope, CMI Jeffrey R. Pope, CMI is offline
InterNACHI Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2003
Location: Santa Clarita, CA
Posts: 11,461
Default Re: Can an AFCI offer GFCI protection

I can keep that one simple - NO.

A ground fault and an arc fault are uniquely different and one can occur without the other.

Sorry, I'm not Paul or Joe, but I couldn't help myself



IF YOUR INSPECTOR IS NOT USING THERMAL IMAGING, YOU'RE NOT GETTING THE WHOLE PICTURE ®
Jeff Pope
JPI Home Inspection Service
Santa Clarita CA
(661) 212-0738
Santa Clarita Home Inspection
http://www.MyInspector.net


Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 6/8/06, 1:12 PM
Doug Edwards Doug Edwards is offline
InterNACHI Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 5,118
Default Re: Can an AFCI offer GFCI protection

I agree with Jeff. Two totally different functions.
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 6/8/06, 1:31 PM
Paul W. Abernathy, CMI's Avatar
Paul W. Abernathy, CMI Paul W. Abernathy, CMI is offline
InterNACHI Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Melissa, TX
Posts: 8,571
Send a message via Skype™ to pabernathy
Default Re: Can an AFCI offer GFCI protection

lol.....Dang JEFF and you dont want to LOOK like me either so atleast you have THAT going for ya...

Their are some models on the table out their that will do both GFCI and AFCI in a combination and do function as some protection....more ideas are on the table I know of......but CutlerHammer has had an AFCI/GFCI breaker out for a few years now...

"The standard AFCIs have GFP and not GFCI protection built in. The term GFCI should be reserved for "people protective eqquipment". A GFCI has a ground fault trip level of 4 to 6 mA, but the GFP in an AFCI has a trip level of 30 to 50 mA." from Mike Holt Forum.



Paul W. Abernathy
Manager, Electrical Codes & Standards
Encore Wire Corporation

Disclaimer - All my posts on this forum are of my own personal opinion and in no way represent the opinions of Encore Wire, associations, organizations or affiliations.

Last edited by pabernathy; 6/8/06 at 1:36 PM..
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 6/8/06, 1:40 PM
Paul W. Abernathy, CMI's Avatar
Paul W. Abernathy, CMI Paul W. Abernathy, CMI is offline
InterNACHI Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Melissa, TX
Posts: 8,571
Send a message via Skype™ to pabernathy
Default Re: Can an AFCI offer GFCI protection

Translation...while the AFCI/GFCI combo offers a level of Protection...in order to TRULY make it for personal protection you would still need a TRADITIONAL GFCI in a form of a receptacle at the first box.....the ARC FAULT would still function and some level of GFI protection...

This from Cutler Hammers Website " FIRE-GUARD AFCI can also be equipped with 5 mA ground fault protection to protect from personal shock hazards. Now, there is a residential circuit breaker that provides protection from arcing faults, conductor damage due to thermal overloads and short circuits, as well as 5 mA ground fault protection in one integrated design. "



Paul W. Abernathy
Manager, Electrical Codes & Standards
Encore Wire Corporation

Disclaimer - All my posts on this forum are of my own personal opinion and in no way represent the opinions of Encore Wire, associations, organizations or affiliations.
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 6/8/06, 2:06 PM
Paul W. Abernathy, CMI's Avatar
Paul W. Abernathy, CMI Paul W. Abernathy, CMI is offline
InterNACHI Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Melissa, TX
Posts: 8,571
Send a message via Skype™ to pabernathy
Default Re: Can an AFCI offer GFCI protection

"The FIRE-GUARD™ Arc Fault Circuit Interrupter (AFCI) is a residential circuit breaker with an integrated processor which recognizes the unique current and/or voltage signatures associated with arcing faults, and acts to interrupt the circuit to reduce the likelihood of an electrical fire. With the Cutler-Hammer FIRE-GUARD AFCI, protection from arcing faults is combined with conventional thermal and magnetic overloads as found in standard residential circuit breakers protecting wiring from excessive heat or damage due to overloading or short circuits. FIRE-GUARD AFCI can also be equipped with 5 mA ground fault protection to protect from personal shock hazards. Now, there is a residential circuit breaker that provides protection from arcing faults, conductor damage due to thermal overloads and short circuits, as well as 5 mA ground fault protection in one integrated design."



Paul W. Abernathy
Manager, Electrical Codes & Standards
Encore Wire Corporation

Disclaimer - All my posts on this forum are of my own personal opinion and in no way represent the opinions of Encore Wire, associations, organizations or affiliations.
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 6/8/06, 2:07 PM
Roy D. Cooke, Sr's Avatar
Roy D. Cooke, Sr Roy D. Cooke, Sr is offline
InterNACHI Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2003
Location: Brighton, ON
Posts: 20,029
Default Re: Can an AFCI offer GFCI protection

Some may not realize that a GFCI only gives protection from the hot leg to Ground .
You get between the hot and Neutral and the power does not know it is not a regular load.
The results could be surprising.
The GFCI on knows to shut down if you get between the Hot and Ground.
With a regular AFCI it could care less if you get between hot and ground or hot and neutral you are the load and it will not shut down.
Roy Sr
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 6/8/06, 2:21 PM
Paul W. Abernathy, CMI's Avatar
Paul W. Abernathy, CMI Paul W. Abernathy, CMI is offline
InterNACHI Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Melissa, TX
Posts: 8,571
Send a message via Skype™ to pabernathy
Default Re: Can an AFCI offer GFCI protection

Roy,

Here is a nice article by Mike Holt that I think explains the GFCI rather well so all can understand those fears as well.....GFCI's are great but far from perfect....

You may know what a GFCI is, but do you really know how it works? A basic understanding of the device can prevent safety problems.
You may know in what situations the NEC requires you to install a ground-fault circuit interrupter (GFCI), but do you know how a it works? A GFCI is specifically designed to protect people against electric shock from an electrical system, and it monitors the imbalance of current between the ungrounded (hot) and grounded (neutral) conductor of a given circuit. Don't let the name confuse you — these devices will operate on a circuit that does not have an equipment-grounding conductor.


With the exception of small amounts of leak-age, the current returning to the power supply in a typical 2-wire circuit will be equal to the current leaving the power supply. If the difference between the current leaving and returning through the current transformer of the GFCI exceeds 5 mA, the solid-state circuitry opens the switching contacts and de-energizes the circuit.
However, a GFCI doesn't give you a license to be careless. Severe electric shock or death can occur if you touch the hot and neutral conductors in a GFCI-protected circuit at the same time because the current transformer within the protection device won't sense an imbalance between the departing and returning current and the switching contacts will remain closed.
In addition, GFCI protection devices fail at times, leaving the switching contacts closed and allowing the device to continue to provide power without protection. According to a 1999 study by ( One of our Association Competitors ), 21% of GFCI circuit breakers and 19% of GFCI receptacles inspected didn't provide protection, leaving the energized circuit unprotected. In most cases, damage to the internal transient voltage surge protectors (metal-oxide varistors) that protect the GFCI sensing circuit were responsible for the failures of the protection devices. In areas of high lightning activity, such as southwest Florida, the failure rate for GFCI circuit breakers and receptacles was over 50%!
GFCIs will also fail if you wire them improperly. The most important thing to remember when wiring them is to connect the wire originating at the breaker to the line side of the GFCI and the wire connecting downstream to the load side of the device. The GFCI terminals are clearly marked “Line” and “Load.” As an added safety improvement, one manufacturer markets a 15A, 125V receptacle with a built-in line-load reversal feature that prevents the GFCI from resetting if the installer mistakenly reverses the load and line connections.
One final thought on GFCI protection: Press the test button of the protection device to ensure it turns off the power to the connected load. You should do this whenever you install one, but also before relying on it to protect you when using it. Do not assume a GFCI protection device is operational unless you properly test it!



Paul W. Abernathy
Manager, Electrical Codes & Standards
Encore Wire Corporation

Disclaimer - All my posts on this forum are of my own personal opinion and in no way represent the opinions of Encore Wire, associations, organizations or affiliations.

Last edited by pabernathy; 6/8/06 at 3:02 PM..
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 6/8/06, 2:31 PM
Roy D. Cooke, Sr's Avatar
Roy D. Cooke, Sr Roy D. Cooke, Sr is offline
InterNACHI Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2003
Location: Brighton, ON
Posts: 20,029
Default Re: Can an AFCI offer GFCI protection

Great article thanks . Just did a condo really perfect . Pushed GFCI test buton heard the snap but the power did not go of .
Used my tester no response.
This was 12 years old and for 12 years they have had no GFCI protection.
For this the person was very glad he had a home inspector .
You just never know .
No idea what was wrong this was for the condo to fix.
Roy sr
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old 6/8/06, 2:41 PM
jtedesco1 jtedesco1 is offline
Account Suspended Due to Excessive Complaints
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Posts: 1,890
Please Note: jtedesco1 is a non-member guest and is in no way affiliated with InterNACHI or its members.
Smile Re: Can an AFCI offer GFCI protection

I agree:








Two different devices used for two different functions:

Quote:

Ground-Fault Circuit Interrupter (GFCI).
A device intended for the protection of personnel
that functions to de-energize a circuit or portion thereof within an established period of time
when a current to ground exceeds the values established for a Class A device.

FPN: Class A ground-fault circuit interrupters trip when the current to ground has a value in the range of 4 mA to 6 mA. For further information, see UL 943, Standard for Ground-Fault Circuit Interrupters.







Quote:




Arc-Fault Circuit Interrupter






An arc-fault circuit interrupter is a device intended to provide protection from the effects of arc faults by recognizing characteristics unique to arcing and by functioning to de-energize the circuit when an arc fault is detected.





The definition of arc-fault circuit interrupter given in 210.12(A) explains its function. The
basic objective is to de-energize the branch circuit when an arc fault is detected.

Arc-fault circuit interrupters are evaluated in UL 1699, Standard for Arc-Fault
Circuit-Interrupters, using testing methods that create or simulate arcing conditions to
determine the product's ability to detect and interrupt arcing faults. These devices are also
tested to verify that arc detection is not unduly inhibited by the presence of loads and circuit
characteristics that may mask the hazardous arcing condition. In addition, these devices are
evaluated to determine resistance to unwanted tripping due to the presence of arcing that
occurs in control and utilization equipment under normal operating conditions or to a loading
condition that closely mimics an arcing fault, such as a solid-state electronic ballast or a
dimmed load.

UL 1699 is the standard covering arc-fault devices that have a maximum rating of 20 amperes
intended for use in 120-volt ac, 60-Hz circuits. These devices may also have the capability to
perform other functions such as overcurrent protection, ground-fault circuit interruption, and
surge suppression. UL 1699 currently recognizes five types of arc-fault circuit interrupters:
branch/feeder AFCI, combination AFCI, cord AFCI, outlet AFCI, and portable AFCI.
Placement of the device in the circuit and a review of the UL guide information must be
considered when complying with 210.12. The NEC is clear that the objective is to provide
protection of the entire branch circuit. (See Article 100 for the definition of branch circuit.)
For instance, a cord AFCI cannot be used to comply with the requirement of 210.12 to protect
the entire branch circuit.

The type of AFCI required to comply with 210.12(B) is the subject of a revision in the 2005







Code



. To expand the level of AFCI protection for cord sets that are plugged into receptacles
supplied by AFCI-protected branch circuits, the use of combination-type AFCI devices is now
required. However, mandatory use of only combination-type AFCI devices to comply with
210.12(B) becomes effective January 1, 2008. Until that effective date, the use of either a
combination-type or a branch/feeder-type AFCI device meets the requirement of 210.12(B). In
addition to the revised type of AFCI protection required, the location of where the AFCI
device is to be located in the circuit now provides a new option. Because the protection
requirement is for the entire branch circuit, location of the device at the point the branch
circuit originates (service or feeder panelboard or similar distribution equipment) has been and
continues to be the main requirement. However, the new exception permits the AFCI device to
be located in close vicinity to the point of origin as long as the branch-circuit conductors that
are not AFCI protected do not exceed 6 ft in length and the portion of the circuit between the
point of origin and the AFCI location is installed in a metal raceway or a metallic-sheathed
cable.

Section 210.12(B) requires that AFCI protection be provided for all 15- and 20-ampere
120-volt branch circuits that supply outlets (including receptacle, lighting, and other outlets;
see definition of outlet in Article 100) in dwelling unit bedrooms regardless of whether the
circuit supplies only outlets in the bedroom(s) or supplies outlets in the bedroom and other
areas of the dwelling. Because circuits are often shared between a bedroom and other areas
such as closets and hallways, providing AFCI protection on the complete circuit would
comply with 210.12. There is no prohibition against using AFCI protection on other circuits or
in locations other than bedrooms.







www.nfpa.org

PS: Finishing up my seminar in Buffalo, NY. I will add more information when I get home, also I will discuss this at the NACHI Seminar in Fredrick, Maryland on June 24, 2006.







How FIRE-GUARD AFCI WorksA detailed grahpical representation of how the technology of the FIRE-GUARD AFCI works.HOW_AFCI_WORKS.PDF | PDF - 9 KB4. Safer Homes ... For Dimes a DayHomeowners highly value safe houses, and are willing to invest more for the peace of mind such houses offer. Builders benefit by clearly and powerfully differentiating themselves as building a safer home. They benefit further with the comfort of knowing that their customers' lives and properties are protected as much as possible by such enhanced technologies as arc fault circuit interrupters (AFCIs).RE00402003E.PDF | PDF - 1 KB5. AFCI Headline News, September 2001AFCI Headline News is a service of the National Association of State Fire Marshals. This newsletter is focused on the importance of Arc Fault Circuit Interrupter technology and its role in improving home electrical safety.AFCI_HEADLINE_NEWS.PDF | PDF - 19 KB6. Arc Fault Circuit Interrupters — The Next Step in Circuit ProtectionIn 1997, Eaton Corporation’s Cutler-Hammer business launched the next wave of circuit protection with the first commercially available Arc Fault Circuit Interrupter (AFCI). This article addresses the hazards in residential wiring systems that develop from either high-energy parallel arcing, or high resistance series faults.RE00402006E.PDF | PDF - 136 KB7. AFCI Headline News February 2002AFCI Headline News is a service of the National Association of State Fire Marshals. This newsletter is focused on the importance of Arc Fault Circuit Interrupter technology and its role in improving home electrical safety.AFCIHEADLINENEWSFEB02.PDF | PDF - 18 KB8. Arc Fault Circuit Interrupters: Bringing a New Level of Electrical Protection to the HomeAn article by Dr. Joseph Engle on AFCI technology. "The challenge to improve circuit protection by identifying the presence of arcing faults and responding to them fast enough to prevent fire. AFCIs, devices that recognize the unique current signatures associated with arcing faults and act to interrupt the circuit before the temperature of combustibles can rise to hazardous levels."RE00402001E.PDF | PDF - 167 KB9. Don't Let This Happen To Your HomeThis homeowner-focused pocket brochure helps to explain the problem of electrical fires, and how AFCI works in layman's terms. It should be used by contractors and builders to encourage home owners to have AFCI's installed in all 15 and 20 amp circuits in the home.SA00402002E.PDF | PDF - 344 KB10. Structure Fires in One - and Two-Family DwellingsStructure fires in one - and two-family dwellings in which the form of heat of ignition was the heat from electrical equipment arcing. Including unclassified or unknown-type arcing or overload. By area of origin. 1994-1998 annual averages.DWELLINGAFCIFIRES.PDF | PDF - 25 KB11. Installation Instructions AFCI Circuit BreakersInstallation instructions for Cutler-Hammer type CH or BR Arc Fault circuit breaker. The detailed step-by-step instructions include a wiring diagram and are presented in English and Spanish.PUB49216REV5.PDF | PDF - 235 KB12. Troubleshooting AFCI Breaker Trips - InstructionTechnical Data Molded Case Circuit BreakersTD01201038E.PDF | PDF - 77 KB13. AFCIs and Heat Rise - Application DataArc Fault Circuit Interrupter (AFCI) breakers are listed to UL 489 and UL 1699. UL 489 covers overload, endurance and short circuit (including temperature). UL 1699 covers arc fault test requirements.AD00402001E.PDF | PDF - 1808 KB14. Arc Fault Circuit InterruptersThe FIRE-GUARD™ Arc Fault Circuit Interrupter (AFCI) is a residential circuit breaker with an integrated processor which recognizes the unique current and/or voltage signatures associated with arcing faults, and acts to interrupt the circuit.15. Installation InstructionsInstallation instructions for Cutler-Hammer type CH or BR Arc Fault and Ground Fault circuit breaker. The detailed step-by-step instructions include a wiring diagram.
Reply With Quote
  #11  
Old 6/8/06, 2:48 PM
Paul W. Abernathy, CMI's Avatar
Paul W. Abernathy, CMI Paul W. Abernathy, CMI is offline
InterNACHI Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Melissa, TX
Posts: 8,571
Send a message via Skype™ to pabernathy
Default Re: Can an AFCI offer GFCI protection

You know Roy they just sometimes go bad.....and with the new GFCI's coming out which I think JOE would probably know more about than anyone since he is on the board I think.....they will constantly TEST themselves which is GREAT news to the industry....

I wanted to also add in case someone did not know the different in the TYPES of AFCI and GFCI and GFI breakers and their level of protection....just for a FYI guys...just some additional education..

1.) GFCI circuit breakers are designed to protect against ground faults of 4 to 6 mA or more, short-circuits, and overloads.

2.) Dual listed AFCI/GFCI circuit breakers are designed to protect against ground faults of 5 mA or more, short circuits, overloads, and arcing line-to-neutral faults.

3.) Dual listed AFCI/GFI circuit breakers are designed to protect against ground faults of 30 mA or more, short circuits, overloads and arcing line-to-neutral faults.

Important Note : A GFCI does not offer protection against arching line-to-neutral faults.

so you ask....

Does an AFCI/GFI provide the same level of ground fault protection as a GFCI device?
No, AFCI/GFI circuit breakers will de-energize the circuit when the ground fault exceeds 30 mA, whereas an AFCI/GFCI circuit breaker opens at 5 mA.




Paul W. Abernathy
Manager, Electrical Codes & Standards
Encore Wire Corporation

Disclaimer - All my posts on this forum are of my own personal opinion and in no way represent the opinions of Encore Wire, associations, organizations or affiliations.
Reply With Quote
  #12  
Old 6/8/06, 2:54 PM
Paul W. Abernathy, CMI's Avatar
Paul W. Abernathy, CMI Paul W. Abernathy, CMI is offline
InterNACHI Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Melissa, TX
Posts: 8,571
Send a message via Skype™ to pabernathy
Default Re: Can an AFCI offer GFCI protection

They have TWO different functions......but NO ONE can deny they are MERGING as we speak.....if the standards is SIMPLY the function......then yes they do TWO different things......but one device CAN do both....

Just remember and this is important....if someone has a AFCI breaker...DO NOT let them assume it also has GFCI protection.....chances are VERY high it does not....and IF it did the breaker would say so.....very important...read my COMPARE of the different models above.......

If I again HAD to tell someone to have AFCI and GFCI protection in a panel that does NOT have a dual AFCI/GFCI listing breaker available....they should use a STANDARD AFCI for the panel and replace the FIRST receptacle in the branch with a GFCI receptacle...and they will effectivly have the protection....

P.S. remember AFCI's only protect against ONE type of ARC....anyone KNOW what that is......A good TEST question for ya...



Paul W. Abernathy
Manager, Electrical Codes & Standards
Encore Wire Corporation

Disclaimer - All my posts on this forum are of my own personal opinion and in no way represent the opinions of Encore Wire, associations, organizations or affiliations.
Reply With Quote
  #13  
Old 6/8/06, 4:12 PM
jtedesco1 jtedesco1 is offline
Account Suspended Due to Excessive Complaints
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Posts: 1,890
Please Note: jtedesco1 is a non-member guest and is in no way affiliated with InterNACHI or its members.
Default Re: Can an AFCI offer GFCI protection

See this attachment from the UL Book related to the 2005 NEC.

Last edited by jtedesco1; 6/15/06 at 12:35 AM..
Reply With Quote
  #14  
Old 6/9/06, 10:40 PM
Paul W. Abernathy, CMI's Avatar
Paul W. Abernathy, CMI Paul W. Abernathy, CMI is offline
InterNACHI Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Melissa, TX
Posts: 8,571
Send a message via Skype™ to pabernathy
Default Re: Can an AFCI offer GFCI protection

hmmm...anyway....most AFCI's cant deal well with Series Arcs....but they are getting more technical everyday...



Paul W. Abernathy
Manager, Electrical Codes & Standards
Encore Wire Corporation

Disclaimer - All my posts on this forum are of my own personal opinion and in no way represent the opinions of Encore Wire, associations, organizations or affiliations.
Reply With Quote
  #15  
Old 7/6/06, 8:40 PM
George P. Wells, CMI's Avatar
George P. Wells, CMI George P. Wells, CMI is offline
InterNACHI Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: Michigan
Posts: 843
Send a message via Skype™ to gwells
Default Re: Can an AFCI offer GFCI protection

The "electrician" was wrong. An AFCI does not offer ground fault protection.

Quote:
Originally Posted by gbeaumont
Hi to all,

I was asked this question by a member this morning, here is the sutuation:
  • Newley nemodeled basement including a bathroom
  • Bathroom is served by a dedicated 20 amp AFCI breaker
  • Electrician states that AFCI will offer GFCI protection
I believe I know the answer to this issue but think it is worth some discussion.

Paul, Joe T where are you? (please keep it simple )

Regards

Gerry



Forensic Electrical Consultant
Licensed Master Electrician/General Contractor

BestInspectors.Net
By Inspectors, For Inspectors


Voted the World's BEST Inspection Software*
*by some guy named Bob in Chicago

Windows - iOS - Mac - Android


Serving Professionals Since 1992
Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
AFCI Questions and Answers - Mike Holt pabernathy Electrical Inspections 7 4/16/12 9:51 PM
GFCI Safety Notice rcooke Electrical Inspections 1 10/30/07 12:29 PM
double GFCI protection rperkerewicz Electrical Inspections 11 10/9/07 6:06 PM
Stacking AFCI, GFCI breakers abolt Electrical Inspections 6 4/17/07 10:57 AM

All times are GMT -4. The time now is 5:14 PM.
no new posts