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  #1  
Old 10/21/11, 10:56 PM
Jim Hime, TREC 1646 Jim Hime, TREC 1646 is offline
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Default Smart Meters tripping AFCI's

Smart meters are now being installed in my area.

Smart meters are starting to trip AFCI's as reported by 2 electricians I know and work with so far.

As you know, an arc fault breaker looks at an electrical sign wave and figures out what's right and what's not.

When it "see's" the signature of an arc, it trips. RF ( radio frequency) interference has nearly the same electrical signature as an electrical arc.

Guess how the new smart meters talk to the home office? (radio frequency)

Where the electrical panel is located next to the smart meter problems have developed according to my bubba electricians.

This is NOT a builders problem. It is a utility company problem. A builder has no control over a utility company.

Need to be sure the AFCI is tripping due to smart meter and not from electrical work. This can be done by requesting the utility company switch back to a mechanical meter.

What can someone do? Write your congressmen and ask that the utility companies go back to the drawing board. (??)

It is my understanding that PG&E in Ca has already been told by court order to switch back to mechanical meters when someone has problems. More fun to come I am sure.

(No effective RF shield is available that won't also block the RF signal back to "big brother".)

If you inspect homes then this info may be of benefit to your master macro file.
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  #2  
Old 10/22/11, 2:11 AM
Bob Elliott's Avatar
Bob Elliott Bob Elliott is online now
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Default Re: Smart Meters tripping AFCI's

Interesting news that will not directly effect a Inspection but good to know.
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  #3  
Old 10/22/11, 8:50 AM
Barry Adair's Avatar
Barry Adair Barry Adair is offline
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Default Re: Smart Meters tripping AFCI's

Quote:
Originally Posted by belliott View Post
Interesting news that will not directly effect a Inspection but good to know.
untrue
last man standing is generally blamed whether factual or not

case 1
"you inspected my home back in (insert a date within the past few years) and xyz doesn't work anymore.

we want it fixed, NOW, who is your insurer?"

case 2
"oh, don't bother the sellers for not disclosing the inspector should have made you aware of this call him they all have to carry insurance."



badair

ADAIR INSPECTION
972-487-5634

Commercial-Residential-Construction-EIFS-Infrared Thermography
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life is the random lottery of events followed by numerous narrow escapes...accept the good
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  #4  
Old 10/22/11, 8:53 AM
Nolan Kienitz Nolan Kienitz is offline
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Default Re: Smart Meters tripping AFCI's

Quote:
Originally Posted by badair View Post
untrue
last man standing is generally blamed whether factual or not

case 1
"you inspected my home back in (insert a date within the past few years) and xyz doesn't work anymore.

we want it fixed, NOW, who is your insurer?"

case 2
"oh, don't bother the sellers for not disclosing the inspector should have made you aware of this call him they all have to carry insurance."

Barry - You hit the nail straight on with this potential.
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  #5  
Old 10/22/11, 9:12 AM
Barry Adair's Avatar
Barry Adair Barry Adair is offline
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Default Re: Smart Meters tripping AFCI's

btw, BIG KUDOs to Jim Hime for the info!



badair

ADAIR INSPECTION
972-487-5634

Commercial-Residential-Construction-EIFS-Infrared Thermography
TREC # 4563
EDI: EIFS-MA TX # 39

National Association of Commercial Building Inspectors & Thermographers™ Member ID 12011-14TX

life is the random lottery of events followed by numerous narrow escapes...accept the good
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  #6  
Old 10/22/11, 10:40 AM
David A. Andersen, TN HI# 40's Avatar
David A. Andersen, TN HI# 40 David A. Andersen, TN HI# 40 is offline
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Default Re: Smart Meters tripping AFCI's

Thanks for the information!

Finally, something other than a political update!



"working together to get-IR-done" Chris Walsh
Bracebridge, Ontario:


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  #7  
Old 10/22/11, 10:43 AM
Roy D. Cooke, Sr's Avatar
Roy D. Cooke, Sr Roy D. Cooke, Sr is offline
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Default Re: Smart Meters tripping AFCI's

Thanks for this info .
We have had smart meters for some time in Canada .
I will be on the lookout to see if this is happening here .
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  #8  
Old 10/22/11, 11:38 AM
Bob Elliott's Avatar
Bob Elliott Bob Elliott is online now
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Default Re: Smart Meters tripping AFCI's

Quote:
Originally Posted by badair View Post
untrue
last man standing is generally blamed whether factual or not

case 1
"you inspected my home back in (insert a date within the past few years) and xyz doesn't work anymore.

we want it fixed, NOW, who is your insurer?"

case 2
"oh, don't bother the sellers for not disclosing the inspector should have made you aware of this call him they all have to carry insurance."
AH, you are getting all hyped Barry.

The fix comes from the POCO and if true it is well out of our hands.
Good news is it causes tripping rather than prevents it.

Other good news is it provides free testing automatically.
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  #9  
Old 10/22/11, 12:06 PM
Barry Adair's Avatar
Barry Adair Barry Adair is offline
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Default Re: Smart Meters tripping AFCI's

Quote:
Originally Posted by belliott View Post
AH, you are getting all hyped Barry.

The fix comes from the POCO and if true it is well out of our hands.
Good news is it causes tripping rather than prevents it.

Other good news is it provides free testing automatically.
wadr, please post facts/links to back your statements, some here actually read and give merit to what you type

thanx to a trusted factual source, there is differing info from UL that does not make it a poco problem and sends documented factual trips and complaints back to the AFCI mfr.



badair

ADAIR INSPECTION
972-487-5634

Commercial-Residential-Construction-EIFS-Infrared Thermography
TREC # 4563
EDI: EIFS-MA TX # 39

National Association of Commercial Building Inspectors & Thermographers™ Member ID 12011-14TX

life is the random lottery of events followed by numerous narrow escapes...accept the good
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  #10  
Old 10/22/11, 4:44 PM
Jim Hime, TREC 1646 Jim Hime, TREC 1646 is offline
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Default Re: Smart Meters tripping AFCI's

BTW - I don't do political updates. I get enough spam mail already.

This is verification of 5 homes on the same street that are 4 years old (same builder) that had the dial meters changed out to to the smart meters over the last week and all heck is breaking loose. In my area (Galveston County) they are changing out meters to smart meters. There is also a few folks that are fighting smart meters due to privacy issues.

On new home inspection today I warned my client about his panel located next to the dial meter and soon they will be in his neighborhood to change his meter to smart. Of course the next door neighbor who closed yesterday and was moving in over-heard me and had some idiotic idea of RF shielding to which I blew him off and escaped leaving my client with his new neighbor (ha-ha).

Anyway this is what I drafted for my reports until I get a copy of the Eaton letter (see below) -

"Information: Smart Meters May Trip AFCI's - where smart meters are installed or may be installed in the future next to the electrical service panel by your utility company the RF (radio frequency) signal from the smart meter has nearly the same electrical signature as an electrical arc which may exacerbate a potential to trip the AFCI breaker(s) and cut power to the circuit(s). This doesn't happen with the mechanical dial type utility meters. If the tripping is confimed by your licensed electrician after a smart meter is installed then contact your utility company for resolution. There is no way to inspect or test for this condition via a limited visual inspection as there is no testing equipment."


Eaton (Cutler-Hammer) agrees on the smart meter tripping of AFCI's. They are preparing a letter. When my electrician gets it he will forward to me and I will try to post. I'm not that good at posting but will figure something out. My immediate mail address list gets mail quicker than a forum so if I forget please remind me. I've been busy and forums can't be at the top of my daily to-do list.


Whatever anyone wants to think your phone will probably ring once the smart meter tips afci's (with meter next to the panel). It's not an H.I.'s fault but you should let your client know what's going on. (Everyone knows an H.I. is all-knowing and can leap buildings in a single bound and see through walls.)

This is an easy fix. Either don't install smart meters or change the RF (radio frequency) signal of the meter.
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  #11  
Old 10/22/11, 6:49 PM
Bob Elliott's Avatar
Bob Elliott Bob Elliott is online now
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Default Re: Smart Meters tripping AFCI's

Quote:
Originally Posted by badair View Post
wadr, please post facts/links to back your statements, some here actually read and give merit to what you type

thanx to a trusted factual source, there is differing info from UL that does not make it a poco problem and sends documented factual trips and complaints back to the AFCI mfr.
Barry I said .....(over worry) where should I put a link from my original thought process ?

You provided a link to a large PDF that said blah...blah...blah......and blah.

OK, cutting out the fat for you this is what I get below......

Underwriters Laboratories held meetings with Electrical Inspectors during the
2009 IAEI Section Meetings. Historically, these meetings have provided for an
open exchange between the electrical inspection community and UL regarding
any subject of interest to authorities.
UL acknowledges the importance of this feedback. The electrical inspector is
an integral part of the UL information loop. It is the inspector, who during the
examination of the final installation, can judge under field conditions, the
adequacy of the constructions and markings for proper installation.
It is the
inspector who can pass this installation information to UL for use in modifying
product safety requirements.


Now I ask exactly what you will do to determine the proper function during a regular Home Inspection ?,where it falls under our SOP and how the above even hints at it being part of a Home Inspectors Due diligence not to mention how a UL PDF has anything to do with me or why in the heck I would even be aware of such a thing without you searching for it and pasting it here.

Once again this is a POCO issue and not a Home Inspection issue.

Otherwise next time a GE Dishwasher heating element fails and causes recall it will also be your fault.

Gosh Barry I was pulling you chain (sorta) but when I read this on my EVO while chucking down a McRib after an Inspection I could not wait to get home and respond.
Sorry I had to much sauce on my fingers to type at the time.

Last edited by belliott; 10/22/11 at 6:59 PM..
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  #12  
Old 10/23/11, 7:55 AM
Barry Adair's Avatar
Barry Adair Barry Adair is offline
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Default Re: Smart Meters tripping AFCI's

Quote:
Originally Posted by belliott View Post
Barry I said .....(over worry) where should I put a link from my original thought process ?

You provided a link to a large PDF that said blah...blah...blah......and blah.

OK, cutting out the fat for you this is what I get below......

Underwriters Laboratories held meetings with Electrical Inspectors during the
2009 IAEI Section Meetings. Historically, these meetings have provided for an
open exchange between the electrical inspection community and UL regarding
any subject of interest to authorities.
UL acknowledges the importance of this feedback. The electrical inspector is
an integral part of the UL information loop. It is the inspector, who during the
examination of the final installation, can judge under field conditions, the
adequacy of the constructions and markings for proper installation.
It is the
inspector who can pass this installation information to UL for use in modifying
product safety requirements.


Now I ask exactly what you will do to determine the proper function during a regular Home Inspection ? same as always the above, some of us do phase construction inspections and find incorrect installations, test the AFCIs and associated components ,where it falls under our SOP TREC sop here, not IL or nachi and how the above even hints at it being part of a Home Inspectors Due diligence not to mention how a UL PDF has anything to do with me or why in the heck I would even be aware of such a thing without you searching for it and pasting it here. if it's a non-issue for you so be it

Once again this is a POCO issue and not a Home Inspection issue. not correct if you read the specific section of the UL pdf that addressed the issue and what one should do for resolution

Otherwise next time a GE Dishwasher heating element fails and causes recall it will also be your fault.

Gosh Barry I was pulling you chain (sorta) but when I read this on my EVO while chucking down a McRib after an Inspection I could not wait to get home and respond.
Sorry I had to much sauce on my fingers to type at the time.
thanks for washing up before replying my screen appreciates it
hope you were able to keep that thing down
belated HBD!

for me, becoming aware of install problems, localized or not and doing some research to be aware and armed if and when it becomes an issue is a part of what this job is about

better for me to investigate and be prepared with a clear factual response for a report or conversation

more questions are being asked by myself and others...happy trails



badair

ADAIR INSPECTION
972-487-5634

Commercial-Residential-Construction-EIFS-Infrared Thermography
TREC # 4563
EDI: EIFS-MA TX # 39

National Association of Commercial Building Inspectors & Thermographers™ Member ID 12011-14TX

life is the random lottery of events followed by numerous narrow escapes...accept the good
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  #13  
Old 10/23/11, 8:10 AM
Wayne B. Wilson, TN 439's Avatar
Wayne B. Wilson, TN 439 Wayne B. Wilson, TN 439 is online now
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Default Re: Smart Meters tripping AFCI's

Keep us updated Jim , thanks for the info.



Wayne Wilson CMI
East TN Home Inspections LLC
Knoxville, Oak Ridge, Maryville, Clinton, Farragut, Lenoir City, Pigeon Forge, Sevierville and all the surrounding areas.
865-256-1490
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  #14  
Old 10/23/11, 2:28 PM
Bob Elliott's Avatar
Bob Elliott Bob Elliott is online now
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Default Re: Smart Meters tripping AFCI's

Thanks Barry.....

Around here I test AFCI with the test button at the panel and have no way to test RF signals from a smart meter.

The one smart meter I did run into may have been causing issues with an A/C unit so I will try and find the report later as it ties in possibly.
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  #15  
Old 10/23/11, 4:15 PM
William T. Misegades William T. Misegades is offline
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Default Re: Smart Meters tripping AFCI's

Quote:
Originally Posted by jhime View Post
Anyway this is what I drafted for my reports until I get a copy of the Eaton letter (see below) -

"Information: Smart Meters May Trip AFCI's - where smart meters are installed or may be installed in the future next to the electrical service panel by your utility company the RF (radio frequency) signal from the smart meter has nearly the same electrical signature as an electrical arc which may exacerbate a potential to trip the AFCI breaker(s) and cut power to the circuit(s). This doesn't happen with the mechanical dial type utility meters. If the tripping is confimed by your licensed electrician after a smart meter is installed then contact your utility company for resolution. There is no way to inspect or test for this condition via a limited visual inspection as there is no testing equipment."
Thanks for the info and the write up draft!



Where there is a Will there is a Way!

Will Misegades
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