An Arc Fault Circuit Breaker / Interrupter AFCI
Arc fault circuit breaker types are now code. In the past, it was up to the local building inspector. But times have changed and they are now code for bedrooms. Unlike GFCI outlets or breakers, those will protect you from electrical shock. AFCIs are designed to detect and protect against electrical arc and fires.
So an arc fault circuit breaker (AFCI) prevents fires by detecting an unintended electrical arc and if so with trips the breaker. They are designed to distinguish the harmless arc during a normal flick of a switch or that spark you would see from the brushes from an electrical motor.
Besides, they save lives and help protect our homes.
INSTALL OK now you remove the breaker from the panel for the circuit that needs AFCI protection. OK, simple just install the AFCI breaker back in the same slot you just made. Insert the hot wire back on the new breaker. All good till this point right. OK but now you have an extra wire, that funky-looking white pigtail.
Now since you still have the panel cover off. Trace that black hot wire you just placed on the breaker to where it comes into the panel and notice that wire (Romex) you should have three wires in that one Romex, right?
You will have ground white and that black wires. OK. Now trace the white wire and the very important neutral wire. That will be or should be going to the neutral block. Unscrew that from the block and now insert that white pigtail into the slot you just pulled that white neutral from. And insert that white neutral that is coming from that Romex into the breaker. Look at my pictures for a better explanation.
To install a regular breaker please see my video on that. 110 breaker.
Comments ( 6 )
Your site is very helpful, I was able to put is 6 new breakers to now meet code.
However, I also finished a room and the line that I extended the wiring from has a 4 wire lead (black, red, neutral, ground) at the box that splits to 2 breaker. One breaker has the red and the other has the black hots. Code now calls for the Arc Fault breaker. How do I wire it when they share a neutral across 2 breakers?
Does it split to two different breakers ? or one breaker as one. Meaning a 220 volt breaker ? Chances are you mean two different ones. If so be careful, if both hot leads are on a separate leg you’ll have 220 volts.
In your case only one hot lead will be protected from the arch fault breaker and that’s fine. Or just install two arc fault breakers.
On a multi-wire branch circuit I am not sure that you are able to use an AFCI breaker. Do they make a 2 pole style now? Since you have it measuring the output and return on the neutral the imbalanced load would cause it to trip so I am not sure you can use that with a split circuit?
Found one. I have never seen these before or used them though.
WOW that makes two of us. And for $100 buck no less. Very nice. Thanks for the info. We all learned something today..
I. Find your videos very excellent. Keep up the good work. Giosue