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  1. #1
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    Apr 2008
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    Default AFCI in other than bedrooms...Texas

    I know this has been beat to death, but anyway, I usually call out or flag AFCI's lacking in any "living area" however here in North Texas, every builder that I see is installing them only on bedrooms circuits. Yesterday I saw another inspector that was flagging lack of AFCI's in every living area, like I do. I am just wondering what other Texas inspectors are flagging in the way of AFCI's or lack thereof (all living areas of just bedrooms?).

    Thanks

    Gene

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  2. #2
    Ted Menelly's Avatar
    Ted Menelly Guest

    Default Re: AFCI in other than bedrooms...Texas

    I give them the whole spiel about AFCIs, what they are and what the new requirements are. I also note that the home was built before these requirements, if it was, and in the future, if upgrades are done then I suggest protecting all outlets/receptacles/all that are not protected by GFCIs they should be protected with AFCIs.

    I am just recently starting to run into homes that construction was started after the new guidelines. Not many but some. As far as existing homes I advise that they add AFCIs when upghrades are made as well. I have done the same with GFCIs forever. No GFCIs in any wet area then I flag them and advise that they are added.


  3. #3
    Join Date
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    Default Re: AFCI in other than bedrooms...Texas

    I have a standard comment in everyreport that I can delete IF I ever see a home in compliance with the new standards, but I can't remember seeing one so far. AFCI, child resistant outlets, etc. just explain it and move on, no biggie.
    · The house does not have AFCI (Arc Fault Circuit Interrupter) breakers for all the circuits or child resistant outlets as required in new construction under the 2008 NEC. While this is likely not required in this house, it may be a worthwhile safety upgrade.


    Jim Luttrall
    www.MrInspector.net
    Plano, Texas

  4. #4
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    Default Re: AFCI in other than bedrooms...Texas

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Luttrall View Post
    just explain it and move on, no biggie.

    Except on NEW(er) homes, right?

    The homes where they are *required*, your write them up, right?

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
    Construction Litigation Consultants, LLC ( www.ConstructionLitigationConsultants.com )
    www.AskCodeMan.com

  5. #5
    John Brown's Avatar
    John Brown Guest

    Default Re: AFCI in other than bedrooms...Texas

    Its right there from the TREC. Report as deficient or risk your license. Doesnt matter if the house was wired in 1909 or 2009. Deficient.

    TREC Standards. (a) Service entrance and panels. The inspector shall report as Deficient:

    (17) the lack of arc-fault circuit interrupting devices serving family rooms, dining rooms, living rooms, parlors, libraries, dens, bedrooms, sunrooms, recreations rooms, closets, hallways, or similar rooms or areas; and (18) failure of operation of installed arc fault circuit interrupter devices.


  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Location
    Rockwall Texas
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    Default Re: AFCI in other than bedrooms...Texas

    I use the following comments below as needed per the inspection. Believe it was Nolan who passed these along to me.

    rick



    AFCI not present at locations OTHER than bedrooms – 2008
    AFCI (Arc Fault Circuit Interrupter) protection is not present at all electrical outlet locations (other than bedrooms) as noted in the current NEC-2008 (National Electrical Code-2008). They include: family rooms, dining rooms, living rooms, parlors, libraries, dens, bedrooms, sunrooms, recreation rooms, closets, hallways, or similar rooms or areas. There is AFCI protection installed for the bedrooms (sleeping areas as was required at the time of this home's construction). The TREC SOP (Standards of Practice) requires this observation and notes the lack of this protection is a recognized safety hazard.

    AFCI not present at ALL locations – 2008
    AFCI (Arc Fault Circuit Interrupter) protection is not present at all electrical outlet locations as noted in the NEC (National Electrical Code-2008). They include: family rooms, dining rooms, living rooms, parlors, libraries, dens, bedrooms, sunrooms, recreation rooms, closets, hallways, or similar rooms or areas. The TREC SOP (Standards of Practice) require this observation and notes the lack of this protection is a recognized safety hazard.

    AFCI not present in sleeping areas – 2002-2007
    AFCI (Arc Fault Circuit Interrupter) protection is not present in the sleeping areas lighting fixtures, switches or receptacles. AFCI protection has been required in these locations for all properties built between January-2002 and December-2007. The lack of this protection is a recognized safety hazard.

    AFCI not present – built before January 2002
    AFCI (Arc Fault Circuit Interrupter) protection is not present in this property. This property was built before the original AFCI requirement by the NEC (National Electrical Code) in January-2002. The TREC SOP (Standards of Practice) requires this observation and notes the lack of this protection is a recognized safety hazard.

    AFCI protection is present in all required areas
    AFCI protection is present in all required areas.

    AFCIs not tested – Occupied Property
    AFCI (Arc Fault Circuit Interrupter) protection devices were "not" tested as the property inspected was occupied at the time of the inspection.

    What is an AFCI circuit interrupter?
    AFCI (Arc Fault Circuit Interrupter) An AFCI 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.
    All branch circuits that supply 125-volt, single-phase, 15- and 20-ampere outlets installed in a dwelling unit must be protected by an arc fault circuit interrupters. Branch circuits include: family rooms, dining rooms, living rooms, parlors, libraries, dens, bedrooms, sunrooms, recreation rooms, closets, hallways, or similar rooms or areas. All other branch circuits are required to have GFCI (Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter) protection as explained in the "Branch Circuit" section below.
    AFCI circuit breakers will be located in the Service Entrance Panel (Circuit Breaker panel box).
    AFCI protection is required to be in place as of dates noted per the NEC (National Electrical Code).
    2002 Sleeping areas (bedrooms) 2008 Whole House except where GFCI’s are required


  7. #7
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
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    Default Re: AFCI in other than bedrooms...Texas

    Quote Originally Posted by John Brown View Post
    Its right there from the TREC. Report as deficient or risk your license. Doesnt matter if the house was wired in 1909 or 2009. Deficient.

    TREC Standards. (a) Service entrance and panels. The inspector shall report as Deficient:

    (17) the lack of arc-fault circuit interrupting devices serving family rooms, dining rooms, living rooms, parlors, libraries, dens, bedrooms, sunrooms, recreations rooms, closets, hallways, or similar rooms or areas; and (18) failure of operation of installed arc fault circuit interrupter devices.
    How in the world can the absence of something that was and/or is not required in a home be considered "deficient"???

    Websters defines "deficient" as:
    1 : lacking in some necessary quality or element <deficient in judgment>
    2 : not up to a normal standard or complement : defective <deficient strength>

    By calling out no AFCIs in a 30 year old home as deficient you are in a sense saying that a retroactive upgrade is "necessary" or "standard".
    I find this wording disturbing. Calling it a recommended upgrade would be much more accurate.

    I think issues such as this are the basis for some of the animosity and division between HI's and the trades.
    For instance, an HI calls the lack of AFCIs "deficient". I say, well, they were not required when the home was built but we can install them at $XXX cost. Then the seller says if they were not required, and I am not required by code to install them, why do I need to pay $XXX to have them installed? The buyer comes back and says the "inspector" says they need to be done.

    Can anyone understand the scenario I am trying to portray?

    I am not pointing fingers at anyone here. I am calling this SOP from TREC(?) into question.


  8. #8
    Join Date
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    Rockwall Texas
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    Default Re: AFCI in other than bedrooms...Texas

    Quote Originally Posted by Speedy Petey View Post
    I am not pointing fingers at anyone here. I am calling this SOP from TREC(?) into question.

    And you call yourself Speedy? We've been calling this SOP into question for a long time. Where have you been?


  9. #9
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    Ormond Beach, Florida
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    Default Re: AFCI in other than bedrooms...Texas

    Quote Originally Posted by Speedy Petey View Post
    I think issues such as this are the basis for some of the animosity and division between HI's and the trades.
    Peter,

    One first must understand the history of TREC (and I do not as am not in Texas, however, I have heard things about it, so here goes, the Texas inspectors will correct me) ...

    When licensing was first done in Texas, HIs were (and still are) under the thumb of the Texas Real Estate Commission - akin to having the fox guard the hen house.

    At some point the hens got emboldened and were able to create an SoP for their inspection outside the control of the actual real estate agents.

    As a way to "get even with" the fox (the agents and Real Estate Commission) which at first limited what the hens HIs could inspect and report on, the hens (the home inspectors) created a very strict SoP, strictly to show their muscle and "get even".

    Once the HIs grew more powerful and were able to, they made the SoP totally absurd in content, and that continues to this day, heaven forbid the SoP become "reasonable" and the agents are again able to take control.

    Okay, you Texas guys, correct all my incorrect information. I am open and ready for it - you know it much better.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
    Construction Litigation Consultants, LLC ( www.ConstructionLitigationConsultants.com )
    www.AskCodeMan.com

  10. #10
    Ted Menelly's Avatar
    Ted Menelly Guest

    Default Re: AFCI in other than bedrooms...Texas

    Quote Originally Posted by Speedy Petey View Post
    How in the world can the absence of something that was and/or is not required in a home be considered "deficient"???

    Websters defines "deficient" as:
    1 : lacking in some necessary quality or element <deficient in judgment>
    2 : not up to a normal standard or complement : defective <deficient strength>

    By calling out no AFCIs in a 30 year old home as deficient you are in a sense saying that a retroactive upgrade is "necessary" or "standard".
    I find this wording disturbing. Calling it a recommended upgrade would be much more accurate.

    I think issues such as this are the basis for some of the animosity and division between HI's and the trades.
    For instance, an HI calls the lack of AFCIs "deficient". I say, well, they were not required when the home was built but we can install them at $XXX cost. Then the seller says if they were not required, and I am not required by code to install them, why do I need to pay $XXX to have them installed? The buyer comes back and says the "inspector" says they need to be done.

    Can anyone understand the scenario I am trying to portray?

    I am not pointing fingers at anyone here. I am calling this SOP from TREC(?) into question.

    We have to call it deficient (by TREC SOPS) it is a check box we must mark but I do "recommend an upgrade for safety sake"

    And yes. I am a pain in the but. Most of my responce was to get a further responce from you and others so I may contmplate further about joining an assoc.


  11. #11
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    NY State
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    Default Re: AFCI in other than bedrooms...Texas

    OK, wow. Thanks for the education guys. I had no idea of the history.


  12. #12
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Plano, Texas
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    Default Re: AFCI in other than bedrooms...Texas

    I have a standard comment in everyreport that I can delete IF I ever see a home in compliance with the new standards, but I can't remember seeing one so far. AFCI, child resistant outlets, etc. just explain it and move on, no biggie.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post
    Except on NEW(er) homes, right?

    The homes where they are *required*, your write them up, right?
    As noted in my post, I write them all up unless for some strange reason I actually find one that complies with the latest NEC (and thus the Texas SOP)
    Point is VERY VERY few homes (even new construction) actually comply since most municipalities are not up to date on codes. Even if they have adopted them, they phase the enforcement of new requirements over a period of time. Thus, it is wrong unless proved right in my report. Easier to delete on occasion than to insert it in every report.

    Jim Luttrall
    www.MrInspector.net
    Plano, Texas

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