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  1. #1
    Chris DiMarco's Avatar
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    Default Question about service change

    I have a client with a home under contract, home has a 125A FPE load center w/ FPE breakers.. Due to litigation, the buyer is requesting that the panel and breakers be changed out to either Square D or GE equipment. The question I have is in regards to the service being changed. We've had 2 bids from electricians, 1 stating that all new breakers have to be GFCI breakers which is a lot more expensive. The other bid is for just new breakers and a new panel. Is it required to go to GFCI breakers to have the work done?

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  2. #2
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    Default Re: Question about service change

    Are you sure you (or the electrician) don't mean AFCI, and not GFCI?

    "There is no exception to the rule that every rule has an exception." -James Thurber, writer and cartoonist (1894-1961)
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  3. #3
    Chris DiMarco's Avatar
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    Default Re: Question about service change

    That's probably it.. I don't have the reports on me at the moment. Basically, 1 electrician says yes he'd have to go to those breakers, 1 says no .. which one is right?


  4. #4
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    Default Re: Question about service change

    It really depends on what code that jurisdiction has adopted regarding a service change. Around here you can install standard circuit breakers on a service upgrade. If the old service has MWBC's it makes the change more difficult since two pole AFCI circuit breakers must be used. Under the 2011 NEC, 210.12(B) may apply if you extend or modify a branch circuit in a dwelling unit. If the AHJ determines that a service change is a modification to the branch circuit you would need AFCI protection.


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    Default Re: Question about service change

    Many areas would not require the AFCI protection due to a panel change or service upgrade. As Robert said this is a question for the building officials.

    All answers based on unamended National Electrical codes.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Question about service change

    If you stay with a 125 service when you do the upgrade the difference in with the AFCI breakers should not be over a couple of hundred dollars. What is the difference in the quotes you got?


  7. #7
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    Default Re: Question about service change

    the difference is about 550 dollars.


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    Default Re: Question about service change

    AFCI breaker $40, regular single pole $6. Add in the additional labor too.

    All answers based on unamended National Electrical codes.

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    Default Re: Question about service change

    This question has been the source of many conversations everywhere.I would check with the local AHJ to get their opinion / information on what they inforce. Be sure to verify that it is the jurisdictions rule not just an inspector enforcing his/her opinion. Some inspectors ( both code and HI) will quote their opinion as "code requirements". If it is the jurisdictions rule then it should be in writing and adopted along with the code they enforce as then it is law.

    According to 210.12 (B) it requires AFCI protection to be installed when one modify's or adds to an existing circuit where AFCI would be required if installed new.

    Now to get down to brass tacks.......

    A panel change or service change is not modifying or adding to a branch circuit. It is Replacing the service equipment where the branch circuit originates.
    The definition of a branch circuit according to the NEC:
    Branch Circuit. The circuit conductors BETWEEN THE FINAL OVERCURRENT DEVICE protecting the circuit and the outlets.
    You will notice that the overcurrent device ( circuit breaker) is NOT part of the branch circuit.


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    Default Re: Question about service change

    I haven't had any jurisdiction require AFCIs on a panel change - yet. Anything added unless exempted - you betcha.

    Occam's eraser: The philosophical principle that even the simplest solution is bound to have something wrong with it.

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    Default Re: Question about service change

    Chris,
    What jurisdiction is this in?

    Occam's eraser: The philosophical principle that even the simplest solution is bound to have something wrong with it.

  12. #12
    James Duffin's Avatar
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    Default Re: Question about service change

    Quote Originally Posted by Chris DiMarco View Post
    the difference is about 550 dollars.
    That's a lot for a 125 amp panel....


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    Default Re: Question about service change

    Doesn't sound like they are adding much to the non-AFCI price. Twenty breakers at $30 extra each would be $600. Even leaving out some for the 240 volt circuits they aren't making much. No additional markup or charge for labor even though it takes longer. Add in the additional taxes.

    Not even enough to cover any troubleshooting that may be required.

    All answers based on unamended National Electrical codes.

  14. #14
    James Duffin's Avatar
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    Default Re: Question about service change

    Ain't no way a 125 panel will have 20 circuits that need AFCI protection if it's wired like a normal house. Maybe six or eight.


  15. #15
    Robert Meier's Avatar
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    Default Re: Question about service change

    Quote Originally Posted by Chris DiMarco View Post
    the difference is about 550 dollars.
    Is the same contractor saying that the difference is $550 or is this the difference between the AFCI contractor price and the non-AFCI contractor price?


  16. #16
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    Default Re: Question about service change

    It is in Arapahoe County, CO. 2 different contractors, the cost difference is the one electrician saying he'd need arc fault breakers. I'm going to try to get the inspector out here tomorrow and ask about it.


  17. #17
    Robert Meier's Avatar
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    Default Re: Question about service change

    Quote Originally Posted by Chris DiMarco View Post
    It is in Arapahoe County, CO. 2 different contractors, the cost difference is the one electrician saying he'd need arc fault breakers. I'm going to try to get the inspector out here tomorrow and ask about it.
    So the price comparison and the $550 dollar difference may not even be accurate? Maybe the low bidder would upgrade to AFCI's for less than $550.


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    Default Re: Question about service change

    Quote Originally Posted by Chris DiMarco View Post
    I have a client with a home under contract, home has a 125A FPE load center w/ FPE breakers.. Due to litigation, the buyer is requesting that the panel and breakers be changed out to either Square D or GE equipment. The question I have is in regards to the service being changed. We've had 2 bids from electricians, 1 stating that all new breakers have to be GFCI breakers which is a lot more expensive. The other bid is for just new breakers and a new panel. Is it required to go to GFCI breakers to have the work done?
    This would make sense if the older home has two-wire wiring methods (no gnd or floating grounds present); and for example, the home has already had a number of grounding-type receptacles added, and/or has mixed circuits (i.e. no dedicated bathroom circuits, laundry circuit, countertop circuits, exterior receptacle circuit, garage circuit, etc.) all general-purpose type with lighting & receptacles; and the home has nothing but 125 Vac circuits or perhaps has just one 120/240 or 240 Vac circuit supplying a hot tub or pool equipment...

    Areas requiring GFCI protection...curious does the property have a well? An emergency generator system? A secondary source of power? Agricultral accessory use? Service point on pole or other exterior structure (as I recall several communities with city utilities' older sections have service at peds or lampposts with main power feeders w/o gnd to interior home panels) with unmetered front door lights or lamp post lights...

    Seems you might have just joined the forum, welcome. Looking forward to your update and clarification on the "report" and the details regarding the existing.

    Last edited by H.G. Watson, Sr.; 01-01-2012 at 09:31 AM.

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    Default Re: Question about service change

    Now that we know the price is from two different contractors it makes even less difference. We don't even know if the equipment is the same. I am sure the Square D, especially if QO, is more than the GE,

    All answers based on unamended National Electrical codes.

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    Default Re: Question about service change

    Quote Originally Posted by Chris DiMarco View Post
    I have a client with a home under contract, home has a 125A FPE load center w/ FPE breakers.. Due to litigation, the buyer is requesting that the panel and breakers be changed out to either Square D or GE equipment. The question I have is in regards to the service being changed. We've had 2 bids from electricians, 1 stating that all new breakers have to be GFCI breakers which is a lot more expensive. The other bid is for just new breakers and a new panel. Is it required to go to GFCI breakers to have the work done?
    Quote Originally Posted by Chris DiMarco View Post
    It is in Arapahoe County, CO. 2 different contractors, the cost difference is the one electrician saying he'd need arc fault breakers. I'm going to try to get the inspector out here tomorrow and ask about it.
    Chris DiMarco,

    Are you a home inspector? a real estate agent? another service provider or professional who's consulting on the purchase, or are you "the client"?

    Its okay if you are a home buyer, or other than a home inspector, like for example an environmental technician, your questions will still be answered, just be sure you're forthright about it.

    And you're still welcome to the forum.


  21. #21
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    Default Re: Question about service change

    Quote Originally Posted by H.G. Watson, Sr. View Post
    Chris DiMarco,

    Are you a home inspector? a real estate agent? another service provider or professional who's consulting on the purchase, or are you "the client"?

    Its okay if you are a home buyer, or other than a home inspector, like for example an environmental technician, your questions will still be answered, just be sure you're forthright about it.

    And you're still welcome to the forum.

    I'm a real estate agent. The buyer is talking on cancelling the contract if we will not replace the service due to the class action suit on FPE


  22. #22
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    Default Re: Question about service change

    Quote Originally Posted by Chris DiMarco View Post
    I'm a real estate agent. The buyer is talking on cancelling the contract if we will not replace the service due to the class action suit on FPE
    Do they have documentation on this? I hadn't heard of any suits filed, NOR any recalls.

    I think the buyer is trying to leverage a new service for no valid reason.


    BTW, in NYS it is NOT required to install AFCI breakers for a service change. I'd bet PA is the same. PA and NYS are pretty closely paralleled as far as electrical codes go.
    TO NY State residential electricians, clarification on AFCI, etc. - Electrician Talk - Professional Electrical Contractors Forum


  23. #23
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    Default Re: Question about service change

    A google search shows there was a class action suit in NJ.

    All answers based on unamended National Electrical codes.

  24. #24
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    Default Re: Question about service change

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Port View Post
    Now that we know the price is from two different contractors it makes even less difference. We don't even know if the equipment is the same. I am sure the Square D, especially if QO, is more than the GE,
    I agree, if an oranges to oranges comparison (both contractors installing the same breakers and brand of equipment) is made the price difference might be considerable less than $550.


  25. #25
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    Default Re: Question about service change

    These provisions shall be known as the Residential Code of Arapahoe County

    (2009 IRC based with many ammendments, and sections not adopted...)

    R101.2 Scope. The provisions of this code shall apply to the construction, alteration, movement, enlargement, replacement, repair, equipment, use and occupancy, location, removal and demolition of detached one-and two-family dwellings and multiple single-family dwellings (townhouses) not more than three stories in height with a separate menas of egress and their accessory structures.
    R101.2.1 Standards. Whenever any State law or regulation imposes higher standards than are required by this Code, the provisions of that law or regulation shall govern. Whenever the standards imposed by this Code are higher than the standards imposed by any other law or regulation or resolution of any governmental body, then the standards of this Code shall govern.

    2009 IBC as ammended by Arap county:
    101.4.4 Electrical. The provisions of the most current adopted version of the National Electric code shall apply to the installation of electrical systems, including alterations, repairs, replacement, equipment, appliances, fixtures, fittings and appurtenances thereto.

    County has adopted 2011 NEC could find no mention of ammendments.

    If an incorporated city check with the city rules.

    HTH.



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    Default Re: Question about service change

    You guys need to read the stuff at Inspect NY on FPE instead of dismissing it as a biased information source.

    There was a class action lawsuit filed in New Jersey against FPE and there was a settlement of $500 per claimant.

    I have run across both finance companies and insurance companies who will not deal with a FPE panel on a residence, as well as a good number of informed buyers. Having a FPE panel changed out prior to or as part of a sale is pretty common around here.

    I see nothing in Arapahoe County that indicates AFCIs are required as part of a panel change/service upgrade (no ammendments to 2011 NEC). I work in a number of Arapahoe County cities but haven't done anything in rural or unincorporated areas for a long time. A call to the building department Tuesday would resolve that question.

    As far as the FPE panel, it's pretty tough to sell a home around here with one.

    Occam's eraser: The philosophical principle that even the simplest solution is bound to have something wrong with it.

  27. #27
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    Default Re: Question about service change

    According to Article 210.12 (B):

    You do NOT have to install AFCI Protection in Kitchens, Bathrooms or on Fire Alarm Circuits.

    Installing AFCI on a Fire Alarm circuit could be a deadly mistake.
    I am also petitioning the NFPA to omit AFCI protection for Carbon Monoxide detector circuits...that could be a deadly mistake as well
    Installing AFCI on a refrigeration/freezer could lead to troublesome defrosting situations.

    You should not require every circuit in that house to be AFCI protected.
    Just those that are required.

    The others circuits have reasons why they are not required!

    Happy New Year to ALL!


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    Default Re: Question about service change

    Quote Originally Posted by Carmine Berardinelli View Post
    According to Article 210.12 (B):

    You do NOT have to install AFCI Protection in Kitchens, Bathrooms or on Fire Alarm Circuits.
    I must be missing something, where does it say that?

    Installing AFCI on a Fire Alarm circuit could be a deadly mistake.
    An even deadlier mistake if AFCI protection IS NOT installed on the fire alarm/smoke detector circuits and those circuit ARE THE CAUSE of the fire.

    Some people would rather have the detector go into alarm letting them know that the circuit the alarms are on is on fire instead of having an AFCI shut the circuit down and thus eliminate the cause of the fire.

    I am also petitioning the NFPA to omit AFCI protection for Carbon Monoxide detector circuits...that could be a deadly mistake as well
    Installing AFCI on a refrigeration/freezer could lead to troublesome defrosting situations.

    You should not require every circuit in that house to be AFCI protected.
    Just those that are required.

    The others circuits have reasons why they are not required!
    Yeah, the same reasons that ALL circuits should be AFCI protected.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
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  29. #29
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    Default Re: Question about service change

    Quote Originally Posted by Carmine Berardinelli View Post
    According to Article 210.12 (B):

    You do NOT have to install AFCI Protection in Kitchens, Bathrooms or on Fire Alarm Circuits.


    Happy New Year to ALL!
    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post
    I must be missing something, where does it say that?



    Says something about that right here and in 760.41(B) and 760.121(B).

    210.12 Arc-Fault Circuit-Interrupter Protection.
    (A) Definition: Arc-Fault Circuit Interrupter (AFCI). 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.
    (B) Dwelling Units. All 120-volt, single phase, 15- and 20-ampere branch circuits supplying outlets installed in dwelling unit family rooms, dining rooms, living rooms, parlors, libraries, dens, bedrooms, sunrooms, recreation rooms, closets, hallways, or similar rooms or areas shall be protected by a listed arc-fault circuit interrupter, combination-type, installed to provide protection of the branch circuit.
    FPN No. 1: For information on types of arc-fault circuit interrupters, see UL 1699-1999, Standard for Arc-Fault Circuit Interrupters.
    FPN No. 2: See 11.6.3(5) of NFPA 72®-2007, National Fire Alarm Code®, for information related to secondary power supply requirements for smoke alarms installed in dwelling units.
    FPN No. 3: See 760.41(B) and 760.121(B) for power-supply requirements for fire alarm systems.
    Exception No. 2: Where a branch circuit to a fire alarm system installed in accordance with 760.41(B) and 760.121(B) is installed in RMC, IMC, EMT, or steel armored cable, Type AC, meeting the requirements of 250.118, with metal outlet and junction boxes, AFCI protection shall be permitted to be omitted.
    760.41 NPLFA Circuit Power Source Requirements.
    (A) Power Source. The power source of non–power-limited fire alarm circuits shall comply with Chapters 1 through 4, and the output voltage shall be not more than 600 volts, nominal.
    (B) Branch Circuit. An individual branch circuit shall be required for the supply of the power source. This branch circuit shall not be supplied through ground-fault circuit interrupters or arc-fault circuit interrupters.



  30. #30
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    Default Re: Question about service change

    Quote Originally Posted by Robert Meier View Post
    Says something about that right here and in 760.41(B) and 760.121(B).
    Actually it doesn't.

    That is why I asked for him to provide the code.

    This is what he said: "You do NOT have to install AFCI Protection in Kitchens, Bathrooms or on Fire Alarm Circuits."

    The code does not require AFCI for bathrooms or kitchens because they are not listed in 210.12(B).

    The code DOES NOT say "You do NOT have to install AFCI Protection ... on Fire Alarm Circuits."

    The code DOES say that you do not have to install AFCI protection on fire alarm circuits *IF* (and his statement did not include any *IFs*):
    - Exception No. 2: Where a branch circuit to a fire alarm system installed in accordance with 760.41(B) and 760.121(B) is installed in RMC, IMC, EMT, or steel armored cable, Type AC, meeting the requirements of 250.118, with metal outlet and junction boxes, AFCI protection shall be permitted to be omitted.

    There is a BIG ... BIG ... difference between stating that "You do NOT have to install AFCI Protection ... on Fire Alarm Circuits." and stating 'You do NOT have to install AFCI Protection ... on Fire Alarm Circuits *IF* ... ' and then state the if requirements because those *IF* requirements basically exclude the majority of residential installation where the builders and contractors want to not install the AFCI protection.

    These requirements are a big deal for that statement: "is installed in RMC, IMC, EMT, or steel armored cable, Type AC, meeting the requirements of 250.118, with metal outlet and junction boxes".

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

  31. #31
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    Default Re: Question about service change

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post
    Actually it doesn't.

    That is why I asked for him to provide the code.

    This is what he said: "You do NOT have to install AFCI Protection in Kitchens, Bathrooms or on Fire Alarm Circuits."

    The code does not require AFCI for bathrooms or kitchens because they are not listed in 210.12(B).

    The code DOES NOT say "You do NOT have to install AFCI Protection ... on Fire Alarm Circuits."

    The code DOES say that you do not have to install AFCI protection on fire alarm circuits *IF* (and his statement did not include any *IFs*):
    - Exception No. 2: Where a branch circuit to a fire alarm system installed in accordance with 760.41(B) and 760.121(B) is installed in RMC, IMC, EMT, or steel armored cable, Type AC, meeting the requirements of 250.118, with metal outlet and junction boxes, AFCI protection shall be permitted to be omitted.

    There is a BIG ... BIG ... difference between stating that "You do NOT have to install AFCI Protection ... on Fire Alarm Circuits." and stating 'You do NOT have to install AFCI Protection ... on Fire Alarm Circuits *IF* ... ' and then state the if requirements because those *IF* requirements basically exclude the majority of residential installation where the builders and contractors want to not install the AFCI protection.

    These requirements are a big deal for that statement: "is installed in RMC, IMC, EMT, or steel armored cable, Type AC, meeting the requirements of 250.118, with metal outlet and junction boxes".
    Sounds like you're confusing fire alarm circuits for a fire alarm system with smoke alarms. They're not the same thing.


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    Default Re: Question about service change

    Quote Originally Posted by Robert Meier View Post
    Sounds like you're confusing fire alarm circuits for a fire alarm system with smoke alarms.
    Not really.

    Sounds like you are missing the very important conditions and requirements included in that 'not required' allowance. That 'not required' allowance is not all encompassing.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
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  33. #33
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    Default Re: Question about service change


  34. #34
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    Default Re: Question about service change

    I do believe that Robert Meier is pointing out:
    Lets keep in mind we are discussing a residential dwelling.
    I am pretty damn near positive this home does not have a fire alarm system or fire alarm circuits.. Nor pretty much any home will not have a fire alrm system or fire alarm ircuits.
    Smoke detectors in a residential home are not Fire alarm systems or fire alarm circuits, thus they are required to have AFCI protection as they qualify as an outlet. This is even if they are the only items on the circuit, they are not fire alarm circuits as per the NEC.


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    Default Re: Question about service change

    Chris - Be sure to compare apples to apples on those prices.
    Besides the added AFCI breakers, what type of panel and breakers ?
    Square D has type QO and Homeline. QO is more expensive, Homeline and GE are aboput the same in price. Is the price from both contractors for a complete service change or just a panel change ? Is one contractor pricing to do a complete service change and the other just a panel change ?

    These are the items you need to look at besides just the AFCI breakers (which I'll bet are not required.)


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    Default Re: Question about service change

    Quote Originally Posted by James Duffin View Post
    Bull puckey. There was a class action lawsuit. FPE lost. That is not indicated in the "unbiased report'"

    Occam's eraser: The philosophical principle that even the simplest solution is bound to have something wrong with it.

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    Default Re: Question about service change

    Standard policy around here is that if the meter has to be pulled to do a panel change, and it usually does, the utility (Xcel Energy) will require the service be brought up to their current standard, so if Xcel is the provider you will need a complete service upgrade.

    It's not unusual to see a spread of up to $1500 on a service.

    Occam's eraser: The philosophical principle that even the simplest solution is bound to have something wrong with it.

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    Default Re: Question about service change

    Quote Originally Posted by ken horak View Post
    I do believe that Robert Meier is pointing out:
    Lets keep in mind we are discussing a residential dwelling.
    I am pretty damn near positive this home does not have a fire alarm system or fire alarm circuits.. Nor pretty much any home will not have a fire alrm system or fire alarm ircuits.
    Smoke detectors in a residential home are not Fire alarm systems or fire alarm circuits, thus they are required to have AFCI protection as they qualify as an outlet. This is even if they are the only items on the circuit, they are not fire alarm circuits as per the NEC.
    I understand that, and what I am pointing out is that Carmine's statement, which is stated as all encompassing with no ands or ifs ... is referring to a code section which *is not* all encompassing with no ands or ifs.

    Quote Originally Posted by Carmine Berardinelli View Post
    According to Article 210.12 (B):

    You do NOT have to install AFCI Protection in Kitchens, Bathrooms or on Fire Alarm Circuits.
    There are very specific conditions on the 'not required' statement in the code.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
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  39. #39
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    Default Re: Question about service change

    Quote Originally Posted by Bill Kriegh View Post
    Bull puckey. There was a class action lawsuit. FPE lost. That is not indicated in the "unbiased report'"
    Got a link?


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    Default Re: Question about service change

    Personally I'm not saying FPE breakers are not a potential problem in today's world. I AM however saying that their replacement should NOT be mandatory in assuring the sale of a home.

    When I bought my home it had a 200A FPE panel in perfect shape. Yet I replaced it within a week of moving in. This was MY choice. It was not even mentioned in the negotiations because it was existing and in fine working order at the time.

    Again, how could I blame the current owner for something they had no control over and no responsibility for. The home was built in '75 and they bought it a few years later, while FPE was still being used. In the following years during their ownership the whole FPE thing blew up. HOW is the the responsibility of the current owner????

    Bottom line, if you don't want an FPE panel in the home you are buying, change it after you move in.


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    Default Re: Question about service change

    Quote Originally Posted by Speedy Petey View Post
    Personally I'm not saying FPE breakers are not a potential problem in today's world. I AM however saying that their replacement should NOT be mandatory in assuring the sale of a home.

    When I bought my home it had a 200A FPE panel in perfect shape. Yet I replaced it within a week of moving in. This was MY choice. It was not even mentioned in the negotiations because it was existing and in fine working order at the time.

    Again, how could I blame the current owner for something they had no control over and no responsibility for. The home was built in '75 and they bought it a few years later, while FPE was still being used. In the following years during their ownership the whole FPE thing blew up. HOW is the the responsibility of the current owner????

    Bottom line, if you don't want an FPE panel in the home you are buying, change it after you move in.
    Petey, you evidently don't understand the buyer's market in place at the moment.. If you want/need to sell a home there's an unbelievable number of hoops you need to jump through to get the job done. Panel changes, insulation, furnaces, windows, etc. are common things either fixed or credit given for.

    Doesn't much matter what's right or fair, it's what it takes to get the place sold.

    Occam's eraser: The philosophical principle that even the simplest solution is bound to have something wrong with it.

  42. #42
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    Default Re: Question about service change

    speedy

    are you a Hi ?. did you negotiate the price of buying your house ,adding the fpe replacement. and if it was in perect shape, why did you replace a perfectly fine panel. sounds conflicting, if you are an HI, do you recommend replacing fpe panels or evaluation by a sparky. i thought you were a sparky

    cvf


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    Post Re: Question about service change

    Quote Originally Posted by James Duffin View Post

    Unbiased? You have got to be kidding. How is it that there is so often a presumption that a government report is unbiased, or that all government activity is benevolent?

    Randall Aldering GHI BAOM MSM
    Housesmithe Inspection
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  44. #44
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    Default Re: Question about service change

    1968

    government said agent orange was not harmful to humans--and we were winning the vietnam war. how did that turn out

    cvf


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    Post Re: Question about service change

    Quote Originally Posted by CHARLIE VAN FLEET View Post
    1968

    government said agent orange was not harmful to humans--and we were winning the vietnam war. how did that turn out

    cvf

    EXACTLY.

    Randall Aldering GHI BAOM MSM
    Housesmithe Inspection
    www.housesmithe.com

  46. #46
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    Default Re: Question about service change

    Quote Originally Posted by Bill Kriegh View Post
    Petey, you evidently don't understand the buyer's market in place at the moment.. If you want/need to sell a home there's an unbelievable number of hoops you need to jump through to get the job done. Panel changes, insulation, furnaces, windows, etc. are common things either fixed or credit given for.

    Doesn't much matter what's right or fair, it's what it takes to get the place sold.
    It was a buyer's market when I bought as well. The house was on the market for about a year and was selling for a very fair price. I just had the scruples to know it was not their responsibility. It's what I wanted for myself.

    I am ashamed for my fellow humans as to what they will try and get away with and not feel complete shame. Just look at all the frivolous "nothing is ever my fault" law suits we see every day.


  47. #47
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    Default Re: Question about service change

    Quote Originally Posted by CHARLIE VAN FLEET View Post
    speedy

    are you a Hi ?. did you negotiate the price of buying your house ,adding the fpe replacement. and if it was in perect shape, why did you replace a perfectly fine panel. sounds conflicting, if you are an HI, do you recommend replacing fpe panels or evaluation by a sparky. i thought you were a sparky

    cvf
    Yes, I am an electrician, not an HI, and I do recommend replacement for FPE equipment. It is up to the client to determine if it is something they can afford or need.
    Some heed the advice, some wait 'till later, some don't.
    If I get called in by an HI or client for evaluation I also recommend it, but do not call it mandatory. I call it a highly recommended upgrade.

    I replaced my panel because I wanted to, also knowing it would not cost $2500 (obviously).


  48. #48
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    Default Re: Question about service change

    Quote Originally Posted by ken horak View Post
    I do believe that Robert Meier is pointing out:
    Lets keep in mind we are discussing a residential dwelling.
    I am pretty damn near positive this home does not have a fire alarm system or fire alarm circuits.. Nor pretty much any home will not have a fire alrm system or fire alarm ircuits.
    Smoke detectors in a residential home are not Fire alarm systems or fire alarm circuits, thus they are required to have AFCI protection as they qualify as an outlet. This is even if they are the only items on the circuit, they are not fire alarm circuits as per the NEC.
    Thanks Ken that is what I meant. We get bogged down by using certain terms improperly. Smoke alarms are the cheap $15 things that we can buy at Home Depot. Smoke detectors are part of a fire alarm system as mentioned in the NEC Article 760 that I posted earlier. Residential smoke alarms are not a fire alarm system. As you said when their supply outlets are part of a room mentioned in Article 210.12(B) they require AFCI protection.


  49. #49
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    Default Re: Question about service change

    Quote Originally Posted by CHARLIE VAN FLEET View Post
    1968

    government said agent orange was not harmful to humans--and we were winning the vietnam war. how did that turn out

    cvf
    What in the world does that have to do with FPE panels? If you think any site that is covered with ads is unbiased you are nuts. Do you consider the info on this site to be unbiased?


  50. #50
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    Default Re: Question about service change

    AFCI or not -- doesn't matter a beans worth.

    Go with the lowest price and make sure your contract says work to be done in accordance with electrical code and authorities having jurisdiction.

    A panel change rquires a permit and the work needs to be approved by local authorities. They'll require the electrician to do whatever they want. (provided it doesn't conflict with code)

    Ken Amelin
    Cape Cod's Best Inspection Services
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  51. #51
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    Default Re: Question about service change

    Quote Originally Posted by James Duffin View Post
    If you stay with a 125 service when you do the upgrade the difference in with the AFCI breakers should not be over a couple of hundred dollars. What is the difference in the quotes you got?
    I suggest you check with your insurance company before installing a new 125 amp panel. In this area, many insurance companies will not write a policy if the home has less than a 150 amp service.

    Robert Sole
    REM Inspections LLC
    www.REMinspections.com, Orlando, Oviedo

  52. #52
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    Default Re: Question about service change

    My opinion is This:

    The buyer has been exposed to the knowledge of AFCI protected circuits and I doubt that he is going to be willing to back off on a real or a perceived safety issue when it comes to his family. I don't think at this point the client is going to go the cheap route on the upgrade...Makes no difference what jurisdictional code requirements are with respect to this being a deal breaker.

    Are AFCI a real or imagined safety feature in a home? Does it make a difference if they are installed in a new home or a 30 year old home. If a local jurisdiction does not require AFCI on an upgraded panel, is it just as good (safe) as a jurisdiction that requires them. Last time I looked Local Building officials can't change basic electrical theory.

    Either the upgrade is done with the AFCI breakers or the client is not buying the home. The question is, who is going to pay for the upgrade if the deal is going to go through?


  53. #53
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    Default Re: Question about service change

    Quote Originally Posted by Robert Meier View Post
    Thanks Ken that is what I meant. We get bogged down by using certain terms improperly. Smoke alarms are the cheap $15 things that we can buy at Home Depot. Smoke detectors are part of a fire alarm system as mentioned in the NEC Article 760 that I posted earlier. Residential smoke alarms are not a fire alarm system. As you said when their supply outlets are part of a room mentioned in Article 210.12(B) they require AFCI protection.
    A supervised fire alarm system is what Art. 760 refers to.

    You might find the following (clickable direct link follows to what is quoted below from Siemen's web site) helpful: There seems to be a conflict in the NEC regarding arc-fault protection of fire/smoke alarm circuits. Article 210.12(B) requires AFCI protection for all bedroom outlets, including the smoke alarm outlets, but 760.21 and 760.41 states that you cannot p

    There seems to be a conflict in the NEC regarding arc-fault protection of fire/smoke alarm circuits. Article 210.12(B) requires AFCI protection for all bedroom outlets, including the smoke alarm outlets, but 760.21 and 760.41 states that you cannot protect fire alarm circuits with an AFCI protection device. Why are some fire alarm circuits required to have AFCI protection, and others are prohibited from having such protection?

    There is no conflict in the NEC (2008).
    -NEC article 210.12 (B) requires Dwelling Units to have AFCI protection for all 120V, 15 and 20A outlets as specified. This includes the most common smoke detectors found in dwellings (single or interconnected) that require 120V power supply.
    -NEC Article 760 refers to smoke detectors that are part of a supervised fire alarm system, and the code does not require AFCI for those circuits
    HTH in clearing that up.

    The NFPA Codes are available for free viewing on line (in read only format) via the NFPA.org site (you must register at the site for access).


  54. #54
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    Default Re: Question about service change

    Chris,
    Let the Buyer have the elect upgrade to AFCI ($550) to make the sale. Easy solution, split the cost 3 ways - Seller,Seller agent, Buyer agent. Spread the pain but not a big hit. If the buyer is ready, willing, able and motivated. Saves the time for the Buyer's agent in looking at other homes. Gets you a pay day and get the house off the market.

    Good luck.


  55. #55
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    Default Re: Question about service change

    Quote Originally Posted by Garry Sorrells View Post
    Chris,
    Let the Buyer have the elect upgrade to AFCI ($550) to make the sale. Easy solution, split the cost 3 ways - Seller,Seller agent, Buyer agent. Spread the pain but not a big hit. If the buyer is ready, willing, able and motivated. Saves the time for the Buyer's agent in looking at other homes. Gets you a pay day and get the house off the market.

    Good luck.
    I believe that advice like the above has no real place on this forum, it is, quite frankly, none of our business who pays for what.

    Who ever wants the sale to go through the most ... gets to pay for it.

    If the buyer says they want that replaced or they are not buying the house, are you willing to risk the sale by pressing the buyer? If you are, so be it.

    I believe the original posters question regarding price difference has been answered - not enough information given to be able to answer it.

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

  56. #56
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    Default Re: Question about service change

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post
    I believe that advice like the above has no real place on this forum, it is, quite frankly, none of our business who pays for what.
    Wow. Bold statement.



    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post
    Who ever wants the sale to go through the most ... gets to pay for it.

    If the buyer says they want that replaced or they are not buying the house, are you willing to risk the sale by pressing the buyer? If you are, so be it.
    How is this ANY different from the opinion Garry expressed?


  57. #57
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    Default Re: Question about service change

    Quote Originally Posted by Speedy Petey View Post
    Wow. Bold statement.
    Yeppers, I make those statements occasionally.

    How is this ANY different from the opinion Garry expressed?
    Because he was telling who should pay for what.

    On the other hand, I was explaining the facts of life - the one who wants or needs to make the deal the most ... loses, and the one who is willing to walk away ... wins.

    You may not like that, but it is a fact of life in negotiations - the ones tied to the deal are the most committed to completing the deal, the less interested (or uninterested) party who can take it or leave has the edge in negotiations.

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

  58. #58
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    Default Re: Question about service change

    Jerry,
    Looked at the question as 1) Which contractor was correct in replacement requirements and 2) The cost difference in the bids.

    #2 typically is all about the seller not paying out more than minimally necessary.
    A buyer once they hear about the upgrade will want it or will make them want the property even more.
    I was just offering a solution that many agents do not consider, by way of personal experience.

    As for advice to someone. I would think that there has been many times that the forum has suggested that one party or another should pay for something or are at least liable for it. Basically saying who should pay.

    Would I say in a Inspection Report who should pay for any addendum to a contract, absolutely not, nor should anyone else. That would be inappropriate.


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