Results 1 to 40 of 40
  1. #1

    Question 2011 code... replacement outlets

    In going through the DVD about changes in the 2011 code, there is a new requirement that when replacing a fixture that is in an affected area (bathrooms, kitchens, garages, etc) that the outlet be upgraded to the appropriate device (AFCI or GFCI).

    My question is since replacing like with like used to be permitted, and simply replacing an outlet does not require a permit, what should we write when we go into a "flipper house" where they have replaced every switch and outlet for cosmetic reasons and because they haven't added or upgraded anything, they don't think they need to install AFCI's or GFCI's.

    This is Article 460.4(D)(1-6)

    Now, when ever I have seen a renovated kitchen/baths in the past I have ALWAYS recommended GFCI's as a safety upgrade, but am curious as we are not 'CODE' people but this code does affect stuff we see how we should use it to our advantage...

    Similar Threads:
    NHIE Practice Exam

  2. #2
    Robert Meier's Avatar
    Robert Meier Guest

    Default Re: 2011 code... replacement outlets

    In the 2011 NEC {210.12(B)} if the branch circuit is modified or extended then the AFCI rules comes into play. IMO changing a device does not modify or extend the circuit.

    Not sure where the Article 460 reference comes from.

    210.12(B) Branch Circuit Extensions or Modifications —
    Dwelling Units. In any of the areas specified in 210.12(A),
    where branch-circuit wiring is modified, replaced, or extended,
    the branch circuit shall be protected by one of the
    following:
    (1) A listed combination-type AFCI located at the origin of
    the branch circuit
    (2) A listed outlet branch-circuit type AFCI located at the
    first receptacle outlet of the existing branch circuit



  3. #3

    Default Re: 2011 code... replacement outlets

    It is a new section...
    460.4(D)
    Replacements. Replacement of receptacles shall comply with 406.4(D)(1) through (D) (6) as applicable

    460.4.(D)(3)
    Ground-Fault Circuit-Interrupters. Ground Fault circuit interrupter protected receptacles shall be provided where replacements are made at receptacles that are required to be so protected elsewhere in the code.
    460.4.(D)(4)
    Arc-Fault Circuit Interrupters. Where a receptacle outlet is supplied by a branch circuit that requires arc-fault circuit interupter protection as specirfied elsewhere in this code, a replacement receptical at this outlet shal be one of the following...

    (it goes on to say how to retrofit a non-existant product and give a waiver until 2014)


  4. #4
    Robert Meier's Avatar
    Robert Meier Guest

    Default Re: 2011 code... replacement outlets

    Yes, that section is not applicable until 2014. The correct code Article is 406 Receptacles, not Article 460 Capacitors.


  5. #5

    Default Re: 2011 code... replacement outlets

    Assuming I don't fat finger the section numbers

    I know the AFCI doesn't apply till 2014 because the devices don't exist yet, but what about GFCI's...looks like that take affect as soon as the local adopts the code...


  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Ormond Beach, Florida
    Posts
    26,251

    Default Re: 2011 code... replacement outlets

    Quote Originally Posted by Bob Sisson View Post
    Now, when ever I have seen a renovated kitchen/baths in the past I have ALWAYS recommended GFCI's as a safety upgrade,
    Has never been a 'safety upgrade', has always been that if a receptacle located where GFCI protection is replaced, then GFCI protection has always been required for that replacement receptacle.

    That means it was not a 'safety upgrade' but a 'code required' change.

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

  7. #7
    Robert Meier's Avatar
    Robert Meier Guest

    Default Re: 2011 code... replacement outlets

    Quote Originally Posted by Bob Sisson View Post
    Assuming I don't fat finger the section numbers

    I know the AFCI doesn't apply till 2014 because the devices don't exist yet, but what about GFCI's...looks like that take affect as soon as the local adopts the code...
    Yes, GFCI receptacles are required when a device is replaced. You had the reference (almost ) in an earlier post 406.4(D)(3).


  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    Maryland
    Posts
    1,049

    Default Re: 2011 code... replacement outlets

    Keep in mind that when they say "outlet", it can also be a light fixture.

    An outlet is any location that distributes electricity. That includes receptacles and light fixtures and probably other stuff too.


  9. #9
    Robert Meier's Avatar
    Robert Meier Guest

    Default Re: 2011 code... replacement outlets

    Quote Originally Posted by John Dirks Jr View Post
    Keep in mind that when they say "outlet", it can also be a light fixture.

    An outlet is any location that distributes electricity. That includes receptacles and light fixtures and probably other stuff too.
    When speaking of receptacles at least the term outlet is partially right. Don't get me started on calling receptacles a plug.


  10. #10

    Default Re: 2011 code... replacement outlets

    Jerry,
    I rarely argue with you, but until this code version (2011) we were told that if the kitchen (for example) was built in 1970, before GFCI's were mandated, and you "renovated" the kitchen and replaced the 3-wire outlets with new 3-wire receptacle for cosmetic reasons that was all you had to do. If you added a new, or moved the receptacle, you had to bring it up to the current code, but you could replace like with like if all you were doing was replacing the outlet...

    Now you can no longer replace a 3-wire kitchen receptacle with a like... you need to install the GFCI protection (somewhere)....at least this is what I was told


  11. #11
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Ormond Beach, Florida
    Posts
    26,251

    Default Re: 2011 code... replacement outlets

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post
    Has never been a 'safety upgrade', has always been that if a receptacle located where GFCI protection is replaced, then GFCI protection has always been required for that replacement receptacle.

    That means it was not a 'safety upgrade' but a 'code required' change.
    Quote Originally Posted by Bob Sisson View Post
    Jerry,
    I rarely argue with you, but until this code version (2011) we were told that if the kitchen (for example) was built in 1970, before GFCI's were mandated, and you "renovated" the kitchen and replaced the 3-wire outlets with new 3-wire receptacle for cosmetic reasons that was all you had to do. If you added a new, or moved the receptacle, you had to bring it up to the current code, but you could replace like with like if all you were doing was replacing the outlet...

    Now you can no longer replace a 3-wire kitchen receptacle with a like... you need to install the GFCI protection (somewhere)....at least this is what I was told
    I thought it went back a lot further than I can find it, but this is from the 2002 NEC:
    - 406.3 General Installation Requirements.
    - - (D) Replacements. Replacement of receptacles shall comply with 406.3(D)(1), (2), and (3) as applicable.
    - - - (2) Ground-Fault Circuit Interrupters. Ground-fault circuit-interrupter protected receptacles shall be provided where replacements are made at receptacle outlets that are required to be so protected elsewhere in this Code.

    I was sure it went back further than 2002, but I don't find that in the 1996 or the 1999.

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

  12. #12

    Default Re: 2011 code... replacement outlets

    I appreciate the correction... I have been laboring under the misunderstanding that so long as you did not move, alter, add,...etc... you could replace like with like.

    So the real change is just adding the same requirement for AFCI protected areas....


  13. #13
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Location
    Maryland
    Posts
    1,899

    Default Re: 2011 code... replacement outlets

    Correct Bob, the AFCI change is just mirroring the GFI replacement requirement that has been in place for several code cycles.

    All answers based on unamended National Electrical codes.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Ormond Beach, Florida
    Posts
    26,251

    Default Re: 2011 code... replacement outlets

    Quote Originally Posted by John Dirks Jr View Post
    Keep in mind that when they say "outlet", it can also be a light fixture.
    Except when it is in the receptacle section and says receptacle outlet.

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

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Location
    Eastern Shore of MD, NEC 2008
    Posts
    94

    Default Re: 2011 code... replacement outlets

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post
    I thought it went back a lot further than I can find it, but this is from the 2002 NEC:
    - 406.3 General Installation Requirements.
    - - (D) Replacements. Replacement of receptacles shall comply with 406.3(D)(1), (2), and (3) as applicable.
    - - - (2) Ground-Fault Circuit Interrupters. Ground-fault circuit-interrupter protected receptacles shall be provided where replacements are made at receptacle outlets that are required to be so protected elsewhere in this Code.

    I was sure it went back further than 2002, but I don't find that in the 1996 or the 1999.
    The requirement is in the 1996. It is 210.7(D)(2).


  16. #16

    Default Re: 2011 code... replacement outlets

    Yup... I was corrected (several times) in that the replacement with GFCI's has been in there for a long time...it is the AFCI portion that was new...


  17. #17
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Ormond Beach, Florida
    Posts
    26,251

    Default Re: 2011 code... replacement outlets

    Quote Originally Posted by Derek Guridi View Post
    The requirement is in the 1996. It is 210.7(D)(2).
    And in the 1993 at 210.7(D), but not in the 1990 at that section - so it looks like it was a new requirement in the 1993 NEC.

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

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Virginia
    Posts
    58

    Default Re: 2011 code... replacement outlets

    So now in EVERY inspection report we get to recommend that virtually all the branch circuit breakers in the panel box be replaced with AFCI breakers......


  19. #19
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Fredericksburg, VA
    Posts
    885

    Default Re: 2011 code... replacement outlets

    Quote Originally Posted by Barry Lewis View Post
    So now in EVERY inspection report we get to recommend that virtually all the branch circuit breakers in the panel box be replaced with AFCI breakers......
    I add an advisory to upgrade to AFCI in bedroom circuits. Virginia stayed with the 2006 AFCI requirements when the 2009 IRC was finally adopted in 2011.

    The above statements are expressed solely as my opinion and in all probability will conflict with someone else's.
    Stu, Fredericksburg VA

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Virginia
    Posts
    58

    Default Re: 2011 code... replacement outlets

    I always recommend upgrades to those area where GFCIs are now required. It will be no big deal to add the AFCI recommendation for fire protection as well.

    Just part of CMA in conducting business.

    Most folks don't have a clue so it is our job to tell them.


  21. #21
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    Upstate N.Y.
    Posts
    116

    Default Re: 2011 code... replacement outlets

    Quote Originally Posted by Bob Sisson View Post
    Jerry,
    I rarely argue with you, but until this code version (2011) we were told that if the kitchen (for example) was built in 1970, before GFCI's were mandated, and you "renovated" the kitchen and replaced the 3-wire outlets with new 3-wire receptacle for cosmetic reasons that was all you had to do. If you added a new, or moved the receptacle, you had to bring it up to the current code, but you could replace like with like if all you were doing was replacing the outlet...

    Now you can no longer replace a 3-wire kitchen receptacle with a like... you need to install the GFCI protection (somewhere)....at least this is what I was told

    Bob, who told you that you didn't need to install GFCI protection where required if you remodeled a kitchen that was built in 1970?

    They are absolutely incorrect in that statement.

    If you replace a recpetacle where GFCI protection is now required, you shall provide such protection. There's no ifs, ands or buts about that.

    NEC 2011 will just carry that on to AFCI protection as well and that requirement begins when the individuall state you perform work in adopts the 2011 code in writing.

    They are going to relax the previously ridiculously stringent requirements for AFCI receptacles and hopefully electrical suppliers will begin to carry such devices.

    In the meantime....

    NEC article 210.8(A) Dwelling Units. All 125-volt, single phase, 15- and 20-ampere receptacles installed in the locations specified in (1) through (8) shall have ground-fault circuit interrupter protection for personnel.

    210.8(6) Kitchens - where receptacles are installed to serve countertop surfaces.

    210.8(7) Laundry, utility and wet bar sinks B - where the recpetacles are installed within 1.8m (6 ft) of the outside edge of the sink.

    Many will argue that a kitchen sink is none of the above but the intent of the code is to GFCI protect receptacles within 6 feet of any sink. The nomenclature will change in 2011 to reflect such.

    Every state has an Existing Residential and Building Code. In the existing Residential code for NYS, you will find definitions for "levels of alteration."

    In those levels of alteration, you would be directed to comply with the requirements of NEC 210.52 during such alterations.

    210.52(C) Countertops. In kitchens, pantries, breakfast rooms, dining rooms and similar areas of dwelling units, receptacle outlets for countertop spaces shall be installed in accordance with 210.52(C)(1) through 210.52(C)(5). Basically that covers Wall, Island and Peninsular countertops. I'll save the text on that but you get the idea.

    Additionally, let's not forget...

    406.11 Tamper-Resistant Receptacles in Dwelling Units. - In all areas specified in 210.52, all 125-volt, 15- and 20- ampere receptacles shall be listed tamper-resistant receptacles.

    All codes referenced are from the 2008 NEC.

    AND.....NEC, no matter what version, is the minimum requirements for electrical installation.

    How do you think a contractor would fare in a lawsuit where someone was injured because remodeling took place and GFCI's were not installed due to the rationale originally posted?

    It's difficult to fathom where people obtain these obtuse witicisms that incorrectly inform people of requirements clearly spelled out in the code.

    No personal accusation intended here.

    Last edited by Richard D. Fornataro; 02-13-2012 at 02:12 PM. Reason: spelling

  22. #22
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    Upstate N.Y.
    Posts
    116

    Default Re: 2011 code... replacement outlets

    Quote Originally Posted by Barry Lewis View Post
    So now in EVERY inspection report we get to recommend that virtually all the branch circuit breakers in the panel box be replaced with AFCI breakers......
    Barry,

    Beleive it or not, NYS initially took the stance upon adoption of the 2008 NEC that during a panel change, all circuit breakers shall be AFCI where required.

    The electrical inspectors of NY state collectively informed the state that such a requirement would induce an undue financial hardship on property owners choosing to update thier electrical services.

    First of all, the possible 10 - 12 circuits that required such protection would raise the cost of a service by $500 - $600 dollars immediately.

    Then, the troubleshooting would begin where loose connections, reverse polarity, shared neutrals, etc. would casue the AFCI circuit breaker to "trip."

    Within 3 weeks, the NYS Department of State, the regulatory agency for code enforcement relented.

    They modified the state's position by issuing a technical bulletin that stated "alteration, modification, repair or installation of any branch circuit wiring requiring such protection shall be AFCI protected."

    Adoption of the 2011 NEC will not require installation of AFCI circuit breakers upon panel change, however; it will be required upon recpetacle change.

    Let's hope the supply houses begin to carry the AFCI recpetacles which can now be installed where they were previously prohibited by the very restricitve rules pertaining to thier installation.

    Bottom line.....an HI should not have to list any requirement to install AFCI circuit breakers in a panel.


  23. #23
    Richard Johnson's Avatar
    Richard Johnson Guest

    Default Re: 2011 code... replacement outlets

    Quote Originally Posted by Barry Lewis View Post
    So now in EVERY inspection report we get to recommend that virtually all the branch circuit breakers in the panel box be replaced with AFCI breakers......
    The major issue with this is that the circuit can only contain outlets; if it contains any light, the action of turning on a light connected to an AFCI breaker can cause the breaker to trip. When replacing breakers with AFCI devices, you normally seperate the lighting circuits to ensure proper operation.


  24. #24
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    Upstate N.Y.
    Posts
    116

    Default Re: 2011 code... replacement outlets

    Quote Originally Posted by Richard Johnson View Post
    The major issue with this is that the circuit can only contain outlets; if it contains any light, the action of turning on a light connected to an AFCI breaker can cause the breaker to trip. When replacing breakers with AFCI devices, you normally seperate the lighting circuits to ensure proper operation.
    2008 NEC 210.12(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.

    Article 100 Outlet. A point on the wiring system at which current is taken to supply utilization equipment.

    I posted the information directly from the code to reiterate that "lighting" circuits in the afforementioned areas are designated as "outlets" and therefore are to be protected by AFCI.

    Unless you were indicating that the lighting circuit and receptacle circuit would be protected by different AFCI's, I believe the statement to be erroneous.

    However, I would agree with your statement that lighting circuits can "trip" an AFCI. I find that most often when Compact Flourescent lamps are used and particularily certain brands of CF lamps mounted in other than a base-up position.

    Hope that clears up any confusion.


  25. #25
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    On The Mason-Dixon Line
    Posts
    577

    Default Re: 2011 code... replacement outlets

    Quote Originally Posted by Richard D. Fornataro View Post
    Hope that clears up any confusion.
    Sadly the confusion will continue until everyone learns the definition of "OUTLET" as referred to in the NEC.


  26. #26
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Ormond Beach, Florida
    Posts
    26,251

    Default Re: 2011 code... replacement outlets

    Quote Originally Posted by ken horak View Post
    Sadly the confusion will continue until everyone learns the definition of "OUTLET" as referred to in the NEC.
    Or, better yet, refers to receptacle outlets as ... "receptacle" outlets.

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

  27. #27
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    Upstate N.Y.
    Posts
    116

    Default Re: 2011 code... replacement outlets

    How about " All recpetacles are outlets but not all outlets are receptacles?"


  28. #28
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Chicago
    Posts
    164

    Default Re: 2011 code... replacement outlets

    Quote Originally Posted by Richard Johnson View Post
    The major issue with this is that the circuit can only contain outlets; if it contains any light, the action of turning on a light connected to an AFCI breaker can cause the breaker to trip. When replacing breakers with AFCI devices, you normally seperate the lighting circuits to ensure proper operation.
    Hi Richard,

    Just curious where that info comes from?

    Turning on/off a light does not create the same signature characteristics as an arc-fault and does not trip the AFCI.

    Sincerely,

    Corey


  29. #29
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    Upstate N.Y.
    Posts
    116

    Default Re: 2011 code... replacement outlets

    Quote Originally Posted by Corey Friedman View Post
    Hi Richard,

    Just curious where that info comes from?

    Turning on/off a light does not create the same signature characteristics as an arc-fault and does not trip the AFCI.

    Sincerely,

    Corey
    Corey, that information comes from my personal experience as an electrician and electrical inspector.

    If you research CF lamps you will discover that the manufacturers of such recommend that they be installed base-up.

    I'm not sure if installation in any other orientation has an effect on AFCI but when I researched the problem, I learned about the recommended orientation.

    I have received numerous complaints from electricians in my endeavor as an electrical inspector that the CF lamps specified by the organizations attempting to comply with energy efficiency continue to "trip" AFCI circuit breakers in new installations.

    Of course the accusation is then that AFCI devices are a "waste of money."

    Often, the answer to the problem has been changing the manufacturer of said lamps and the problem goes away.


    Keep in mind that I indicated "new" installations where new branch circuit wiring has been installed and contractors experience "false trips" with AFCI circuit breakers.

    Of course, reverse polarity, shared neutrals and loose connections continue to be the majority of reasons for the failure of such devices which are then scoffed at as any new product is often subject to, however; in the case of CF lamps the problems seem to be as reiterated.

    Additionally, removal of a high current draw device, such as a vacuum cleaner, while in operation are also the bane of existence of many maintenance personnel who continue to receive calls to reset such devices.

    I think the problem is that lack of training and awareness of what an AFCI actually does is what creates the animosity.

    Similar complaints were made about GFCI devices when they first came out.

    Electricians and inspectors alike need to understand the technology before they can avoid the problems that cause "false trips."


  30. #30
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    Colorado Front Range
    Posts
    601

    Default Re: 2011 code... replacement outlets

    I rather expect to see the AFCI requirements to become the most ignored and violated rules in the NEC. There are numerous things that trip them, and many of these have absolutely nothing to do with defective equipment and/or circuits.

    The public outcry when people are informed that they now need to spend fifty bucks to replace what was a 60 cent receptacle is gonna get loud fast, as is the cost of the troubleshooting that will inevitably follow.

    If you don't think public outcry can change things like this, check and see how many new cars automatically wrap the seat belt around you

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

  31. #31
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Ormond Beach, Florida
    Posts
    26,251

    Default Re: 2011 code... replacement outlets

    Quote Originally Posted by Bill Kriegh View Post
    I rather expect to see the AFCI requirements to become the most ignored and violated rules in the NEC. There are numerous things that trip them, and many of these have absolutely nothing to do with defective equipment and/or circuits.

    The public outcry when people are informed that they now need to spend fifty bucks to replace what was a 60 cent receptacle is gonna get loud fast, as is the cost of the troubleshooting that will inevitably follow.
    I know this sounds like a broken record, but ... so does the above: SAME THING went on with GFCI breakers and receptacles.

    If you don't think public outcry can change things like this, check and see how many new cars automatically wrap the seat belt around you
    Let's see .... how many GFCI receptacles are sold and installed each year, and how many electricians swear by them now (instead of swear at them like they used to) ...

    The 'So away with AFCI' cries are like crying wolf too many times ... products come to market, products mature, learning curves for installation and use are learned, and ... the products usefulness proves itself to the naysayers ... time and time again.

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

  32. #32
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Columbus GA
    Posts
    3,746

    Default Re: 2011 code... replacement outlets

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post
    I know this sounds like a broken record, but ... so does the above: SAME THING went on with GFCI breakers and receptacles.



    Let's see .... how many GFCI receptacles are sold and installed each year, and how many electricians swear by them now (instead of swear at them like they used to) ...

    The 'So away with AFCI' cries are like crying wolf too many times ... products come to market, products mature, learning curves for installation and use are learned, and ... the products usefulness proves itself to the naysayers ... time and time again.
    Jerry
    You make it sound like having something with problems is better than having nothing.
    Think about FPE, PB pipe, Lead pipe, Aluminum wire, Masonite, Asbestos, Orangeburg pipe, Fake stone, EIFS, low flush toilets, who knows what else.
    In my opinion, AFCI have a long way to go.
    They likely will improve, then the ones already in use will need to be replaced. Bet the manufacturers will hate everyone having to buy them twice.

    ' correct a wise man and you gain a friend... correct a fool and he'll bloody your nose'.

  33. #33
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    Upstate N.Y.
    Posts
    116

    Default Re: 2011 code... replacement outlets

    For all those concerned about the impact of AFCI devices and their impact on increased costs vs. effectiveness.....

    I recently read either on an NFPA or IAEI web site that a device was in developement that would replace the present AFCI circuit breaker and address the myriad of issues connected with such.

    I have not had the time to research and obtain the article presently so I cannot comment much further on the subject, however, consider the following statistics.

    Every year, in the United States, there are:

    1,348,500 fires which result in approximately
    3000 deaths and 17,050 injuries to occupants.

    A fire occurs every 87 seconds causing
    $12.5 Billion in damages.

    I beleive it was Vermont (I'm sure someone will correct me if I'm wrong) that upon declaration of the 1999 NEC that on January 01, 2002 AFCI protection would be required for all bedroom receptacle outlets, that decided that ALL receptacle outlets would require such protection in one and two family homes.

    Their data, subsequent to such a requirement reflected a 38% (approximate) decrease in deaths from residential fires.

    Extrapolate that percentage into the previously reiterated data and one could assume that 38% of 3000 deaths nationwide could have been prevented.

    That is a hard statistic to argue against no matter what the cost.

    I apologize for not having the source of that data as I have it written down on a sticky note at my desk culled from a recent article.

    I really need to start saving these articles.

    Regardless, AFCI is here.

    It IS required.

    I am compelled to enforce its utilization.

    I expect a plethora of complaints once the 2011 NEC is adopted.

    Then again, I've been hearing the bemoaning of AFCI since its initial requirement.

    As of this writing, every problem regarding the installation of such has been corrected and /or addressed to the satisfaction of the code.

    We have to accept the device and iron out the issues regarding installation thereof.


  34. #34
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    Colorado Front Range
    Posts
    601

    Default Re: 2011 code... replacement outlets

    Just for the record, I've NEVER had an issue with GFCIs. Many early GFCI issues had to do with what proved to be defective appliances/tools/whatever. Yes, the new ones are better, but even the originals worked reasonably well.

    AFCIs, on the other hand, trip when used on things that CAN NOT be tested and found to be defective. I find so many issues with these devices I find it almost unbelievable that aren't built with a data port so that algorithms for detecting the arcs can be upgraded as they "work through" the issues. And, while originally costly enough one GFCI was used to protect receptacles all over a home, it was still possible to install individual devices to keep a circuit useable if there was problem tripping in one room. This is NOT the case with AFCIs. And, upgrading to (hopefully) better AFCIs in the future isn't going to be simple or cheap like it is with GFCIs.

    What we find is devices tripping because on things on entirely different circuits because they can't tell which side of the device the signature for an arc fault comes from. I've had to tell more than one home owner that a switching power supply, usually for a laptop but not always, is the reason they can't keep their lights on. Mechanical thermostats on things like waffle irons can cause tripping. There is no pretension of a perfected device when you go through ten or so to find one that doesn't trip on a circuit that doesn't have any problems.

    Then there's the inability of being able to use most AFCIs on multi-wire branch circuits.

    I'm not convinced that electrical contractors ought to be paying for the research on these snake oil devices out of their own pocket (which happens pretty often as a pi**ed customer is tried to be made happy) or by homeowners as hours are spent trying to run down problems that have nothing to do with wiring issues. AFCIs are enough of an issue that almost statewide adoption of current electrical codes here has stopped and there are refusals to adopt new code and/or amendments to it. I doubt seriously if it was just a few folks whining that this would be going on.

    I would guess that unless they start date coding receptacles to prove they were changed after an AFCI requirement comes into play it's just not going to happen a good percentage of the time.

    I honestly believe that when circuit breakers got down to around three dollars per pole the manufacturers felt the needed to do something about it and pushed junk onto the market long before a good product was ready for prime time. Of course, YMMV.

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

  35. #35
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Ormond Beach, Florida
    Posts
    26,251

    Default Re: 2011 code... replacement outlets

    Quote Originally Posted by Rick Cantrell View Post
    Jerry
    You make it sound like having something with problems is better than having nothing.
    Think about FPE, PB pipe, Lead pipe, Aluminum wire, Masonite, Asbestos, Orangeburg pipe, Fake stone, EIFS, low flush toilets, who knows what else.
    Ahh ... but one must consider the *difference* between the problems.

    ALL of the examples, except for two, have "problems" which cause *bad things to happen*.

    One exception does not cause *bad things to happen*, it actually protects people. That's the AFCI.

    The other exception simply needs a "double flush" - no problem. Okay, so it is not a water saver as advertised when it needs a "double flush", but it works the rest of the time.

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

  36. #36
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    Upstate N.Y.
    Posts
    116

    Default Re: 2011 code... replacement outlets

    I can empathize with Bill's post as it regards trying to make the customer happy with a device that inherently "sees" what is a normal operation as an "arc" thereby "tripping" the device installed to "protect" them as per code.

    As we progress as rapidly as technology seems to evolve nowadays, it is invariable that the testing that used to be performed by the manufacturer to "work out the bugs" is now passed on to the field personnel.

    Technological advances are discovered so rapidly that thorough testing of a product before it hits the market isn't what it used to be.

    Just look at the commercials from attorneys prospecting for clientele that took prescription medication as proscribed by a physician which ultimately is found to cause birth defects and debilitating side effects.

    Whether the device saves lives or causes contractors anxiety remains to be seen.

    Either way, Dewey, Cheatem and Howe will probably figure out a way to sue for such in the near future.


  37. #37
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Ormond Beach, Florida
    Posts
    26,251

    Default Re: 2011 code... replacement outlets

    Quote Originally Posted by Richard D. Fornataro View Post
    I can empathize with Bill's post as it regards trying to make the customer happy with a device that inherently "sees" what is a normal operation as an "arc" thereby "tripping" the device installed to "protect" them as per code.
    And the same thing happened when GFCI first came out ... electricians would install them to pass code, then go back and remove the GFCI, replacing it with standard breakers or receptacles, this was standard practice because the first GFCIs had so many 'false trips' ... and those same electricians kept doing that up into the 1980s - long after the GFCI problems were corrected, but their habit or replacing the GFCIs took a long time to die off. Bad habits are easier to start that to stop.

    Besides, I have frequently wondered if those first GFCIs were actually giving 'false trips' or ... were they actually tripping as they should have due to the lax wiring methods used back then - i.e., too many fixtures with the grounds clipped off, the neutrals and grounds tied to whatever was handy, installing GFCI on multiwire circuits, etc.

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

  38. #38
    Mark Jones's Avatar
    Mark Jones Guest

    Default Re: 2011 code... replacement outlets

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post
    I have frequently wondered if those first GFCIs were actually giving 'false trips' or ... were they actually tripping as they should have due to the lax wiring methods used back then - i.e., too many fixtures with the grounds clipped off, the neutrals and grounds tied to whatever was handy, installing GFCI on multiwire circuits, etc.
    I agree, Jerry. The laws of physics operate whether we are awere of them or not. I recently replaced a very old GFCI receptacle that was working just fine because it was ugly. :>)


  39. #39
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    Upstate N.Y.
    Posts
    116

    Unhappy Re: 2011 code... replacement outlets

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post
    And the same thing happened when GFCI first came out ... electricians would install them to pass code, then go back and remove the GFCI, replacing it with standard breakers or receptacles, this was standard practice because the first GFCIs had so many 'false trips' ... and those same electricians kept doing that up into the 1980s - long after the GFCI problems were corrected, but their habit or replacing the GFCIs took a long time to die off. Bad habits are easier to start that to stop.

    Besides, I have frequently wondered if those first GFCIs were actually giving 'false trips' or ... were they actually tripping as they should have due to the lax wiring methods used back then - i.e., too many fixtures with the grounds clipped off, the neutrals and grounds tied to whatever was handy, installing GFCI on multiwire circuits, etc.
    As an inspector, I have already encountered that same philosophy as it regards AFCI circuit breakers.

    Electricians routinely install them with full knowledge that they intend to remove them subsequent to passing a final electrical inspection.

    Unfortunately, some electricians are less crafty than others.

    Inspectors have caught on to the arc-fault circuit breakers installed in the panel but not really going anywhere and the installed but no neutral connection ploy as well.

    Unfortunately, it cost me $200 to buy the AFCI tester which identifies those mis-direction attempts.

    I won't even begin to entertain the discussion over whether my expesive piece of test equipment is doing what it is advertised but it does identify whether a certain receptacle is indeed connected to a certain AFCI circuit breaker.

    I work in Upsate New York where some of the housing stock in the large city that I endeavor in is quite old.

    Installation of an AFCI circuit breakers on a circuit wired with BX is almost guaranteed to "trip."

    Of course the reverse polarity, combined neutral, shared neutral and loose connection is also the culprit in many cases as well.

    I am not in the installation end of the business however, so I won't disagree with those that purport the evils associated with such devices.

    I can state categorically, that I reside in a house built approximately 9 years ago utilizing 8 AFCI circuit breakers and I have yet to have a false trip with the exception of yanking a vacuum cleaner cord from the wall while it was running.

    So....in the end, I will try to exercise some patience in dealing with the adjustment period for those who are installing such and dealing with the onslaught of maintenance calls, etc. that plague them.

    All that I ask in return is that electricians understand that they are required by code and therefore I am required to verify that they are installed and utilized as directed.


  40. #40
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Ormond Beach, Florida
    Posts
    26,251

    Default Re: 2011 code... replacement outlets

    Quote Originally Posted by Richard D. Fornataro View Post
    Unfortunately, it cost me $200 to buy the AFCI tester which identifies those mis-direction attempts.

    I won't even begin to entertain the discussion over whether my expesive piece of test equipment is doing what it is advertised but it does identify whether a certain receptacle is indeed connected to a certain AFCI circuit breaker.
    Are you sure you bought a "real" AFCI "tester" and not an AFCI 'indicator'?

    Do they even make any "real" AFCI "testers"?

    To my knowledge, the only "real" test of an AFCI breaker is the 'Test' button on the breaker itself.

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

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •