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  1. #1
    Chris Skoczylas's Avatar
    Chris Skoczylas Guest

    Default Bad Eaton AFCI Breaker

    Twice in the past month I have pushed a test button on an Eaton AFCI breaker in the electrical panel and the breaker started smoking and sparking and did not trip. Has anyone else run in to this?
    The outlets in the bedroom still work after this happens.

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  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    Holladay, UT
    Posts
    565

    Default Re: Bad Eaton AFCI Breaker

    Chris, You might try this site: Eaton Afci problems Problems & Solutions - FixYa
    Was there any low voltage Lightolier lighting in house?

    Tom Rees / A Closer Look Home Inspection / Salt Lake City, Utah

  3. #3
    Mbrooke's Avatar
    Mbrooke Guest

    Default Re: Bad Eaton AFCI Breaker

    I would recommend reporting it to Eaton corp. It could be a defect that is showing up only now.

    How is the condition of the service neutral and line voltage variation in that panel?


  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    NY State
    Posts
    440

    Default Re: Bad Eaton AFCI Breaker

    PLEASE do report it to Eaton/CH.

    I still HATE AFCI breakers, and sh*t like this gets blamed on us all the time. You can just imagine what the customer is thinking: "What kind of crap did you install in my home??"
    "I'm sorry ma'am, that crap is supposed to protect you."


  5. #5

    Default Re: Bad Eaton AFCI Breaker

    Quote Originally Posted by Mbrooke View Post
    I would recommend reporting it to Eaton corp. It could be a defect that is showing up only now.

    How is the condition of the service neutral and line voltage variation in that panel?
    How should a home inspector observe "line voltage variation"? Over what period should the variation be observed? I know of voltage spikes and transient voltage due to system wide load variations and other factors, yet I have thought that residential service and electrical equipment is designed to handle voltage excursions. I am going to guess that measuring transient voltage, voltage spikes and variation is beyond the expertise of even the most experienced home inspectors. It is certainly beyond any inspection standard of practice I know of.


  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Oregon
    Posts
    2,365

    Default Re: Bad Eaton AFCI Breaker

    We just did a group of 15 houses all in the same neighberhood built about 5-6 years ago. The number of faulty AFCI breakers was amazing. And aside from the ones that just didn't test properly, the tenants of the houses reported numerous false tripping events. The brand was Siemens I believe.


  7. #7
    Mbrooke's Avatar
    Mbrooke Guest

    Default Re: Bad Eaton AFCI Breaker

    Quote Originally Posted by Craig Olsson View Post
    How should a home inspector observe "line voltage variation"? Over what period should the variation be observed? I know of voltage spikes and transient voltage due to system wide load variations and other factors, yet I have thought that residential service and electrical equipment is designed to handle voltage excursions. I am going to guess that measuring transient voltage, voltage spikes and variation is beyond the expertise of even the most experienced home inspectors. It is certainly beyond any inspection standard of practice I know of.

    If you have a VOM take a quick reading of the incoming lugs to rule out a sustained over voltage condition or a constant open neutral. Of course intermittent problems wont be detected, but its one more thing to rule out.


    AFCI breakers do not tolerate voltage transients well from what manufacturer reps have told me.


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