Results 1 to 7 of 7
  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Fuquay Varina, NC
    Posts
    1,072

    Question Arc Fault code interpetation

    First of all I would like to say I hope you all have been very busy. Mine has been off the hook and it's been a heck of a year hence the reason for not keeping up with this forum.

    We adopted the 2011 code which states.

    210.12 Arc-Fault Circuit-Interrupter Protection.

    (A) 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, sun-rooms, 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.

    The new homes I inspect for the majority would have all breaker AFCI unless they are GFCI or dedicated. Heres the kicker there is a few jurisdictions that have been passing non AFCI breakers that supply lets say kitchen lights, laundry room lights, garage lights, etc. If the above code doesn't include the specific room as written they allow a standard breaker.

    It just blows my mind that people will dissect the code to save a few bucks. So tell me if I am wrong. Should not "all" circuits supplying outlets be protected if they are not GFCI or dedicated? and why doesn't the code just state that instead of naming the specific rooms?

    NHIE Practice Exam
    Mike Schulz License 393
    Affordable Home Inspections
    www.houseinspections.com

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Fuquay Varina, NC
    Posts
    1,072

    Default Re: Arc Fault code interpetation

    Quote Originally Posted by Robert Meier View Post
    . Many times builders are only interested in the lowest price which usually means they get nothing more than the minimum required by code.
    In this case its the electrician. I spoke with him for I call it out every time in new construction. He said exactly that (cost). The builder is unaware of it and this electrician probably got the bid on the homes due to be lower then the rest. With that said he also claimed he spoke with an challenged the AHJ and they could not dispute.

    This is why I need the code guys on this forum clarify if the electrician is right. Key words for me in the code is (or similar rooms or areas shall be protected by a listed arc-fault circuit interrupter,).

    Mike Schulz License 393
    Affordable Home Inspections
    www.houseinspections.com

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Fuquay Varina, NC
    Posts
    1,072

    Default Re: Arc Fault code interpetation

    So you are saying laundry, kitchen, foyer, and the like is not similar? Are they not "outlets" in "rooms"?
    Please explain in detail what they are trying to address, I don't get it. Why select family rooms, dining rooms, living rooms, parlors, libraries, dens, bedrooms, sunrooms, recreation
    rooms, closets, hallways, or similar rooms or areas and not lights and or receptacles in others? It makes no sense to me

    Mike Schulz License 393
    Affordable Home Inspections
    www.houseinspections.com

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Fuquay Varina, NC
    Posts
    1,072

    Default Re: Arc Fault code interpetation

    I appreciate your comments. They need to define similar areas. Not even the locals know what similar areas area. I believe foyer lights to be similar to hall lights. I believe kitchen lights to be similar to the adjoining dining room lights, etc.
    So with that said I "can" assume the rooms mentioned to be similar until that is defined.

    The only thing the electrician said is it was not specifically stated the type of room such as kitchen lights so he don't install them. He could not explain why they are left out or what similar rooms are.

    My guess is you are knowledgeable on the subject so could you explain the codes interpretation of similar rooms and "why" they would leave out just a few areas? Do they think kitchen lights won't arc but dining rooms will for example?

    Again I appreciate your comments for nobody else is weighing in.......

    Mike Schulz License 393
    Affordable Home Inspections
    www.houseinspections.com

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Location
    Md and or PA
    Posts
    124

    Default Re: Arc Fault code interpetation

    Its not about the rooms outlets being similar. It is about the actual rooms being similar. Is a kitchen similar to a dinning room ? NO. Is the garage similar to the living room, family room ? NO. Is the laundry room similar to the bedroom, living room, dining room ? NO. The garage and bathroom are not similar to other areas . It has nothing to do with GFCI protection either. They are two completely different items. They stayed away from kitchens to begin with because earlier AFCI's did not work with GFCI receptacles. That has been corrected and the two have been working well together for a couple years now. The acceptance of the AFCI is just like the acceptance of the GFCI was in the 70's. Only required in a few places, then other areas were slowly added until it is like it is today. AFCI's were only required in bedrooms at first, then they added a major part of the home. In the 2014 NEC they are adding kitchens, laundry rooms.


  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Location
    Md and or PA
    Posts
    124

    Default Re: Arc Fault code interpetation

    Quote Originally Posted by Robert Meier View Post


    The strategy here by the CMP was to align the AFCI requirements with the receptacle spacing requirements in 210.52(A). So similar areas or rooms would be rooms that also fall under those spacing requirements. A garage has no receptacle spacing requirements so that would also not require AFCI protection, same would apply to a kitchen.

    So in your argument I would agree that a foyer is not much different than a hallway and still doesn't fall under 210.52(A). Same applies to kitchens, unfinished basement, garages etc.
    They were not using the outlet spacing requirements to come up AFCI locations. They were saying that the list of rooms was NOT difficult to comprehend as it based on a similar list already in use in the NEC. A list that has been used and understood for many years.


  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Fuquay Varina, NC
    Posts
    1,072

    Default Re: Arc Fault code interpetation

    Thanks for the comments Jack. Your anology of (similar rooms or areas shall) doesn't make sense to me. How would you define similar? You say a Den is not similar to a Kitchen and so forth so what is a den similar too? What is hallway similar to? With you analogy they need to remove the word similar period for no room is like a den and no room is like a parlor, etc.

    sim·i·lar

    /ˈsimələr/
    Adjective

    1. Having a resemblance in appearance, character, or quantity, without being identical.
    2. (of figures) Having the same shape, with the same angles and proportions, though of different sizes.


    Sounds similar to me............

    As far as the GFCI you were talking about in a kitchen is not what I was saying. I was talking lighting, isn't that how AFCI basically started. Lighting being probably the number one reason for fires back in the day. Old brittle wires in ceilings etc. New kitchens in my area may have several can lights besides the large florescent light, pendant light over the island and light over the sink. Wouldn't you think that would of been the ideal place for a AFCI. Yes changes will be coming but that doesn't clear up the grey area in the 2011 code.

    Mike Schulz License 393
    Affordable Home Inspections
    www.houseinspections.com

Tags for this Thread

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
  •