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Thread: AFCI Question

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Arizona
    Posts
    84

    Default AFCI Question

    I recommended AFCI protection for a home was built in 2004. Waiting to hear when the AHJ required them in our area, but appears to be within that window.

    The main question is this:

    The electrician consulted says that AFCI protection cannot be added at this point due to multi-wire circuits. And since it "passed" county inspection it is grandfathered in. Not buying that...may have been missed by the county. Can AFCI protection be added at this point?

    Thank you,

    Chris

    2018 ASHI InspectionWorld

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Southern Vancouver Island
    Posts
    4,549

    Default Re: AFCI Question

    Yes, but it sounds like new wiring will need to be pulled to a few areas.

    The question is which code rules had been adopted at that time. If the authority was using an earlier code version at the time, then the electrician is correct, not required to upgrade now.

    John Kogel, RHI, BC HI Lic #47455
    www.allsafehome.ca

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Location
    Maryland
    Posts
    1,899

    Default Re: AFCI Question

    Two pole AFCI breakers may not be available for the brand of panel installed. A single pole AFCI breaker cannot be used with a shared neutral.

    A adopted code cycle at the time of construction may not have required the installation of the AFCI protection.

    All answers based on unamended National Electrical codes.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Spring Hill (Nashville), TN
    Posts
    5,847

    Default Re: AFCI Question

    Quote Originally Posted by Chris Stichter View Post
    I recommended AFCI protection for a home was built in 2004. Waiting to hear when the AHJ required them in our area, but appears to be within that window.

    The main question is this:

    The electrician consulted says that AFCI protection cannot be added at this point due to multi-wire circuits. And since it "passed" county inspection it is grandfathered in. Not buying that...may have been missed by the county. Can AFCI protection be added at this point?

    Thank you,

    Chris
    Yes, sometimes, maybe, depends......

    A good friend of mine wrote a very informative paper on AFCI's last year. Take a look at it, I think you will find your answer and more...
    http://www.codecheck.com/cc/ccimages...Code%2520Check

    Scott Patterson, ACI
    Spring Hill, TN
    www.traceinspections.com

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    St Paul, MN
    Posts
    1,628

    Default Re: AFCI Question

    No such thing as "grandfathering" in building or electrical codes. It's up to the local jurisdiction whether they want to enforce the new codes on older construction. Typically they don't unless remodeling takes place, but the City of St. Paul, for example, requires hardwired smoke detectors in every home. The entire State of Minnesota requires CO detectors within 10 feet of every bedroom in every house.

    MinnesotaHomeInspectors.com
    Minnesota Home Inspectors LLC
    ASHI #242887 mnradontesting.com

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Plano, Texas
    Posts
    4,170

    Default Re: AFCI Question

    Quote Originally Posted by Ken Rowe View Post
    No such thing as "grandfathering" in building or electrical codes. It's up to the local jurisdiction whether they want to enforce the new codes on older construction. Typically they don't unless remodeling takes place, but the City of St. Paul, for example, requires hardwired smoke detectors in every home. The entire State of Minnesota requires CO detectors within 10 feet of every bedroom in every house.
    IRC R102.7 Existing Structures. The legal occupancy of any structure existing on the date of adopion of this code shall be permitted to continue without change, except as is specifically covered in this code...

    This specifically provides for "grandfathering" of existing buildings. While there is no mention of "grandfathering" the principle is clearly in the code and all accepted practices that the code that was in effect at the time of construction is the ruling authority and buildings are not required to be torn down and rebuilt to adhere to changes. As with all rules, there are exceptions but they must be clearly adopted.
    Kind of like requiring air bags to be added to a Model T.

    Jim Luttrall
    www.MrInspector.net
    Plano, Texas

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Ormond Beach, Florida
    Posts
    26,252

    Default Re: AFCI Question

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Luttrall View Post
    IRC R102.7 Existing Structures. The legal occupancy of any structure existing on the date of adopion of this code shall be permitted to continue without change, except as is specifically covered in this code...

    This specifically provides for "grandfathering" of existing buildings. While there is no mention of "grandfathering" the principle is clearly in the code and all accepted practices that the code that was in effect at the time of construction is the ruling authority and buildings are not required to be torn down and rebuilt to adhere to changes. As with all rules, there are exceptions but they must be clearly adopted.
    Kind of like requiring air bags to be added to a Model T.
    Don't forget this code: International Property Maintenance Code

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

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    Charlottesville, Va.
    Posts
    292

    Default Re: AFCI Question

    Quote Originally Posted by Scott Patterson View Post
    Yes, sometimes, maybe, depends......

    A good friend of mine wrote a very informative paper on AFCI's last year. Take a look at it, I think you will find your answer and more...
    http://www.codecheck.com/cc/ccimages...Code%2520Check
    Thank you for posting that article. There is lots of information in there, most of which I did not know.


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