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  1. #1
    Al Roden's Avatar
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    Thumbs up AFCI Breakers or NOT

    The electrician that installed the circuit panel boxes in my house didn't know what AFCI's were. The new electricians looked into the panel boxes and gave them the thumbs up without the AFCI's knowing that it's a new install.

    Question: It's my own house, I know they are supposed to there BUT are they proven to be helpful and should I put them in? Is it worth the disscussion that I'd have to have with the electricians and the cost of the already purchased NON-AFCI breakers?

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  2. #2
    Richard Moore's Avatar
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    Default Re: AFCI Breakers or NOT

    The electrician that installed the circuit panel boxes in my house didn't know what AFCI's were.
    That's scary!
    The new electricians looked into the panel boxes and gave them the thumbs up without the AFCI's knowing that it's a new install.
    Almost as scary.
    Question: It's my own house, I know they are supposed to there BUT are they proven to be helpful and should I put them in?
    I think "helpful" is the wrong word. The good folk who produce the NEC have found that they are an "effective" and worthwhile safety device that can reduce the number of house fires caused by loose connections and other poor wiring methods. Given who did your wiring, yep, I'd want them for that reason alone. Also keep in mind that when you eventually sell the house any decent inspector is going to point out that they were required and are missing.
    Is it worth the disscussion that I'd have to have with the electricians and the cost of the already purchased NON-AFCI breakers?
    Yes, but I'd also suggest you have a discussion with the state licensing board regarding your electrician.

    Last edited by Richard Moore; 01-24-2008 at 05:21 PM.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: AFCI Breakers or NOT

    Quote Originally Posted by Richard Moore View Post
    Given who did your wiring, yep, I'd want them for that reason alone.

    Also keep in mind that when you eventually sell the house any decent inspector is going to point out that they were required and are missing.

    Yes, but I'd also suggest you have a discussion with the state licensing board regarding your electrician.
    Yep to all three of those, Richard said it well.

    "should I put them in?"

    No ... you should have the electricians cover that cost ... but you should have those 'wire puller' (they do not sound like "electricians") BUY the AFCI breakers, and *YOU* should install them, I would not want those guys touching anything they do not know about, and one thing it is obvious they do not know about and that is "electrical work"!

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  4. #4
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    Default Re: AFCI Breakers or NOT

    Gentlemen,

    May I hijack this thread for a quick question?

    Distance from a bathtub to an electrical outlet?

    How close is too close?

    Drop your hand out of the tub and touch the outlet,(not reach.)

    Common sense says no.

    Only thing I could find is.

    IRC 2003 E.3902.11 Bathtub and shower space. A receptacle shall not be installed within a bathtub or shower space.

    Thanks,

    It Might have Choked Artie But it ain't gone'a choke Stymie! Our Gang " The Pooch " (1932)
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  5. #5
    James Duffin's Avatar
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    Default Re: AFCI Breakers or NOT

    There are different types of electricians and they are all very capable at what they do. There are commercial construction electricians, maintenance electricians, residential electricians, and high voltage electricians to name a few. None of them know everything and this could be why the AFCI breakers got left out of the deal if you got a non-residential electrician.

    I would ask the electrician to install the AFCI devices and if they refuse I would do it myself. Apparently this was not inspected and you most likely you got a deal and the AFCI breakers were not in the price so you can afford to do it yourself if needed.

    If it was inspected then you need to stand your ground with the electrician and have them install them.


  6. #6
    David Banks's Avatar
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    Default Re: AFCI Breakers or NOT

    Just came back from Cont. Ed Electrical course. Presenter says 2008 NEC requires AFCI receptacles everywhere on interior of house except Kitchen, Baths and Garages.


  7. #7
    Al Roden's Avatar
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    Default Re: AFCI Breakers or NOT

    It wasn't a 'deal' type situation. The first electrician, who didn't know what AFCI's are, is a state licensed master electrician (I verified it before I hired him). and indicated that he had NUMEROUS years of experience wiring homes in the area. He did all the work himself and presented me a bill for 22K for a 2000 Sq. Ft., 3 bedroom, 2 bathroom house...and he wasn't finished with the work. I told him I was going to live there and wanted it done right...BUT it didn't get done that way...hence the problem.

    The new electricians are from a 'reputable residential firm' - we didn't discuss price. I just told them I wanted the job finished and the other electrician's work corrected as needed. And to bill me at the end of each week instead of handing me a GIGANTIC bill at the end. I don't know about the guy's doing the work - but the firm was recommended.

    Keep in mind that it is the general consensus of all electricians in the area and the city inspectors that having the grounds/nuetrals in the garage panels separated is no big issue. And, believe it or not, they have only been doing that in this area for the past 7 or 8 years.

    That's the main reason that it's like pulling teeth to get them to do it and it'll probably be a few years before they get onto the AFCI band wagon.

    Nevertheless, I'd prefer to have it done like it's supposed to be done.


  8. #8
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    Default Re: AFCI Breakers or NOT

    Al,

    Pay no attention to James a lot of us Don't.

    It Might have Choked Artie But it ain't gone'a choke Stymie! Our Gang " The Pooch " (1932)
    Billy J. Stephens HI Service Memphis TN.

  9. #9
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    Default Re: AFCI Breakers or NOT

    Hey Billy...I'm making over $150K a year...how about you? This is a hobby for me....how about you?

    BTW Billy ....you are a idiot who follows other peoples post and makes stupid comments. You need some ideas of your own sometimes.

    Last edited by James Duffin; 01-24-2008 at 08:00 PM. Reason: I forgot to add that Billy is an idiot!

  10. #10
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    Default Re: AFCI Breakers or NOT

    Hey Billy I would ignore James too.

    Last edited by Paul Kondzich; 01-24-2008 at 09:23 PM. Reason: James has short man disease

  11. #11
    Richard Abrams's Avatar
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    Cool Re: AFCI Breakers or NOT

    AFCI protection is only required for new residential units. You might check with local jurisdiction regarding their installation. And remember the NEC is not retroactive so the installation of AFCI breakers would conincide with the construction date of your home.
    I do question the professionalism of your electrician since there has a been a great about of information in the industry concerning AFCI breakers and there installation.


  12. #12
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    Default Re: AFCI Breakers or NOT

    Quote Originally Posted by James Duffin View Post
    Hey Billy...I'm making over $150K a year.. This is a hobby for me....

    BTW Billy ....you are a idiot .

    James,

    I'm a Professional Home Inspector. ( It's not a hobby for me.)

    If you call deceiving the Public ( Being a Liar ) making $.

    I hope you are hanging onto all those Dollars for Lawyer's and Fines, when they Catch up with you. ( You'll need that and more.)

    At least I'm a Licensed Idiot. TN # 592 MS # 0418.( UNLIKE YOU )

    Last edited by Billy Stephens; 01-25-2008 at 05:11 AM. Reason: unlike you
    It Might have Choked Artie But it ain't gone'a choke Stymie! Our Gang " The Pooch " (1932)
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  13. #13
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    Default Re: AFCI Breakers or NOT

    Quote Originally Posted by James Duffin View Post
    There are different types of electricians and they are all very capable at what they do. There are commercial construction electricians, maintenance electricians, residential electricians, and high voltage electricians to name a few. None of them know everything and this could be why the AFCI breakers got left out of the deal if you got a non-residential electrician.
    Would you agree that if an electrician *IS* doing *electrical work* that the *electrician* should know WTF they are doing ... OR NOT DO IT?

    There is absolutely NO EXCUSE (if you were offering one) for those "non"-electricians wiring that like they did.

    If they are 'out-of-their-field' as you are putting it, then they should not be doing the work.

    If they are not 'out-of-their-field' they should know what they are doing.

    That said ... "Master Electricians" are not licensed in "There are commercial construction electricians, maintenance electricians, residential electricians, and high voltage electricians to name a few.", they are licensed to perform ANY AND ALL electrical work.

    They may "specialize" in certain fields, but they are 'not allowed to be ignorant' of other electrical fields.

    Not if they are licensed.

    There is no excuse, no excuses should be offered or attempted. That just plain 'looks silly'.

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    Default Re: AFCI Breakers or NOT

    Quote Originally Posted by Richard Abrams View Post
    AFCI protection is only required for new residential units.
    Nope.

    AFCI protection is required for (bold is mine): 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.

    I don't see the word "new" in there. If the work is permitted and is being done, the code covers it.

    If the work is to the extent described (gutted to the studs and block walls) then this is a major remodeling job and, in most locations, spending that much money requires not only "all new work" but much or most of "the old work" to meet current code.

    Yes, that varies from AHJ to AHJ, but when a house is gutted like that, most consider it as needing to meet current requirements.

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  15. #15
    Richard Stanley's Avatar
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    Default Re: AFCI Breakers or NOT

    The work, if permit issued (?), should comply with current adopted code jurisdiction. (city ?). AFCI installation has been in effect, to some degree, since the '99 NEC. Minimum in Texas is IRC 2000 - last I knew. I don't know about Victoria. Are you in Victoria city limits? I haven't seen any mention of your local electrical code inspectors. Are they drive by types like here?


  16. #16
    Al Roden's Avatar
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    Default Re: AFCI Breakers or NOT

    This house is not in the city limits and not subject to inspection by them, HOWEVER, the city, a town of 70K people, doesn't, according to both the largest electrical contractor in town and the electrical supply house, require AFCI's to be installed - in fact, they don't even have them in in stock and have to order them if I want them.

    He, another master electrician who owns the supply house, says that the 2005 code, which the city has decided to follow, ONLY requires AFCI in multi-family bedrooms and not single-family. And he's on the city's 'electrical board'. He say's it's been MIS-interpreted allot - but he's read it and he's got the correct interpretation. He also indicated that "they were a waste of money and only protect you if you were to drive a nail into a wire while hanging a picture or something".

    SO, I guess the problem is more widespread here than the individual electricians.

    Nevertheless, I am ordering AFCI's for most of my circuits - except the bathrooms. I don't know if they should be installed in the bathrooms or not - would they interfere with the function of GFCI outlets?


  17. #17
    Aaron Miller's Avatar
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    Default Re: AFCI Breakers or NOT

    Al:

    Those are most likely Texas electricians that you hired. They're the ones that James left off his list. They're the dog-butt stupid electricians.

    In fact the electricians in Texas are so freaking stupid that the state legislature passed a bill last year allowing plumbers to do some electrical work, just to take some of the load off our stupid electricians.

    Problem is that the plumbers here are not bright bulbs either.

    Install the breakers yourself - that is, if you're not a Texas plumber and after you turn of the main of course. . .

    Aaron


  18. #18
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    Default Re: AFCI Breakers or NOT

    This is neither the time, nor the place, to bring up the entire AFCI fracas. Yet, there are a few other points to consider:

    First, there are many, many places that operate either under older editions of the NEC, or have specifically declined to accept the AFCI requirements. A home in such a place need not have them ... at all. (Whether they're a good idea ia a whole different discussion).

    Second, even under the 08 NEC, I believe they overlooked the stairways - which need neither GFCI nor AFCI protection. (oops!)

    Third, the 08 NEC has 'eased' restrictions on the use of AFCI devices. Therefor, we may no longer assume that AFCI's will be in the panels. This, of course, has obvious implications for places with older panels.

    Finally ... even if I were a fan of AFCI's, I'd wait a bit. The AFCI required by the 08 code is NOT the AFCI we've been using these past few years. Indeed, this might be more of an inspection issue in a few years - the presence of 'simple' AFCI's in panels that should have used 'combination' types. (I see many a migraine in the future from this detail).


  19. #19
    Richard Stanley's Avatar
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    Default Re: AFCI Breakers or NOT

    AFCIs not required where GFCIs are required.
    Siemens has the new combination AFCIs on the market.

    Sounds like you are trying to do it right - in spite of the learned locals. Good for you.

    This was from a post earlier today
    Award-Winning Combination Type Arc Fault Circuit Interrupter from Siemens is Now Available

    Last edited by Richard Stanley; 01-25-2008 at 04:00 PM. Reason: add link

  20. #20
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    Default Re: AFCI Breakers or NOT

    Quote Originally Posted by John Steinke View Post
    First, there are many, many places that operate either under older editions of the NEC, or have specifically declined to accept the AFCI requirements. A home in such a place need not have them ... at all.
    Actually, those homes do "need" AFCIs, its just that those homes 'may not be required to have AFCIs'.

    Second, even under the 08 NEC, I believe they overlooked the stairways - which need neither GFCI nor AFCI protection. (oops!)
    Actually, stairs are covered under AFCI protection, and I'm not the only one who reads the code that way: (NEMA does too) AFCISafety.org :: Codes & Standards

    Third, the 08 NEC has 'eased' restrictions on the use of AFCI devices. Therefor, we may no longer assume that AFCI's will be in the panels.
    Actually, those 'eased' restrictions (which were not 'eased', they just allowed the AFCI device to be moved outside the panel) first happened in the 2005 NEC, then in the 2008 NEC, the wording was changed to (Duh!) allow metallic raceway or metallic cable with metal boxes to allow the AFCI (no 'easing' of the requirement, just allowing moving the location) in the first outlet on the circuit. I say (Duh!) because the intent of AFCIs is to cut off power to the circuit when there is arcing in the circuit, to reduce the risk of fire - contain everything in metal and you have already reduced the risk of fire ... thus ... DUH!

    I know, John, you will probably be ticked at the Duh!, but so be it - I am pointing out that nothing was "eased", as you put it.

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  21. #21
    James Duffin's Avatar
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    Default Re: AFCI Breakers or NOT

    Quote Originally Posted by Billy Stephens View Post
    James,

    I'm a Professional Home Inspector. ( It's not a hobby for me.)

    If you call deceiving the Public ( Being a Liar ) making $.

    I hope you are hanging onto all those Dollars for Lawyer's and Fines, when they Catch up with you. ( You'll need that and more.)

    At least I'm a Licensed Idiot. TN # 592 MS # 0418.( UNLIKE YOU )
    Hey Billy..

    I'm glad to see you are licensed in something. I hold my NC HI license plus three other trade license plus a Certified Energy Manager Certification.

    I have been doing this for over 30 years with NO complaints form the public....ever. This board is good for entertainment and at times for good information. A lot of the times it is the same people showing off by making mountains out of mole-hills.

    I'm retired so I'll allow you the time to catch up with me on knowledge, skills, income, and common sense. My bet is that you will fail in all categories.

    You are indeed a idiot and you are too stupid to know it!


  22. #22
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    Default Re: AFCI Breakers or NOT

    Quote Originally Posted by James Duffin View Post
    Hey Billy..

    I'm glad to see you are licensed in something. I hold my NC HI license plus three other trade license plus a Certified Energy Manager Certification.

    I have been doing this for over 30 years.........
    James,

    We've been over this before. (As of 5 minutes ago)

    1. You are not listed in North Carolina as a Licensed Home Inspector.

    2. Your not even listed as a North Carolina Associate Home Inspector.

    3. From the knowledge,skills & common sense you've shared here ( I can understand why North Carolina would not grant you a license.)

    Which is it James ( You or the State of North Carolina is not telling the Truth?)

    If you are Licensed in any Trade by any State ( Not Deceiving the Public as a qualified
    professional you claim to be POST YOUR LICENSE NUMBERS!

    4. Other wise your just a delusional Want a Be Hack.

    Prove me wrong James.

    It Might have Choked Artie But it ain't gone'a choke Stymie! Our Gang " The Pooch " (1932)
    Billy J. Stephens HI Service Memphis TN.

  23. #23
    Al Roden's Avatar
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    Default Re: AFCI Breakers or NOT

    My told my electrician that I wanted AFCI's - as many as he could get into the panel box. And he told me that we can't put AFCI's on circuits where there are GFCI outlets as it will interefere with their function.

    True? I don't see how they would...but then I'm not an electrician either.

    Are the combination AFCI's on the market or available yet?


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    Default Re: AFCI Breakers or NOT

    Quote Originally Posted by Al Roden View Post
    My told my electrician that I wanted AFCI's - as many as he could get into the panel box. And he told me that we can't put AFCI's on circuits where there are GFCI outlets as it will interefere with their function.

    True? I don't see how they would...but then I'm not an electrician either.
    Don't see how the AFCI could affect the GFCI, however, it may (I stress 'may' because I don't see how it could) be that a GFCI tripping on a ground fault might possibly, remotely, trip the AFCI - but that would not necessarily be a 'bad thing' either ... just reset both the GFCI and the AFCI if that did happen.

    The 2008 NEC leaves AFCI protection out of the rooms with GFCI protection, could be that there could be (a lot of 'could be') some interaction, but all I can see is the GFCI tripping the AFCI if anything 'could be' happening - the GFCI is downstream of the AFCI, and only senses ground faults, so I don't see how an AFCI could ever affect a GFCI.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
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  25. #25
    Ben Christianson's Avatar
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    Default Re: AFCI Breakers or NOT

    Hi folks,
    I'm the newbie here and I've been following this thread so I can get a handle on AFCI's and GFCI's.

    Is it safe to say that ultimately all non-GFCI's will be AFCI protected? If so, then I should expect to see, in the future, bathrooms, kitchens, garages and out-of-door outlets GFCI protected and the rest will be AFCI protected?

    Thanks for the guidance and help and by the way, type slowly so I can understand ;-).

    Ben


  26. #26
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    Default Re: AFCI Breakers or NOT

    One of the harder things in life is to be able to distinguish between fact, opinion, and conclusion.

    "Need" is but an opinion, when it is not a matter of law. In the case of AFCI's, the issue is far from settled, and the jury is still out ... as evidenced by the many places that have so far refused to mandate their use. Suffice it to say that the merits of AFCI's continue to be hotly debated.
    Using Peter Huber's approach -that an 'expert witness' ought only testify as to the accepted state of the art, and not wander off into current fads or unproven (if popular) theories- there is no place in a 'deficiency report' for an opinion that goes beyond the law.

    As for areas to be protected ...
    Stallcup refrains from any discussion on the selection of areas.
    Mike Holt clearly identifies the stairwell as requiring neither AFCI nor FCI protection.
    The NFPA, in it's "Analysis of Changes," says "requirements for AFCI protection are expanded to most areas and rooms in dwelling units with the exception of kitchens, bathrooms, garages, basements, and other areas or rooms not specifically identified in this section (210.12)." This is the opinion of the authors of the NEC, notwithstanding the "similar rooms or areas" phrase in the text of the code itself.
    Since the text itself has no mention of stairways, or even a general reference to 'common areas,' the AFCI section is unenforceable with regards to stairways, IMO. Not that it's likely to happen .... I doubt anyone will ever run a dedicated circuit for the stairwell!

    "Easing" of a requirement is, like beauty, strictly in the eye of the beholder. For me, if I can now place something anywhere in the house, where previously I had to place it within 6 ft of the panel ... that sure makes things easier for me!


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    Default Re: AFCI Breakers or NOT

    Quote Originally Posted by John Steinke View Post
    "Need" is but an opinion, when it is not a matter of law. In the case of AFCI's, the issue is far from settled, and the jury is still out ... as evidenced by the many places that have so far refused to mandate their use.
    The same exact thing happened with GFCIs came in - many AHJ "resisted" the change saying they did not work and were no good.

    Time and history has proven them wrong, as will happen this time with AFCIs - some just resist change change because they do not like ... well ... "change".


    Using Peter Huber's approach -that an 'expert witness' ought only testify as to the accepted state of the art,
    Glad you chose those words ... AFCIs *ARE* "accepted state of the art", and, as such, their required use, and writing them up as a "deficiency" is defensible in court.


    The NFPA, in it's "Analysis of Changes," says "requirements for AFCI protection are expanded to most areas and rooms in dwelling units with the exception of kitchens, bathrooms, garages, basements, and other areas or rooms not specifically identified in this section (210.12)." This is the opinion of the authors of the NEC, notwithstanding the "similar rooms or areas" phrase in the text of the code itself.
    Since the text itself has no mention of stairways, or even a general reference to 'common areas,' [/quote]

    Ah, to be so close by incorrect again.

    This is what is "SPECIFICALLY" mentioned in the NEC:

    "family rooms, dining rooms, living rooms, parlors, libraries, dens, bedrooms, sunrooms, recreation rooms, closets, hallways, or similar rooms or areas"

    You said no mention was made of 'common areas', but there is: "hallways".

    A "hallway" serves the same purpose as a "stairway", other than a change in level. Thus, a "stairway" is a "or similar room or areas" to a "hallway".

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
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  28. #28
    Aaron Miller's Avatar
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    Default Re: AFCI Breakers or NOT

    This is yet another grand example pointing to the urgent need in all model codes for an exhaustive glossary. We are only terrific when we are specific.

    Having said that, Jerry is correct in noting that a stairway is naught but a hallway on an incline. The unfortunate choice of the term "common areas" and its total lack of specificity will cause nothing but grief. "Common" sense would lead one to believe that "common" areas would include any area not labeled for a specific use. The problem with this approach is that people (especially builders) just love to put labels on all parts of their houses. Seems that no one ever wants to be in the position to have to say, "well, that's just an extra room there." I've actually seen on the construction documents such absolute nonsense as "gift-wrapping room", "pet-washing lavatorium", "decanting solarium", "meditation room", "butler's pantry napping nook", etc. ad nauseum. I'm sure you folks have heard your share of this drivel . . .

    Aaron


  29. #29
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    Default Re: AFCI Breakers or NOT

    Quote Originally Posted by Aaron Miller View Post
    ...."butler's pantry napping nook", . . .

    Aaron
    I think every Home should have at the least one on each Wing of the Home.

    Most Butler's get cranky with out their naps.

    It Might have Choked Artie But it ain't gone'a choke Stymie! Our Gang " The Pooch " (1932)
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  30. #30
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    Default Re: AFCI Breakers or NOT

    Another county heard from;

    AFCI are not required on any type construction in New Jersey.



    Darren

    New Jersey Home Inspection - About the House!


  31. #31
    Aaron Miller's Avatar
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    Default Re: AFCI Breakers or NOT

    New Jersey is operating in the past century.

    Aaron


  32. #32
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    Default Re: AFCI Breakers or NOT

    Quote Originally Posted by Aaron Miller View Post
    New Jersey is operating in the past century.
    Yep, pre-2000.

    Wonder if they need my 1897 NEC?

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    Default Re: AFCI Breakers or NOT

    With all due respect Aaron & Jerry, you're both clueless as to NJ's code requirements and enforcement.

    NJ may be alot of (bad) things, but it probably has the best code enforcement & education of the code in the country.

    Take a look here..

    http://www.nj.gov/dca/codes/ccc_art/...les_list.shtml

    These are education and updates of codes & products that the state releases about twice a year. The DCA tries to stay ahead of curve when it sees a problem.
    Does your state provide such assistance & FREE code seminars for licensed inspectors?

    As far as AFCI's are concerned, I don't have a clue as to why there not required, but read 'spring 2003' for the deletion of this requirement.

    Darren

    New Jersey Home Inspection - About the House!

    Last edited by Darren Miller; 01-30-2008 at 04:45 AM. Reason: spelling

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    Default Re: AFCI Breakers or NOT

    Quote Originally Posted by Darren Miller View Post
    With all due respect Aaron & Jerry, you're both clueless as to NJ's code requirements and enforcement.
    Darren,

    I don't know about Aaron, but *I* *am* "clueless" (your word) why NJ would delete so many life safety requirements, and that was just reading through that one Spring 2003 one you directed our attention to.

    As far as AFCI's are concerned, I don't have a clue as to why there not required,
    Guess that makes three of us who are "clueless"?

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
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  35. #35
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    Default Re: AFCI Breakers or NOT

    Darren:

    Though I don't intend to get riled up over your ad hominem comment regarding my cluelessness, I would like to address that comment. I do not depend primarily upon clues to make assessments of situations. I am fairly well read on the subject and prefer to rely upon actual facts as opposed to clues - whatever those may entail.

    My comment about the seeming anachronistic approach New Jersey takes to its residential building code is rooted in my bewilderment that they have unnecessary layers upon layers of state bureaucratic opinions being slathered on the model code with the end result that they now have their own "special" code. What's the point in adopting a prescriptive model code and then bowdlerizing it beyond recognition, only to then be further watered down by the AHJs?

    Job security is the answer.

    How do you pronounce Succasunna anyway? What does it mean?

    Aaron


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    Default Re: AFCI Breakers or NOT

    Quote Originally Posted by Aaron Miller View Post
    ...bowdlerizing...
    bowdlerizing! DÜDE! I'm going to get my hat so I can take it off to you!


  37. #37
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    Default Re: AFCI Breakers or NOT

    Quote Originally Posted by John Arnold View Post
    bowdlerizing! DÜDE! I'm going to get my hat so I can take it off to you!
    John:

    I try to keep the phraseology down to the vernacular, since I'm from Texas and all. However, Darren being from New Jersey, has likely contracted the Übermensch bug that affects nearby New Yorkers almost universally. Cultural superiority just exudes from that section of the country. Pedestrian language simply will not suffice. At least, not from the hoi polloi in distant provincial lands like Dallas.

    Lest Darren should wax lachrymose or become logorrheic, fear not and be not distraught: It's all just in fun anyway . . ., but my spell check is smoldering . . .

    BS as usual,

    Aaron


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    Default Re: AFCI Breakers or NOT

    Aaron, John,

    GUYS!

    I'm but a simpleton who speaks simple words, such as: See Spot, see Dick and Jane, see Spot chase Jane all around the yard.

    Jeeze, you use dem dar big wards and ya lose me ferm udderstadin watts ya sayin.





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    Default Re: AFCI Breakers or NOT

    A hallway is a a hallway, and a stair is a stair ... also not mentioned are home offices, workshops, entryways, etc. It is the job of the code writers to be specific - not for us to try to read their minds.
    As mentioned, and properly cited, the NFPA itself concedes the point ... there is no AFCI requirement for stairways.

    As for "state of the art" ... AFCi's are far from being generally accepted. That they are mentioned in a few non-governmental 'model codes' (the NEC is but a 'model code), yet not accepted by the vast majority of AHJ's is certainly proof that the subject is still the matter of great debate.

    Therefore, it is improper to make the recommendation on your own ... unless as a design choice. That sure places it outside the scope of a home inspection.

    Please, spare me the cant about 'safety.' We are here to discuss matters in a , well, discussion ... not a religious debate! Deferring to Huber again ... who has done the legwork ... time and again well-meaning ideas have gone way off-track, often accomplishing the exact opposite of what was intended. That's why he coined the term "junk science."

    For the moment, the AFCI issue is squarely in the political arena ..... which means, it has no place in inspection reports, beyond whether the law has been obeyed. It's not for us to pitch our own theology.


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    Default Re: AFCI Breakers or NOT

    Quote Originally Posted by John Steinke View Post
    A hallway is a a hallway, and a stair is a stair ... also not mentioned are home offices, workshops, entryways, etc.
    Now I know you must be off the deep end John ... "also not mentioned are home offices, workshops, entryways, etc.", what to heck do you think they meant when they said "or similar rooms or areas". The code people cannot even attempt to come up with all the variations of names builders want to call them, thus, a few 'representative' area/room names were put forth and then, to make sure that no one could misspell the name and say that does not require an AFCI, they covered all similar use areas by stating "similar rooms or areas".


    For the moment, the AFCI issue is squarely in the political arena ..... which means, it has no place in inspection reports,
    You are saying that with a straight face, aren't you? How do you do that? Whenever I say something that ridiculous I always give it away with at least an uncontrollable teensy weensy smile or a wink of an eye.

    It's not for us to pitch our own theology.
    Then why, if I may be so bold as to ask (and I am asking) ... why do you keep pitching your theology to us that nothing is ever wrong with anything electrical because a licensed electrician installed it, and we, as home inspectors, have no brains to know what is right or not. Regardless of the fact that it is electricians who wire most of the horrendously wrong things we see.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
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  41. #41

    Default Re: AFCI Breakers or NOT

    Al:
    First to others we are not talking about GFCI, we are talking AFCI.

    Please guy's stop the name calling!

    Next if the electrician does not know about AFCI it may be possible he also does not have it wired properly through out? So don't install in a AFCI in a circuit that may not be proper!

    I would hire a licensed electrician (check them out) to evluate and correct as needed. I hope you have not paid the original electrician in full?

    Rolland Pruner


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    Default Re: AFCI Breakers or NOT

    Quote Originally Posted by Rolland Pruner View Post
    Next if the electrician does not know about AFCI it may be possible he also does not have it wired properly through out?

    That bears repeating: "if the electrician does not know about AFCI" and "it may be possible he also does not have it wired properly".

    Rolland,

    I think that is what many of us have been saying.

    It's like going into a house wired all wrong and then expecting the same (the very same) electrician who 'did not know how to wire it correctly' to then miraculously 'know how to correct it'. That just does not make sense unless ... we are thinking that the electrician *intentionally* did it wrong the first time.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
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  43. #43
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    Default Re: AFCI Breakers or NOT

    Roland, I haven't paid him anything yet - he sent me a bill for 22k. I thought I'd finish wiring it and correct deficencies, then figure out how much to negotiate off the bill.


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    Default Re: AFCI Breakers or NOT

    (I'm glad to see you are licensed in something. I hold my NC HI license plus three other trade license plus a Certified Energy Manager Certification.)

    James I could not find you in the NC boards directory.

    I hope your not practicing without a license here!

    Please prove me wrong........

    Mike Schulz License 393
    Affordable Home Inspections
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    Default Re: AFCI Breakers or NOT

    It does get intersting how a thread can deteriorate into school yard name calling around here. I did enjoy it.
    Frankly, the only thing that counts is the applicable codes in each area.
    If you wish to discuss the real life application of AFCIs, well if they will be required extensively I suggest the manufacturers figure out how to cool them down. Stacked 4 deep, I've measured them as high as 115 degrees. 20 to 30 degrees above the surrounding breakers.
    And I don't recall massive death and destruction prior to their inception. Codes are not inherently progress but more often knee jerk reactions to obtuse occurrances.

    And as to Mr. Duffin: I've read his posts before and I checked. If he's licensed in this state it's under a pseudonym. If you can't play by the rules, go play elsewhere.

    JLMathis


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    Default Re: AFCI Breakers or NOT

    Quote Originally Posted by Jeffrey L. Mathis View Post
    And I don't recall massive death and destruction prior to their inception.
    Jeffery,

    That *IS* what drives codes. Not like 'A Bomb' death and destruction, but as in 'how can we reduce the deaths and destruction caused by ... '.

    Codes are not inherently progress but more often knee jerk reactions to obtuse occurrances.
    I've never seen a code be a "knee jerk reaction" to anything. It takes a lot of arguing and discussing and ... justifying ... yes, "justifying' ... to get code changes through, and it does not happen overnight either, it it a 3 year process for most codes, and, along the way, MANY proposals get dropped - only a few which manage to get through the debate and are VOTED ON and approved make it into the next code edition.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
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  47. #47
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    Default Re: AFCI Breakers or NOT

    Newbe here.

    I agree with James duffin: There is a difference between commercial and residential electricians. Being an ex electrical contractor there were many factors and liabilities in mixing the commercial electrician with the residential one. Would you hire a home inspector to evaluate a restaurant?

    I agree with John Steinke: I don't think AFCIs have a place in our reports either. I also believe poilitics are involved. The words SAFETY, GREEN, and GLOBAL WARMING is more about business than truth. I'm a firm beleiver in "if it aint broke, don't fix it". I own a home with aluminum wiring and take basic maintenace steps to prevent loose connections. I have no AFCI breakers. I don't know anyone, or anyone that knows someone or knew somenone or a story about someone who had a fire because of aluminum wiring. The aluminum wiring is always blamed instead of the installation.


  48. #48
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    Default Re: AFCI Breakers or NOT

    I don't know anyone, or anyone that knows someone or knew somenone or a story about someone who had a fire because of aluminum wiring.
    Where do you live, in Shangri-La? They burn down here on a regular basis. The top torches are late 60s to early 70s that have the wonderfully ignitable combination of Federal Pacific Stab-Lok panels and first generation aluminum wiring.

    Sure, the installations are all, and I repeat all, also bad. But, the same ******* electrician-wannabees also did the copper electrical installs at that time. They are not the burners.

    Explain that,

    Aaron


  49. #49
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    Default Re: AFCI Breakers or NOT

    But, the same ******* electrician
    Well, I see that the Hann in the Sky has him a born-again bleeper on board. What the hell is this world coming to when a man cannot speak his mind without some ASZHOHL rearranging his words for him?

    Mighty haughty and presumptuous of you Hann.

    Aaron


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    Default Re: AFCI Breakers or NOT

    Quote Originally Posted by Aaron Miller View Post
    Well, I see that the Hann in the Sky has him a born-again bleeper on board. What the hell is this world coming to when a man cannot speak his mind without some ASZHOHL rearranging his words for him?

    Mighty haughty and presumptuous of you Hann.

    Aaron
    I bet it is the software. We have the same problem on the ASHI discussion board, if your first name is Dick it comes out **** if you use it in a post!

    But, this is also Brian's private board and he can do as he wants. Most of us really don't mind.

    Scott Patterson, ACI
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    Default Re: AFCI Breakers or NOT

    Quote Originally Posted by John Watson View Post
    I agree with John Steinke: I don't think AFCIs have a place in our reports either.
    John,

    First, welcome to THE inspectors board.

    Second ... it sure is a good thing John Steinke is not an electrician in any place I've been, he'd be run of out business for not following minimum code requirements, as a former electrical contractor, you should be aware of the dangers and electrical systems and the potential that AFCIs have for preventing some fires related to those electrical systems, makes for a VERY POOR HOME INSPECTOR starting out with an attitude like that - bad for the profession.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
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    Default Re: AFCI Breakers or NOT

    Quote Originally Posted by Scott Patterson View Post
    --- discussion board, if your first name is Dick it comes out **** if you use it in a post!
    Scott,

    So you saying there are a lot of ****,s on other boards as well ?

    It Might have Choked Artie But it ain't gone'a choke Stymie! Our Gang " The Pooch " (1932)
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    Default Re: AFCI Breakers or NOT

    Mr, Watson, while I appreciate your support, I did not say there's no place for AFCI's in inspection reports. If they are required to be present, then their absence should be noted.

    What I did say is that the inspection report is not the place to further our personal pet causes. The AFCI, as demonstrated by the continuing controversy, is far from being a settled matter. It is but one of several reasons that the 2008 NEC is facing opposition, and to date has been adopted by less than a handful of states.

    There are those who think AFCI's are the best thing since sliced bread, and there are those with differing opinions. I don't think this is the place to go off on that tangent ... what matters here is that we have not established whether AFCI's are required to be present, according to the rules of the job the OP is talking about. That detail has not been established.

    That a licensed electrical contractor, or master electrician would assert ignorance as to the very existence of AFCI's does concern me. There has been so much controversy, over the past decade, I would not be surprised to hear the subject debated by Amish farmers

    Now, all this aside .... I don't think this is the place for insults, name calling, or any other form of childish tantrum. Frankly, such outbursts make it difficult for me to read the rest of a post. I also find the recitation of credentials, comments about income, assertions of experience, etc., to be rather tedious. Your arguments should be able to stand on their own merits.


  54. #54
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    Default Re: AFCI Breakers or NOT

    Billy,what happend to James you didn't whack him did you??


  55. #55
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    Default Re: AFCI Breakers or NOT

    Quote Originally Posted by Randy Clayton View Post
    Billy,what happend to James you didn't whack him did you??
    Not Me.

    Maybe some of the North Carolina Guys might have done something with Mr. ****** .

    It Might have Choked Artie But it ain't gone'a choke Stymie! Our Gang " The Pooch " (1932)
    Billy J. Stephens HI Service Memphis TN.

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    Default Re: AFCI Breakers or NOT

    This pretty much sums it up, until futher changes are implemented.

    AFCISafety.org :: Codes & Standards

    badair http://www.adairinspection.com Garland, TX 75042 TREC # 4563
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  57. #57
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    Default Re: AFCI Breakers or NOT

    This forum is very different from other inspector forums I've joined...
    less professional.

    Aaron, your mouth is probably as big as your Tazmanian Devil's. You never mentioned "standards of practice" which rules over us here in Texas. As far as houses torching up frequently because of aluminum wiring, it's probably because it was wired by your cousins Earl and Jed.

    I must have read this thread wrong. I thought we were talking about AFCI breakers on aluminum wiring. I would report lack of AFCI breakers on copper if it were built after 2005 when the rule was adopted, but not on aluminum. It's grandfathered here, and I feel that I would do my customer a disservice by basing my inspections on fear on showing off knowledge.

    Local jurisdiction rules supercede NEC


  58. #58
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    Default Re: AFCI Breakers or NOT

    Quote Originally Posted by John Watson View Post
    This forum is very different from other inspector forums I've joined...
    less professional.
    Glad you could make your contribution to that aspect? (see below)

    Aaron, your mouth is probably as big as your Tazmanian Devil's. You never mentioned "standards of practice" which rules over us here in Texas. As far as houses torching up frequently because of aluminum wiring, it's probably because it was wired by your cousins Earl and Jed.
    See how easy it is to do?

    I must have read this thread wrong. I thought we were talking about AFCI breakers on aluminum wiring. I would report lack of AFCI breakers on copper if it were built after 2005 when the rule was adopted, but not on aluminum. It's grandfathered here, and I feel that I would do my customer a disservice by basing my inspections on fear on showing off knowledge.

    Local jurisdiction rules supercede NEC
    Ahh, but, John, *fires* and other *life safety* things do not read code books, and, if you read code books, you would understand that "codes" are the minimum crappiest one is legally allowed to build.

    "Codes" do not represent "good", or "better", or "best" practices, only "minimum practices".

    The professional home inspector should not feel bound by stopping at "code". In fact, "code" only come up when a builder refuses to meet "minimum requirements".

    The professional home inspector has the advantage over the code inspector in that the home inspector can recommend new safety items which did not exit when the house was constructed, whereas the code inspector is limited to the code in effect at the time of construction.

    "Fires" and other "life safety" things do not read code books and do not know that they are only allowed in newer constructed homes which have been prepared for minimal occasions of their presence ... no, those things pretty much take place when they want to, where they want to, whether in new construction or old construction.

    Do you not recommend GFCI protection be installed for bathroom receptacle outlets in a 1950s house?

    Hopefully, you do, and, if you do, why do that and not write up no AFCI protection, *especially* on aluminum circuits?????

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
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  59. #59
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    Default Re: AFCI Breakers or NOT

    Jerry,

    Do you have a "standards of practice" for inspectors in your state? Is licensing required there as well?

    We have all that here, and yes safety is standard, but over-zealousness is not. Before I'm an inspector, I'm a business man. I sure as hell would not let one of my inspectors decide on his own to report lack of AFCI breakers on a home built before 2005 or wired with aluminum if it's not in our state standards. My business doesn't just do homes, we inspect commercial properties too. I would be out of business quick if I reported everything that may be dangerous that wasn't without question or mandated. I'm glad we have standards here.

    I don't know any other trade or business where other colleagues criticize and label one another as bad inspectors. I'm not worried about whether other inspectors think I'm qualified or not. What I am, is embarrased that on blogs like active rain, I never see realtors who's education and licensing is half of what's required of ours, do to each other what you do here, especiallly to someone new like me.


    Some of you need to take that stick out of your ass after riding that tall horse and quit passing so much judgement like little girls pass notes in class.

    That being said, Have a nice day.


  60. #60
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    Default Re: AFCI Breakers or NOT

    Watson,
    AFCI first appeared in the NEC '99 and IRC '00. You might want to look in to when Austin adopted those codes. I suspect it was prior to '05. Maybe not. Cheers.


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    Default Re: AFCI Breakers or NOT

    Quote Originally Posted by John Watson View Post
    Before I'm an inspector, I'm a business man.
    When the "inspector" gets sued, the "businessman" loses his shirt.

    I sure as hell would not let one of my inspectors decide on his own to report lack of AFCI breakers on a home built before 2005 or wired with aluminum if it's not in our state standards. My business doesn't just do homes, we inspect commercial properties too. I would be out of business quick if I reported everything that may be dangerous that wasn't without question or mandated. I'm glad we have standards here.
    Actually, you would have advanced yourself professionally and your business professionally for the businessman in you if you were to advance your standards beyond those of "minimum requirements" in "standards of practice".

    "That being said, Have a nice day." Yep, you too.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
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