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  1. #1
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    Default New Canadian Electrical Code 2015 rules - arc faults

    New Canadian Electrical Code 2015 rules - You'se guys ought to know this. Many areas of BC have adopted the 2015 rules. I can't speak for all of the minor kingdoms.

    A big change is that now all receptacles, wall outlets, in the living space are required to have CAFCI protection. The old Arc fault breakers with green or blue test buttons are obsolete. The new breakers have a white button.
    No longer just the bedroom circuits. Permanently installed appliances do not need arc faults.

    CAFI or CAFIC Suffix
    Schneider Electric (Square D) type QO, QOB and HOM circuit breakers with suffix CAFI or CAFIC detect parallel arcing plus series arcing (branch/feeder/outlet).
    The push-to-test button is white.


    The CAFI breakers will trip under these conditions:
    (1) The breaker detects a downstream overload or short circuit (per trip curve)
    (2) The breaker detects a downstream current to ground in the range of 30-50ma or greater, regardless of the load.
    (3) The breaker detects an upstream or downstream arc in that circuit that meets certain preset conditions ("arc signature"), plus at the same time the breaker is carrying 5A or more of load current, even if very briefly. The 5A value is per UL1699 for combination-type arc-fault circuit breakers.
    CONCLUSION: Square D/Schneider Electric CAFI Combination Arc-Fault Circuit Breakers are designed to provide protection against overloads, short circuits, parallel arcs (H-N), and series arcs (H-H same phase), and will trip on current to ground in the range of 30-50 mA or higher.

    The old ones do not protect against series arcs.

    Electricians are separating all lighting circuits from the wall outlets. Lights are OK on standard breakers.
    Smoke alarms must be on a standard breaker, not on arc faults, but that may vary with the AHJ, so check it out.

    A new CAFCI wall mounted outlet can be used to protect the downstream outlets only if the feeder from the panel to that first outlet is in conduit.

    The old AFCI breakers are still for sale at the box stores and will continue to sell to DIY goofs, so keep eyes pealed for them. Cheers.

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    Last edited by John Kogel; 11-04-2016 at 04:52 PM.
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  2. #2
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    Default Re: New Canadian Electrical Code 2015 rules - arc faults

    Quote Originally Posted by John Kogel View Post
    New Canadian Electrical Code 2015 rules - You'se guys ought to know this. Many areas of BC have adopted the 2015 rules. I can't speak for all of the minor kingdoms.

    A big change is that now all receptacles, wall outlets, in the living space are required to have CAFCI protection. The old Arc fault breakers with green or blue test buttons are obsolete. The new breakers have a white button.
    No longer just the bedroom circuits. Permanently installed appliances do not need arc faults.

    CAFI or CAFIC Suffix
    Schneider Electric (Square D) type QO, QOB and HOM circuit breakers with suffix CAFI or CAFIC detect parallel arcing plus series arcing (branch/feeder/outlet).
    The push-to-test button is white.


    The CAFI breakers will trip under these conditions:
    (1) The breaker detects a downstream overload or short circuit (per trip curve)
    (2) The breaker detects a downstream current to ground in the range of 30-50ma or greater, regardless of the load.
    (3) The breaker detects an upstream or downstream arc in that circuit that meets certain preset conditions ("arc signature"), plus at the same time the breaker is carrying 5A or more of load current, even if very briefly. The 5A value is per UL1699 for combination-type arc-fault circuit breakers.
    CONCLUSION: Square D/Schneider Electric CAFI Combination Arc-Fault Circuit Breakers are designed to provide protection against overloads, short circuits, parallel arcs (H-N), and series arcs (H-H same phase), and will trip on current to ground in the range of 30-50 mA or higher.

    The old ones do not protect against series arcs.

    Electricians are separating all lighting circuits from the wall outlets. Lights are OK on standard breakers.
    Smoke alarms must be on a standard breaker, not on arc faults, but that may vary with the AHJ, so check it out.

    A new CAFCI wall mounted outlet can be used to protect the downstream outlets only if the feeder from the panel to that first outlet is in conduit.

    The old AFCI breakers are still for sale at the box stores and will continue to sell to DIY goofs, so keep eyes pealed for them. Cheers.
    Thanks, John.
    Much appreciated.

    Robert Young's Montreal Home Inspection Services Inc.
    Call (514) 489-1887 or (514) 441-3732
    Our Motto; Putting information where you need it most, "In your hands.”

  3. #3
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    Default Re: New Canadian Electrical Code 2015 rules - arc faults

    Thanks, Robert.

    The new rules are good, but increase the cost of upgrading significantly, as these new breakers are not cheap. Expect people to try to find ways around buying one more CAFCI breaker by loading up the other circuits.

    The limit in Canada, (not applicable in the US) is still 12 outlets or fixtures max per 15 amp circuit, (or 16 per 20 amp circuit).

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

  4. #4
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    Default Re: New Canadian Electrical Code 2015 rules - arc faults

    Quote Originally Posted by John Kogel View Post
    Thanks, Robert.

    The new rules are good, but increase the cost of upgrading significantly, as these new breakers are not cheap. Expect people to try to find ways around buying one more CAFCI breaker by loading up the other circuits.

    The limit in Canada, (not applicable in the US) is still 12 outlets or fixtures max per 15 amp circuit, (or 16 per 20 amp circuit).
    I don't think the added cost is significant. IMO, electrical updates are not expensive as compared to other systems and/or components.

    That being said, how do you determine how many outlets per circuit?
    I analyse for drop voltage in rooms which allows me to hypothesize if the circuit is over loaded.

    Robert Young's Montreal Home Inspection Services Inc.
    Call (514) 489-1887 or (514) 441-3732
    Our Motto; Putting information where you need it most, "In your hands.”

  5. #5
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    Default Re: New Canadian Electrical Code 2015 rules - arc faults


  6. #6
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    Default Re: New Canadian Electrical Code 2015 rules - arc faults

    Thanks, Raymond.

    Either that Authority missed it in his writeups, or the Ontario authorities are still accepting the old AFCI's?
    Inquiring minds want to know, which is it?

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

  7. #7
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    Default Re: New Canadian Electrical Code 2015 rules - arc faults

    Quote Originally Posted by ROBERT YOUNG View Post
    I don't think the added cost is significant. IMO, electrical updates are not expensive as compared to other systems and/or components.
    Square D HO are cheaper than some, $75 Canadian loonies each, times combien des circles de voltage?

    [QUOTE=ROBERT YOUNG]That being said, how do you determine how many outlets per circuit?
    I analyze for drop voltage in rooms which allows me to hypothesize if the circuit is over loaded. [/QOUTE]


    That is cool, but tells you only the load, not the number of unused outlets.

    So how? You gotta count them before the drywall goes on [], or learn to estimate the square footage for so many rooms, gives a total wall length equals so many receptacles, and so many light fixtures divided by 12 equals so many CAFCI breakers to count in the panel. Got that?

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

  8. #8
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    Default Re: New Canadian Electrical Code 2015 rules - arc faults

    John
    Haven't seen anything from ESA recalling former breakers.

    But did find this from CSA.
    http://www.csagroup.org/about-csa-gr...electric-11-04


  9. #9
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    Default Re: New Canadian Electrical Code 2015 rules - arc faults

    Quote Originally Posted by John Kogel View Post
    1: That is cool, but tells you only the load, not the number of unused outlets.

    2: So how? You gotta count them before the drywall goes on [], or learn to estimate the square footage for so many rooms, gives a total wall length equals so many receptacles, and so many light fixtures divided by 12 equals so many CAFCI breakers to count in the panel. Got that?
    1: Not just load.

    • Selectable loads of 12, 15 and 20 Amps
    • Measures loaded and unloaded AC Line Voltage
    • Calculates and displays % Voltage Drop and Line Impedance
    • Displays Peak Line Voltage and Frequency
    • GFCI Trip Time and Trip Current


    2: Circuit tracer. Can be used on dedicated or mixed circuits as well. Takes time and rarely happens.

    Robert Young's Montreal Home Inspection Services Inc.
    Call (514) 489-1887 or (514) 441-3732
    Our Motto; Putting information where you need it most, "In your hands.”

  10. #10
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    Default Re: New Canadian Electrical Code 2015 rules - arc faults

    Quote Originally Posted by Raymond Wand View Post
    John
    Haven't seen anything from ESA recalling former breakers.
    The old breakers do what they were designed to do, so won't be recalled. But they do not meet the new requirements for a combination AFCI.


    "The new Rule 26-724(f) of the 2015 Canadian Electrical Code requires all branch circuits in dwelling units supplying 125V receptacles rated 15A or 20A to be protected by a combination-type arc-fault circuit interrupter (AFCI), except that branch circuits supplying receptacles installed in accordance with Rules 26-710 (f) and 26-712(d) (i), (iii), (iv) and (v), and those supplying only one receptacle for the connection of a cord-connected refrigerator or sump pump, are exempt from the requirement for arc-fault protection."

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

  11. #11
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    Default Re: New Canadian Electrical Code 2015 rules - arc faults

    They may not meet the new CEC but the code is not retroactive. So those older breakers are okay.


  12. #12
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    Default Re: New Canadian Electrical Code 2015 rules - arc faults

    Quote Originally Posted by Raymond Wand View Post
    They may not meet the new CEC but the code is not retroactive. So those older breakers are okay.
    Not OK for new construction, right.

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

  13. #13
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    Default Re: New Canadian Electrical Code 2015 rules - arc faults

    No; it would not be permitted in new construction.


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