AFCI dedicted circuits

Todays inspection was 2005 permitted construction SFR. Discovered that the master bedroom AFCI circuit included the master bath GFCI as well as lighting devices for both the bedroom and bath. Rightfully or wrongly it had been my understanding that the AFCI were for outlets only and could not be used to service other devices. Your insight will be appreciated

Everything is OK with the exception of the bathroom receptacle being on the same circuit as the bedroom. The bathroom receptacle(s) is/are required to be on a 20 amp circuit dedicated to only the bathroom(s) or a 20 amp circuit which supplies only the receptacle and equipment within that bathroom.

Robert has answered the initial question regarding the bathroom outlets.

“Outlets” and “receptacles” are not the same thing.

Generally, AFCI protection serves lighting outlets AND receptacle outlets. In other words - the entire branch circuit, which (in most cases) will be multiple “outlets.”

All outlets are required to have AFCI protection. Outlet is a broad term that usually gets thought of as only receptacles but by definition it is not limited to receptacles. That definition would included receptacles, lights and hard wired smoke detectors, etc.

Yes, smoke detectors, CO detectors and other outlets included.

That brings up a question. I’d like to get your opinion Robert.

The blank-face, GFCI protection in the master bedroom closet, provided for the spa-tub (we discussed this breifly in another thread) - Do we consider this an “outlet” located in a “dwelling unit bedroom,” which would also require AFCI protection?



Good question. Here’s the Article 100 NEC definition of an outlet:

And the definition of utilization equipment:

IMO that GFCI device will use electric energy so it is by definition utilization equipment. It is also at a point in the wiring system where it will take current to perform it’s function.

But if you had a simple single pole switch switch it wouldn’t meet the definition of an outlet.

I don’t see how it is utilization equipment because the device does not do any work

How ever the load it is monitoring is utilization equipment so the AFCI requirement would apply anyway.

Just my thoughts guys.

I would not consider a blank face GFI to be an outlet. I would consider this the same as a switch as no electric is being drawn out like it would for a receptacle or lighting outlet.

But doesn’t this device require the use of electricity to actually work? Surely the circuitry within the device uses a small amount of current to perform it’s function.

Using that interpretation a GFI breaker would be an outlet. I do not think this is what is meant. I do not see this as meeting the definition of “outlet”. You are not taking current to supply utilization equipment. The micro-ampere that is being used would not meet the intent IMO.

This came up on a recent inspection. The AHJ had already made the determination that the blank-face DID require AFCI protection and the electrician was arguing that it did NOT.

My initial thought was that the electrician is correct as this is not “technically” an outlet.

In the end, the AHJ required AFCI protection for that circuit, but I’m still not sure I agree with his interpretation.

You might be right, but you cannot deny that the GFCI device uses current (outlet definition) and therefore also fits the definition of utilization equipment. IMO having met both of those criterion the GFCI device would require AFCI protection if within a bedroom, but as with a lot of this stuff we’re simply splitting hairs. :mrgreen:

Jeffery asked the question as to my opinion on the topic, I understand that others may not see it my way which is OK too. :cool: I’m just forming my opinion after extrapolating information from the Article 100 definitions.

Now from a practical standpoint, if I have a wall that separates the bathroom from the bedroom and the device faces into the bathroom it would not require AFCI protection. Turn the box around and put it in the same wall in the bedroom and we’re back to this discussion as to whether or not AFCI protection is required. Kind makes the entire argument kind of silly.

Very similar to when bedroom closet lighting did not require AFCI as it was not in the bedroom, but the closet. Even tho the closet was in the bedroom. This was changed in the next cycle to include the closet lighting.