AFCI Information from the field

Originally Posted By: jtedesco
This post was automatically imported from our archived forum.



Quote:
Arc Fault Current Interrupters (AFCI)

All smoke detectors in a single-family dwelling are on 120-volt circuit.

Three smoke detectors are installed in the bedrooms and two are installed in the bedroom hallways. Is this circuit required to have AFCI protection? I wouldn't want to lose the smoke detector protection if the AFCI trips out.

Yes, see 2002 NEC Section 210.12 which requires all branch circuits that supply 125-volt, single-phase, 15- and 20-ampere outlets installed in dwelling units bedrooms shall be protected by an arc-fault circuit interrupter listed to provide protection of the entire branch circuit.

As to smoke detectors, CMP-2 did consider the issue of smoke detectors. For example, see Comment 2-77, May 2001 ROC concerning the elimination of outlets that connect smoke detectors in bedrooms.

This comment was rejected as CMP-2 stated that they reaffirm the requirement for AFCI protection in dwelling unit bedrooms, including smoke detector outlets, as there has been no data submitted substantiating why smoke detectors should be deleted from the AFCI requirement.

Both code and standard regulations require that smoke detectors are not only required to be hardwired to 120-volt circuitry, but they also require battery backup. Also, see NFPA 72.

Is arc fault protection required on a 120-v bedroom heater? How about a 240v?

Article 210.12 requires AFCI protection for all 15 and 20 amp, 125-volt outlets in bedrooms. The 120-volt heater would require AFCI protection. A 240-volt heater would not require AFCI protection.

A hydro-massage tub is installed in a master bedroom. There is no stool or sink. Does the dedicated GFCI circuit for the tub require AFCI protection?

If it is a 15 or 20-amp, 125 volt circuit, it would require AFCI protection according to Article 210.12.


http://www.nema.org/stds/fieldreps/faqs.cfm


--
Joe Tedesco, NEC Consultant

www.nachi.org/tedescobook.htm

Originally Posted By: Greg Fretwell
This post was automatically imported from our archived forum.



The work around for the smokes is to install them on a 10a alarm breaker.


Originally Posted By: Charles Palmieri
This post was automatically imported from our archived forum.



I have been following this string on several forum sites and I wish to present this information for discussion.


1. The rating of a branch circuit undeniably receives credence from article 210.3 .
2. 210.3 clearly states that the rating for other than individual branch circuits shall be 15, 20, 30, 40, and 50 amperes.
3. The definition of an individual branch circuit from article 100 is as follows
Branch Circuit, Individual. A branch circuit that supplies only one utilization equipment.

After reading this information I would not consider a branch circuit supplying more than one smoke detector an individual branch circuit.

Furthermore some building codes have required the Smokes (not system smokes see 760) to be on a common a branch circuit in the event of normal power failure.

Well have fun with it!


Charlie


Originally Posted By: Greg Fretwell
This post was automatically imported from our archived forum.



Since most line powered smoke detectors have “system” capability, why wouldn’t 760 apply?. If you connect the common trip conductors together it is certainly a single system. That system can also have zones so all detectors don’t have to trip all the others.


If your detectors are connected to a central monitoring service like ADT there is no question.


Originally Posted By: Charles Palmieri
This post was automatically imported from our archived forum.



Greg I see your point, and I don’t have NFPA 72 at home to check the definition but; I was thinking of the definition in our state regs and I have always applied the term system to a installed system including a FACP. Generally residential Smoke Detectors do not include auxiliary eq such as you described. Not that they could’t.


Fire warning system" means an inherently power-limited system of wires, conduits, apparatus, devices, fixtures or other appliances installed and interconnected electrically or electronically for the detection of heat, smoke, or products of combustion, or for the transmission of signals or audible alarms.

I'm not sure this is a quote from 72 or not but this language did influence my previous post

Charlie


Originally Posted By: Greg Fretwell
This post was automatically imported from our archived forum.



As soon as you hook up the alarm wire on smoke detectors they are interconnected electrically and meet that definition.


Originally Posted By: Charles Palmieri
This post was automatically imported from our archived forum.



Good morning Greg


I'm at home again today and this subject is interesting. Frankly I see several incidents per year where this subject raises issue. So in a non confrontational manner,

[Since most line powered smoke detectors have "system" capability, why wouldn't 760 apply]
Regarding so called hard wired smokes with out other detection eq connected,

How do you perceive this to apply with 760.21 of the 05 NEC??[/quote]

I found the following paqragraph onthe UL Web Site the URL is at the bottom, the Author is Mark Ode.

The second basic method of fire protection in a dwelling involves the installation of single- or multiple-station alarm devices (smoke or heat alarms) not incorporated into a fire alarm system

http://www.ul.com/regulators/ode/0602.pdf


I see your point but the literature keeps leading back in this direction.


Charlie


Originally Posted By: Greg Fretwell
This post was automatically imported from our archived forum.



NFPA is being bombed with proposals to remove this requirement as we speak and I bet it is gone before we can resolve this discussion. icon_wink.gif


BTW I didn't make up this workaround. It came from an IAEI meeting and 30 inspectors agreed it would work


Originally Posted By: Charles Palmieri
This post was automatically imported from our archived forum.



Greg


If you mean the NFPA is removing the requirements of 210.12 (B) I strongly disagree that that will happen. If you mean the NFPA is going to alter 210.3 regarding the size of branch circuits I have a hard time thinking that will happen either. Just my opinion!!


I attend IAEI meetings also and I am aware that there are consensus of opinion regarding language in the NEC. Unless the governing body recognizes the chapter of the IA as the interpreting arm I do not see how they carry any weight.

I have no experience with FLA. Laws. How does that state handle such things??Please explain.

In Mass. We have an appeals process and an interpretation committee. Our State Reg would recognize official opinions from these bodies.

Other than that I guess a letter to the Chair of CMP2 is in order.


Originally Posted By: Greg Fretwell
This post was automatically imported from our archived forum.



I bet the NFPA does come up with some way to get bedroom smokes off the AFCI even if it is a subtle change. It may take a couple deaths to do it tho. The contention that the battery backup is sufficient is ridiculous. Most folks don’t know there is a battery in there. They work fine with a dead/missing battery until the power goes out. (do you look at the battery on the final?)


If the homeowner is away when the battery dies they won’t hear it chirping.


There are also plenty of 120v detectors out there that don’t have a battery. I saw a Kidde 1235K the other day at Lowes. These are simply plugins so well within the homeowner’s skill level


Florida is on the 2002 NEC unaltered but AHJs still take broad liberties with "intrepretation"


Originally Posted By: Greg Fretwell
This post was automatically imported from our archived forum.



http://www.wellspent.org/Product?p=47468


Still being sold by Kidde, no battery


Originally Posted By: Charles Palmieri
This post was automatically imported from our archived forum.



Smoke detectors actually get two inspections in most municipalities in our State. The wiring insp generally checks for Code compliant wiring and installation. That includes the device for nrtl and other qualifiers. (yes batteries). The Certificate of Occupancy requires the FD to conduct performance test and sign off.


I'm sure things are missed but the process is there and massaged.


Originally Posted By: Greg Fretwell
This post was automatically imported from our archived forum.



Even if the original instaler did use the 1275 wth the battery, there is nothing to prevent the homeowner from replacing it with the 1235. As I said, it is a plug in. Without the standard that requires battery backup on all currently being sold (clearly not the case) you have created a hazard. It really boils down to the "alarm installer’s relief act of 2002 since you agree, if this is part of a central alarm system 760 applies. I can see the marketing pitch now “get your smoke detectors off the AFCI, sign up to ADT”


Originally Posted By: roconnor
This post was automatically imported from our archived forum.



I agree with Greg’s suggested work around using the 10A circuit for the single/multiple station smoke alarms. May be a little bit of a stretch, but works in my book.


I have also been seeing a lot of residential fire alarm panel (FAP) installs around my neck of the woods, with low voltage wiring to the individual devices. The only problem with the typical residential FAP is the typical plug connected transformer for the panel ... which IMO is not "hardwired". Ends up on the final punchlist often ... ![icon_wink.gif](upload://ssT9V5t45yjlgXqiFRXL04eXtqw.gif)


--
Robert O'Connor, PE
Eagle Engineering ?
Eagle Eye Inspections ?
NACHI Education Committee

I am absolutely amazed sometimes by how much thought goes into doing things wrong

Originally Posted By: Charles Palmieri
This post was automatically imported from our archived forum.



A FACP does not require AFCI see 760.21 and 41.


Multiple outlet branch circuits (other than individual) protected at 10A would violate 210.3

Charlie


Originally Posted By: roconnor
This post was automatically imported from our archived forum.



Charles Palmieri wrote:
Multiple outlet branch circuits (other than individual) protected at 10A would violate 210.3

I believe the work-around under the 2002 NEC is 210.2 which takes you to 760.23 for the 10A protected circuits to wire the interconnected smoke alarms as a "fire alarm system", since more specific Article 760 provisions would supersede the general Article 210 provisions. Greg can probably double check me on that work-around.

But I think it's a moot point for HI's who can use current model codes as a "guide", and I understand that the 2005 NEC section 760.21 includes a change to actually prohibit systems like the interconnected smoke alarm circuits from having GFCI or AFCI protection.

See ROP 3-236 which amended the 760.21 provisions to prohibit GFCI/AFCI protection for those interconnected smoke alarm circuits, about half way down on the following link (caution, big file!) ... CLICK HERE ... some interesting comments/points there too. And maybe someone with a 2005 NEC can verify thats actually how the current model code reads ... ![icon_wink.gif](upload://ssT9V5t45yjlgXqiFRXL04eXtqw.gif)


--
Robert O'Connor, PE
Eagle Engineering ?
Eagle Eye Inspections ?
NACHI Education Committee

I am absolutely amazed sometimes by how much thought goes into doing things wrong

Originally Posted By: jtedesco
This post was automatically imported from our archived forum.



Quote:
760.21 NPLFA Circuit Power Source Requirements.

The power source of non?power-limited fire alarm circuits
shall comply with Chapters 1 through 4, and the output
voltage shall not be more than 600 volts, nominal.

These,circuits shall not be supplied through ground-fault circuit
interrupters or arc-fault circuit interrupters.

FPN: See 210.8(A)(5), Exception No. 3, for receptacles in
dwelling-unit unfinished basements that supply power for
fire alarm systems.



--
Joe Tedesco, NEC Consultant

www.nachi.org/tedescobook.htm

Originally Posted By: roconnor
This post was automatically imported from our archived forum.



Thanks Joe … that was my understanding of the new 2005 NEC provisions and what was in the ROP … icon_wink.gif


Now for the real sticky question. As an HI do ya write up possible concerns with smoke alarm circuits recently installed with AFCI protection, considering the current model code provisions ...


--
Robert O'Connor, PE
Eagle Engineering ?
Eagle Eye Inspections ?
NACHI Education Committee

I am absolutely amazed sometimes by how much thought goes into doing things wrong

Originally Posted By: Charles Palmieri
This post was automatically imported from our archived forum.



Article 760.21 and 41 only apply to Fire Alarm Systems.


Multiple Station Smokes do not constitute a FA System

Charlie


Originally Posted By: roconnor
This post was automatically imported from our archived forum.



Charlie … ROP 3-236 concerning 760.21 mentions Article 210 as under a separate CMP, but talks about primarily eliminating GFCI/AFCI protection for smoke alarm bedroom circuits, which they accepted. Seemed like the intent was clear, but do the committees not agree on eliminating AFCI on smoke alarm circuits?



Robert O’Connor, PE


Eagle Engineering ?


Eagle Eye Inspections ?


NACHI Education Committee


I am absolutely amazed sometimes by how much thought goes into doing things wrong