AFCI on older homes

Should you call out the lack of AFCI on a home that is 50+ years?
The Texas SOP does not require it- would like some opinions.


You can mention that they are now used in new homes and will soon become the standard for all outlets and maybe explain why. If someone is to bring their home up to current code (which rarely happens) then they would have to have them installed.


It is not a defect…

No defect, but I always use an advisory statement to the effect that modern standards require them, and why, and just to keep from p***ing the sellers and agents off, I tell clients that the statement is included FYI only, SHOULD they decide they would like to modernize their electrical system.

I always include the following CPSC internet link for additional information regarding improved electrical safety in older homes:

Absolutely! It’s a safety concern. Just like calling out the lack of GFCIs in a home that is 50+ years.

It’s not actually a defect, but is a safety enhancement that can help to save lives and should be mentioned and suggested for added safety in older homes. Testing has proved they can aid in prevention of fires due to arc faults ( both Parallel and Series in newer models )

OK, maybe a stupid question here but I am trying to learn something just the same. Where is the AFCI located? In the panel? And can there be GFCI’s in line with and AFCI???



AFCI’s are in the panel. GFCI’s should work on that circuit also.

AFCI’s will not always work in older homes due to shared neutrals.
They will trip when turned on and fixing the wiring can be very time consuming.

Thanks Bruce for the quick reply.


Ahh…but they make a AFCI that does work with a Shared Neutral…offered by Cutler Hammer…and they also make a version that works in older panels as well…they are UL Classified and approved for other locations other than just Cutler Hammer panels.

Absolutely mention lack of AFCI’s.

Baby needs a new pair of shoes.

In Illinois, we are required to call them out as “significantly deficient”. They meet the state HI’s law definition of “unsafe”.

"Section 1410.200 Standards of Practice

[INDENT]10) Significantly Deficient: Unsafe or not functioning
[/INDENT]**15) Unsafe: A condition in a system or component that is a significant risk of personal injury or property damage during normal, day-to-day use. The risk may be due to damage, deterioration, improper installation or a change in accepted residential construction standards."

I use this this verbiage:

“Current safety standards require AFCI (Arc Fault Circuit Interrupt) protected circuit breakers be used for all branch wiring that services bedroom areas”

Hope this helps;


Dang straight…love the AFCI service calls and the profits they bring.

I added it to my reports in Jan 2006 when the AHJ started recognizing the 2005 NEC.:roll:

You’re not in it for the money, are ya? :mrgreen:

Well…I sure don’t do electrical work for any other reason frankly…just happen to believe in AFCI’s so it’s a win/win either way…:slight_smile:

Any extra money laying around that you don’t need? :mrgreen:

ahh…nope I need it all as I am planning for a EARLY retirement…:slight_smile: