AFCI question

I looked over the message board and AFCI usage states: 15 and 20 branch circuts for outlets. Are AFCI breakers also mandatory for cieling fans?

Picture aid…

We have a county here in SC (Lancaster county) that does not allow bedroom smoke detectors on AFCI circuits. Another one (Richland county) does not require AFCI’s at all.

Of course, this could all change tomorrow… which is why we are not required to keep up with the whims of AHJ’s.

Yes! Outlets aren’t what you might think. Outlets is not the same as “receptacles”. There are lighting outlets, receptacle outlets, etc. Any place that power is used is considered an “outlet”, not just receptacles. In short, if it’s powered at 120 volts, and protected by a 15 or 20 amp breaker, it gets AFCI’d in the bedroom. As the '08 becomes adopted, that requirement spreads to many other areas of the home.

Very nice pic, and great info Marc!! Thanks!

Never thought of the difference between the two words before.
I will remember that,

The graphic shows “switch outlet”, which is technically incorrect in many cases. A switch is only an outlet if it’s a lighted switch or a timer switch or similar type of switch that actually uses electricity. A regular snap switch is not an outlet, and is not required to be AFCI protected. That said, if that switch is controlling a load within the bedroom, it probably will be AFCI protected anyhow. Switches in the bedroom that control items outside the bedroom, such as an exterior light on a master bedroom deck for instance, are not required to be AFCI protected unless that switch actually consumes electric by some means. As the 2008 gets adopted more and more, it will be a moot point, since most of the home will have an AFCI protection requirement.

I hope someone at NACHI is preparing some educational material regarding the 2008 AFCI requirements, since I know many of you do draw inspections and new home inspections. These new requirements can be a little confusing, with regard to which areas require AFCI protection and which don’t. Just a head’s up to whoever controls the educational end of things.

Up here in the great white north, they are only required on bedroom receptacles.