AFCI Requirements

I am looking for information concerning the requirements for AFCI’S in homes. I do know that it is a requirement for new construction, but what if a homeowner is wanting to install? Also, are these similar to GFCI’S? Can you or do they make arc fault switches for residential and commercial? If anyone has any information it would be greatly appreciated.

jeff bowman

Arc fault switches? You mean arc fault receptacles? These are still in development, as far as I know. There there are both single pole and double pole (for multi-wire branch circuits) on the market for consumers that desire whole-house AFCI protection. I’ve sold 8 of these jobs since the technology entered the market.

Any added circuits to a dwelling bedroom would be required to be AFCI protected, regardless of who installs it. This gets overlooked much of the time. For instance, if someone wants a ceiling fan in a 1950 house (bedroom) where no ceiling wiring was ever installed, and a new circuit is pulled in, the new circuit is required to be AFCI protected. Since it is not permissable to extend a two wire circuit, any wiring additions to bedrooms in older homes with 2 wire circuits would require a new AFCI protected circuit to be compliant.

AFCI Facts and info.

great info - thanks for the post! :slight_smile:

if I read this info correct, the AFCI need to be grandfathered into existing homes or are they only required on new dwellings?

If you upgrade existing electric in an older home, you must adhere to the NEC and provide an AFCI breaker for all bedrooms…

Just wait till the NEC 2008 comes out, AFCI’s will be required in ALL HABITABLE SPACES


AFCI’s are required in all newly constructed homes built after 2002.

No, these are not grandfathered into existing homes.

Don’t forget about the recall of the Square D AFCI