AFCI

Originally Posted By: dfrend
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The NACHI Safe House Campaign recognizes the usefullness of AFCI’s and would like all inspectors to read the following material. Thanks to Walter Smittle for this info.


http://www.firemarshals.org/issues/home/home_pdf/electrical_pdf/sections_1_thru_4.pdf


--
Daniel R Frend
www.nachifoundation.org
The Home Inspector Store
www.homeinspectorstore.com

Originally Posted By: dfrend
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Quote:
According to the National Fire Protection Association and National Fire Incident Reporting System data, during the five-year period from 1994-1998, there were an average of 73,500 total electrical fires annually, which were responsible for 591 deaths, 2,247 injuries, and property damage totaling $1,047,900,000.1 The electrical problems that lead to these fires went undetected by conventional circuit breakers. Of these 73,500 electrical fires, 60,900 or 82% were caused by arcing and not by overloads or short circuits.

Additionally, the US Consumer Product Safety Commission technical staff, after conducting a great deal of independent research on AFCIs, estimates that 50-75% of residential electrical fires can be prevented by employing AFCI technology. 2That means that of the 73,500 electrical fires annually, AFCIs could potentially prevent 55,125 fires and save more than 440 lives, 1,685 injuries, and $785,925,000 in property damage, when AFCIs work their way into electrical codes for installation throughout the house.



--
Daniel R Frend
www.nachifoundation.org
The Home Inspector Store
www.homeinspectorstore.com

Originally Posted By: dfrend
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From CPSC


Quote:
The 1999 edition of the National Electrical Code, the model code for electrical wiring
adopted by many local jurisdictions, requires AFCIs for receptacle outlets in bedrooms,
effective January 1, 2002. Although the requirement is limited to only certain circuits in
new residential construction, AFCIs should be considered for added protection in other
circuits and for existing homes as well. Older homes with aging and deteriorating wiring
systems can especially benefit from the added protection of AFCIs. AFCIs should also
be considered whenever adding or upgrading a panel box while using existing branch
circuit conductors.



--
Daniel R Frend
www.nachifoundation.org
The Home Inspector Store
www.homeinspectorstore.com

Originally Posted By: Mike Parks
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Daniel


Good info. But---

"Additionally, the US Consumer Product Safety Commission technical staff, after conducting a great deal of independent research on AFCIs, estimates that 50-75% of residential electrical fires can be prevented by employing AFCI technology. 2That means that of the 73,500 electrical fires annually, AFCIs could potentially prevent 55,125 fires and save more than 440 lives, 1,685 injuries, and $785,925,000 in property damage, when AFCIs work their way into electrical codes for installation throughout the house."

I think this is BS. Most of the older application to which they are referring can not use, or have applied, AFCI protection. (I mean it, the AFCI's, will not work.)

Mike P.


Originally Posted By: jpeck
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Mike Parks wrote:
I think this is BS. Most of the older application to which they are referring can not use, or have applied, AFCI protection. (I mean it, the AFCI's, will not work.)

Mike P.


Mike,

Please explain the WHY they will not work on older systems.


--
Jerry Peck
South Florida

Originally Posted By: dfrend
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Yes, enlighten us.



Daniel R Frend


www.nachifoundation.org


The Home Inspector Store


www.homeinspectorstore.com

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



Quote:
To approach this matter in a fair and objective fashion, we contacted the three organizations on record against AFCIs: the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) and two consultancies, Bernard Schwartz (who represents a group called the National Multi Housing Council) and Mike Holt, of Mike Holt Enterprises, Inc.


Quote:
Their concerns may be summarized as follows: AFCIs are unneeded, cost too much, are not yet available and do not work. In addition to seeking elaboration from NAHB, Schwartz and Holt, the Consumer Product Fire Safety Task Force conducted four separate inquiries, all of which are described in greater detail over the following pages.


Quote:
The overall conclusion we draw from this work is that AFCIs are the most promising fire protection technology since the advent of the smoke detector. The criticisms that have been raised are unsupported by the facts, and appear to be little more than yet another campaign to place the economics of housing above the safety of American families.


Quote:
I also would ask that the Science Advisory Committee (SAC) concern itself with claims that arc fault circuit interrupters do not work. Given the sophistication of electrical code officials, one criticism of AFCIs surprises me. Reportedly, code officials are being told that AFCIs do not address all types of arcing. One would hope not ? a standard electrical switch is a series arc and poses no harm.
3
I am sure that no one knowledgeable in electrical engineering would make this claim. It is my understanding that AFCIs are designed to detect only the harmful types of arcs that could lead to a fire. Please give this matter your immediate attention. I would like a report by June 10. My fear is that code officials are being misled at a time when adoption of the code is in full swing in several states. If either of you sense that inaccurate information is being intentionally dist



If you can tell me specifically, what your concern with them is. I will address it. Fact is, these have been studied, researched and tested thouroughly. The tests find them as a significant safety device, and The NACHI Safe House Campaign endorses the use of them. Every time there is new technology, industry is slow to embrace it. Face it, people do not like change.


--
Daniel R Frend
www.nachifoundation.org
The Home Inspector Store
www.homeinspectorstore.com

Originally Posted By: Mike Parks
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Jerry


1 AFCI breakers are not avalible for all panels.

2 If you have a split-feed, multi-feed circuit.

3 Share nuetrals, paralleled conductors. A code violation. Fixable.

I mainly do not the blank statement that these would prevent xxx.

I like AFCI's.

Correcting the wiring violations would prevent these fires.

Remember when the Government blew insulation in older homes for poor people? Many of these homes had K&T wiring.

Mike P.


Originally Posted By: dfrend
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Like I said, I will address your questions. I am waiting on replies from several people, but have passed on your questions. I will point out, that nobody is claiming they will work in all cases. But they are available for most cases, and are recommended. Just like it would cost a lot to update a 100 year old house with HVAC, the same would be true for electrical upgrades. But for most, semi modern houses, this technology is readily available.


I do not remember all of the manufacturers(the presentation I will share has it) but most panel makers have them.

Quote:
Correcting the wiring violations would prevent these fires.


It is this attitude that is dangerous.

Not a fully true statement. What are arc faults? Are they always caused by wireing violations? If it is from a violation, Is tere always a way to even SEE the violation?

Take this scenario: A person drives a nail into their wall and catches the wire slightly. Obviouslly, unless they caused it right then, they can't SEE the wire. They go to sleep and the fault occurs. A. the AFCI catches it and the fire is prevented B. they find out about it from the smoke alarm and hopefully have time to get out.

Besides, what is the cost to fix "wiring violations". If you cannot see them, they could be everywhere. So is a homeowner more likely to have the funds to update the panel or run all new wires?


--
Daniel R Frend
www.nachifoundation.org
The Home Inspector Store
www.homeinspectorstore.com

Originally Posted By: Mike Parks
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“It is this attitude that is dangerous.”


What is more dangerous is unqualified individuals inspecting electrical systems.

From necdigest spring 2004:
"In some respects, just by making a casual observation of older houses, you can understand why these fires are continuing to occur."

This (above) statement is directed to electrical professionals.

From NFPA:

"A study done by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission in the mid 1980?s
examined detailed information about electrical equipment residential fires in specific
cities. They found that improper alterations contributed to 37% of the fires; improper
initial installations factored in 20% of the incidents; deterioration due to aging system
components contributed to 17% of the fires; improper use was a factor in 15% of the
incidents; inadequate electrical capacity contributed to another 15%; faulty products were
implicated in 11%, and contributing factors were unknown in 6% of the fires studied.
(Multiple factors were coded in a number of investigations resulting in a total higher than
100%.)*"

Mike P.


Originally Posted By: dfrend
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What does that have to do with getting AFCI’s installed?



Daniel R Frend


www.nachifoundation.org


The Home Inspector Store


www.homeinspectorstore.com

Originally Posted By: Mike Parks
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Nothing.


My point is that AFCI's are not a cure-all.

Mike P.


Originally Posted By: jtedesco
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An AFCI or maybe a GFCI may have helped to keep her young and beautiful!


[ Image: WARNING VERY GRAPHIC! Over 40 Operations Later! ]


--
Joe Tedesco, NEC Consultant

www.nachi.org/tedescobook.htm

Originally Posted By: Bob Badger
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I do not think there are many electricians that do not want AFCIs to be what they claim to be.


But Daniel you are fooling yourself if you do not see the manufactures have exaggerated the abilities of the AFCIs currently available.

Yes a switch is a series arc so there are issues trying to make a device to sense these.

That leaves parallel arcs, very few parallel arcs are line to line, most are line to ground which means a simple GFCI would do that job.

I think the money argument is weak, the cost per home as a % of the electrical total cost is low.

Speaking for myself I do not like installing a device that does not meet the claims of the maker.

Bob


--
Bob (AKA iwire)
ECN Discussion Forums
Mike Holt Code Forum

Originally Posted By: jpeck
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Mike Parks wrote:
Jerry

1 AFCI breakers are not avalible for all panels.

2 If you have a split-feed, multi-feed circuit.

3 Share nuetrals, paralleled conductors. A code violation. Fixable.

I mainly do not the blank statement that these would prevent xxx.

I like AFCI's.

Correcting the wiring violations would prevent these fires.

Remember when the Government blew insulation in older homes for poor people? Many of these homes had K&T wiring.

Mike P.


Mike,

That does not answer this:

Mike Parks wrote:
I think this is BS. Most of the older application to which they are referring can not use, or have applied, AFCI protection. (I mean it, the AFCI's, will not work.)


Perhaps you meant to state the above differently?

Just trying to clarify it (what you meant) for all the readers of this forum.


--
Jerry Peck
South Florida

Originally Posted By: Mike Parks
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Jerry


Thank you for being a diplomat.

My claims are as follows:

1 I like and install AFCI's.

2 Anyone saying that they will stop the majority of fires is fooling the public.

3 Again I like AFCI's.

4 Please read the info from the NFPA, the IAEI, and the CPSC. No where does, or do they say, that an AFCI will prevent fires due to the major causes of fires. That being people mis-using or mis-installing electrical devices or systems.

5 Again I like AFCI's.

The BS to which I referred is that AFCI's will stop 50-75% of the fires.

Jerry knows that my Internet skills are not that good. I would hope that more people would not read more into my posts than I mean. I am short and blunt in my posts because that is how my small brain operates.

Mike P.


Originally Posted By: jtedesco
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After reviewing this video clip, I would like to see some informed and qualified remarks that would either support, or not support the subject discussed by those who are in the video. Personal opinions and individual personal experiences are also appreciated


http://www.joetedesco.com/afci.wmv

I believe that this video is included on the CD along with other material that can be obtained from the National State Fire Marshals Association.

PS: When sitting at my table, I will sincerely appreciate comments that do not include any words, or initials that may be considered offensive by members and guest readers.


--
Joe Tedesco, NEC Consultant

www.nachi.org/tedescobook.htm

Originally Posted By: Mike Parks
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Joe


I support AFCI's.

Jerry

I'll try again.

Due to they way in which some homes are wired it is not possible to put an AFCI on all the circuits. The AFCI will work on all the circuits. The problem is on the circuits I desribed earlier the AFCI will trip and not allow you to reset it without correcting the shared grounded conductors.

Better?

Mike P.


Originally Posted By: dfrend
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Quote:
Speaking for myself I do not like installing a device that does not meet the claims of the maker.


What claims are these?

Mike, I do not know the truth of what you stated, I will let Joe Tedesco comment on that.

The NACHI Safe House Campaign endorses the use of this technology. If you can show any evidence that the CPSC research is flawed, let us know. Are they making research up? This is not a claim of a manufacturer. Also, the experts on what causes fires and what can prevent them are inarguably the State Fire Marshals that investigate the fires and see EVERY fire report. These fires are preventable with technology, and people ARE dying in the preventable fires. People challenged smoke alarms years ago, and now the same is happening here.

I am not, nor is anyone else, saying these will stop all electrical fires(50-75% is not close to all elecrical caused fires).

But:

Quote:
Please read the info from the NFPA, the IAEI, and the CPSC. No where does, or do they say, that an AFCI will prevent fires due to the major causes of fires. That being people mis-using or mis-installing electrical devices or systems.


Major causes? Sorry but you are WRONG. The following quote is from NASFM based on data from NFPA:

Quote:
Did you know that residential electrical fires reported by the National Fire Protection Association causes on the average nearly 73,000 fires every year. These fires are responsible for 591 deaths, 1,400 injuries and over $ 1 billion in property losses. Eighty-three percent (83%) of these electrical fires are caused by electrical arcing.


83% from electrical arcing. They obviously do say that AFCI's will prevent fires from THE LEADING CAUSE of electrical fires.

Quote:
But Daniel you are fooling yourself if you do not see the manufactures have exaggerated the abilities of the AFCIs currently available.


What claims by manufacturers? All of the claims listed have come from the CPSC or NASFM. If you want to argue they are falsifying data, let us see the argument.


--
Daniel R Frend
www.nachifoundation.org
The Home Inspector Store
www.homeinspectorstore.com

Originally Posted By: dfrend
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I am not trying to fight here by the way. The devices are in no way a cure to the problems of fire deaths. But the fact is they do and can save lives and that is the goal of the Safe House Campaign and the reason we endorse them.



Daniel R Frend


www.nachifoundation.org


The Home Inspector Store


www.homeinspectorstore.com