The home i inspected today had three AFCI’s in the panel, I noticed when I tripped them that they were quite warm. I used my infrared thermo to see how warm they were, the top one read 108, the middle 112, and the bottom 106. Should they be this warm when the home is vacant?
Some brands run warmer than others even with no load, usually the top one is the warmest if they are stacked vertically. If they test ok you can’t really say those temps are unusual unless you have some data.
They are fine.
Bruce, Thanks for the quick reply, they did work fine, it just surprised me at how warm they were.
AFCI’s can reach temps 15-20 degrees higher than a normal breaker. In Arizona since the ambient temps are higher you might get higher readings than lets say the ambient in new york for example. however, while the range may vary the results will be generally the same.
Whenever a breaker (or other electrical device) contains active circuitry, some heat rejection should be expected. In this case, the electronics that are monitoring the voltage and current waveforms require power to operate. Since this power comes from the 120 v supply of the breaker itself, it has to be stepped down. That activity, as well as those of other circuit components, reject heat much like the heat generated by a desktop computer. So yes, they will operate hotter than a more passive breaker (or even a gfci) but are designed to operate safely under relatively high ambient conditions.
Do you guys ever have trouble resetting them? I’ve had some that need what seems like a little “cool down time” after doing the test button…they always eventually reset but some just take a few tries.
Never had a problem so far - but haven’t seen a lot of them around here yet (or haven’t inspected enough newer homes)
One brand, forget right now, has a rocker type test switch that gets stuck to one side, you might not notice it and after pushing on the lever a few times trying to reset, it will pop back in place and presto it works again!