AFCI's tripping. Why.

Originally Posted By: wdecker
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Does anyone have any information on Murry AFCI breakers (20 amp) tripping for no reason.


Has a house, new construction, and I recommended that the bedrooms be AFCI protected. The builder, at first, refused claiming that the code didn't reqgire it (he got the plans approved just under the wire). In any case, the builder finally relented and installed two 20 amp Murry ACFI breakers in the panel (200 amp, 12 guage wire, all looks fine).

The client called me back, about a month after the moved in and complained that the AFCIs tripped, occasionally, and believed the tripping was a result of them, quickly, swithing on and off the light switches for the fron stairway lights. I went over and the client could not get the breakers to trip while I was there.

I checked it out with the shurtest and the breakers tripped all right on test. I checked the panel and found that the AFCI conductor connections wee a little loose and I tightened then down. I then tried to get them to trip by loosening a light bulb in a lamp connected to the outlet and making the light flicker (sometimes causes a trip). No trip.

Any suggestions? Any known defects in Murry 20 amp AFCI breakers?


--
Will Decker
Decker Home Services
Skokie, IL 60076
wjd@DeckerHomeServices.com

Originally Posted By: jpope
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Quote:
I checked the panel and found that the AFCI conductor connections wee a little loose and I tightened then down.


Bad, bad idea. . .


--
Jeff Pope
JPI Home Inspection Service
"At JPI, we'll help you look better"
(661) 212-0738

Originally Posted By: wdecker
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Jeff;


Just trying to help out. I have extensive experience with electrical, but have never seen this problem.

Had a similar problem with another client, also new construction. Called out excessive voltage drop under load (>13% at 12 amps on a 15 amp circuit). Recommended evaluation by electrician. They had 3 sparkys come out. Two said this ain't a problem, one couldn't find any cause. I went out and just tightened the screws holding the conductors to the breakers and buss at the panel. Problem solved.

Sometimes, you have to go the extra mile. Good marketing.


--
Will Decker
Decker Home Services
Skokie, IL 60076
wjd@DeckerHomeServices.com

Originally Posted By: jpope
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. There may very well be a problem with the circuit. I have had two cases where the AFCI would trip when specific switches were turned on. One was a nail (from installation of crown molding) and the other was a bad light fixture.


I only know this because the electricians that made the corrections informed me.

Educate the client and, if need be, the electrician.

Quote:
Sometimes, you have to go the extra mile. Good marketing.


Good marketing? How about misrepresentation?


--
Jeff Pope
JPI Home Inspection Service
"At JPI, we'll help you look better"
(661) 212-0738

Originally Posted By: wdecker
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I do not charge for this.


I do not misrepresent.

Of course, I will always try to get them to hire a sparky first.

The builder just blows them off.


--
Will Decker
Decker Home Services
Skokie, IL 60076
wjd@DeckerHomeServices.com

Originally Posted By: mboyett
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With all the other similar discussions on this board it seems obvious to me that unless I am licensed, certified, authorized or some similar approval from the proper authorities that I would not attempt such ‘help’ either. The risk is enormous! Wow, talk about hanging yourself out. Just doesn’t seem to be worth the liability does it?



Mike Boyett


Capital City Inspections


Austin, Tx


www.capcityinspections.com

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



Yeah, Yeah, Yeah. I understand.


I will just recommend a good electrician, from now on.


--
Will Decker
Decker Home Services
Skokie, IL 60076
wjd@DeckerHomeServices.com

Originally Posted By: lkage
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wdecker wrote:
Just trying to help out. Sometimes, you have to go the extra mile.


Be careful Will. Many have had experience with "no good deed goes unpunished" I'm sorry to say. ![eusa_think.gif](upload://lNFeGuTetUAtwNVgUSOuUzgrGGK.gif)


--
"I have never met a man so ignorant that I couldn't learn something from him."
Galileo Galilei

Originally Posted By: jpope
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wdecker wrote:
I do not misrepresent.


Performing a task that you are not qualified (licensed) to perform, is misrepresentation, and in many states, illegal.

Nothing personal William. You do whatever you feel comfortable doing. I just don't want other inspectors to think this is okay - It's not okay.


--
Jeff Pope
JPI Home Inspection Service
"At JPI, we'll help you look better"
(661) 212-0738

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



wdecker wrote:
Yeah, Yeah, Yeah. I understand.

I will just recommend a good electrician, from now on.
Will, I think we all share your desire to help our clients and I, for one, don't want to seem like I'm trying to bust your chops or anything. I have similar dilemmas all the time and wrestle with how to walk the line appropriately.


--
Mike Boyett
Capital City Inspections
Austin, Tx
www.capcityinspections.com

Originally Posted By: Greg Fretwell
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Certainly there are always other possibilities but a big percentage of false trips on AFCIs can be traced back to that big cludge of white wires under a wirenut in a ceiling box. If there is some incidental contact with a ground due to vibration you will trip the AFCI without actually having an overcurrent situation that would leave some evidence.