Arc-Fault breaker

I recently wired a bedroom addition which is being fed from an arc-fault breaker (square d). The breaker trips every three of four days. Checked all connections made sure they were tight. Checked to see if any neutrals were in contact with a ground or box (apparently that will make an arc-fault trip intermittently).
Called Schnieder electric to find out if breaker was faulty it wasn’t (was a recall for breakers back in 2004) they didn’t have any suggestions. Finally changed breaker. Still trips. I am wondering if this remote control skylight window that opens and has a blind inside of the window has anything to do with it. It has a transformer inside of it.
As well there is a ceiling fan that is remote control. Would the frequencies from these controllers set it off even when they are not operating. The arc-fault has tripped in the middle of the night twice know with nothing on. Just wondering if anybody had any suggestions. Thanks in advance for your help.

I would try to isolate the problem. Disconnect half the circuit at the midway receptacle and see if it trips if it doesn’t trip you will know its after the disconnected receptacle If it does trip its before. Then keep doing the same thing until you isolate the area. If had to guess I would think a damaged wire such as a staple driven to hard. Just a guess.

Could very well be a problem in the WALL that you can’t see as that is the reason for the expanded growth of the AFCI technology. If you have tried multiple AFCI’s and still have the problem then I can say without a doubt it is either in your wiring or problem in the wall and not the AFCI breaker.

If you happen to own a SureTest their are thing you can do to see if you are having an issue. Since it is your property and afforded the time to check it I guess I would say remove your devices and leave the luminaries…see if that solves it then you narrow it to the receptacles…if they still trip remove on luminaire at a time and see if that solves it…

Yes…Case to neutral connections in boxes will cause the AFCI to trip but usually much faster than HOURS…at all else contact a local electrician to come and do some trouble shooting.

Paul, I’m curious…

Our local AHJ says that luminaires or ceiling fans cannot be wired into the AFCIs. Therefore, only the receptacles. They claim the fans cause them to trip. Any truth to that?

Your AHJ is disregarding the NEC and voiding the entire reason for AFCIs.

I agree with Joe’s opinion here. The NEC says the following ( 2005 NEC Version )

[FONT=Times-Bold][size=2]**(B) Dwelling Unit Bedrooms. **
All 120-volt, single phase, 15- and 20-ampere branch circuits supplying outlets installedin dwelling unit bedrooms shall be protected by a
listed arc-fault circuit interrupter, combination type installed
to provide protection of the branch circuit.
Branch/feeder AFCIs shall be permitted to be used to
meet the requirements of 210.12(B) until January 1, 2008.

Definition of outlets:


**A point on the wiring system at which current is
taken to supply utilization equipment.

Definition of utilization equipment :

**[FONT=Times-Bold][size=2]Utilization Equipment.

**Equipment that utilizes electric
energy for electronic, electromechanical, chemical, heating,
lighting, or similar purposes.

So…clearly the local AHJ is incorrect an ruling on their own beliefs. I believe quite a few AHJ’s believe this and I happen to disagree with them as to me one life possibly saves is very important.

While their is a history of some AFCI’s having issues on some motor loads, I dont believe it is wide spread and usually has some underlining issue to which is always blamed on something…fact is AFCI’s are better today than they are just a year ago.

I encourage those AHJ’s who know of the known issues of maybe a certain fan or product to contact the manufacturers like eaton or schneider so they can add the waveform issue into the programing…but it does not discount the value of AFCI’s.

Thank you for the input. I will start isolating devices and see what happens.


If the AFCI trips, it did its job. It can often be unclear to the lay person what the reason was. A megohm meter normally makes short work of rooting out the trouble.

Here’s some info…
Which then links to…


Replaced with new afci breaker hasn’t tripped for 5 days now.

So I guess it was the breaker all along.