ARC Fault Breakers

I inspected a manufactured home this morning built in 2006. I saw no ARC fault breakers in either panel for the bedrooms. Also, the sub panel was not clearly marked as to which breakers control which rooms pertaining to any of the bedrooms. ARC Faults are required for the bedrooms, right?

Suggest ARC Fault breakers for bedrooms.JPG

Suggest ARC Fault breakers for bedrooms.JPG

Did any of the bedrooms have one of these?

According to Mike Holt the NEC requires the “AFCI protection device to de-energize the circuit and protect the entire circuit from an arc fault. The only device that can de-energize the circuit when an arc fault is detected is the AFCI circuit breaker. AFCI receptacles of the type listed to detect upstream series arc faults will not de-energize the circuit from parallel type arcing faults that may occur upstream of the device. Therefor they cannot be used to meet the NEC requirement of 210.12. (graphic)”

I’ve seen Manufactured Homes with only recepticle type AFCI’s Installed, without mentioning code or the NEC, I say that im my opinion this is installation does not conform to standard intallation procedures and does not de-energize the complete circuit which could still present a hazard. I recommend that a licensed electrician evaluate the system and possibly install AFCI Circuit Breakers.

It’s a difficult argument to make sometimes, the Manufacutred HOme was supposedly Inspected by HUD Inspectors, and there is almost always a sticker on the main panel that some “inspector” has signed off on.

Nothing like that in any of the bedrooms.

Isn’t the bottom right breaker in your picture a AFCI? What’s the white button?

Look at the breaker on the right…

Also notice all the “stickers” on the inside of the cover door, looks like even the plumber signed off there.

The only way this could have legally avoided AFCIs is if it was permitted before the unified Florida building code was adopted. (sometime in 2002 as I recall). Prior to that local AHJs could pretty much do what they liked. AFCIs were in the 1999 NEC to be required after 1/1/2002.

My guess, the AFCI was removed because it tripped a lot. That is very common with the original AFCIs. I don’t know if the device got better or the electricians got better about shorting neutrals in ceiling boxes, where this usually happens. That is the major source of the “fans trip AFCIs” legend.

At this time HUD doesn’t require AFCI breakers in the bed rooms in manufactured homes, it is up to the manufacture at this time if AFCI breakers are installed. The breaker in the panel box looks like a GFCI for the tub in the master bath room. I have inspected several new (built in the last 60 days) manufactured homes in the last 2 weeks that didn’t have AFCI breakers or outlets. I have contracts with several companies that manufacture these homes to do inspections.

The breaker at the bottom is a GFCI for the outdoor outlets. I called no ARC Fault for the bedrooms. My suggestion was to look into the matter because:

2002 NEC (National Electrical Code) 210.12(A) Arc Fault Circuit Interrupter Protection (A) Definition. An arc-fault circuit interrupter is a device intended to provide protection from the effects of arc faults by recognizing characteristics unique to arcing and by functioning to de-energize the circuit when an arc fault is detected.
(B) Dwelling Unit Bedrooms. All branch circuits that supply 125-volt, single-phase, 15- and 20-ampere outlets in stalled in dwelling unit bedrooms shall be protected by an arc-fault circuit interrupter listed to provide protection of the entire branch circuit.
210.12 Arc Fault Circuit Interrupter Protection
(A) Definition. Arc Fault Circuit Interrupters are defined in 210.12(A)
(B) Bedrooms of Mobile Homes and Manufactured Homes. All branch circuits that supply 125-volt, single-phase, 15-and 20-ampere outlets installed in bedrooms of mobile homes and manufactured homes shall be protected by arc-fault circuit interrupter(s).

I noted that I am not a code inspector or a licensed electrician but thought the matter needed to be further evaluated by one of the two.

Manufactured homes (trailers, etc) do not come under local AHJ codes, but under HUD codes.

That is not so say that you shouldn’t recommend that AFCIs be installed.

If this is titled as an RV it doesn’t need to meet the Florida building code (travel trailers etc) but if it is a manufactured home or a park model it needs to be building code compliant since Charlie, just to get a permit to set one.

That has made most “trailers” impossible to get permitted. If it is sitting there it is OK but you can’t move it. A new one needs full compliance. Very few meet the grade. The FBC far exceeds the HUD rules.