Circuit Tester Tripping An AFCI

I did a practice inspection today on a 2005 townhouse with a Cutler Hammer electrical panel. In one of the bedrooms the AFCI circuit would trip when I plugged my circuit tester(green one) into it. The yellow tester did not trip the circuit though. Could that be a bad breaker or was my cheap tester causing it to trip? Also two of the other AFCIs did not trip when using the test button on the breaker. Thanks.

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The directions for testing a GFCI is to use the test button on the plug.
Some tester’s do and some do not trip the GFCI.

This was an AFCI circuit I was not pressing the GFCI test button. When I plugged the tester into the receptacle it was tripping the breaker.

Ken, I have the same tester and it does the same thing with that particular brand of AFCI breakers. The first time it happened I didn’t know what was going on until I got to the main panel. Its kind of a pain because you trip the AFCI then have to go reset it and then use another tester. I need to modify my routine to check for those breakers first. Other then that I like the tester.

It’s the tester. I have the same one and get the same reaction.

Thanks guys that was what I suspected.

These tester put current on the EGC, if it is above a dozen milliamps it will trip the AFCI as most of them have 30ma GFP.

Ok so it is because it is the ground analyzer type of tester.


This is why I carry three different brands of testers. If one acts up, I switch it out for another. Only once have all three had the same issue at the same time.

My next trip to Home Depot I’m going to buy one of the good Klein outlet testers.:wink:

Kenneth, may I please use that photo of the green tester for an InterNACHI course?

Yes you may. No charge for the grease under my fingernails.:slight_smile: