Combo AFCI/GFCI breakers

Just a heads up. I was requested to do a pre move in inspection on a home new in Carlsbad CA. My first “findings” were a complete lack of GFCI receptacle in the kitchens, baths, outdoor, ect, ect. When I opened up the panel, I noted that all the arc fault breakers were combo arc fault/ GFCI beakers made by square D. A call to the city building department confirmed that, at least some California cities are now requiring these combo breakers on pretty much all but small appliance circuits.

With the dead front on the panel, there is no marking on the breaker to indicate GFCI, You need to verfy Combo AFCI/GFCI from the listing label on the breaker body.

I almost looked stupid. Hate looking stupid.

The test buttons on Square D are color coded to function.

I am reading along and then →

#-o I hate it when that happens! Got a picture? Maybe I’ll go to the Square-D site and see if they have one. And I take it “all but small appliance” means kitchens, baths, utility rooms, garage, outside, inside, above, below, in the middle. OK maybe not the last five.

Dual Function Circuit Breakers

I have a burning curiosity question: When you push the test button on a combo breaker does it test the AFCI or GFCI detection mode?

With NEC 2014 all kitchen outlets are required to be AFCI protected. Outlets serving countertops and within 6 feet of water (e.g., below the kitchen sink) must also be GFCI protected (all 120v laundry room outlets must also have both AFCI and GFCI protection) so you will often see combo breakers for those circuits. Get used to seeing panels chocked full of AFCI, GFCI and combo breakers.

Had to adjust my inspection protocol a little bit to include testing of these. The biggest thing I run into is that I keep killing the dishwasher cycle and a lot of them won’t resume on their own when the power comes back on.

So you test the AFCI/GFCI first then. I guess it makes sense to require dual protection. just more combinations to keep your head wrapped around.

I see you are in the Woodlands. I grew up in Spring. Buried cable for WDLS in the Woodlands all Summer in 85 came back to school that next year looking all tanned and buffed that year (no ditch witch allowed). Hell of a lot better than the roofing I did the year before.

You may have been misinformed, so I suggest you look into this a bit further.

AFCI protection is now required in almost all locations within the residence, however, GFCI protection is not required in the general living spaces of the residence.

Many homes are now being built with the dual-function AFCI/GFCI breakers for bathrooms, kitchens, laundry areas, etc., but it’s still acceptable to install AFCI breakers and use GFCI receptacles instead of using the combo’s.

You know something, I just did the 25 standards any home inspector should know. A few months back. And I’m guilty because I certainly knew it then. From my extensive notes:

“All 15- and 20-amp 120-volt circuits for dining rooms, living rooms, bedrooms, sunrooms, closets, hallways, or similar areas must be AFCI-protected”

Love the general rule “Or similar areas” LOL

It takes some amount of repetition for me to remember all the varied rules. Once it is in there though I tend to remember it forever. Too bad things are susceptible to change every three years right?

I may be way out in left field here, but I just finished the Electrical Inspection course and remember noting that ‘combination AFCI’ refers to the fact that it protects against both series and parallel Arc Faults. Of course there are also combination GFCI/AFCI breakers too - but this may be a point of confusion for people who hear ‘combination’ when referring to AFCI breakers.
I just wanted to note that in case anyone wasn’t aware.

Dual function for both AFCI and GFCI. Combo is for series and parallel

I think you mean Dual Function…Not Combination.

Combination AFCI’s are for both Parallel and Series Arcs…Dual Function are AFCI/GFCI Devices

I see a few manufacturer’s call their AFCI/GFCI devices “dual function” is that part of the listing of the device or merely a trade expression? It would be helpful if the labeling that was part of the listing were to make the distinction between combination and dual function to avoid confusion.

To be honest Robert I did not think their was an confusion really. However, I am more than likely wrong on that as it is clear in this thread. I am not aware of anything in UL 1699 that states the term. I do know that is what the originators of the dual device started calling it but I see nothing in UL 1699 or UL 943 that make direct mention of it.

Guess it is not much different than how we say Dual Rated when referring to our THHN/THWN-2 or Triple Rated when we speak of PV/RHH/RHW-2 but again that is just industry slang.

My thought as well given some of the posts in this thread. Not a big deal and more likely it’s just a learning curve. As these devices become more commonplace the correct use of the terminology should follow.