Exterior AFCI

Just wondering if an AFCI outlet is allowed on an exterior outlet?

Why not?

Hi to all,

I can think of several reasons, as an AFCI does not detect ground faults at the same low levels that a GFCI does. Are you sure it was an AFCI??

sounds wrong



An exterior receptacle should be GFCI protected, you’re right Gerry, but that doesn’t mean that it can’t be AFCI protected as well.

I know of nothing that would prohibit AFCI protection at exterior receptacles/outlets, hence my question - “why not?”

The homeowner added an exterior outlet to operate a small sprinkler system by tying into a bedroom circuit that was protected by a AFCI breaker. The rest of the exterior outlets were GFCI protected. This is the first time I have run into this and was wondering if it is allowed.

Needs to be GFCI protected also

Having AFCI protection is not an issue. The absence of GFCI protection IS an issue.

Bear in mind some AFCIs also have 5ma GFCI protection so you almost need the manufacturer spec to answer the question.

Hi Jeff, I knew what you were getting at, but it left a “floating” incomplete answer :wink:



Hi Greg, I know you’re right, and that over the next few years the 2 technologies will be combined, but as of right now it is unlikely that an AFCI would be offering the full protection of a GFCI.

BTW, if an AFCI were acting as a GFCI shouldn’t it be labled as such on the receptacle??



Cutler Hammer has the BR-*vcc-*AFGF line that is an AFCI with 5ma protection

vcc= voltage/current.
BR-115-AFGF is 120v 15a, BR-220-AFGF is 240v 20a.

Greg, yes that correct with the BR series breakers and also the CH as well.

but right now i heard but not confirmed yet until i see in print the other manufacters are working on the combation verison of both GFCI / AFCI and i think they will relase it after the first of the year after jan 08 ] by that time we should able know more info.

Merci, Marc

Overkill perhaps… but not an issue then?

5 Nov 07 013.jpg


Maybe I missed it but did the exterior outlet trip when you tested the GFCI function?

The exteriors were labeled GFI’s tied to the local GFCI in the garage, they all tripped fine…

The bedrooms were all AFCI protected as was the individual circuit labeled ‘Smoke Detectors’ - overkill…

It may be overkill in your mind, but Delaware is one location that REQUIRES the dedicated circuit for the smokes.

The dedicated circuit for Smoke Detectors is not overkill… the AFCI there is…:wink:




Good depiction and explanation, but here (I’ve heard it said because the wiring is in the ceiling, not the walls of the bedrooms) the Smoke Detectors do not have to be…

I see the labeled individual CB for them nearly everyday, and only a handful have been AFCI protected in the panel board…:eek:

The code specifies outlets in the bedroom, not outlets in the bedroom walls. Hardwired smoke detectors are outlets in a bedroom.

Outlets in the bedroom would also include installed lighting fixtures and/or ceiling fans.