Faulty AFCI ?

I did an inspection yesterday on a condo that is less than 1 year old. One AFCI breaker in one bedroom trips when the owner uses a vacuum sweeper. She said it doesn’t happen every time. I’m calling for review. Anyone had this issue? What causes this? Faulty breaker? Thanks, Stan

Does the same thing happen when she uses the vacuum in another protected bedroom? If so, the breaker is probably not faulty; otherwise it may be.

That room only.

Allegedly, these breakers are intelligent to discern between an arc and the arcs internal to an electric motor.

Maybe this particular breaker was absent on the day this was taught…:wink:

In that case, I would report that the breaker appeared to be faulty.

Defer this to a vacuum salesman next time he comes-a-knocking!

It is entirely possible the AFCI is Functioning as intended…:smiley:

In my area, typically all bedrooms are on the same afci breaker. If the problem happens in one bedroom, it should happen in all bedrooms. Were the bedrooms on sererate afci, or combined? Is it the same outlet everytime, or all outlets in the room? If only the one outlet, guess where the problem is.

… and all others are kaput! :wink:

You could have a loose connection from something like backstabbing wires into the plug that is arcing in that bedroom which may be downstream from other bedrooms or on a completely different AFCI.


Ya, I never cared for backstabbers…:cool:

This note goes in every report I do that has AFCI’s.

   ***NOTE: *** Certain electronic-equipped appliances, including Kenmore, Panasonic and Miele vacuum cleaners, can exhibit start-up characteristics which the arc fault circuit interrupter recognizes as an electrical arc.  When this happens the AFCI believes it is sensing a hazardous condition, even though there is no hazardous condition, and the breaker trips.  The easiest solution is to use a high quality 16 gauge extension cord plugged into an outlet outside of the bedroom.  


Geez - that would suck!:roll:

Mark, Have a link to where this info is provided?

This stuff used to happen with older model AFCI breakers so it may need to be upgraded

Try this. I’m having trouble opening.



Mark ,I have a feeling the info may be outdated.

The info appears to be secured away from the pubic. When I researched this about 3 years ago 2 local developments were plagued with the vacuum cleaner tripping of the square d breakers. The info was readily available at that time.


maybe this will help inspectors and clients understand causes and cures