ongoing AFCI debate

Inspected a home the other day, Master suite, AFCI turns off every outlet in the bedroom, all lights in the bedroom, closets, and bath. but the GFCI’s at the sinks in the bath were still on. Any thoughts to this long standing debate.

Not a problem.

AFCI protection is required at outlets of bedrooms only. The bathroom has its own requirements including dedicated, GFCI protected circuits. Having AFCI protection on additional circuits is okay, although not required.

Outlets in bedroom include lights and smoke detector circuit but most houses are not wired this way.

Did a home (2 years old) in which the AFCI did not function either at panel or in bedroom with SureTest. When I pulled the panel here is what I found. Oops! How did I forget that?

Does that pink tag say “faulty AFCI?”

Be careful when testing AFCI circuit with the Suretest tester.
There are some complications with that unit and it is not 100% accurate, which really means " when is it accurate?"

The UL website says the best way to test the AFCI circuit breaker is to use the test button that is on the circuit breaker itself. Until further info from UL, that is how I would test AFCIs for now.

Yeah, I had put that on prior to opening up the panel. I often tag things and take a photo so I have a record of what items I found discrepancies with. I later removed it due to finding the reason it didn’t work. I did not only test it with the SureTest, I always check it with the built in test as well. I have also heard there have some problems with the SureTest regarding AFCIs. I have never experienced it but I am aware of it.

Jeff, this is one large room no doorway seperating the sleeping area from bath area, also only one way into this room.

It depends on where/how circuits were run. This has been posted before, but it makes things very clear.



Smoke detectors are wired together (with battery backup) so if one goes off they all go off. Does this mean they are on their own AFCI circuit?

Okay I think that’s true after looking at Jeff’s picture again.

  1. You really can’t test AFCIs in an occupied house anyway unless you’re prepared to turn off Granny’s iron lung.

  2. Unlike Doug’s photo, I never stick my fingers inside a panel box for any reason. It’s a rule I live by.

Only on rare occasions do I venture my digits into a panel and this one was a very clean, neat and picture of professionalism with that one exception. I have been certified for Residential Electrical Wiring and take ordinary safety precautions. I had to touch the wire anyhow since once I removed the cover the bitter end of the wire popped out and was hanging over the bottom edge. I couldn’t hardly leave it that way. By all means if you are not comfortable working around electricity then do not do anything that would compromise you. I respect it but I am also very comfortable around it.

I don’t test AFCI circuits for two reasons: (1) They are in the electric panel and I don’t stick my fingers in the electric panel, (2) I’m not prepared to run around, first, to see what interesting items might be in all those the bedrooms, and second, to reset/reprogram those interesting items in all those bedrooms.

I simply include a lot of information about AFCIs in my report. Note that if you see an AFCI with a blue test button, you should report it as a possible recall. I believe that all recalled AFCI breakers have blue test buttons, but not all AFCIs with blue test buttons have been recalled.

for the record this was new construction,unoccupied, but my main point was that this a single room master suite, primarily the bedroom(no doors seperating the bath area). which goes back to the old debate, is a closet part of the bedroom, well if this suite is all one room then the outlets at the sink should have gone off with the AFCI.
Just a thought.

Even if you’re thinking was right, they would require their own AFCI breaker as they must be dedicated to the bathroom(s) only.