QOD for 1/26/07 - AFCI's

Is the following statement True or False?

A proposal was accepted for the 2008 NEC requiring AFCI
protection on all 15- and 20-ampere residential circuits. It appears
that this proposal will survive the entire Code process and will be a
part of the 2008 NEC.

Hint: The answer ends with the letter “e”. :stuck_out_tongue:



Is that for only new residential construction?

I’m fairly confident that it will be inclusive of New Service, extensive remodels, etc.

Please remember that not all jurisdictions will have adopted the updated 2008 NEC. (So this may not be in effect in your area).




Jurisdictions will have to decide if they want to accept this change. As nuisance trips are still an occurance, and with the costs associated with including AFCIs for every circuit will be quite high, we’ll have to wait and see.

The answer is definitely “true” though.

Implimentation is immenent!!

What puzzles me is this:

Should the smoke detectors still be included on the AFCI protection:mrgreen: ?
I guess a battery back up will work - IF SOMEONE KEEPS THEM INSTALLED!! Are they setting up a “Safety Hazard” for most of America?

Yes, mine are (house built in 93) and every home I wire they are too. In the past, for new homes I would put the smokes on the basement lights circuit, but now I put them general lighting. One home owner wanted to know if it was ok to turn off smokes at the breaker panel, because of her cooking practices. I figure now, too stupid for smokes, you don’t deserve light. Live in darkness dummy. :wink:


I seem to have heard rumors that when this AFCI’s thingy started, that if an arc occurred, occupants were left in the dark?

It was later changed to have over head lightning on a separate circuit.

It was later agreed, by don’t know who, that the smoke detectors would not be on that circuit.

Was I dreaming of commen sense or is this the way it works. ???

Feel free to educate me on this subject, I am only a nail pounder, well sometimes. ha. ha.


Not sure I follow you…the AFCI requirement is actually rather unchanged from the start of awareness in 1999 NEC to acceptance in the 2002 NEC. The only real change was in the terminology and going from the use of the term “receptacle” and replaced with the verbage " listed device that protects the entire branch circuit"

Really the only major change…then we move into 2005 NEC which changed a little more…it was revised to require listed combination-type arc fault interupters to protect 120V 15 & 20 Amp branch circuits that supply bedroom units in dwellings.

Now those allowances for branch/feeder circuits is only acceptacle until 1/1/2008 then it changes yet again.


Nice addition to this topic…enjoy!

The original 1999 NEC requirement for AFCI protection was only for 15A/20A 120V bedroom “receptacles”. Some thought it was better to wire things like lights and smoke alarms on separate circuits, without AFCI protection.

In 2002 the AFCI requirement was changed to apply to all 120V 15A/20A circuits for bedroom “outlets” (which includes things like electrical boxes for lights and fans).

Some still thought it was better to wire smoke alarms on a separate direct-wired circuit without AFCI protection (possible breaker issues, and smokes stay powered if there is an arc that shuts down the AFCI breaker, but still causes a fire), and also consider it a “fire alarm circuit” that has AFCI exceptions. But many interpret that 120V bedroom smoke alarms are included under the AFCI protection requirement, even if a separate direct-wired circuit (see attached Mike Holt discussion).

Now some think that if smoke alarms are AFCI protected that the smoke circuits should be wired together with the bedroom circuits so people don’t just remove the smoke alarm batteries if there is a problem with a dedicated smoke alarm circuit (should have a warning signal from battery power when line voltage is lost), and then not be in any rush to fix the problem or even forget about it.

Others still think it’s not good practice to put smoke alarms on an AFCI breaker protected circuit at all, and it should be hardwired with 24V power (similar to central alarm smoke alarm wiring), without an AFCI circuit breaker.

Perhaps that is what you were referring to.

JMO & 2-nickels … :wink:

2008 NEC Language. (Thank-you Joe Tedesco)

210.12(B)Dwelling Units.

All 120-volt, single-phase, 15- and 20-ampere branch circuits supplying outlets installed in dwelling unit family rooms, dining rooms, living rooms, parlors, libraries, dens, bedrooms, sun rooms, recreation rooms, closets, hallways , or similar rooms or areas shall be protected by a listed arc-fault circuit interrupter, combination-type installed to provide protection of the branch circuit.

Here in NY, I have yet to see smoke alarms on AFCIs. Come to think of it, I dont see AFCIS on any newly constructed home bedroom circuits, either.

Oh yeah…He’s the man…:slight_smile:

I don’t think anyone is on the 2008 NEC yet … but good to keep in mind for the future … :wink:

In NY the Residential Code of New York State (RCNYS) controls the design/construction of homes, which is based on the 2000 IRC that did not have any AFCI requirements (AFCI for BR receptacles added with a 2000 IRC Supplement that NY did not adopt). However I have heard that some inspectors still like to see the circuits to BR receptacles on AFCI’s as an interpretation. Probably will be required after the next code revisions … unless NY makes an exception for dedicated smoke alarm circuits (some talk of that locally).

Also if you get bumped out of the RCNYS into the BCNYS which directly references the 1999 NEC (unusually large/tall or commercial multi-units) it’s a different story as AFCI in BR’s would then be required.

JMO & 2-nickels … :wink:


Is it also true that, for an inspector or municipality in NY State to have a more restrictive interpretation, or requirement, than what the State has adopted, that the municipality needs to submit that interpretation to the DOS for approval first, or it is not enforcable?

My understanding is that they need to submit whats called an MRLS to the NYSDOS from a local law the municipality passes. They can enforce the local law until the DOS reviews the proposed MRLS and either accepts or rejects it. It’s usually pretty hard to get unless there are unusual local circumstances (the state wants everyone on the same page as much as possible … and I think thats a good thing).

But I have heard that occasionally an inspector wants to see the AFCI’s on BR receptacles since it’s in the 1999 NEC (used in NY for commercial construction … and optional for homes), even though it’s not a requirement of the RCNYS … which does not mandate using the NEC for homes if the simplified RCNYS provisions are followed.

And sometimes the code is not whats written in the book … the code is what the inspector says in written in the book … :wink:


Nah…if it’s 2002NEC to 2005NEC and no AFCI’s in the bedrooms…call it out as a safety concern and let the client deal with it.

No arguement on IF they work…WHY they work…should they work…if the CODE is enforcing it…just know they are an additional safety measure…call it out as such and move on.

Not a defect…but could be a safety enhancement…even IF some do not believe AFCI’s work…the life you save MIGHT be your own.