Suretest circuit analyzer problems?

I have now had two homes in a row where the AFCI breakers did not trip when tested at the bedroom outlets. They did trip when tested with the “test” button in the load center. Does anyone know if the IDEAL Suretest Circuit Analyzers have any known problems? I have the older basic model with the AFCI test button. Anyone heard if they don’t work as they should?


See this thread

Thanks Michael. That helped. It is interesting that my AFCI tester/indicator did work on previous AFCI protected outlets that I checked, but it appears that it doesn’t work anymore. Hmmmm…

Give Ideal a call.

Here is a bulletin from Square D on testing AFCI breakers.

Similar to GFCI devices, I think the best way to check an AFCI breaker is with the “test” button. No special tools required either … :wink:

Thanks for the info Robert.

Paul (MR. Guru) said it best with this statement:

“This is why all HI’s should be testing at the device itself and not with testers. The proper method is still to use the test buton built into the GFCI or AFCI itself and not rely on ancillary testers for confirmation.”

What if the electrician did not wire the bedroom into an AFCI? Using only the test button will not tell you that.

It sort of reinforces the snake oil aspect of these devices that the only way you can test them is to trust the test button. For all we know that is just a shunt trip.
Question: Do the recalled SqDs (that won’t trip under a fault) trip with the test button?

All of the one’s I’ve come across that were affected by the recall do. :neutral:

It sure will if you trip the circuit then go see if the bedroom is now dead.

Exactly what I do…

My suretest has never tripped an AFCI.

If you want to trip the AFCI, do the impedance test on ground. That will trip it (if it’s working).

You can certainly create a >30ma ground fault and trip an AFCI but that does not test the “arc fault” circuit.

As I mentioned in a previous post, my Ideal tester/indicator has tripped AFCI breakers in the past. Not anymore. I have yet to call the company, but I’ll report here after I do. Either way, I always trip them at the load center, then check to see of the outlets are dead, as well as attempting to trip them with my tester/indicator…