To Arc Or Not To Arc?

ARC fault requirements? I inspected a 2006 modular home in NH that has never been occupied. There were no ARC fault circuits in the home. The remainder the the electrical system was fine. Can someone tell me when the NEC required ARC faults in the bedrooms? If the home was built before the requirement but not lived in until now when there is a requirement does the home get grandfathered?

The AFCI requirement is from 2005 I believe , but your area might not have required it.
Besides we do not site specific code .

Anyway to answer the other question it would be required by time of install and not when moved into.

Just make it a recomendation.

Supposedly when electric is updated it needs to be brought up to code.

AFCI’s have been required since 2002, but it really depends on when/if your jurisdiction adopted the requirement.

Manufactured homes are regulated by HUD requirements and have had AFCI’s since the 2002 cycle, but modular homes rely on local jurisdiction - the two should not be confused.

In most jurisdictions, there is no requirement to “upgrade” a structure built prior to the adoption.

opps… mistaken about the year.

Jeff , grandfathered is correct , but are they not required to bring it up to date when doing any electrical upgrade.?

It depends on the extent of the electrical upgrade, but in most cases, no.

NH, aren’t they the “Live free or die” people. Maybe they don’t care about AFCIs.
You may also be dealing with a manufactured home issue. The unit itself is usually a listed assembly and may not be inspected by the AHJ.

I recommend AFCI’s in all construction, extising and old… especially, if it is a home built after 2002, if the property does not possess AFCI’s for at least bedroom circuits, you could be liable if something happened… i.e. house fire, and an AFCI could have prevented it and you didn’t recommend them.

Eventually, I think the NEC will require all circuits to require AFCI protection that are not GFCI related.

You’ll have a very difficult time convincing me of this.

I make clients aware of the “newer technology” (i.e. AFCI protection), but I have never recommended “upgrading” an existing system with AFCI protection, and it’s unlikely that I ever will.

This is a tough one… It seems like the guys that make the decisions within the NEC have also debated the issue…Since it has been a code requirement since 2002 for “newer” construction, bedrooms are technically required to be arc fault protected. I have done many new homes that were built in 2003 and no AFCI protection installed for the bedrooms, I write it up… since it was a requirement. I see it as a builder trying to cut corners and save costs, especially in new housing tracts. The savings on breakers adds up.

As for existing, GFCI protection is not technically required in older construction 1960’s and prior and before and gradually started to require GFI protection almost everywhere water is present. But all of us as inspectors still recommend them to be installed everywhere (kitchens, garages, pools, now laundry sinks now, etc.) in all older construction.

I see the AFCI’s as being the same but a (different type of protection), the NEC will eventually require them everywhere… and eventually we may have to recommend them to be installed for safety, per code requirements and to protect ourselves from liability. Its such a new technology… I wonder if all the bugs are even worked out among the manufacturers. At the minimum, I recommend them in all construction for bedrooms just to stay on the safe side.

This is also throwing realtors through a loop… “NOT GFCI, THEY ARE AFCI’S” I have had to explain the difference over and over and over again… and being such a new technology I don’t blame them for asking.

CA did not adopt the AFCI requirement until our 2004 cycle, although many local jurisdiction incorporated the mandate with the 2002 NEC. However, even homes built after the requirement may not have them, simply because their building plans were approved prior to the adopted code.

In any event, AFCI’s and GFCI’s are two completely different animals. GFCI’s are a “personal protection” device, designed to protect people from the deadly effect of electric shock. Whereas AFCI’s are “fire safety” devices designed to protect against fires caused by arcing faults in the home electrical wiring.

My area (maui) is still using the 99 code which requires installation of AFCI’s at the bedroom recpticle outlets starting in 2002. I have yet to recommend upgrades on older homes but I do comment on new construction that the home is not built to the latest codes 05 and 08. I am seriously considering a recommended upgrade for older homes also.

Hey Jeff,
Good point on the code adoptions… I forgot that angle, and who knows what code the housing tracts were approved under… unless you have this specific knowledge.
Just more confusion to throw into the wash.