Warm AFCIs

I could feel heat radiating from the 200 amp Eaton panel as I removed the cover. This is 2015 construction and almost no power being used as home is vacant. The AFCIs measured at 124 degrees. Ambient in the garage (where panel is) was 80 and all other breakers were 81 or 82 degrees. I know they produce heat but isn’t +42 degrees a bit much? Never run into that much heat. Not very familiar with Eaton, not used much around here. Thanks for responses.

All AFCI breakers (not just Eaton) have an electronic circuit board to monitor the current and voltage; thus they produce heat (even with no or low loads).

The file from Eaton shows the temps you mentioned to be in the normal range. (I can’t upload the file as this board won’t allow a PDF above 256K, so here are a couple of screen prints).



Yeah when I started using a thermal camera, the AFCIs blew me away with the temp difference. But I see Eaton AFCIs all the time here in Dallas and it seems that 124 is about the temperature they run.

At 124° F. you wonder how much energy these devices are wasting.

Lots of energy wasted I’m sure. I see other brands of AFCI all the time and yes, they are warm but more like +15 F or so. These were sort of uncomfortable to the touch. I’ll be interested what the second electrician has to say. The guy I called said they should be looked at.

I think for much of the year it is not wasted just adds to the home heat same as Light Bulbs and water heaters . Even electric charging units put out heat.

You didn’t read my link.

Probably not an issue of reading the link…but actually viewing and reading the document you link too…lol…However, here is the MEAT of that document that inspectors can take away with…

Per Eaton

“What this means is that in a loadcenter
with a 70°F ambient temperature, the
temperature rise can be as high as
187°F and still meet UL operating
parameters for the breaker. While
the breaker functions properly to this
temperature, it will normally be in the
80 – 120°F range due to the electronics
in the breaker.”