|> If you have |>a bathroom in a bedroom, and you don't want those PoS ugly GFCI receptacles |>(why won't they make some nice ones?), which type of breaker would you use? | | A bedroom is a bedroom, a bathroom is a bathroom. AFCI in the bedroom, GFCI in | the bathroom and you can use the GFCI breaker if the looks of the receptacle | bother you.
When the bathroom is in the bedroom, especially the open vanity type which either open directly to the bedroom or are integrated into a walk in closet, have been treated by inspectors as part of the bedroom, just as they treat a regular closet.
Would your inspector let you install a NON-AFCI outlet in a bedroom closet?
| A combo device won't do anything for you in this situation since bathroom | circuits can have no other outlets so the bedroom has to be on another circuit | anyway.
The point being that the bathroom falls under the bedroom AFCI requirement. An open vanity definitely requires a GFCI on receptacles within 6 feet (if I recall the correct distance).
|> This includes 2 pole and 3 pole AFCI devices, | | The ONLY requirement for AFCI is 15 and 20a single phase 120v circuits in | bedrooms. Why would I need a 2 pole or 3 pole?
For all new construction today, you don't. To add more outlets to existing wiring does fall under the new rules and requires an AFCI breaker replace the existing one. But, much existing wiring is of the shared neutral type. While not advisable, separate breakers for shared neutral work, and have been considered compliant with code (which apparently only requires a common handle for shared neutral within the same device/yoke). But in such cases, separate single pole AFCI (or GFCI) breakers do not work. This will be obvious when you try to wire them up, as you end up with two different places to attach the one neutral (it won't work to bridge them together). GFCI is available in 2 pole, so shared neutral in the kitchen (also common, and even common on the same device) can be dealt with.
Efforts are already underway by many parties to push for wider requirements for AFCI. And on a fundamental basis, I support such a requirement. What I think is a travesty is that what is obvious to many as a definite safety device just isn't manufactured in ways that allow it to be properly used in all the circumstances that could benefit from it (almost the entire home, for example). This hasn't been added to NEC 2005 as of the last draft I saw, so I doubt it will be there. But maybe in NEC 2008 you'll have to use AFCI in more locations, possibly for all non-dedicated circuits. I'd push for it in all "convenience" receptacles at a minimum.