| email@example.com wrote:
|> |> It seems there is more than one defintion of "combination AFCI" based on
|> |> some searches via Google. I decided to do this search because the NEC
|> |> failed to define this, referring only to UL 1699. UL documents are very
|> |> expensive (several times the cost of the whole NEC for just one testing
|> |> document).
|> |> I've seen definitions that describe a combination AFCI as one that has
|> |> GFCI protection integrated. I've also seen definitions that describe a
|> |> combination AFCI as one that combines the protection of a "branch/feeder
|> |> AFCI" and an "outlet circuit AFCI". And I've seen definitions made in
|> |> terms of a number of test parameters where a few different types of AFCI
|> |> were compared in terms of what tests were being performed by the device
|> |> (and the combination AFCI was not the most comprehensive).
|> | As you said, "Combination AFCI" is a UL definition, not NEC.
|> | Information on what Combinations AFCIs are is at:
|> | http://www.ul.com/regulators/afci/AFCI_scenarios020502.pdf
|> | They still have 30mA GFCI - 6mA has not been included (in anything I
|> | have read).
|> Cutler-Hammer has them, AFCI + 6ma GFCI.
| What I was trying to say is that AFCIs are not required to have a 6mA
| ground fault trip. The CH devices are a combined AFCI and normal GFCI.
However, certain circuits _are_
required to have 6ma level protection.
If you're going to have AFCI to virtually all 120 volt circuits in the
house, that would probably include bathroom and kitchen, too. So one
option is to combine the AFCI and the required 6ma GFCI in the same
I guess that is a reflection of my own bias because I happen to think
that GFCI receptacles are ugly. My intention all along has been to go
with either a "hidden" (accessible, but located more like where one
would place a panel) GFCI receptacles that control the ones that will
be in the kitchen, or just use a GFCI breaker. The latter choice is
more expensive. But I could also add AFCI protection at the same time
with the Cutler-Hammer breakers. And I could also do so for 240 volt
Personally, I don't care about the bathrooms. Having AFCI+30maGFCI in
the breaker, and 6maGFCI in the receptacle, is fine there. It's the
kitchen where I am trying to have a very specific kind of look, and
GFCI receptacles are not a part of that plan. So it most likely will
be AFCI+6maGFCI in double pole breakers.
|> | A good paper from the Consumer Product Safety Commission on AFCIs is at
|> | http://www.cpsc.gov/volstd/afci/AFCIFireTechnology.pdf
|> | It includes the rationalle for using AFCIs, information on how they work
|> | and what shouldn't cause them to trip.
|> Seen it. It's part of the contradictions I've mentioned.
| I wasn't impressed by the clarity but I don't remember it was that bad.
I'm not even sure it's all that accurate with respect to the fine details
of things like what's in the UL 1699 document (which I don't have because
such things are very expensive).
|> |> I also saw commentary in the NEC 2008 ROP that combination AFCIs are not
|> |> even on the market, yet. So are they going into this blind and not able
|> |> to know all the issues involved.
|> | My intent in the other thread was to ask if "Copmbination AFCIs" are now
|> | available. When you said "Square-D, Cutler-Hammer, and GE have them" was
|> | that specifically Combination?
|> They were panel type. I don't know what they were marketed for.
|> I know Cutler-Hammer has combination types of the definition of AFCI+GFCI
|> and has them in both 6ma and 30ma, and in 1-pole and 2-pole.
| Looks like CH is combined AFCI and normal GFCI. That is not what UL or
| the NEC had in mind for "Combination AFCI". Among other things,
| "Combination" adds series arc detection.
And this _is_
my point about the contradictions. Some documents say or
hint at one thing, and some say or hint at another. NEC is doing a poor
job of explaining by merely making reference to the UL 1699 standard that
hardly anyone will ever see. I believe they should literally spell out
exactly what protections they expect to be present.
| No rumors on what is going on with "Combination" development?
I have no idea. I've just seen the products that both Square-D and
Cutler-Hammer have. I just note that Cutler-Hammer have a sufficient
product line for me to put in reasonable levels of protection for some
rooms in my future house.
I'm planning to have "double duplex" receptacles in my kitchen. These
will be a total of 4 outlets in a 2x2 arrangement, with the left on
one 20 amp pole and the right on another 20 amp pole. This will be fed
with one cable with the origination of the circuit being a two pole
breaker. Whether this will be shared neutral or not I don't know at
this time. If it were allowed to mark the BLUE wire as GRAY to make it
be a 2nd groundED conductor (200.6 requires this) in a cable assembly,
then I could avoid a shared neutral by using the cables intended for
three phase WYE. I've heard that cables specific to this are available,
but I've never seen then sold anywhere, either in stores or online.
In any event, this finally leads me to planning to use an AFCI+6maGFCI
two pole breaker, one for each of the 2x2 (since I do not want to have
any daisy chaining of shared neutral). Other options include conduit
with singles of all the right colors, or larger than 6 AWG (that would
be absurd for a 20 amp circuit, of course).
| Phil Howard KA9WGN (ka9wgn.ham.org) / Do not send to the address below |
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