Why Does My Home Need Arc-Fault Breakers?
To protect against arc-faults, which can very easily turn into electrical fires. In 1999 & 2002 the National Electric Code (NEC) made a code change that required arc fault breakers be installed for bedroom circuits in ALL new homes. Since the technology was not required on most homes built before 1999 & 2002, we recommend adding them to ensure safety & protection to your home.
What Is an Example Of How Arc-Faulting Could Happen?
In a home where wires were stapled too tight to the wood, over time the energy flowing through the wire may start to arc with the metal staple which will create enormous amounts of heat, possibly causing the wood that it is stapled to on fire.
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An arc-fault is an unintentional discharge of electricity in a circuit. Arcing exists in two basic varieties:
Natural, or normal arcing – occur when a light is switched on or a vacuum cleaner or any motor driven appliance is turned on, and
Unsafe arc-faults – occur either as series or parallel faults in wire, electrical devices or connected loads
Arcing faults can reach extremely high temperatures upwards of 9,000 degrees Fahrenheit.
Arc-faults may occur anywhere in the home’s electrical system as a result of:
- Worn electrical insulation or damaged wire
- Misapplied or damaged plug-in appliance cored and equipment
- Loose electrical connections
- Accidentally piercing electrical cable behind drywalls with drill bit, nail or screw
- Hammering electrical cable staples too tightly into studs during rough wiring
- Natural again and cord exposure to heat vents, sunlight, or foot traffic.
When an unwanted arcing condition is detected, an AFCI de-energizes the circuit, and reduces the potential for a fire to occur.
Traditional circuit breakers are only intended to respond to overloads and short circuits. Ground-Fault Circuit Interrupters (GFCI's) are an effective means of preventing severe electrical shock by detecting loss of current in a circuit, but do not protect against arcing conditions that produce erratic current flow. An AFCI provides a new level of protection not offered by either of these devices.
Government Site - http://www.cpsc.gov/cpscpub/pubs/afci.html
State Farm Site - http://www.statefarm.com/consumer/vhouse/articles/afci.htm