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Value of AFCI Breakers

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cpw
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Joined: May 19 2003

I saw a home improvement show over the holidays where they were talking about Arc Fault Circuit Interrupters http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/AFCI. I thought given how rapidly fire spreads in a wood house without drywall or other fire breaks between rooms, I thought this might be a good idea. They're pretty pricey, $40 each or more. Didn't find any discussion here so I thought I would start a discussion. Plan to ask my insurance agency about a discount since it would seem to reduce the risk of fire.

Chuck (West San Jose)

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Joined: Apr 2 2003

I looked into these a few years back. Like you, I thought they would be a great thing to have. Unfortunately, when I had my electrician check out my main electrical panel I found out I couldn't use them because of how the house was originally wired. Don't remember all the details, but I think it had to do with having shared commons (?) I'm no electrician so best to have your own check it out.

Has anyone else looked into this?

Jake

eichfan at rawbw dot com

cpw
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Joined: May 19 2003

I had a new box and service upgrade in 2003 so perhaps I don't have that problem, but won't spend the money until more research is done. I think having separate commons would be required. Maybe I'll take the panel off and see. AFCIs are also really big.

Chuck (West San Jose)

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