What is an Arc Fault Circuit Interrupter and Why is it Needed?

     

According to the National Fire Protection Agency, 47,700 home fires stemmed from some type of electrical failure or malfunction in 2011. These fires led to 418 deaths, 1,570 injuries and over $4 billion in property damage. Why are all of these statistics relevant? Because 50% or more of electrical fires could be prevented by arc fault circuit interrupters, or AFCIs.

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What is an Arc Fault Anyway?

These are dangerous electrical problems caused by damaged, overheated or stressed electrical wiring or devices. You know that wire that’s beginning to fray or that outlet that’s warm to the touch? That’s what we’re referring to here.

How Do AFCIs Work?

Arc fault circuit interrupters are designed to detect an arc-fault in the circuit downstream from where the receptacle is installed. They provide protection from arc-faults by interrupting power and eliminating the risk of fires.

Are They Required?

The 2014 NEC expanded Arc Fault Circuit Interrupter Protection (Section 210.12 and 406.4(D)(4)) to include most circuits. The use of AFCI receptacles are now an acceptable form of protection when in compliance with some restrictions as specified in the NEC.  The 2014 NEC allows 6 different installations methods to provide AFCI protection in new construction and specific replacements.

Whether you need new wiring for the demand of modern appliances or to replace dried out and rotten wires that are a fire hazard GEN3 Electric’s licensed electricians can handle all your electrical upgrade needs. Call us today at 215-512-4102 to schedule an appointment and don’t forget to connect with us on Facebook!

About The Author

Bill earned a degree in Electrical Engineering and Architecture, then founded Generation 3 Electric in 2000. His father, an electrician, was his inspiration. These days, Bill actively manages his company and enjoys focusing on new technology and marketing.