Arc-fault breaker trips

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On Friday, December 25, 2015 at 1:03:23 PM UTC-5, Percival P. Cassidy wrote:

I think any panel installed in an era that will accept AFI breakers, code would have required a disconnect. I'm not a code historian, but I would think to be installed that way it would have to be a very old panel. Gfre?
If the house was rewired in 2011, hard to imagine that an electrician would not have installed a disconnect.
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On Fri, 25 Dec 2015 13:03:51 -0500, "Percival P. Cassidy"

More likely a permitless upgrade panel that never DID meet code.
Any panel old enough to have "possibly" passed code at some time would not have an AFCI device listed for it, if there was even one that would fit.
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On Fri, 25 Dec 2015 13:03:51 -0500, "Percival P. Cassidy"

Also could be an older service panel with six 2 pole service disconnects and one of them (usually a 60 or 100) feeding the bottom Distribution section of the panelboard.
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On Fri, 25 Dec 2015 13:03:51 -0500, "Percival P. Cassidy"

There is no legal scenario where you will have a panelboard without a service disconnect. Even in those rare cases where you can have the 1-6 disconnects, they all need to be "service rated". Until very recently a "lighting and appliance" panelboard required no more than 2. (That was to accommodate "split bus" panels). A couple cycles ago they removed the distinction about the types of panels.
BTW are you sure there isn't a back fed breaker in that panel that is acting as the disconnect? (probably not legal but happens sometime)
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On 12/25/2015 07:00 PM, snipped-for-privacy@aol.com wrote:

I could see the conduit coming down the outside wall from the meter and going through the wall, and in the basement heavy-gauge conductors coming through conduit into the top of the panel and connected directly to the bus bars. There were two pairs of ganged breakers: a 30A pair and a 40A pair; one for the range and one for the dryer, I think.
If there's a Service Disconnect anywhere, it's well hidden.
I didn't see an inspector's label on the panel, but ours didn't have one either (but it's a different jurisdiction, so that may not mean anything).
Perce
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There is such a thing as a split buss panel. The upper part would have the multi-gang breakers and a main breaker for the lower part. The upper part is not required to have a main breaker because it has six circuits or less.
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On Fri, 25 Dec 2015 19:31:17 -0800 (PST), John G

Might be the case some places, but would never pass here.
Used to have some "flat rate water heater" systems where the water heater bypassed the meter, sometimes also with a remote switching system that let the power company shut off the water heater under high demand periods - and even it had to have a fused disconnect. (which could be a "split buss" panel of sorts)
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On Fri, 25 Dec 2015 22:51:46 -0500, snipped-for-privacy@snyder.on.ca wrote:

I would be surprised if you did not have split bus panels up there, installed 50+ years ago. That is about when they started getting rare here. My neighbor ripped one out here not that long ago but it dated from the 60s and that was old technology then. They were fuse panels with 2, 4 or 6 cartridge fuse "pull outs" supplying the 240v appliances and one of those served the lower buses with a bunch of plug fuses (edison base).
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On Sat, 26 Dec 2015 00:54:09 -0500, snipped-for-privacy@aol.com wrote:

But the OP DID say it was a breaker panel. Up here residential breaker panels were rare before the the late sixties - and split buss residential breaker panels were EXTREMELY uncommon if they existed here. Flat rate water heaters dissappeared about the same time breaker panels became common. - along with residential demand meters.
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On Fri, 25 Dec 2015 18:39:09 -0800 (PST), Uncle Monster

Bolt on or not, the line feed cables can not be connected directly to the bus bar without a disconnect. Nor can the banel be "unfused". The only "legal" way I can think of this being set up would be with the fuse and disconnect "at the pole" and it would be a very rare situation where that would be allowed in an urban or semi-urban area. I've seen it in rural areas - where the main disconnect and circuit protection are "on the pole" but generalluy then the meter is also "on the pole"
No disconnect on the meter base???
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On 12/25/2015 10:48 PM, snipped-for-privacy@snyder.on.ca wrote:

Not that I could see: the meter protrudes through a hole in the box, which is sealed by the utility.
Perce
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On Sat, 26 Dec 2015 10:45:10 -0500, "Percival P. Cassidy"

frame 100 amp or less breaker as a main. It's been a while and I've no idea where my last NEC manual or even my Ugly's Electrical References is. (•?•)

You have a violation there that could be pretty serious if you have a fault in the panel board enclosure. There is nothing to clear the fault. Be real careful with tools in there and seriously think about having it fixed.
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On 12/25/2015 11:34 AM, trader_4 wrote:

The panel in my house (20-slot Square-D QO with 11 single pole and 3 2-pole breakers) has a main breaker. A neighbor's (larger house also built in 1969, similar panel but all slots full with some double breakers) does not.
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On Friday, December 25, 2015 at 1:04:44 PM UTC-5, Mark Lloyd wrote:

But does the neighbor's house have a main disconnect between the meter and panel? Like outside at the meter?
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wrote:

You are sure one of those 2 poles is not a 100 or 125 amp "backfeed" breaker???
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On Fri, 25 Dec 2015 12:18:02 -0500, "Percival P. Cassidy"

There should be a service disconnect. It can be at the meter or at the panel if it is "inside nearest the point of entrance of the service conductors". Typically that is pretty much on the opposite side of the wall although no distance is specified in 230.70.
If the disconnect is outside, your inside panel is a sub panel and, depending on the length of the feeder, you might develop that voltage drop in the neutral I was talking about. It should be a 4 wire feeder with the neutral and ground separated inside.
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On Fri, 25 Dec 2015 12:18:02 -0500, "Percival P. Cassidy"

Only legal with a "pole switch" in some areas. There HAS to be a current sensing dusconnect of some sort - fuse or breaker - as well as an "emergency disconnect.
Is the OP sure there is not a "backfeed breaker" in the box - with the line in connected to that breaker, feeding the bus???
Not legal up here as a primary panel, but it has definitely been used MANY places in the USA and elsewhere.
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"Percival P. Cassidy" wrote in message
A family member's house was completely rewired in 2011 and has arc-fault breakers for the bedrooms. One of those breakers will not hold in at all, even with nothing plugged into any of the outlets.
Is substituting a replacement breaker the most appropriate first step, or is there something else to try first?
Perce
# 1 before disconnecting anything check for Voltage between Neutral and Ground, there should "NOT" be any voltage, then check Voltage between Hot and Ground which it should be same as: between hot and neutral, if either one is off you got wiring problem, get the people who did original wiring to corrected. The receptacle should have silver screw for neutral white wire. and bras for hot black wire, Do "NOT" switch this two.
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On 12/22/2015 8:18 PM, Tony944 wrote:

Once in a while, a simple typo is funny. This is such a moment. I'll go stick a hot black wire in my wife's bra.
Bras for hot black wire, eh?
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On 12/22/2015 2:39 PM, Percival P. Cassidy wrote:

Are you sure there's nothing *else* on the outlet circuit? E.g., light in closet, etc.?
And, does the breaker feel "limp" as you try to set it? Or, does it feel right (stiff) but trip just as it "sets"?
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