Arc Fault Circuit Interruptors

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On Thu, 18 Dec 2003 19:34:38 +0000, Andy Dingley wrote:

Not entirely - the extension at the back of my house (built before I moved in is wired in aluminium). I haven't had chance to change it yet, so in the meantime I've checked all the connections and also that the circuit breaker is suited to the lower current rating.
Steve W
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Aluminium wiring was used in the 1960's and 1970's. It has been out of use in North America for many years, except in larger sizes. The AFCIs are only required for new homes, which use copper wiring. I therefore see no connection between aluminium wiring and AFCIs. (No pun intended)
Some European countries have used aluminium wiring too and you can still buy solid aluminium wires 2.5mm2 to 16mm2 made to Russian standards. It is quite a bit cheaper than the copper wire, even if you take into account that you need to use one size larger wire.
Unlike the Europeans who use "whole house" RCD's, North Americans prefer RCD equipped sockets. As RCD's prevent many electrical fires, this practice increases the risk of fires in the house wiring. Unsurprisingly, the AFCI contains an RCD. This alone will reduce the risk of fire.
/Clas-Henrik
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snipped-for-privacy@hotmail.com (C-H Gustafsson) writes:

[12 lines snipped]

I have been visiting the USA regularly for nearly 30 years, and my parents live there. In that time, the only RCDs I've seen have been plug-in ones used on appliances plugged in in bathrooms (!).
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On 26 Dec 2003 18:32:51 GMT, snipped-for-privacy@ukmisc.org.uk (Huge) wrote:

I've seen wall plate types quite regularly in hotel bathrooms in the last few years. Most of the big chains seem to have them. e.g.
http://www.levitonproducts.com/Catalog/Model_8599.htm
They don't seem common in houses though.
.andy
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OTOH, The Fairfield Inn in Exton, PA, where I stayed last, which has just been refurbished, had an RCD on the coffee maker in the bathroom, but none on the socket...
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On 27 Dec 2003 12:19:55 GMT, snipped-for-privacy@ukmisc.org.uk (Huge) wrote:

Maybe it varies by state, city or county or something. AIUI, the equivalent to building control handles electrical code enforcement.
.andy
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[27 lines snipped]

Since everything else does, you are indubitably correct.
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Andy Hall wrote:

So what is the N.E.C. NOT the National Electric Code ?
Steve
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On Sat, 27 Dec 2003 16:57:16 +0000, Steve

I believe so, but from talking to friends and colleagues who live in neighbouring jurisdictions, there are some variations in terms of what an inspector will require. Perhaps it's a similar situation to here, where building inspectors rigorously apply some aspects of the building regulations but turn a blind eye to others....
.andy
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"Huge" wrote | OTOH, The Fairfield Inn in Exton, PA, where I stayed last, which has | just been refurbished, had an RCD on the coffee maker in the bathroom, | but none on the socket...
One can see why Americans think British hotels backward. I've never stayed in one that had a coffee maker even in the bedroom.
But I think putting a coffee maker next to someone having a crap is a strange idea from a nation obsessed with hygiene.
Owain
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Really? I don't think I've ever stayed in one that didn't.

Agreed.
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On Sat, 27 Dec 2003 17:25:53 -0000, "Owain"

That depends on the hotel.
Typical ones I've been in have one door from the main room to a washing and dressing area - basin in long counter with coffee maker and hairdryer; then another door from that to separate room with bath, shower and bog. Generally there's an infra-red heatlamp/light in the ceiling with a mechanical timer knob on the wall. I'm sure that the timer wouldn't pass regulations here.....
Having said all of that, if you were a coffee connoisseur, you wouldn't go to the U.S. to indulge your taste would you?
.andy
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[20 lines snipped]

I'm not sure *any* of the electrics in the USA would pass regs here. They frighten me.

Not from a sachet in a cheap hotel bathroom, no. :o)
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"Huge" wrote | >Having said all of that, if you were a coffee connoisseur, | >you wouldn't go to the U.S. to indulge your taste would you? | Not from a sachet in a cheap hotel bathroom, no. :o)
I once ended up with sweet fries and salty tea in a Burger King 'restaurant' after confusing the sachets. I dread to think of the mistakes I could make in an early-morning state of befuddleness if the coffee was next to the bath salts.
| I'm not sure *any* of the electrics in the USA would pass regs here. | They frighten me.
The 'code violation' forum on www.electrical-contractor.net ... frightens me too. There's a lovely photo on there that makes me all nostalgic for Scruits(tm).
Owain
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Owain wrote:

Great site Owain ! Steve
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On 27 Dec 2003 18:11:37 GMT, snipped-for-privacy@ukmisc.org.uk (Huge) wrote:

Mmm. I know.
A meander through the electrical section of Home Depot is a sobering experience. The best quality wiring accessories look distinctly shoddy compared with even the cheap contract stuff that's sold here.
I did think that their idea of using single conductors in conduit as common practice was a good one in that replacement is easy, however I learned that this is gradually being phased out because people were stuffing too many conductors in them and causing overheating, or even running Romex (brand name for T&E) in conduit.
Then there are the fabled wire nuts......
.andy
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[11 lines snipped]

We went and bought a plug for something once, a travel iron I think.

Yep. That was it, all right.
Still, do they electrocute & burn many more people than we do? I don't know.
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On 27 Dec 2003 23:37:33 GMT, snipped-for-privacy@ukmisc.org.uk (Huge) wrote:

Not a scientific measure but I've noticed that house fires that are covered in local TV news are often said to be due to electrical faults.
I am told that electrocution is not very common in domestic environments.
The fire aspect may in part be due to higher current requirements because of the lower voltage. For a given appliance, the current will be double and the power dissipation in the cable 4x.
Having said that, anything that is of any size like domestic appliances such as washers is run on 220v anyway and houses are supplied with two lives in antiphase and a neutral to achieve this.
.andy
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Oh yes, particularly in Texas...
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wrote:

IME most American hotels didn't have them until a few years ago, whilst even the cheapest Australian motel would have a kettle and generous supply of tea and coffee sachets - the US hotels generally give you one each of regular and decaf.

I suspect that neat strong black coffee kills all known germs <g>
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