My house which is 1.5 years old has been having problem with the Siemens
AFCI Fuse. According to the builder, this fuse is installed on 2nd floor
for bedrooms for some reasons. The AFCI part of the fuse always get tripped
after power interruption by local hydro company. I had to manually went to
basement to reset it.
This AFCI is so stupid and annoying. It has been raining these days these
days and it almost got tripped once a week! Never had any problem usually in
sunny days because there is no power interruption.
1. Is it possible to replace it with the regular Fuse? I am really sick of
this. Will that violate the electrical code??
2. This is so annoying that I even tried to unplug computers, light fixture
but didn't help, still got same problem. Any other suggestions?
3. Should get another AFCI Fuse? maybe the one I have is defected??
What you are calling a fuse is likely what informed folks in the USA
wuld call a circuit breaker, in your case it's an Arc Fault Circuit
Interrupter (AFCI) type.
It's becoming code required for new construction to prevent things like
squashed extension cords from creating holocausts, they "open" when they
sense a spikey current flow through them, as occurs from an arcing
I'd suggest that you not replace it with a regular breaker, for safety's
sake plus if something bad did happen and an inspector found what you'd
done, insurance might not pay for the damage.
Have you tried consulting with the power company and/or Seimens to see
if there's a cure for what your encountering?
Will it trip if you turn your main circuit breaker off and on, or does
it just happen when the power company has problems?
Let us know what you find out, I for one am interested in learning more
about those AFCIs.
Yes, you can replace it with a regular breaker, and yes,
doing so will violate code.
You might be able to get some sort of device for your
house main that shuts the power off when it goes out,
and resets itself only after getting clean power for
an arbitrary period of time.
These are first generation AFCI devices. As with a lot of new technology,
there are often problems with early models. If it wasn't to much of a
bother, I'd wait for newer generation units before replacing it. It would be
a violation of NEC to replace it with a non AFCI unit
You use the term "hydro" when referring to the electricity utility, that
means you are in Ontario, or Quebec, Canada. If you are in Ontario, it would
be against the electrical code to remove it. I don't know about Quebec, they
do things differently, but usually before Ontario mandates things.
My house (which is just about 1 year old; moved in August 2004) had
Tons of nuisance trips, especially when powering off an inductive load
(ceiling fan). Code requires them for all the bedrooms.
I talked to the Siemens rep at a trade show (I do industrial electrical
controls). He hemmed & hawed & suggested I take it back for a new one.
I talked to some electricians (house wiring folks; not plant (factory)
electricians), and the general consensus is that they're worthless due
to nuisance trips.
They've been required in receptacles since Jan1, 2002. They're
required in bedrooms only, and they're intended to protect against
fires started by arcing (short to ground).
Some background on why and when these are required:
And, from underwriters laboratories:
I suggest you look into the risks and make an informed decision for
Personally, I believe that in my house, my decision supersedes code
requirements. It's my house, dammit. I reviewed the risks, and
evaluated the nuisance costs to my wife and myself, and then removed
them and installed regular breakers.
Zean Smith wrote:
arcing (short to ground)
sorry, that's not what AFCI is for; that's just the first thing that
came to mind when I though ARC. My bad!
Short-to-ground is protected by a regular breaker. You'll get nice fat
spark if you do this, but you don't need AFCI to detect it.
AFCI tries to detect all the other types of arc that don't trip an
They accomplishing this by watching the waveform and figuring out what
a bad arc looks like.
They actually have an algorithm (computer program) to detect this.
Again, from the consumer products safety commission:
Again, sorry for the sloppy (wrong) definition of arc earlier!
On 10 Nov 2005 06:41:53 -0800, firstname.lastname@example.org wrote:
An AFCI will also trip when it sees a neutral to ground short. That is
part of the GFP protection (30ma GFCI)
This usually happens in that big cludge box in the ceiling and gets
blamed on the fan. I would knock gently on any ceiling fixture bell or
fan bells and see if you can cause a trip. If so open up the box and
put a wrap of tape on the wirenuts. I bet there is a little exposed
wire on the neutral. That never bothered anything until we started
looking at ground faults.
A year or more ago I replaced a regular breaker by an AFCI breaker in a
bedroom circuit in our 30-yr-old house, and it's never tripped once.
This is a Cutler-Hammer CH panel and breaker. Perhaps Siemens hasn't yet
figured out how to build them right.
On 11/10/05 09:31 am email@example.com tossed the following
ingredients into the ever-growing pot of cybersoup:
Then, personally, you'll have no one but yourself to blame when the house
burns down and kills your family in the process because you wanted to
circumvent code. Oh and the insurance company will doubtless tell you to
sod off on any claims you might want to make. So g'head and replace it,
you'll only risk being homeless, broke and alone.
This kind of comments are annoying. Few of homes, except the very new ones,
use AFCI. My home, built in 2000, has none. Are you saying most of us are
really in danger of buring alive because we don't have AFCI?
I bet you are much more likely to die in an auto accident, earth quake, or
fall from your bed, then from lack of AFCI.
I seem to recall reading an article in one of the trade magazines that
mentioned earlier versions of the AFCI circuit breakers were subjected to
nuisance trips. If this is the case, you might want to replace yours with a
brand new one. There is the possibility that it is not nuisance tripping
and that there is something genuinely wrong with your wiring. If you
install a new one and have the same problem, call an electrician.
From reading the post, it appears that it only trips when power is lost
I think that's what they're supposed to do-open when there is a loss o
current. Just as GFCI's open when there is no current to them
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A while ago in this NG someone posted that at their work, AFCI's (which
had been installed everywhere in some ill-conceived scheme) routinely
tripped whenever anyone plugged in a fluorescent desk lamp that was
switched on. The same would probably apply to having the power come on
with the same kind of lamp plugged in. So for point 2 above, did you
unplug everything before the power came back on? I'd try that.
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