I am planning on putting one of tese in my breaker panel to protect the
wiring in our bedrooms. And secondarily to protect my Son who sooner or
later is going to learn what electricity is, as we all have.
Is there anything special I need to know about wiring the Arc Fault
circuit breaker into my service panel?
Can't have a common neutral. Similar to a GFCI breaker in installation.
Arc faults can be series - like a loose connection that is arcing or
parallel - from line-to-line - like an arc between frayed wires. The
original breakers only detected one - I think parallel but not sure.
They are required to protect for both kinds at a near date. I would
suggest waiting to get the kind that protect for both kinds (may be out
They trip on ground faults of 30 mA - to protect equipment/fire not
people. I am not aware of any that trip at 5 mA like a GFCI but that
could have been included. Using a GFCI outlet in addition (or instead
of) may protect your kid more.
A human life is worth a certain number of dollars but it is not always
the same amount. For instance, I have heard that a car driver's life
in congested traffic is worth an estimated $750,000. By spending an
extra $750,000 on our road system to prevent congestion we could save
one life. We spend significantly more than this on each life we save
in aviation. We would spend even more to save an astronaut's life. If
you had money tagged for safety and spent it on say, making the space
shuttle safer, instead of traffic congestion you would be "killing
people." That is to say that more people would die in congestion
because the money was spent on space shuttle safety than if you had
just shot all the astronauts in the back of the head and built some
wider roads. You will probably find the same kind of scenario is true
with ARC fault breakers. The same money would do a lot more "life
saving good" spent elsewhere. Please consider this in your decision.
Hope this helps,
PS: Maybe you just want to install an ARC fault breaker and if so go
for it. It certainly won't hurt anything if properly installed and
they are safer.
If I lived in a 50 year old house I would certainly put them in after
replacing a light fixture at my father's old house. Fortuantely we moved
him to a new place. The old wiring had crumbling insulation.
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