What is an AFCI Circuit Breaker?

The National Electrical Code requires people to have arc fault circuit interrupters in certain circuits at home. The term arc fault refers to an unintended arc created by current flowing through an unplanned path. Arcing generates high intensity heating (up to 10,000 Fahrenheit) that burns particles that could start an electrical fire. For this reason, it’s important to have AFCI at home.  They are designed to detect these arcing faults to avoid electrical fires.

AFCI uses advanced technologies to sense arc faults that are normal and others that are dangerous. The difference between normal and dangerous arc faults is that a dangerous arc fault occurs when something is not working properly. For instance, AFCI senses these arcs, analyzes them and determines if they are normal or dangerous.

There are three types of circuit breaker AFCIs.

  • Branch/Feeder Breaker AFCI is used to detect arc faults from line-to-line, line-to-neutral and line-to-ground.
  • Combination Breaker AFCI detects lower level arc faults in branch circuits and power supply cords.
  • Breaker AFCI and Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter Protection provide arcing fault protection and 5mA ground fault (people) protection. A GFCI protects people from deadly effects that could result from electrical shock.

To install AFCI and GFCI is important to have some wiring practices. Not all circuits are the same, so it’s best to have an electrician do it. I can help you with installing these interrupters to make your home safer, so please don’t hesitate to contact me.