Reply by msinc

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Posted on AFCI In basement wood shop?

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567 posts in 982 days

#1 posted 01-11-2018 01:10 PM

I was not aware of any code concerning AFCI’s on lights. It is my understanding that they have to be on outlets in bedrooms. GFCI’s have to be on outlets in bathrooms, kitchens and outdoors because of the proximity to water. I could be wrong, I usually am. Personally, I don’t care for AFCI’s at all. You especially don’t want them on anything that could run an electric motor, it will just trip them. They sense an arc and few electric motors don’t produce an arc. Vacuum cleaners, hair dryers, fans, etc. will trip them immediately. I guess you can use them anywhere if you are really trying to be super safe, but I think in a shop you are not going to get much done. Even GFCI’s don’t like the heavy start up surge over a period of time, they will start to trip out.
I am not a licensed electrician, but I am county approved to wire my own stuff. I have a bunch of rentals that I built new over the years, haven’t done one in the last three though. None of mine have AFCI’s on the lights. Hard to believe this place where I live would let that slide. I will check the code, but haven’t heard anything regarding AFCI’s having to be on lights or in basements {unless it’s a bedroom and then it has to have a window too, not all basements do}

Edit; “AFCI protection is currently required for all 15 and 20 amp branch circuits providing power to outlets* in residential family rooms, dining rooms, living rooms, parlors, libraries, dens, bedrooms, sunrooms, recreation rooms, closets, hallways, and similar rooms or areas.Jan 7, 2014”

“May 22, 2015 – In addition, devices located in these areas, not just outlets, must now be AFCI protected. This means, for example, that a basement lighting branch circuit with a switch located in the living room at the head of the stairs leading to the unfinished basement would require arc-fault protection.

If this is true, I don’t know how you would ever even turn anything on, it’s just going to trip the AFCI…you might have to install them until you get the inspectors out of there and then switch them out so you can go to work. Even a light switch makes a spark and will trip it.

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