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Mike G.
Mike G., Master Electrician
Category: Electrical
Satisfied Customers: 7487
Experience:  Proven Professional 48 years Experience
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Mike, Im new lighting and outlet circuits in my home and eliminating

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Mike, I'm new lighting and outlet circuits in my home and eliminating an old fuse box. I'm experienced with residential electrical work but not with AFCI issues. I put in 2 Siemens AFCI breakers for two bedrooms and they trip with any load. So as I isolated one outlet to make a direct home run line from the breaker and panel to that outlet, with all those down the line separated. And the AFCI breaker still trips with a guitar amp or lamp, and it seems with any load (amp was handy). This was to isolate workmanship issues. Any thoughts? I think there are very likely issues with other wiring into the panel still as the work has progressed room by room
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Electrical
Expert:  Mike G. replied 3 years ago.
Hi, I'm Mike and I'll be glad to assist you. AFCI breaker are a good idea but are not required on a service upgrade. By code, only if a circuit is installed or modified by extending it are they required.

The first thing to do is map out the circuits to know exactly what is on each circuit. Panel directories are worthless. Can't put enough info in a small label to identify the outlets. See below for maping directions. When completed, you see exactly how the circuit was ran. Then it would be a matter of opening it in places to see if the AFCI holds, if you decide to use them. If not then you need to be on the look out for flicking. That is the indication of a bad connection, which the AFCI is made to protect.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
I'm disabling all the fuse box circuits and rewiring. I don't understand why the AFCI trips when there is a new cable direct to a single outlet with all the others disconnected from it on that circuit. Could it be related to something else in the house wiring and panel? I've diagrammed everything on a floor plan.
Expert:  Mike G. replied 3 years ago.
If the circuit is a direct run to the outlet, I would check to see if the ground is touching a neitral connection. That would trip an AFCI under load.
Expert:  Mike G. replied 3 years ago.
One more thing to check. Are the wires terminated under the screws or in the push backs.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
That's why I'm baffled. Already pulled the outlet and checked everything. I"ll check again in the morning. It's a Siemens AFCI and indicating arc to ground.
Expert:  Mike G. replied 3 years ago.
To verify the breaker is good, swap it with another to see if another will hold the circuit. After that the only thing it could be is a staple in a wire or a bad strip.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
I've done a lot of wiring and don't use push backs. Carefully make a loop and screw connection. Twisted the connections before puting on the wire nuts. Pigtails to the outlet. There isn't any problem with the connections to this outlet and the wire run is direct from the panel box. I isolated it to see if there is something I don't know about or product issue with the AFCI? I can even run a another short cable to the AFCI tomorrow with an outlet to see if it still trips, but I really don't think there is any damage to the cable.
Expert:  Mike G. replied 3 years ago.

Swap the breaker. I'm doing a aluminum remediation of 100 apartments and using Siemens AFCI. Each apartment needs 5 AFCI breaker. Out of the 150 I have already installed, there was one failed breaker. There is not tester for checking them, so the only thing to do is swap it.

Mike G. and other Electrical Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
OK, i purchased a month trial plan. I'll swap the breaker tomorrow. One forum suggested having a spare AFCI, a GFCI, and a regular breaker. Use the GFCI to check if there is a ground fault. It would seem odd to have a failed breaker really. Thanks, I'm likely to have some more questions!
Expert:  Mike G. replied 3 years ago.

Come back after you swap the breaker and let me know how it worked out. You can return for follow ups, no charge.

Customer: replied 3 years ago.
Thanks Mike!
Expert:  Mike G. replied 3 years ago.
You're welcome.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
I was unfamiliar w this breaker. Once I installed it with neutral in and out everything worked fine. I have a question about surface wiring in an attached garage w plaster ceilings.
Expert:  Mike G. replied 3 years ago.
What"s the question?
Expert:  Mike G. replied 3 years ago.
I see that you opened another question and it is being assisted by another expert. I'll close this follow up.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
I would like to keep with one electrician. How do I do that? I bought a plan.

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