An arc fault breaker, also known as an arc fault circuit interrupter or AFCI, is a circuit breaker that interrupts the circuit when it detects an electric arc that could cause various, very severe hazards, including sparks and electrical fires. Here are some things that you should know about these units called AFCIs:
- The issues detected – arc fault breakers respond to issues that are different from the ones that conventional circuit breakers and ground fault protection devices respond to. Circuit breakers are used for detecting short circuits and overloads, ground fault detection units are used for preventing electrical shocks, while AFCIs monitor the system continuously to detect arcs, thus preventing fires;
- Code requirements – the electrical codes applicable today require arc fault protection devices to be installed in all circuits that feed outlets in bedrooms, kitchens, family rooms, living and dining rooms as well as in laundry rooms, hallways and closets – in short, everywhere in the house. In many cases, the rooms in a home need to be protected with multiple protection devices of different types, so the instructions and the requirements included in the applicable electrical codes need to be consulted before making any decision regarding the protection systems used. If you need electrical help, it’s best to seek the help of a professional like JM Electric.