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Master Samurai Tech Radio, Episode 10

Samurai Appliance Repair Man

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- We're back from our bidness trip last week but Mrs. Samurai has a cold so this episode is mostly Tech Talk.
- Visit to American Appliance in Golden, CO, one of Sub-Zero's premiere partners.
- Recap of Dacor training in their Android-controlled ranges
- GFCIs and AFCIs. What they are, what they do, how they're different, and current NEC requirements.
- Voltage and current in series and parallel circuits.

 

Listen here or subscribe on iTunes or Android.

 



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AFCIs are not required in Bathrooms and Garages.  This is why they list the rooms.  A few NEC revisions ago(NEC2003 or NEC2008?) AFCIs were only required to be in bedrooms of dwelling units.  Then as each new revision, current one is NEC 2014, more and more rooms have been added.  Seems like most of the house, but it isn't.

 

Edit:  AFCIs were first required in bedrooms in the NEC 1999.

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Thanks so much for the explanation of the AFCI and how it functions.  I was a victim of that nefarious ruling in the 2008 code.  Built a new house in 2008 and about a year later began having nuisance tripping in the bedroom circuits.  I ended up taking apart the entire electrical system, everywhere a connection or splice was made, cleaned the dirty wire ends(paint overspray etc) and reconnected.  Replaced all outlets and switches with higher quality units.  No effect.  Replaced AFCIs several times ($30-40 each at the Home Depot) ...and no solution.  Called the electrician that wired the house and explained my issues and my attempts at a solution and he had nothing to offer.  He said it seemed like I knew something about electricity and that the AFCI was their biggest headache, nothing but constant problems.  I solved the nuisance trip by installing old school standard breakers.  However, several years later when my ex sold the house I had to pay an electrician to reinstall AFCIs...

As far as the AFCI not having the correct arc pattern coded into the algorythm ...I never was able to pinpoint the source of the problem so its difficult to say if there was an issue with the code, or if I had used a different manufacturer of AFCI if the problem would have been solved.  This would have been really good info to have had then.

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Samurai Appliance Repair Man

Posted

AFCIs are not required in Bathrooms and Garages.  This is why they list the rooms.  A few NEC revisions ago(NEC2003 or NEC2008?) AFCIs were only required to be in bedrooms of dwelling units.  Then as each new revision, current one is NEC 2014, more and more rooms have been added.  Seems like most of the house, but it isn't.

 

 

NEC section 210.12 (excerpted quote): "All 120-volt, single phase, 15- and 20-ampere branch circuits supplying outlets or devices installed in dwelling unit kitchens, family rooms, dining rooms, living rooms, parlors, libraries, dens, bedrooms, sunrooms, recreation rooms, closets, hallways, laundry areas, or similar rooms or areas..." 

 

Except for the bathroom and garage, seems like AFCIs are explicitly required everywhere else in the house. 

 

But I'm not really interested in the NEC aspects of AFCIs. The code angle is more for electricians who do installations and construction.

 

Focusing on the code aspects (legalisms) of AFCIs vs. the technical aspects (how they work... or don't) misses the point as far as we're concerned as appliance techs. 

 

As appliance techs, our concern with AFCIs is be aware of them as a possible causative factor when troubleshooting an appliance problem.  And to do that, we need a functional understanding of how they work, which was the main point of the discussion in the podcast. 

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Samurai Appliance Repair Man

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Thanks so much for the explanation of the AFCI and how it functions.  

 

You're welcome! Glad it was helpful.

 

 

As far as the AFCI not having the correct arc pattern coded into the algorythm ...I never was able to pinpoint the source of the problem so its difficult to say if there was an issue with the code, or if I had used a different manufacturer of AFCI if the problem would have been solved.  This would have been really good info to have had then.

 

 

Your story is a perfect illustration of what I was telling Micabay in my comment above: with the NEC aspects of AFCIs, a vague idea is good enough but it's not really my main concern because this doesn't help me with troubleshooting.

 

As an appliance tech who's troubleshooting a problem, I need to understand the technology involved here to make connections on how it may affect an appliance that I've been called in to fix. 

 

And that's the bottom line for us appliance techs: troubleshooting accurately and getting it fixed right the first time. Taking classes on the NEC or memorizing chunks of the code doesn't get us there. 

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Finally the podcast is back! I missed it. Very informative episode. Now I'll know what I'm up against if I come across one of these AFCIs. Thank you! Also, I'm excited for the webinar next week. I've missed those a lot.

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