Re: AFCI Nuisance Tripping #QST

Ray - KK6AM

On 5/6/2022 9:29 AM, Dennis - WU6X wrote:

A problem I have with AFCI is the breakers are expensive and often cause "nuisance tripping" for the homeowner when using treadmills (common in a lot of bedroom environments), televisions and some fluorescent lights. Home Electrical Products (HEPs) are getting better preventing nuisance tripping, but many products being built in foreign countries (like China) are not paying attention to this issue. And, you wonder why the cost of new homes is going up, with required GFI, solar, AFCI and other things? I sometimes wonder if the manufacturers themselves are coming up with these new devices to increase their revenue.

In summary, some electronic devices simply give AFCI devices problems. Newer generations of AFCI breakers are less prone to problems, but are certainly not immune. There is plenty of information, white papers, etc. about this subject on the Internet.

And one of the more interesting causes of nuisance tripping (and in this case it doesn't need quotes because it is way too real) is certain types of "surge protectors" which really don't do much to prevent surges at all, but often have capacitors from line to ground and line to neutral. Some year back this was a BIG problem for sound contractors, because one of the more expensive (if it cost more it has to be better...right) rack mount power strips that was often used for power distribution for live sound really did prevent surges because it tripped GFI's when it was plugged into a protected circuit. Of course that also prevented desired operation.

-ray KK6AM

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