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What is an Arc Fault Circuit Interrupter (AFCI)?

What is an AFCI breaker?

An arc fault current interrupter (or AFCI) is a safety feature that protects your home’s wiring system and helps to reduce the risk of an arc-related electrical fire. Arc fault circuit breakers are designed to monitor circuits for hazardous faulting conditions. These short, sudden discharges of electricity produce a massive amount of heat. As a result, these high temperatures can easily cause insulation, wood framing, and other flammable building materials found near the wiring to catch fire.

In order to make AFCI breakers, manufacturers test hundreds of possible operating conditions. Using the data collected, they can then program the device to recognize hazardous arc faulting conditions.

How does an AFCI breaker work?

When an arc fault is detected, the AFCI “interrupts” or trips the circuit, preventing the passage of electrical current. By disconnecting the circuit, the arc is unable to accumulate enough heat to ignite a fire in your home.

Am I required to install AFCI breakers?

AFCI requirements can vary by jurisdiction. However, the National Electrical Code (NEC) does require the installation of AFCI breakers in most newly constructed homes. AFCI breakers are typically required the main living spaces of pre-existing homes. Although AFCI protection is only required in certain areas of the home, it’s often a good idea to have them installed any place where the amperage of the circuit is between 15-20 amps. With a relatively small investment, you are able protect yourself, your family, and your home just a little bit more.

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ProMatcher Staff, ProMatcher
Orlando, FL 32803

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