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  • gfi help

    can, or should you have gfi and arc fault breakers together? Everything was fine until someone put an arc fault breaker in the box .The plugs that are not gfi work fine .

  • #2
    Re: gfi help

    In many instances these two devices don't play well together. Sometimes you can get the two devices made by the same manufacturer such as GE to get along. They also have AFCI's with 5mA GFCI protection built in to the same device. AFCI's protect the wiring and GFCI's protect the occupants.

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    • #3
      Re: gfi help

      thanks, I think it is a combination breaker . Might just put regular breaker back in .

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      • #4
        Re: gfi help

        Or, There is a ground fault.

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        • #5
          Re: gfi help

          very true , people say they lived in house for 7 years and never kicked a breaker. He had a sauna put in his bedroom but needed 20 amp plug.
          He had a friend put a 20 amp plug and a 20 amp arc fault on that line which also had a bathroom on it with gfi, wife cannot blow dry hair. I ran a new home run 12-2 to box all separate so that is the only thing on line.
          but the breaker still kicks .

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          • #6
            Re: gfi help

            there are other plugs on that line that are regular. they work fine only the gfi plugs kick breaker.

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            • #7
              Re: gfi help

              just to let people know that once I changed the arc fault to a regular breaker everything was fine.

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              • #8
                Re: gfi help

                Originally posted by coldbluff View Post
                thanks, I think it is a combination breaker . Might just put regular breaker back in .
                A combination arc-fault is NOT combination AFI/GFI. They do exist, but are rare and you will likely not find one on a shelf somewhere.
                A combo AFI breaker senses both parallel and series arcs. THAT is what they mean by combination.

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                • #9
                  Re: gfi help

                  Originally posted by coldbluff View Post
                  just to let people know that once I changed the arc fault to a regular breaker everything was fine.
                  GFI's on an AFCI breaker are FINE. There is no reason they should not work.
                  IMO something is/was wrong, or at least wired wrong.
                  WHO put the AFCI in there in the first place, and why?

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                  • #10
                    Re: gfi help

                    I agree Pete, most DIY guys will insist the problem is the GFCI when the device is actually doing its job. Electrician probably needs to find a ground fault with a megger.

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                    • #11
                      Re: gfi help

                      Originally posted by coldbluff View Post
                      very true , people say they lived in house for 7 years and never kicked a breaker. He had a sauna put in his bedroom but needed 20 amp plug.
                      He had a friend put a 20 amp plug and a 20 amp arc fault on that line which also had a bathroom on it with gfi, wife cannot blow dry hair. I ran a new home run 12-2 to box all separate so that is the only thing on line.
                      but the breaker still kicks .
                      In the past I had made the mistake of tying a neutral from a GFI circuit into a non GFI circuit while making up a box. I could not understand why it would trip every single time I looked at the switch. Once I separated the neutrals out, it was fine. It could be that someplace a neutral is miswired.

                      I recently helped wire a house we had done an addition on. We upgraded the electrical service from 100A to 200A, because of that we were required to upgrade all non GFI and appliance circuits to Arc Fault breakers. On one particular circuit, my GFI tester was able to pop the breaker. I am still confused as to why it was able to do that. I never did get a chance to do any more troubleshooting, the owner said I had to go because he didnt have enough money yada yada yada.... The guy still has a 3 way miswired in his stair hall way... (thank you old *** lumberjack wiring for homeowner idiots book...) After that fiasco I tore that page out of the GC's book, threw it away and circled the diagram on the proper way to do it without confusing people who come after him... I'm still confused how to wire a 3 way with just one 3 conductor wire.... good thing wire is cheap huh?
                      We don't have preventative maintenance around here, we have CRISIS MANAGEMENT!

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                      • #12
                        Re: gfi help

                        GFCI was tripping because more current was on the neutral from the other circuits. AFCI breakers (most anyway) have ground fault protection built in. That's why your tester was able to pop it. A three way has two travelers that go to the pole terminals (copper screws) and a wire that goes to the throw terminal (black screw) Remember white wire must be re-identified in both boxes. One switch (black screw) wired to black "hot" and the other switch (black screw) goes to the light(s)
                        Last edited by johncameron; 12-18-2012, 11:34 AM.

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                        • #13
                          Re: gfi help

                          Originally posted by johncameron View Post
                          AFCI breakers (most anyway) have ground fault protection built in.
                          It should be noted that this GFI protection is not nearly to the level of a GFI breaker or device, and is NOT a substitute for required GFI protection.

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                          • #14
                            Re: gfi help

                            then why would the breaker trip only when plugged into gfi and not standard plug ,thanks

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                            • #15
                              Re: gfi help

                              "then why would the breaker trip only when plugged into gfi and not standard plug ,thanks"

                              Definitions are driving me nuts;
                              Breaker plugged in? Circuit breaker is mounted in panel.
                              A GFCI protection can be in the from a GFCI circuit breaker or a GFCI receptacle.
                              A receptacle is the female part usually on the wall. A Cord Cap or,"plug" is the male part that plugs into a receptacle.

                              The reason your GFCI circuit is tripping is because of unbalanced current in the circuit. You might have a multiwire circuit that has currents tied to the same grounded wire. Hard to say from a brief explanation. Nine times out of ten when a breaker trips its for a good reason.

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