AFCI and GFCI Electrical Circuit Breakers


By Dave Rongey - Summary:

Is a AFCI and GFCI circuit breaker made as the same circuit breaker? Electrical Wiring when using AFCI and GFCI Circuit Breakers.


Combination AFCI and GFCI Circuit Breaker

Electrical Question: Is a AFCI and GFCI circuit breaker made as the same circuit breaker?

  • After reading about the arc fault breakers and knowing about the ground fault breakers for some time.
  • I was wondering if the NEC, National Electrical Code, would be pushing manufacturers to create both AFCI and GFCI circuit protection in the same breaker?
  • Do you see this happening in the near future ?

Thanks!

This home electrical question came from: Jeffrey, a Homeowner from Flower Mound, Texas.
Additional Comments: Very worthwhile compilation of experience and know how.

Dave’s Reply:
Thanks for your electrical wiring question Jeffrey.

AFCI and GFCI Circuit Breakers

Application: Installing or Replacing a Circuit Breaker.
Skill Level: Advanced – Licensed Electrical Contractor, Not Recommended for Homeowners.
Tools Required: Electricians pouch of hand tools, voltage tester and protective safety gear.
Estimated Time: Depends on the make and model of the panel and the condition of the existing electrical circuit breakers and wiring methods.
Precaution: For safety the main circuit breaker should be turned off or any other disconnect means that would deenergize the panel before replacing a circuit breaker, however turning off the main circuit breaker may not deenergize all of the areas of the panel components and wiring. This is an extensive project that requires experience and should be performed by a Licensed Electrical Contractor.
Notice: Making changes to electrical panel or electric circuits should be done according to local and national electrical codes with a permit and be inspected.

AFCI and GFCI – Now You Have Options for Electrical Wiring

  • Actually your right on target. A combo AFCI and GFCI circuit breaker has been developed and is available.
  • One example is the Siemens Dual Function Circuit Breaker, which is the Plug on Load Center Style.
  • The part number for the single pole 15amp breaker is Q115DF 15-Amp Afci/Gfci .

AFCI – Arc Fault Circuit Interrupter

  • AFCI protection is available as a Circuit Breaker
  • AFCI may also be installed in the first receptacle location, and when wired correctly will protect the rest of the outlets on the circuit.

GFCI – Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter

  • GFCI protection is available as a Circuit Breaker
  • GFCI may also be installed in the first receptacle location, and when wired correctly will protect the rest of the outlets on the circuit.

More about GFCI and AFCI Circuit Breakers

AFCI Circuit
afci-breaker
GFCI and AFCI Circuit Breakers

  • Electric circuit protection with AFCI provide the extra measure of safety for your family.
  • AFCI’s are installed serving required house wiring circuits protecting areas such as the bedrooms.
  • AFCI protects the bedroom circuit devices against the danger of arcing which can lead to fire.

Electrical circuits
home-electrical-circuits

  • Electric Circuit Listing
  • The size of the home electrical service panel is designed by calculating the square footage of the home and factoring in the code requirements for the electrical circuits that are required.

Circuit breaker
2-pole-circuit-breaker

  • Electrical Wiring Protection using Circuit Breakers
  • A guide to home electrical circuit breakers and how they work to protect your electrical wiring.
  • When properly installed, your home electrical wiring is protected by a circuit protection device.


 
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Be Careful and Be Safe - Never Work on Energized Circuits!
Consult your Local Building Department about Permits and Inspections for all projects.

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FAQs Frequently Asked Questions and Comments

6 Responses to “AFCI and GFCI Electrical Circuit Breakers”
  1. Dave Rongey says:

    Thank you Victor, I appreciate the information.
    Be safe,
    Dave

  2. Victor V says:

    Thanks Dave, I should of been more specific, here are the letters: Type QAF2 and also HACR SWD. The other explanation was very informative and helpful too.

  3. Dave Rongey says:

    Hi Victor,
    A GFCI breaker with the circuit wiring amperage rating will be fine for the dishwasher. It is important to match the circuit breaker amperage rating with the wire gauge amperage rating. For example a #14 AWG copper wire with THWN insulation is rated at 15 amps, and a #12 AWG copper wire with THWN insulation is rated at 20 amps.
    I hope this helps,
    Dave

  4. Victor V says:

    I see many different letters before and after the AFCI/GFCI combination breakers. Which one do I need for a home residence. I want to use it for the dishwasher. Thank you.

  5. Dave Rongey says:

    Hi Bill,
    The method of wiring for the AFCI circuit will depend on what is allowed in your location and what type of construction methods are used for the home. The objective is to protect the circuit wiring, and that is based upon how the wiring will be installed and what the local codes require. If the home has stud frame construction and type NM cable is allowed in that area then that will be the acceptable method. However if there is MC cable installed then MC cable will be required. Your local building department will be able to tell you the acceptable method for wiring the AFCI circuit.
    Dave

  6. BILL HELLMUELLER says:

    When installing AFCI breakers, do you have to use MC Cable or conduit to the first box, or just pull Romex as normal and land it on the AFCI breaker?

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