Licensed and insured North Atlanta electrician

AFCI Installation

Most of a home’s electrical system is hidden away behind the walls, making it near impossible to realize when there’s a problem. If there’s an issue with your electrical system, the worst way you can find out is with an electrical fire. 

However, with the introduction of AFCI breakers, homes are now safer than ever. Poss Electric offers AFCI installation and AFCI replacement in Woodstock, GA.

What Is an Arc Fault?

When electrical wiring is degraded or installed improperly, wires can start to arc. Soon enough, that arc will strike organic material or heat metal to the point where a fire will catch. Without you even knowing there was a problem, your home can start to burn down. 

What Is an AFCI Breaker?

An AFCI breaker is your best defense against arc faults and the resulting electrical fires. AFCI stands for “arc fault circuit interrupter.” When dangerous arcing conditions are detected by the AFCI breaker, it de-energizes the circuit to reduce the potential of an electrical fire. 

While traditional circuit breakers are designed to turn off the event of overloads and short circuits, an arc fault circuit interrupter knows when arcing is possible and stops it immediately. Without the power to cause arcing, the risk of fire is eliminated. 

This buffer gives you time to call an electrician like Poss Electric to take care of the problem for good. Once repairs are made, your home will be safer than before, and you can go back to using your electrical system as you would expect.

What Causes Arc Faults to Happen?

There are several causes for arc faults. These causes include: 
  • Old or aging electrical circuits
  • Damaged appliance cords
  • Loose electrical connections
  • Degraded electrical insulation
Other causes include pierced electrical cable, staples hammered too tightly, and cords exposed to heat or foot traffic. Unfortunately, these problems can crop up anywhere in your electrical system. Because most of your electrical system is hidden behind the walls, it can be difficult, if not impossible, to detect an issue before it’s too late.  AFCI outlets will protect you even when you’re unable to see the problem starting to form. If you need an AFCI installation or AFCI replacement, don’t hesitate to call Poss Electric for help.

The Benefits of Having an AFCI Breaker

The most obvious benefit of an AFCI installation is the prevention of electrical fires. This protection keeps you, your family, your home, and your belongings safe. However, there are some additional benefits to consider, as well.  An AFCI installation will help keep your home up to code if it doesn’t already have an AFCI. Compared to traditional circuit breakers, an AFCI breaker offers superior protection for individual branch circuits. AFCIs are compatible with 15A and 20A branch circuits so that they can be installed in any room around the home.

Are AFCI Outlets Required by Law?

AFCI outlets are required by law to be installed on all 120-volt single-phase circuits with 15 to 20 amps supplying receptacles in any dwelling rooms. This stipulation includes the following:
  • Family rooms
  • Dining rooms
  • Living rooms
  • Parlors
  • Libraries
  • Dens
  • Bedrooms
  • Sunrooms
  • Recreation rooms
  • Closets
  • Hallways
Any areas similar to the above will also need AFCI breakers. Some areas may not require AFCI breakers as part of municipal building codes, but they are highly recommended in any case.  Older homes may not be required to have AFCI outlets installed. While this may be convenient for certain homeowners, it is safer to have AFCIs installed when possible.

How to Know Your Home Needs AFCI Outlets

If you are unsure as to whether you have AFCI breakers where you need them, the best course of action you can take is to contact a professional electrician.  Poss Electric can come to inspect your home to see if it has an arc fault circuit interrupter in the appropriate spots. If you’re in need of AFCI replacement services, we can help with that, as well.

The Difference Between GFCI and AFCI Outlets

GFCI outlets are designed to cut power when a ground fault is detected. This setup is designed to prevent dangerous shocks to anyone using the outlet. GFCI outlets are required in any space where moisture might be present.  AFCI outlets, on the other hand, are designed to de-energize wiring when arc conditions are detected. This design is to prevent electrical fires, specifically. AFCI outlets are required in dwelling spaces, like your bedroom, as opposed to damp spaces.