AFCI’s

Did you know that problems in home electrical wiring, such as arcing and sparking, are tied to more than 40,000 residential fires annually and the fires take over 350 lives and injure 1,400 victims a year?

Did you also know that an electrical safety device for homes, known as an arc fault circuit interrupter or AFCI, will provide greater protection from fires resulting from unsafe home wiring conditions?

Typical household fuses and circuit breakers do not respond to early arcing and sparking conditions in home wiring. By the time a fuse or circuit breaker opens a circuit to defuse these conditions a fire may already have begun. Several years ago, studies conducted identified arc fault detection as a promising new technology. Since then, electrical engineers have tested the new AFCI’s on the market and found these products to be effective.

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So what exactly is an AFCI and what is the difference between an AFCI and a GFCI? Are AFCI’s required in today’s homes? Can you install an AFCI yourself? Are there different types of AFCI’s? You will find answers to all of these AFCI questions and more in the following.

What is the difference between an AFCI and a GFCI?

AFCI’s serve their purpose and must not be confused with a ground fault circuit interrupter or GFCI. GFCI devices are designed to provide protection from electric shock. Both AFCI’s and GFCI’s are important safety devices but they have different functions. AFCI’s are designed to identify fire hazards and GFCI’s detect and prevent shock hazards.

Are AFCI’s required?

AFCI’s are proven devices for their effectiveness in preventing fires. Effective January 2002, the National Electrical Code or (NEC) made it necessary for home builders to include AFCI’s into the construction of all new homes.

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Should you install AFCI’s?

Home owners may wish to add AFCI protection for both new and existing homes. Homes built prior to 2002 with ordinary circuit breakers will benefit from the added protection against the arcing faults that can occur in aging wiring systems. If you are considering upgrading your AFCI’s be sure to contact Barney’s Electric. We are expertly trained, licensed professionals who will be happy to perform your AFCI upgrade safely! We can be contacted at 972-771-9464.

There are a variety of AFCI’s. Below you will find a summary of each.

Types of Arc Fault Circuit Interrupters:

Branch/Feeder AFCI – This device is installed at the origin of a branch circuit or feeder, such as at a panel board, to provide protection of the branch circuit wiring, feeder wiring, or both, against unwanted effects of arcing. The Feeder AFCI also provides limited protection to branch-circuit extension wiring and may also be a circuit-breaker type device or a device in its own enclosure mounted at or near a panel board.

Outlet Circuit AFCI – An Outlet Circuit AFCI is a device that is installed at a branch circuit outlet, such as at an outlet box, to provide protection of cord sets and power-supply cords connected to it. The Outlet Circuit AFCI may also provide feed-through protection of the cord sets and power-supply cords connected to downstream receptacles.

Combination AFCI – A Combination AFCI is an AFCI which complies with the requirements for both branch/feeder and outlet circuit AFCI’s. It is intended to protect downstream branch-circuit wiring, cord sets and power-supply cords.

Portable AFCI – A Portable AFCI is a plug-in device that is intended to be connected to a receptacle outlet and provide one or more outlets. A Portable AFCI is also intended to provide protection to connected cord sets and power-supply cords against the unwanted effects of arcing.

Cord AFCI – A Cord AFCI is also a plug-in device that is connected to a receptacle outlet, to provide protection to the power-supply cord connected to it against the unwanted effects of arcing. The cord may also be part of the device and have no additional outlets.

At Barney’s Electric, you can have the peace of mind that all of the electrical materials we install will be the finest that are available. You can also have confidence that we will always keep a clean working environment and leave your home as if we were never there. If you have any questions or we can assist you in any way, please feel free to contact Barney’s Electric at 972-771-9464. For your convenience, you may also request services from this site.

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Barney Messenger is a Rockwall Electrician Serving Dallas, Collin, Rockwall and Kauffman counties

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Rhonda Henry
Rhonda Henry

5 out of 5 stars

posted 2 weeks ago

So Barney is my hero tonight! The AC went out this afternoon and the AC guy couldn't fix it and determined we needed an electrician! On a very hot Friday evening, right at dinner time, Barney came to our rescue. He was professional, quick, and personable! I'm so grateful for people like him who are willing to come to help - even on a Friday evening at the end of a long day! Thank you, Barney!

David Martin
David Martin

5 out of 5 stars

posted 2 weeks ago

Barney and his guys came out the next day to replace a panel that had totally burned up preventing us from using our A/C in this heatwave. They didn't have to do this next day and they could have told me to wait until next week (like some of the other companies did). Barney understood that this was an emergency and came out after they already did a panel installation earlier that day (this is a time-consuming job) squeezing me in with other appointments. They worked quickly in the 100+ heat and did an excellent job. I'm very happy with the quality of the work at a reasonable price and Barney and his crew are a great team and were actually a pleasure to be around! I will use these guys much more in the future.

Melanie Craig
Melanie Craig

5 out of 5 stars

posted 4 months ago

Outstanding Service! Barney and his team are great!

I called Barney on a Saturday morning expecting to leave a message for a call back on Monday. I was surprised that Barney answered my call. I was able to send him a list of my needs using his website. Barney called me the following Monday morning to schedule a date for the work to be completed.

Barney and his associates arrived on time and were very courteous and professional. They replaced several electrical outlets and a light fixture, added an outlet where I needed it, repaired two ceiling fans and installed a ceiling fan on my patio. All of this was done in about 3 hours.

I mentioned to one of the associates (Rusty) that the plug on my expensive hair dryer was burned up. He helped me located a replacement plug online. I called Barney when I received the plug, and he and Rusty came by and replaced the plug on the hair dryer (no extra charge). Thanks to Rusty, I'm so happy that I didn't have to trash this expensive hair dryer!!!!

Barney's Electric is definitely who I'll go to for future electrical needs!