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.

Owner Works Every Job

  • Licensed & Insured
  • Free Estimates
  • Emergency Service Available
  • Over 30 Years Of Experience
  • Circuits Added
  • Ceiling Fans Installed
  • Phone, TV, Cabling
  • Dedicated Computer Circuits
  • Indoor/Outdoor Lighting Design
  • Trouble-Shooting & Repairs
  • Exterior/Landscape Lighting
  • Swimming Pool/Spa Lighting
  • Security Lighting
  • Service/Wiring Upgrades
  • Meter Base Changes
  • AFCI's & GFCI's
  • CSST Bonding & Grounding
Barney Messenger is a Rockwall Electrician Serving Dallas, Collin, Rockwall and Kauffman counties

An Electrician You Can Trust

Electrician Accredited by the Better Business Bureau Angies List Super Service Award for Electricians

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998 Holli Ln
Rockwall, TX 75087


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Barney's Electric
Reviewed from Google

4.7 out of 5 stars

Marci Cuthbertson
Marci Cuthbertson

5 out of 5 stars

posted 2 months ago

We had Barney's Electric come out to install an outdoor ceiling fan on the patio. We really appreciated the no cost estimate. He quoted a fair price and when he came to install the fan, he worked very quickly and efficiently even though he had lost his assistant during the week and it was a little warm that morning. He was very nice. I would call him again for any additional work we might need.

Barb Kipping
Barb Kipping

5 out of 5 stars

posted 1 month ago

My husband and I decided to completely gut and remodel our kitchen. In doing so, most of our existing kitchen electrical would need to be completely redone. After numerous, frustrating interviews with other electricians, I contacted Barney. I am very glad I did. He came out, assessed the project and gave us a clear idea of what to expect. Barney showed up promptly when he was scheduled and got right to work. When issues arose, he was very clear in communicating with me what the situation was and what options we had to address them correctly. He was very good about staying in contact with me throughout the project and even stopped by on occasions to see how other work was progressing so that he and I could coordinate next steps and completion of his work.

Our kitchen looks and operates amazing! He did a great job with all our lighting requests and made sure that we had all the appropriate electrical connections for our high-end appliances and to ensure all work was completed per code for inspection. On short notice he was very responsive and came out to make a last minute adjustment that was necessary to ensure proper installation of our range.

Barney has unbelievable character and is a great guy to work with. It is evident he takes a lot of pride in his work and we would highly recommend him to anyone.

Robert Frazier
Robert Frazier

5 out of 5 stars

posted 1 month ago

Barney's Electric was a great help. My pool builder told me I would need a sub panel to supply electricity to the pool equipment. I called Barney. After he asked a few questions he asked that I text a picture of my breaker panel. I was a bit surprised by that request. He called back a bit later and spent time explaining all the things that could be done with the panel I already have, Needless to say, I don't need to spend hard earned cash on a sub panel. I am very appreciative that Barney took the time over the phone to help me fully understand what my breaker panel is capable of. I won't hesitate to recommend his service to others who need it.