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dcalabro
Inline GFCI on AFCI circuit

I have an AFCI circuit breaker on my bedroom lighting as well as feeding light for the bathroom light and fan. Code requires afci for bedrooms but i also want to gfci protect the bathroom so i was thinking of using an inline GFCI somewhere. Is it ok to mix a gfci on a afci protected circuit? I was thinking of putting a box near the circuit breaker to make sure the entire line is gfci protected as well. Is this ok or would it be more ideal to put it closer to where i want the protecton?

dj1
Re: Inline GFCI on AFCI circuit

In my city AFCI is required in bedrooms in new construction and new remodel/addition only.

You can install a GFCI. Put it at the point of use.

JLMCDANIEL
Re: Inline GFCI on AFCI circuit

Not a good idea to use a solid state device on a circuit controlled by a solid state device, and there is no benefit added.

Jack

motoguy128
Re: Inline GFCI on AFCI circuit

Lighting should be separate from wall outlets. Lighting, except lights in wet locations such as in a shower stall, doesn't need a GFCI.

Honestly, the electrician I used and the EE at my work told me to not bother with the AFI's. I was better off putting my money into a better quality commercial grade QO series panel, then a Homeline with AFI's. We don't have inspections or strict permitting in my municipality so it wasn't an issue when I upgraded.

I believe they were working on a combination unit of, but at the price point required for residential... meh... I'd stay away from that.

Brad
Re: Inline GFCI on AFCI circuit
JLMCDANIEL wrote:

Not a good idea to use a solid state device on a circuit controlled by a solid state device, and there is no benefit added.

Jack

Exterior GFCIs are added to Arc fault circuits all the time. No added benefits?

JLMCDANIEL
Re: Inline GFCI on AFCI circuit
brrichter wrote:

Exterior GFCIs are added to Arc fault circuits all the time. No added benefits?

AFCI's are required to provide ground fault protection, what benefit is there in adding another GFCI?

Jack

Re: Inline GFCI on AFCI circuit
dcalabro wrote:

I have an AFCI circuit breaker on my bedroom lighting as well as feeding light for the bathroom light and fan. Code requires afci for bedrooms but i also want to gfci protect the bathroom so i was thinking of using an inline GFCI somewhere. Is it ok to mix a gfci on a afci protected circuit? I was thinking of putting a box near the circuit breaker to make sure the entire line is gfci protected as well. Is this ok or would it be more ideal to put it closer to where i want the protecton?

Actually, exhaust fans are usually required to have GFCI protection if mounted in a shower. I usually keep all the lights and receptacles and lights in a bathroom on the required GFCI. This can only be done if the bathroom receptacle does not include any loads outside of it.

I've also installed GFCI receptacles downstream of an AFCI breaker feeding a sunroom which was going to be used to grow plants (lots of misting). You could do the same with the feed to the one bathroom.

An AFCI only provides 30 MA of ground fault protection but the GFCI provides personel protection down to 6 MA. They have no problem working together.

The GFCI receptacle must now be located close to the load and easily found.

JLMCDANIEL
Re: Inline GFCI on AFCI circuit
The Semi-Retired Electric wrote:

An AFCI only provides 30 MA of ground fault protection but the GFCI provides personel protection down to 6 MA. They have no problem working together.

The GFCI receptacle must now be located close to the load and easily found.

The AFCI trips if ground leakage exceeds 30 MA a GFCI if ground leakage exceeds 6 MA, either one is more than enough personal protection because it takes 500 MA to be deadly.

Jack

Re: Inline GFCI on AFCI circuit
JLMCDANIEL wrote:

The AFCI trips if ground leakage exceeds 30 MA a GFCI if ground leakage exceeds 6 MA, either one is more than enough personal protection because it takes 500 MA to be deadly.

Jack

I don't have a clue what it takes to kill someone and I suspect there aren't many volunteers to conduct experiments with.

This link http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Electric_shock goes into great detail and makes it clear contact resistance plays a large role but the Code does not recognize the ground fault protection offered by an AFCI device as adequate GFCI personal protection, so I guess I won't either.

Good Luck from Columbiana, Alabama
Maurice Turgeon, http://thesemi-retiredelectrician.com

dcalabro
Re: Inline GFCI on AFCI circuit

A lot of great responses here but i'm seeing conflicting responses from [they dont work well together]/[no added benefit] to [sure go for it] so I will add some detail here.

I know we're talking about the bathroom circuit here but here's some justification for my decision. I interpreted NEC 2011 to require that the adjacent bedroom light have AFCI protection. Since the receptacles were already on their own AFCI, I didn't want to mix receptacles and lighting on the same circuit so I gave the light its own 15A AFCI. This seems like a waste to have 1 light on its own circuit so the bathroom light and fan were put on this same AFCI circuit. That is how the bathroom stuff got added to an AFCI. Near the sink there is a dedicated GFCI receptacle as mandated by NEC2011 but that is irrelevant.

The reason I am even asking about GFCI is because the light and fan switch for the bathroom is withing reaching distance from the shower. Neither the light nor fan is directly above the shower and neither are within the range that code would define GFCI protection, I can imagine myself or someone else thinking 'hmm is getting pretty steamy in here, let me reach over and turn on the fan', obviously standing in the shower reaching to touch a switch is not good.

Although simplistic, I associate AFCI with spark/arc protection and GFCI with water protection so I assume adding an inline GFCI may have added some protection. Does this change any argument towards a definite decision?

Re: Inline GFCI on AFCI circuit

You're very wise to add GFCI protection to the circuits close to water where contact resistance is very low.

If you can locate the bedroom receptacle which feeds the bath fan & lights simply replace it with a GFCI receptacle and you should be fine.

I've discussed this with an AHJ,EE, CMP member friend and we do it all the time.

Good Luck from Columbiana, Alabama
Maurice Turgeon, http://thesemi-retiredelectrician.com

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