Arc Fault Protection breakers have been installed in new homes for several years now. Many older homes still do not have this safety feature. Although it is not a legal requirement for Marion and surrounding counties, adding them is a good idea.
An arc fault occurs as a flash when an electrical discharge jumps from one wire to another. It can also be from a wire to another metal object, like a slipped tool or a metal junction box. When current unexpectedly flashes or snaps, that is an arc.
How Do I Get Protected?
An Arc Fault Circuit Interrupter (AFCI) like this one from Eaton provides arc fault protection. It is a combination breaker, offering both arc fault and ground fault protection in one breaker.
Arc fault protection is for the wiring and circuits in your home. Ground fault protection is for people – it stops you from getting shocked.
Both types of protection are recommended, which is why the National Electrical Code was changed in 2014. Many local codes now require AFCI protection in kitchens and laundry areas as well as the historical requirement of ground fault protection. Using combination breakers is the easiest way to do it.
Why Should I Have Arc Fault Protection?
AFCI breakers can sense very small electrical arcs and shut off the power quickly. There is no time for a dangerous buildup of heat that can start a fire. Since this device protects both people and home wiring, it is an excellent update for any home.
Can a Homeowner Do the Upgrade?
Working inside a service panel is dangerous. So, this is not a job for most homeowners. Instead, call a licensed professional electrician to upgrade to arc fault protection. Several breakers can usually be installed within an hour or two. You’ll know they were installed safely and properly.
If you live in the Indianapolis area, give us a call! The professionals at Frye Electric will be glad to do guaranteed work at a reasonable price.