Joe Tedesco

08:25PM | 07/17/06
Member Since: 07/27/02
141 lifetime posts
Here's the rule in the 2005 NEC:

210.12 Arc-Fault Circuit-Interrupter Protection.

(A) Definition: Arc-Fault Circuit Interrupter. An arc-fault circuit interrupter is a device intended to provide protection from the effects of arc faults by recognizing characteristics unique to arcing and by functioning to de-energize the circuit when an arc fault is detected.

(B) Dwelling Unit Bedrooms. All 120-volt, single phase, 15- and 20-ampere branch circuits supplying outlets installed in dwelling unit bedrooms shall be protected by a listed arc-fault circuit interrupter, combination type installed to provide protection of the branch circuit.

Branch/feeder AFCIs shall be permitted to be used to meet the requirements of 210.12(B) until January 1, 2008.

FPN: For information on types of arc-fault circuit interrupters, see UL 1699-1999, Standard for Arc-Fault Circuit Interrupters.

Exception: The location of the arc-fault circuit interrupter shall be permitted to be at other than the origination of the

branch circuit in compliance with (a) and(b):

(a) The arc-fault circuit interrupter installed within 1.8 m (6 ft) of the branch circuit overcurrent device as measured along the branch circuit conductors.

(b) The circuit conductors between the branch circuit overcurrent device and the arc-fault circuit interrupter shall be installed in a metal raceway or a cable with a metallic sheath.

Free access link to a copy of the 2005 NEC:

Joe Tedesco, NEC Consultant

Joe Tedesco

08:40PM | 07/19/06
Member Since: 07/27/02
141 lifetime posts
"Schneider Electric

North American Operating Division

1601 Mercer Road

Lexington, KY 40511

Tel 859-243-8000

October 2004

Dear Electrical Inspector:

Our number one priority is the safety of our people, our customers and our products. Because of

this, we have placed a product hold on all Square D arc fault circuit breakers manufactured

between March 1, 2004, and September 23, 2004.

Our tests indicate that the arc detection capability in these breakers may become inoperable due

to an issue with a third party-supplied internal component in the electronic detection circuit. We

have found that the circuit breaker may not properly detect a high resistance low current arcing


The short circuit and overload protection functions of these circuit breakers continue to

function properly. This means that the circuit breakers will continue to provide the same level of

protection offered by a standard circuit breaker, but may not provide the additional arc fault

protection required by NEC 210.12.

This issue has been corrected and we have significantly increased our manufacturing capacity of

AFCI breakers, allowing us to replenish our distribution network as quickly as possible. All new

product circuit breakers are being air freighted from our manufacturing location directly to our


Until we have the supply chain restocked, we have prioritized the shipments of arc fault circuit

breakers to ensure the timely closings on our customers’ homes. Square D contractors can work

with their local distributors and Square D field sales engineer to ensure their orders are expedited

to meet immediate needs.

We are also initiating a program to recover product that has been installed during this time frame

and replacing those with newly manufactured AFCI’s. Since you are in contact with many

contractors and consumers during your daily work, we appreciate any help you can provide in

making sure that everyone has the correct information about this recovery effort. As you are

aware, Square D has been a strong supporter of electrical inspection for many years and we

appreciate all the support you have given us already in this effort.

If there are questions regarding this effort, you can direct individuals to call their local Square D

field office or Square D distributor.

Further information is also available at

I am sure you would agree we can accept nothing less than excellence when it comes to safety.

For more than 100 years, our customers have associated the Square D brand with industry

leadership, safety, quality and reliability.


Jim Pauley

Vice President, Industry and Government Relations

Here is some additional information.

Arc-Fault Circuit Interrupter Technology


Walter Smittle III

WV State Fire Marshal (Ret)

IFMA Past President

NASFM, Special Representative

Did you know that residential electrical fires reported by the National Fire Protection Association causes on the average nearly 73,000 fires every year. These fires are responsible for 591 deaths, 1,400 injuries and over $ 1 billion in property losses. Eighty-three percent (83%) of these electrical fires are caused by electrical arcing. Can something be done to resolve this electrical residential fire problem? This question is asked by the fire marshals and fire investigators every time when bodies have to be removed or a home is destroyed. The answer to this question is yes. Now, you can assist in reducing these unwanted losses by promoting a promising technology.

Electrical technology continues to improve providing a safer environment for the owners and occupants of dwellings. New materials and wiring methods and the development of the ground fault circuit interrupter (GFCI) to prevent accidental electrical shock is a success story for saving hundreds of lives. The National Electrical Code® (NEC) published by the National Fire Protection Association has approved a new technology for dwelling wiring and became effective January 1, 2002. This new technology is truly a remarkable accomplishment by the electrical industry and this technology is called the “arc-fault circuit interrupter (AFCI).” This technology as reported by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) will trip an AFCI in order to prevent electrical arcing that may cause a fire. Arc-fault circuit interrupter information can be reviewed on the Internet at the following websites:

Joe Tedesco, NEC Consultant


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