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Installing ground fault circuit interrupters (GFCI) and arc fault circuit interrupters (AFCI)

Installing ground fault circuit interrupters (GFCI) and arc fault circuit interrupters (AFCI)

Home Safety and GFCI / AFCI

GFCI and AFCI are important part of home safety where water and electricity are close together. Give us a call to make it safe for you.

What is GFCI

GFCI is an abbreviation for Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter

GFCI are required to be installed near all the water and electricity usage combinations such washrooms, kitchens, laundry rooms etc. The purpose of GFCI is to trip and avoid electrocution of any individual who my be possibly involved at the time. GFCI’s trip with a very small amount of leakage current, 5mA this saving the electrocution. These days there are many appliances that have a built in GFCI but there are still many appliances out there that will need GFCI to be installed for the proper safety.

Why GFCI is required

Each year there were hundreds of electricity related accidents, many of them are fatal in nature. These accidents on close analysis, happened in the close proximity of water and electricity. Starting 1971, it was mandatory in Canada that all areas where water and electricity are close, must be fitted with GFCI.

Here is the approximate time-chart when GFCI requirements were implemented and changed.

What is AFCI

AFCI is an abbreviation for Arc Fault Circuit Interrupter

AFCI prevent any fire due to the arching process in the control panel or somewhere else along the circuitry. AFCI trip as soon as an abnormal arc is detected anywhere in an electrical circuit hence protecting major damage to occupants and a building.

Why AFCI is required

Electrical arcs can be produced due to numerous reasons such as loose wire, damages cord, over-current due to an appliance jam, underrated breakers and so on. The arc temperature is very high and it can ignite items in the surrounding almost instantaneously creating a large fire, hard to control within minutes.

AFCI detect an abnormal arc and interrupt the circuit by tripping the breaker and stop the electricity flow and arc.

Starting with the 2002 version of the Canadian Electrical Code in Canada, the national code require AFCIs in all circuits that feed outlets in bedrooms of dwelling units. As of the 2014 NEC, AFCI protection is required on all branch circuits supplying outlets or devices installed in dwelling unit kitchens, along with the 2008 NEC additions of family rooms, dining rooms, living rooms, parlors, libraries, dens, bedrooms, sun-rooms, recreation rooms, closets, hallways, laundry areas, and similar rooms and areas. They are also required in dormitory units. This requirement may be accomplished by using a “combination type” breaker, a specific kind of circuit-breaker in the breaker panel that provides combined arc-fault and over-current protection or by using an AFCI receptacle for modifications/extensions, as replacement receptacles or in new construction, at the first outlet on the branch. It is also important to check local code requirements.

Canadian code 2015 changes

Understanding 2015 Canadian Electrical Code provisions
The Canadian Electrical Code now states that arc fault circuit protection is required in 125Vac, 15A and 20A circuits supplying receptacles throughout the home (with the exception of those outlined in the 2015 CE Code).

Canadian Electrical Code Rule 26-724(f)
This rule states that all branch circuits in dwelling units supplying 125V receptacles rated 20A or less must be protected by a combination-type AFCI.
branch circuits supplying receptacles installed in accordance with Rules 26-710 (f)
and 26-712(d) (i), (iii), (iv) and (v)
branch circuits supplying only one receptacle for the connection of a cord-connected
sump pump, are exempt from the requirement for arc fault protection

Canadian Electrical Code Rule 26-720
This rule defines a combination-type AFCI as a device that provides both series and parallel arc fault protection against dangerous arcing to the entire branch circuit wiring, including cord sets and power supply cords connected to the outlets.
This rule also defines an Outlet Branch-Circuit AFCI as a device that provides both series and parallel arc fault protection against dangerous arcing to downstream branch circuit wiring, cord sets, and power supply cords and also provides series arc fault protection to upstream branch circuit wiring.

Our electricians at Professional Electrical and Controls are fully trained and experienced with the GFCI and AFCI knowledge and application. They will immediately suggest you what are the right recommendation for your house safety in terms of using an AFCI anf GFCI

Call us today at 780-476-1413 to make your house safer.

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