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AFCI - Arc Fault Circuit Interrupt Breakers. What it is and how it works.

An ACFI breaker, also known as an Arc Fault Circuit Interrupter breaker, is a type of electrical safety device designed to detect and mitigate the risks associated with electrical arcs in residential and commercial wiring systems.

Arc faults occur when there is an unintended flow of electrical current through an air gap between conductors. These arcs can happen due to damaged or deteriorating wiring, loose connections, or faulty appliances. Arc faults pose a significant fire hazard because they can generate high temperatures and ignite nearby combustible materials.

ACFI breakers are designed to monitor the electrical waveform and detect abnormal patterns that indicate the presence of an arc fault. When such a fault is detected, the ACFI breaker interrupts the circuit to prevent the arc from causing a fire. This rapid interruption of power helps to reduce the risk of electrical fires in buildings.

ACFI breakers are typically installed in circuit breaker panels and are required by electrical codes in many jurisdictions for certain areas of residential and commercial buildings, such as bedrooms and living rooms, where the risk of electrical fires is higher due to the presence of electrical appliances and wiring.

In summary, ACFI breakers are used to enhance electrical safety by detecting and preventing arc faults, thereby reducing the risk of electrical fires in buildings.

AFCI breakers in panel
Breaker panel with AFCI breakers present.


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