How do I replace an AFCI breaker?

Asked By: Jianmei Bag | Last Updated: 1st January, 2020
Category: home and garden home appliances
4/5 (435 Views . 25 Votes)
  1. TURN OFF THE MAIN CIRCUIT BREAKER. Locate the breaker or breakers you plan to replace with AFCI breakers.
  2. REMOVE THE PANEL COVER. Unscrew and remove the panel cover.
  3. REMOVE OLD CIRCUIT BREAKER.
  4. DISCONNECT WHITE WIRE.
  5. CONNECT THE AFCI BREAKER.
  6. CONNECT THE COILED WHITE WIRE.
  7. INSTALL THE AFCI BREAKER.
  8. PUT THE PANEL COVER ON.

Click to see full answer


Also know, can I replace an arc fault breaker with a regular breaker?

Yes it can, but why would you want to, especially in your case. First off unless you are an Electrician, know what you are doing, or have generally large cajones, You should not be doing that. Your home is under warranty and the AFCI is tripping.

Likewise, how long do AFCI breakers last? The wire behind a wall is supposed to last well beyond 25 years. A Big 2X That . I came across this vid were an AFCI manufacturer representative says between 15 and 25 years.

Similarly, you may ask, where do you need AFCI breakers?

AFCI protection is currently required for all 15 and 20 amp branch circuits providing power to outlets* in residential family rooms, dining rooms, living rooms, parlors, libraries, dens, bedrooms, sunrooms, recreation rooms, closets, hallways, and similar rooms or areas.

How do you know if a breaker is AFCI?

With your breaker in the on position and at least one device turned on in the circuit, press down on the AFCI “TEST” button. The AFCI breaker should trip and move the switch to the OFF position (or the middle “TRIP” position if there is one). If the breaker trips when you press the “TEST” button, the AFCI is working.

35 Related Question Answers Found

How do you know if you have a bad arc fault breaker?

If the arc fault breaker still trips, the electrician then needs to track down the cause by going into each switch, receptacle and light box to look for a wiring problem. Wires are often folded (jammed) into boxes quickly, and if the wrong two wires make contact, they can trip an AFCI.

Do I need to install arc fault breakers?

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, sunrooms, recreation rooms, closets, hallways, laundry areas, and

What causes AFCI breaker trip?

The two main causes for nuisance tripping at AFCI circuit breakers are improperly wired circuits and incompatibility with electronic devices. When older AFCI single-pole circuit breakers were used on multi-wire circuits, the circuit breakers would trip as soon as a load was applied to the circuit.

How much does it cost to install AFCI?

Adding AFCI protection for an entire branch circuit typically requires the installation of an AFCI circuit breaker. These circuit breakers cost about $30 – $50 each, and installing them means replacing existing circuit breakers, which I don't consider to be a good “starter” electrical project.

How do I replace a circuit breaker?


Here's how to replace your circuit breaker:
  1. Shut off the branch circuit breakers one at a time.
  2. Shut off the main circuit breaker.
  3. Test all the wires with a voltage tester to make sure they're dead before proceeding.
  4. Remove the panel cover.
  5. Disconnect the wire of the breaker you're removing from the load terminal.

How do you find an arc fault?

An arc-fault circuit interrupter (AFCI) is a circuit breaker* located in your electrical panel that serves the functions of a normal breaker but also senses hazardous arcing on its circuit and will trip off for this. It can be identified by the special colored test-button near its handle.

What is the difference between an arc fault breaker and a ground fault breaker?

The AFCI (Arc Fault Circuit Interrupter) protects against fires caused by arcing faults. The GFCI (Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter) is designed to protect people from severe or fatal electric shocks. A ground fault is an unintentional electric path diverting current to ground.

Does a washing machine need to be arc fault protected?

AFCI Protection:
Refer to 210.12(A) of the 2017 NEC, which states: All Dwelling-Unit 120 Volt 15a and 20a branch-circuits supplying outlets or devices in …”laundry areas” shall be AFCI protected. Therefore, by default, the clothes washing machine in a dwelling unit laundry area will be AFCI protected.

Does microwave need AFCI?

The microwave oven needs a dedicated 20-amp, the 120/125-volt circuit to feed it. AFCI protection is usually required for this circuit since the appliance is plugged into an outlet.

Does refrigerator require AFCI?


Refrigerators are not the use-case for AFCI or GFCI
It would be nigh impossible for a consumer to contact anything 120V if they were trying. AFCI is to prevent fires from wiring faults either in house wiring or in plastic, flammable devices.

Do you need AFCI breaker for lights?

The NEC now requires that virtually all branch circuits for lighting and receptacles in a home must have arc-fault circuit-interrupter (AFCI) protection. Note that the AFCI requirement is in addition to whatever GFCI protection is required—an AFCI does not replace or eliminate the need for GFCI protection.

Do outlets need to be arc fault protected?

All habitable rooms that contain 120 volt 15 or 20 Amp branch circuits require ARC-fault protection. This includes kitchens, family rooms, dining rooms, living rooms, parlors, libraries, dens, bedrooms, sunrooms, recreation rooms, closets, hallways, laundry areas, or similar rooms or areas.

Do they make tandem arc fault breakers?

No AFCI or GFCI Option
Nor are tandem breakers currently available in GFCI models, so in situations where a circuit requires either AFCI and/or GFCI protection, the only option is a standard circuit breaker. Tandem circuit breakers are not an option in these circumstances.

Will a GFCI tester trip an AFCI breaker?

No. While some GFCI testers may cause an AFCI to trip, these devices are not testing the arc detection capability of the breaker. AFCIs utilize a differential sensor to detect leakage of current in a circuit.

How do I connect an AFCI breaker?


  1. Turn the AFCI breaker handle to the off position.
  2. Loosen the two breaker terminal screws.
  3. Connect the white circuit wire (not the coiled white wire) to the breaker terminal labeled “Panel Neutral” or “white.”
  4. Connect the black circuit wire to the breaker terminal labeled “Load Power” or “black.”

Do dedicated circuits need AFCI?

Yes, you need AFCI protection
This includes dedicated appliances such as furnaces and dishwashers, and even smoke detector circuits.

How do you troubleshoot an AFCI breaker?

AFCI is defective, replace with a new breaker. Unplug all loads and turn all light switches off. Verify there is no continuity between the load hot and load neutral OR the load hot and ground. Unplug all loads and turn all light switches off.