Breakers & Electric Wiring Malfunctions

Breakers & Electric Wiring Malfunctions

Did you know there was a safety feature to protect electronics from catching fire?

Indeed there is and it is called an Arc Fault Circuit Interrupter (AFCI). Chances are, unless you have heard this term used by an electrician, you’ve never heard of AFCI.

Basically, it is a type of breaker designed to detect arc faults in your home’s wiring. The AFCI trips the breaker before those arcing faults can cause a fire. This is important, because over 40,000 fires, annually, are being attributed to home electrical wiring issues.

How to tell if you have AFCI breakers:

Go to the electrical panels to see if any of the breakers have a test button.

Next, read the label to see what type of breaker it is. There are two types of AFCI breakers you may keep an eye out for: Branch Feeder (or BRAF) and Combination type.

Combination type breakers are the newer ones.

If you have panels with the older BRAF type breakers, it is recommended to replace them with the newer Combination type AFCI breakers.

What happens if you don’t have AFCI breakers?
Currently, there is not a way for AFCI breakers to be installed into very old homes without rewiring the circuits and installing new panels that could accept the AFCI breakers.

If you’re not selling your home, then making the upgrade is solely up to your judgment as a homeowner.

Keep in mind, that the upgrade to AFCI breakers could be the difference between a home fire or replacement of expensive electronic items such as your radio, television or computer.

AFCI breakers are truly a safety improvement for your home.