What is an AFCI?

AFCI stands for Arc Fault Circuit Interrupter. AFCI’s are designed to shut off an electrical circuit if there is a spark in that circuit.  So, if there is a loose wire causing a spark (arc), anywhere in that circuit, the power gets shut off which may prevent a fire.  Sparks can overheat wires very quickly.  All newly installed electrical systems are required to utilize these devices in main electrical circuit breaker panels or as individual outlets pretty much throughout the entire house.  (GFCI’s were originally required in bedroom circuits only) but the code has been updated.  A licensed electrician can advise you as to exactly where they are required.

AFCI’s are great safety devices and you may want to have them installed even if your home is “grandfathered”.  If you are not updating a circuit or installing new ones, AFCI’s are “grandfathered” and are not required (but they are recommended).

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