Was your home built before 1999? If it was, you may be at risk for a house fire. This is because arc-fault breakers or the devices that de-energize circuits experiencing an unnatural arc, weren’t required to be installed in new homes until 1999.
The average homeowner doesn’t know about the danger of arc faults, or even what to do if their home is at risk. Thankfully, Master Electrical Service has you covered. Read on to learn about arc faults, the dangers they cause, and how we can help.
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An arc fault is an unintentional discharge of electricity in a circuit. When this happens, the arcing faults can reach extremely high temperatures, upwards of 9,000 degrees Fahrenheit.
Arcing typically happens one of two ways, which are:
If electrical wiring is stapled too tightly to the wooden frame of a house during construction, over time, energy flowing through the wire may start to arc with the metal staple. This can create enormous amounts of heat—and could cause the stud holding the staple to catch fire.
Arc faults can happen anywhere throughout your entire electrical system at home, and for several reasons including:
Arc-fault breakers protect against arc faults, which can very easily turn into electrical fires. In 1999, the National Electric Code (NEC) made a code change that required arc fault breakers be installed on bedroom circuits in ALL new homes. (More regulations have been added since then, and now new homes have arc-fault breakers installed on circuits in almost every room.) Since the technology was not required on most homes built before 1999, we recommend adding them to ensure safety in your home.
When unwanted arcing conditions are detected, an AFCI de-energizes the circuit and reduces the potential for a fire.
Traditional circuit breakers are only intended to respond to overloads and short circuits. Meanwhile, Ground-Fault Circuit Interrupters (GFCIs) are an effective means of preventing severe electrical shock by detecting loss of current in a circuit but do not protect against arcing conditions that produce erratic current flow. An AFCI provides a new level of protection not offered by either of these devices.
Are arc-fault breakers required in older homes? Common sense says yes, and so does the law unless you haven’t made any changes to your circuits or electrical panel.
While grandfathering yourself into not having to add AFCI protection is possible, it’s unsafe and not recommended.
The electrical contractors at Master Electrical Service can install AFCIs to protect your home from potential fires. Since 1954, we’ve been helping homeowners with high-quality electrical services. We are confident that we can consider your home’s unique situation and install the best protection available. Don’t hope you’re protected—know you’re protected. Have us install AFCIs in your home and know you and your family are safe for years to come. We also offer Home Protection Plans and Home Safety Checks to ensure your electrical systems are in top working condition!