Electrical Inspectors and AFCIs

Why it is important to enforce the NEC on AFCIs to protect the homeowner?

It’s simple. It is all about safety. As an electrical inspector, your first priority is to protect the homeowner. Short cuts, poor workmanship or safety risks are all things you should identify.

The claim that AFCI/GFCI outlets are direct replacements for AFCI breakers is not true. Outlet manufacturers are misleading contractors on several fronts.

  1. First, AFCI outlets CANNOT protect UPSTREAM for parallel arcs per UL testing. Especially the home run portion of the circuit.
  2. The National Electrical Code is clear that in order to use an AFCI outlet, you must protect the home run (use conduit, encase in concrete, etc.).

Do you think contractors want to spend that extra time and money to do that? It is imperative that you inspect for short cuts and red tag home run circuits that do not comply with the National Electrical Code. Read through our electrical inspector handout so you know the facts on AFCIs from circuit breakers through outlet options.

Download our four page handout that explains the importance of clearly understanding the NEC as it pertains to home run circuits. It includes a quick “checklist” for your inspections. Your review of AFCI installation is critical to homeowner safety.