How To Prevent A Parallel Arc Fault That Causes So Many Fires
Wiring can last for decades when installed properly. However, overdriven staples, overbending, hard pulls, moisture, excessive heat, surges or lightning strikes can degrade the insulation which results in current leakage. Tracking occurs as current leakage increases across the conductive path which will cause the temperature to rise significantly & pyrolyze the insulation. Tracking generates carbon that produces more heat & even more carbon. Arcing occurs after the initial current flow occurs due to the carbonized insulation. When the current flow increases it results in arcing. A AFCI Circuit Breaker is required by UL to clear an arc fault in 8 ½ cycles of arcing within 0.5 seconds.
We can install a Dual Function AFCI/GFCI Circuit Breaker. A GFCI monitors the current flowing through a circuit. When the difference between the current leaving the hot conductor & returning on the neutral conductor through the current transformer exceeds 5 mA, the solid-state circuitry opens the switching contacts & de-energizes the circuit in as little as 1/40 of a second which is caused by Tracking & is the precursor to Arc Faults. AFCI’s have GFP Protection of 30 mA & not GFCI Protection.