Question about Siemens 20Amp 1-pole arc-fault circuit breaker

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Two 15 amp arc fault breakers installed on two adjacent circuits. One works fine - does not trip. The afi breaker beside it trips as soon as it is flipped on. We tried switching circuits, but both circuits worked on the first breaker, but both tripped on the second breaker. We exchanged the breaker for a new one, but have the same problem. Help please!

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  • Dan Todd May 11, 2010

    Have you tried using an regular circuit breaker instead of the arc fault breaker to see if it is something in the circuit and not the arc fault breaker?

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It's possible that the first breaker that you said does not trip - it could be that breaker is failing to trip on a bad circuit. That is, it could be you have a bad circuit but that first breaker is not detecting it and pretends everything is OK. If your new breaker trips on the first breaker's circuit, the curcuit it probably bad and the breaker in not working properly. The most common problem for failed circuits is a stray ground wire in a box somewhere in the curcuit resting against a hot or neutral wire. You'll have to take apart every connection on that curcuit to find it. Not fun.

Posted on Jun 27, 2009

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I believe it is supposed to have a 15. Remember, breakers are installed TO PROTECT THE WIRE, NOT THE EQUIPMENT. If a breaker is tripping you just don't put a bigger breaker. The wire must be the correct size for the breaker. Take it to the manufacture.

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Installing arc fault interrupter with ground fault


If you meant arch fault with ground fault then no, the two types interfere with each other and trip the breaker as one senses an arch and the other grounding.
If you meant ground fault breaker with a GFCI. receptacle, you only need one of the two, either GFCI. breaker or receptacle.

and for circuits, you can put up to 12 devices (i.e receptacle, light)assuming they consume 1 amp each. Anything over 12 amps or 80% of the rating on the breaker, it will trip/reset.
Or if your talking about wires on a breaker then no more than 2 wires recommended. Try adding a junction box outside the panel if your trying to add other branch circuits or tap off of a receptacle.

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Installing arc fault interrupter with ground fault


Question is vague. Arc fault and ground fault are slightly different.

Are you installing arc fault breaker?
http://waterheatertimer.org/How-to-wire-GFCI.html#arc-fault
http://waterheatertimer.org/How-to-replace-circuit-breaker.html

Code says Maximum 12 boxes per circuit breaker.

Arc fault breaker and GFCI outlet in bathroom?
>>> do not connect this way.
Do not install 2 fault protections on same circuit.
Install the arc fault circuit breaker, and then remove bathroom GFCI, and replace with ordinary outlet, or switch-outlet.

How many outlets can be connected to a bathroom GFCI?
It depends on total boxes on circuit.
Count the boxes. Max 12 boxes per circuit breaker.

How many amps can be connected to 15 amp device?
15 x 80% = 12 amps
Electricians use 80% rule to calculate safe maximum
http://waterheatertimer.org/Color-codewire.html
http://waterheatertimer.org/See-inside-main-breaker-box.html

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Sounds like something is wrong with the light check the wiring. Unhook the light and try ther breaker if breaker does not trip then problem is in the circuit.

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It is oil. It's used to extinguish the arc.

When a circuit breaker trips, there is an Arc of electricity made inside the breaker, due to the contacts.
The contacts are instantly brought away from each other.

There are three methods employed to extinguish that arc.

[Extinguish the arc. Non-technical explanation. With out some medium to extinguish the arc produced inside, it would go Z-z-z-z-z-z-z-z-z-z-z-z-zap, instead of z-zap]

Oil, Air, and Sulfur Hexafluoride.

So yes, as long as the circuit breaker doesn't have to trip, and produce the arc inside, it is a working circuit breaker.

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NO

The method employed to extinguish the arc if the breaker trips is leaking out.

Replace all breakers that are doing this.

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