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Arc Fault Breakers

Did you know that many fires result when wires or electrical products are damaged, improperly used, or old? And did you know that traditional circuit breakers and fuses may not detect these problems?

Arc fault circuit interrupters are designed to detect arc faults, as well as the more traditional overloads, short circuits and ground faults.

How? Well, when a Hot wire makes a solid contact with a ground or a neutral, the current draw will be high enough to trip the breaker. But if the contact is intermittent and not a solid contact due to loose or corroded connections or failing insulation, what develops is an arc. The arc causes heat, which left uncorrected could eventually wind up causing a fire. The AFCI breaker detects an arc by the characteristic wave an arc causes in the electrical flow. When it sees an arc fault of large enough magnitude, it will trip the breaker.

You may want to consider using these new arc fault breakers. Traditional circuit breakers and fuses won't stop electric shock or electrocution if an accident happens - they just don't work fast enough. Unfortunately, the current needed to severely shock or kill a person is MUCH LOWER than the current needed to trip a breaker. Additionally, traditional breakers might not trip if arcing occurs. Arc faults can also result from every-day common occurrences - such as hanging a new picture or screwing a cabinet into the wall and accidentally puncturing the wire insulation.

The arc fault circuit interrupter reduces the possibility of both a fire in your home started by faulty wiring connections, cords, appliances and other hazards, and accidental electrocution. It contains a microprocessor that is programmed to recognize the characteristics of arc faults. It then shuts off the power supply until the current flow is normal again.

With arc fault breakers, you've got added security for you and your family. Just check out what can happen when fuse boxes and the neighborhood handyman get together. Click here.

To find out how affordable it is to install arc fault breakers in your house (and to get a better night's sleep now that you've seen those fuse box fire photos), Give us a call NOW!


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Copyright 2004 Mr. Electric Washington DC
Last modified: 03/15/09



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