2011 Arc Fault Code

Code RequirementArticle 406 – Receptacles, Cord Connectors, and Attachment Plugs (Caps)
406.3(D)(4) Arc-Fault Circuit Interrupter Protection. Where a receptacle outlet is supplied by a branch circuit that requires arc-fault circuit interrupter protection as specified elsewhere in this code, a replacement receptacle at this outlet shall be one of the following.
(1) A listed outlet branch circuit type arc-fault circuit interrupter receptacle.
(2) A receptacle protected by a listed outlet branch circuit type arc-fault circuit interrupter type receptacle.
(3) A receptacle protected by a listed combination type arc-fault circuit interrupter type circuit breaker.
This requirement becomes effective January 1, 2014.
There are more than 128 Million existing homes in the United States and many were built in times where there were no local code inspection requirements. The electrical infrastructure of a home ages with every passing year. Over time electrical safety can be compromised.
This code requirement is an attempt to ensure that circuits which are involved in inspected renovation or updating projects are protected by Arc Fault Circuit Interrupters.
This code requirement also recognizes the advantage of AFCI protection even in existing homes. However, as of the date of this document, no listed AFCI receptacle is commercially available. A listed combination type AFCI circuit breaker will protect the entire branch circuit and fulfill this requirement.
The following are the key proposals and comments for this new requirement.

Interpretation of
When replacing a receptacle in an existing home on a circuit that would traditionally require AFCI per the prevailing NEC, an AFCI receptacle or AFCI breaker is required to provide AFCI protection downstream. This would include any receptacle replaced in family rooms, dining rooms, living rooms, parlors, libraries, dens, bedrooms, sunrooms, recreation rooms, closets, hallways, or similar rooms or areas.

18-30 – Accept in Principle
18-10 – Accept in Principle
18-19 – Accept
18-23 – Accept in Principle

These are part of the Report on Comments (ROC) and/or Report
on Proposals (ROP) documents available for free from the NFPA web site (www.nfpa.org). A direct link is provided here:

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