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Enhance Your Home's Safety with Arc Fault Circuit Breakers

There are around 51,000 electrical fires every year in the U.S. on average. Some of these fires can be attributed to arc faults within your electrical system. Our certified electricians at Bradley Mechanical help investigate, install and provide maintenance to arc fault circuit breakers to ensure your home’s safety and bring it up to code.

Myth vs. Fact: Arc Fault Circuit Breaker Edition

An arc fault happens when electrical currents find a route outside of the circuit’s intended path to travel through, which is a dangerous situation to have. An event like this causes electrical surges and fires, potentially leading to severe damage to your electric system, home or office. Common causes of arc faults include loose wire connections, corroded and overworked wires or wires pinched by furniture and other obstructions. Old and outdated electrical systems can also contribute to this problem, as wiring must be maintained and replaced over time.

Although arc fault circuit breakers have been a key component of new construction, home renovation, and overall home safety for many years, some confusion remains around the purpose and impact of arc fault circuit breakers. Let’s dispel a couple of these myths:

Myth Fact
Arc fault circuit breakers are the same as conventional circuit breakers. Arc fault circuit breakers are NOT the same as conventional circuit breakers, as conventional ones only respond to short circuits and overloads.
Arc fault circuit breakers are the same as ground fault circuit interrupters. Arc fault circuit breakers and ground fault circuit interrupters are not synonymous. Ground fault circuit interrupters are installed to help prevent shocks and electrocutions from occurring. In contrast, arc fault circuit breakers can help you avoid electrical fires by detecting electricity surges and wiring issues.
Arc fault circuit breakers are only required in a few specific, high-energy use rooms. Since 2014, arc fault circuit interrupters have been required for all 15 and 20-amp branch circuits that provide power to outlets in virtually all residential rooms, including bedrooms, family rooms, dining rooms, living rooms, laundry rooms, recreation rooms, hallways, and even closets.
Arc fault circuit breakers are not life-saving devices. According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, over 40,000 fires a year were linked to home electrical wiring in the 1990s. It was also reported that over half of these fires could have been prevented if arc fault circuit breakers had been used. Arc fault circuit breakers can help prevent these fires from occurring, making them essential life-saving devices in your home.

Arc Fault Breaker Installation from Certified Electricians 

Arc fault breaker installation can be completed with two standard methods. Special arc fault interrupter outlets can be installed in place of traditional outlets. However, since code requirements include all devices on the entire circuit, a more practical solution is to install an arc fault circuit breaker that replaces the standard circuit breaker and protects an entire circuit from arc faults.

If the electrical system in your home or office needs to be brought to code, do not hesitate to give Bradley Mechanical a call. And if you’re unsure of its state, our team of certified electricians will gladly assess it during our next visit.

If you’re considering upgrading your electrical system within your office building, we also provide electrical services on commercial properties to ensure your team and investments remain protected.

Find out if your home is up to code with Bradley Mechanical.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is an arc circuit breaker?

An arc fault circuit interrupter is a device that breaks an electrical circuit when it detects an electric arc fault within the circuit it is protecting. These devices can also detect loose wiring which could lead to electrical fires.

How does an arc fault breaker work?

It uses detection circuitry to determine if the arcing conditions are expected or unintended. An arc fault happens when electrical current flows through an unplanned path creating an unintended arc.

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