1. All manufactures are experiencing nuisance tripping with their Arc Faults to some degree.
2. This not a “defective” Breaker issue. Siemens has tested hundreds of breakers from the field that have been returned as “defective” and not one breaker has been identified as “defective”.
3. Testing has shown that Arc Fault Breaker tripping is due to the following:
- An actual arc, indicating that the breaker is doing its job.
- Overcurrent (appliance drawing more amps than allowed)
- Electronic Noise caused by the loads on the circuits
4. There is no standard that Appliances and Home Electronics be tested or proven to work with Arc Fault Technology.
- It is probable that certain appliances create wave forms similar to arcing as part of normal operation that the Breaker is picking up causing it to trip.
- It is possible other devices in the home are also creating strong enough wave forms in the panel that it can be picked up by the Breaker and perceived as an Arc and cause nuisance tripping.
Suggested way to handle a Nuisance Tripping complaint:
1. Use 20 amp arc faults on all microwave circuits
2. As a solution we can offer our Dual Function breaker, it has proven to hold on circuits that the Arc Fault breaker is nuisance tripping.
- CAUTION – we do not recommend using the Dual Function breaker on all circuits.
- The Dual Function breaker has our generation A firmware for the Arc Fault circuitry, we are currently on Generation C.
- It has proven to be an effective alternative on circuits where the current Arc Fault breaker is nuisance tripping.
3. Re-test your breakers before resorting to the Dual Function breaker as a solution
Please see troubleshooting guide attached
- First, all connections between the light socket and the light bulb base should be tight. An arc can occur in a loose connection, which will cause the AFCI breaker to trip.
- Beware that the circuit is not overloaded with an excessive amount of electronics. The breaker is only able to support a specified amount of wattage, and if exceeded, the breaker will trip.
- All electronics purchased should be CSA listed, or equivalent, and comply with CSA standard C22.2 No. 270, or they may cause unnecessary tripping.
- Make sure furniture is not on or pushing against electrical wires.
- If any blackened plugs, very damaged wires, or noisy circuit breakers are discovered, an electrical problem has occurred and the homeowner should call an electrician.
Electrical Contractors Best Practices:
- Ensure properly maintained tools are used, i.e. sharp blades.
- Route wires in strategic areas so homeowners and other trades are less likely to pierce through a wire.
- If possible, perform work after the other trades, i.e. HVAC and plumbing, have completed.
- Ensure wires are secure on receptacles, recommended that wires are secured with the screw, friction fit backstabbing is not recommended.
- 20amp arc faults on Microwave circuits. This reduces nuisance tripping due to microwave overcurrent.
- Separate HRV and Hot water tanks onto separate circuits.
- Separate lighting and switches onto non-arc fault circuits.
5. AFCI vs Standard Circuit Breaker: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arc-fault_circuit_interrupter Arc-fault_circuit_interrupter
Your new home may differ from your previous home, in that your new home has arc fault breakers. Arc Faults breakers were required in homes built after 2015. Arc Fault breakers will react differently and may cause tripping where they had not caused tripping in your previous home. This new incompatibility is due to the differences in the breakers functionality and the protection they provides.
- Conventional circuit breakers only respond to overloads and short circuits, so they do not protect against arcing conditions.
- An Arc Fault Circuit Breaker (AFCI) is a circuit breaker that breaks the circuit when it protects detects electric arc signals, the signals a signature of loose connections or damaged wires in a home. Loose connections, which can develop over time, or damaged wires or cords can sometimes become hot enough to ignite house fires. AFCIs are devices designed to protect against fires caused by arcing faults in the home electrical wiring. The AFCI circuitry continuously monitors the current to detect unwanted arcing conditions. Once detected, the AFCI opens its internal contacts, thus de-energizing the circuit and reducing the potential for a fire to occur.
Statement regarding Siemens AFCI Breakers:
"Siemens is committed to providing an AFCI breaker that meets the required codes and customer expectations and is continually updating and improving our product. As technology changes and new appliances and equipment are introduced, some appliances may not be compatible with ArcFault technology."