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Can you replace an AFCI breaker with a CAFCI breaker?
Friday, June 15, 2018
Yes. The technology for Arc Fault Circuit Interrupter breakers only recognizes parallel arcing (hot-to-neutral or an arc to ground), but AFCIs did not recognize series arcing (between a small gap or frayed area in the same wire, for example), so the Combination-AFCI or CAFCI was developed, which has that additional capability. They are also often called Combo-AFCIs. Beginning in 2008, the National Electric Code (NEC) required the installation of CAFCIs for circuits that the code specifies for arc fault protection.
All AFCI and CAFCI breakers have a small test button for verifying that the circuit protection device still works properly and, if the breaker fails to trip after pushing the test button, it should only be replaced with a new CAFCI breaker.
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