How To Look At A House

McGarry and Madsen's home inspection blog for buyers of  

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What does a circuit breaker with a yellow or white test button indicate?

Monday, July 2, 2018

If the breaker is made by Square D, which is the most popular brand of panels and breakers in the U.S., then the yellow test button indicates that it is a GFCI (Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter) breaker and a white button means the breaker is an CAFCI ( Combination Arc Fault Circuit Interrupter). Square D breakers that are more than about 20 years old with a red ‘TEST’ button are GFCI, and AFCI breakers (an earlier version of CAFCI) had green test buttons. Other brands, like Siemens and Cutler Hammer, use their own color code, most often red or white.

     There is very tiny print of the front surface of the breaker, but concealed under the metal dead front, that states which type of breaker it is; but we do not recommend removing the dead front to check. The photo above shows a CAFCI breaker with the dead front removed and a label indicating that it is a Combination AFCI.

     The GFCI breakers are used to provide additional shock protection in wet areas of the home, and CAFCI and AFCI breakers recognize arcing/sparking in the wiring and trip to avoid starting a fire. Both types also provide the same overcurrent protection as other breakers in the panel.

    Visit our AFCI AND GFCI page for other related blog posts on this subject, or go to the INDEX for a complete listing of all our articles.

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