A circuit breaker that provides both Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter (GFCI) and Combination Arc Fault Circuit Interrupter (CAFCI) is called a Dual Function Circuit Interrupter DFCI). The 2014 National Electrical Code (NEC) has mandated both AFCI and GFCI protection for many kitchen and laundry circuits, and the DFCI breaker provides both in one breaker. Some states, including Florida, have not adopted the new 2014 NEC yet, and we have only seen one of them so far. But DFCI breakers are on the horizon.
Both CAFCI and GFCI are safety devices. A CAFCI breaker guards against arcing or sparking caused by frayed wires and loose connection, which is a leading cause of house fires. GFCI breakers provide shock protection for the circuit by recognizing if an current has strayed outside its intended path and, if your body is where the current has leaked to, you could be shocked, burned, or even electrocuted.
Although most CAFCI breakers provide GFCI-type shock protection, the current level to trip and response time does not meet the standards for a “Class A” GFCI, so they are not rated for GFCI-protection and the DFCI is a big improvement.
Also, see our blog post What is the difference between GFCI and AFCI circuit breakers?
• • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • •
Here’s links to a collection of our other blog posts about AFCI and GFCI RECEPTACLES AND CIRCUIT BREAKERS:
• Does a septic pump or sump pump require a GFCI-receptacle?
• What is the difference between what trips a GFCI (ground fault) receptacle and a circuit breaker?
• Are Ground Fault Circuit Interrupters (GFCIs) really necessary and worth the trouble?
• What is the code requirement for GFCI protection for receptacles near a wet bar sink?
• When was GFCI-protection for kitchen dishwasher receptacle outlet first required?
• When did arc fault circuit interrupter (AFCI) breakers first become required?
• Does a washing machine receptacle outlet require GFCI protection?
• My spa tub stopped working. What's wrong?
• How do I identify a combination AFCI (CAFCI) circuit breaker?
• What does "listed and labeled" mean for an electrical component?
• What electrical hazards does a Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter (GFCI) NOT protect against?
• Where are GFCI receptacle outlets required?
• When were GFCI receptacle outlets first required?
• What happens when you press the "TEST" button on a circuit breaker in an electric panel?
• What is the difference between the electric service to a mobile home and a site built home?
• Why is there a wall switch next to the furnace or indoor unit of the air conditioner in the garage?
• How I can tell if a receptacle outlet is tamper resistant?
• What is the difference between a Combination Arc Fault Circuit Interrupter (CAFCI) and an Arc Fault Circuit Interrupter (AFCI) circuit breaker?
• What is the difference between "grounded" and "grounding" electrical conductors?
• What does it mean when a wire is "overstripped" at a circuit breaker?
• Why is there a GFCI breaker in the electric panel for the bathroom shower light and exhaust fan?
• What is the switch on the wall with two pushbuttons?
• How far apart should kitchen counter receptacles be spaced?
• How far above a kitchen countertop do electrical outlets have to be?
• How is it possible to provide both GFCI (Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter) and CAFCI (Combination Arc Fault Circuit Interrupter) protection for kitchen and laundry circuits?
• My bathroom electric receptacle/outlet is dead and there are no tripped breakers in the electric panel. What's wrong?
• My GFCI reset button is hard to push and won't reset. What's wrong?
• Why do some breakers in my electric panel have a "TEST" button on them?
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.