How is it possible to provide both GFCI and CAFCI protection for kitchen and laundry circuits?

Friday, August 31, 2018

The National Electric Code (NEC) has required both GFCI and CAFCI protection for laundry and kitchen circuits in a residence since the 2014 edition of the code. There are two ways you can do it:

  1. Install a Dual Functional Circuit Interrupter (DFCI)breaker, shown above, in the electric panel for the circuit. It provides both GFCI and CAFCI protection, along with the overcurrent protection of a standard circuit breaker. To read more about them, see our blog post ”What is a Dual Function Circuit Interrupter (DFCI)? 
  2. Install a CAFCI breaker for the circuit in the panel and a GFCI-receptacle at the first outlet in the circuit, which will provide GFCI-protection for all the downstream receptacles.

    The cost of the equipment is about the same for either type of installation, but #2 makes it easier troubleshoot whether the defect causing a trip was an arc fault or a ground fault in the circuit.

    Also, see our blog posts When did arc fault circuit interrupter (AFCI) breakers first become required? and What electrical hazards does a Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter (GFCI) NOT protect against?

• • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • 

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? 

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 is the difference between GFCI and AFCI circuit breakers? 

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?

What is a Dual Function Circuit Interrupter (DFCI)? 

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? 

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.

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