When did AFCI protection first become required for kitchens and laundry rooms?
Monday, December 16, 2019
Kitchens and laundry rooms were added in the 2014 edition of the National Electrical Code (NEC) to the list of rooms requiring AFCI protection.
Earlier the 2008 NEC expanded the rooms required to have AFCI-protection to also include “family rooms, dining rooms, living rooms, parlors, libraries, dens, sunrooms, recreation rooms, closets, hallways, or similar rooms or areas.” Only bedrooms were required in 1999 and 2002 NEC.
The 2008 NEC also mandated that Combination AFCI breaker, an upgraded design that detects both series and parallel arc faults, be used instead of the older AFCIs—which only recognized parallel arc faults. To read more about it, see our blog post What is the difference between a Combination Arc Fault Circuit Interrupter (CAFCI) and an Arc Fault Circuit Interrupter (AFCI) circuit breaker?
There are also rather complicated rules for when the AFCI device can be in the panel, or the first receptacle outlet in a circuit, or a combination of both, which we won’t go into here.
While the year that the NEC added a new location requirement is easy to define, each local juridiction’s building codes don’t necessarily adopt the latest edition of the NEC immediately. The state of Florida, for example, did not make the 2011 NEC effective until mid-2015. Other jurisdictions have sometimes waited even longer to adopt a newer NEC edition and, to complicate things further, they might make amendments that exclude parts of the newest requirements. So the year when the NEC first required GFCI-protection for a new receptacle location can be several years before your local building department adopted that edition of the code and began enforcing it.
See our blog post What is the difference between GFCI and AFCI circuit breakers to learn more.
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