How To Fix Arc Fault Nuisance Tripping For Good!

Luke Begley

⚡️ "Want more high-voltage content? Click to jump to our main page and explore our full circuit of electric videos. Power up your knowledge with every view!" 🔌👀

Our Key Takeaways

  • Siemens panels and breakers have provided consistent tripping issues in new homes, especially with microwaves and washers.
  • The Leviton-created Blank Face Arc Fault device presents a code-compliant solution to these challenges.
  • The strategic installation of these devices has eliminated nuisance tripping and increased efficiency in project completion.

Customer Dedication and Electrical Solutions with Siemens Equipment

As an experienced contractor, I've consistently utilized Siemens panels and breakers. This choice stemmed from supplier availability and has been maintained for simplicity and convenience, ensuring a consistent stock of breakers on my truck. Nonetheless, a recurring issue has emerged in newly constructed homes where breakers repeatedly trip, especially with microwaves and clothes washers. Curiously, this problem is inconsistent; some homes experience no tripping, whereas others have pervasive issues with a variety of devices causing tripping, such as garage door motors or even phone chargers.

Resolving Persistent Tripping Challenges I've encountered arc fault breakers tripping with everyday appliances—an issue that's neither isolated nor predictable. However, I found a dependable fix that adheres to the Canadian Electrical Code (CEC).

Implementing a Compliant and Effective Fix

  • Arc Fault Circuit Protection:
    • Utilize a Leviton-manufactured blank face arc fault device to prevent nuisance tripping.
  • Code Compliance:
    • This solution keeps installations within the limit of 12 receptacles per circuit as mandated by the CEC since it's not a plug-in device.

Installation Process

  1. Circuit Breaker Adjustment:
    • Replace arc fault breakers with standard 15 or 20 amp breakers for problematic circuits.
  2. Cable Protection:
    • Ensure that the wiring from the panel to the first device is covered using BX or conduit for safety and compliance.
  3. Device Setup:
    • Secure the arc fault device on the circuit with clear distinctions between 'line' and 'load’ and perform resets and tests as needed.

This method circumvents the issue of breakers tripping due to common household items. When applied to circuits designated for microwaves and laundry machines, it eliminates the necessity for post-installation revisits for repairs, saving both time and resources. With this technique in place before finalizing construction, I can confidently hand over a home without anticipating return trips for electrical issues.

If you're facing similar setbacks, this approach is a proven solution that could streamline your workflow and enhance customer satisfaction. Remember, a safely installed electrical system not only meets regulatory standards but also minimizes inconvenience for homeowners, a priority in every project I undertake.

Resolving Electrical Tripping in Modern Homes

As an experienced electrical contractor who primarily uses Siemens panels and breakers, it’s significant to address the consistent tripping issues encountered in new homes. Specifically, appliances like microwaves and clothes washers, despite being brand new, often cause breaker trips. Interestingly, some homes report zero problems, while others experience tripping in various receptacles, affecting devices from garage door motors to cell phone chargers.

The perplexity of these occurrences is acknowledged, as similar setups in different homes yield diverse results. For instance, my own residence, equipped with the same Siemens breakers, has remained trip-free for over two years. Seeking clarity and solutions online yields limited success, as no definitive resolution seems apparent.

However, I have devised a strategy that adheres to Canadian electrical code (CEC) requirements and effectively tackles the nuisance tripping without costly callbacks. The approach involves the installation of a Leviton-made device known as a Smart Lock Pro AFCI Blank Face. This unique apparatus, lacking plug-in slots and hence named 'blank face,' acts as a preventive switch while maintaining code compliance, especially when circuit limits for receptacles are reached.

The technique revolves around functionality. Instead of standard breakers that might trip for minor causes, the Leviton device takes precedence. For essential appliances, such as washers and microwaves, I connect them to these blank face arc fault devices beforehand, circumventing potential tripping. This preemptive measure ensures an uninterrupted power supply and averts unnecessary visits post-move-in.

Implementation is straightforward: the wiring from a standard 15 or 20 amp breaker in your panel is initially protected—using BX or conduit up to the first device—for compliance with the CEC. The Leviton device, which connects to the home’s wiring at this point, has a straightforward line and load setup, facilitating an easy install. It's discreetly designed to safeguard against arc faults, so in case of such an event, this device will trip, not the main breaker, unless there's an actual overload.

Employing a standard breaker paired with the blank face AFCI device thus provides the dual benefit of preventing unnecessary tripping while remaining within the safe parameters of electrical regulations. This solution has repeatedly proven effective, erasing the inconvenience of arc fault trips with microwaves and washers.

Adopting this strategy has proven advantageous, and experience has taught me the value of installing these devices early, avoiding complications once the house is in use. This has eliminated the nuisance of arc fault tripping issues, showcasing that a proficient solution requires nothing more than the right device and a knowledgeable application.

Varied Electrical Trips in Residential Wiring

If you've been encountering perplexing electrical trips in newly constructed homes, especially with microwaves and washing machines, despite using fresh appliances and Siemens breakers, you're not alone. Your decision to consistently use Siemens due to supplier availability and brand familiarity is quite practical. Maintaining a constant stock simplifies logistics, but the frequent tripping is a puzzling issue. Sometimes every receptacle in a home triggers faults – from garage door motors to a tiny cell phone charger, while other homes operate seamlessly.

Interestingly, no tripping occurs in my own residence, despite it also being equipped with Siemens breakers. Researching a viable solution that adheres to the Canadian Electrical Code (CEC) is challenging, with no straightforward answers readily available. However, I have devised a workaround that effectively mitigates this tripping problem without compromising code compliance.

Effective Solution to Tripping Challenges:

  • Installation of a Leviton Device:

    • I utilize a Leviton-manufactured blank face arc fault circuit interrupter, called the Smart Lock Pro AFCI.
    • This device does not feature typical receptacle slots but includes reset and test buttons.
    • It's not counted as a receptacle, thereby adhering to the code's limit for receptacle numbers on a circuit.
  • Circuit Modification for Code Compliance:

    • By code, a circuit must be arc-fault protected from the panel to the first device, using protected wiring like BX or conduit.
    • I install this blank face AFCI at the first point instead of an arc fault breaker in the panel.
    • This allows me to use a standard 15 or 20 amp breaker and still fulfill the requirement for arc fault protection.

Installation Steps:

  1. Connect BX cable to the first device for protected wiring.
  2. Wire the blank face AFCI with "line" and "load" accordingly.
  3. Test and reset the device to ensure it is functioning correctly.

By employing this method, microwaves and laundry circuits can be connected through a traditional breaker, bypassing the arc fault breaker that causes nuisance tripping. This solution has proven reliable, eliminating the need for follow-up service calls related to this issue. It's a lesson learned — install these devices preemptively to avoid the hassle of troubleshooting tripping breakers after homeowners begin using their appliances. If you're seeking a dependable fix for similar tripping problems, this approach may very well be your answer.

Managing Siemens Breaker Tripping at Home

If you're encountering foreign fault tripping with your Siemens breakers, rest assured, I've come across a flawless technique to resolve this matter. As a contractor, my preference for Siemens panels and breakers has been consistent, mainly for convenience since my supplier provides them and I've become familiar with their use. This brand uniformity helps maintain a smooth workflow, with a stock of breakers readily available in my truck—streamlining my operations.

However, a persistent issue with new installations has been the tripping of breakers connected to microwaves and clothes washers. It's puzzling because these aren't old appliances but brand new installations. It's not just an isolated issue; in some homes, every receptacle seems prone to tripping from seemingly inconsequential devices like cell phone chargers to motorized garage doors. Yet other homes operate without a hitch. In my residence, which is new, not once have I experienced tripping with Siemens breakers, not even with heavy-duty appliances such as vacuums.

In seeking a solution, I've scoured numerous resources to address this unreliability. What I've discovered aligns with Canadian Electrical Code (CEC) standards, which I'm committed to upholding. This led me to a device that successfully mitigates the tripping without compromising code compliance.

Solution to Tripping Issues My resolution hinges on installing a device from Leviton known as the Smart Lock Pro AFCI blank face. It circumvents the tripping issue while being a code-conforming equipment since it is not a receptacle and, therefore, doesn't count against the maximum number of receptacles allowed on a circuit.

  • Blank Face Arc Fault Device Installation:
    • Model: Leviton Smart Lock Pro AFCI blank face.
    • Function: Acts like a switch, with reset and test buttons but no plugging slots.
    • Location: Located proximately, usually in a utility room, after the BX or conduit, maintaining protection up to the first device.

Integrating into Existing Electrical Systems Standard practice involves connecting appliances like microwaves and washers to the arc fault circuit interrupter (AFCI) to prevent arc faults. However, installing the blank face device removes this concern. Here's the protocol I follow:

  1. Breaker Setup: Replace the arc fault breaker with a standard 15 or 20 amp breaker in your panel.
    • Example: Circuit 5A, Washer laundry 15, regular 15 amp breaker.
  2. Conduit: From the panel to the first device, use BX or conduit for wire protection.
  3. Device Connection: This blank face AFCI device has line and load ports; after wiring, you can reset and test the circuit through these buttons.
  4. Continuation: From this device, the home run wiring extends back to the panel or towards additional circuits.

By employing this straightforward method, I've entirely eliminated nuisance tripping for heavy-use appliances. This preemptive measure saves both time and resources, eliminating post-installation service calls. If you're facing similar tribulations, consider this approach—it's been unwaveringly effective for my projects. And remember, by incorporating this device, not only are you resolving the tripping dilemma, but you're also maintaining compliance with electrical safety codes, ensuring an optimal balance between reliability and regulation adherence.

Exploring Solutions and Implementing Fixes for Breaker Trips

If you've encountered repeated trips with your Siemens breakers, particularly with new appliances like microwaves and washing machines, you're not alone. In my own experience as a contractor, exclusively using Siemens products for their ease of supply and compatibility within my workflow, this problem has been recurring in many projects. Some homes experience no issues, while others witness trips from a variety of electrical devices, from garage door openers to baby bottle warmers.

Despite extensive research and efforts to identify a clear-cut resolution online, the cause of the issue remained elusive. However, I've discovered a dependable method that resolves this problem while complying with the Canadian Electrical Code (CEC). Here’s how you can apply this fix to mitigate nuisance tripping and stay within the regulatory standards.

  • Install a Leviton Blank-Face Arc-Fault Device: This solution involves using a Leviton blank-face arc-fault circuit interrupter (AFCI) device, which acts as a preventative measure against trips without being an outlet for plugging in appliances.
  • Maintain Code Compliance: It’s vital to adhere to the limit of 12 receptacles per circuit. Since the blank-face AFCI doesn't provide an outlet, it’s not considered a receptacle, thus avoiding any code violations.
  • Wiring and Breaker Adjustment: By installing a standard 15 or 20 amp breaker and running protected BX or conduit wiring to the first device, you ensure compliance with the requirement of having the initial segment of the circuit safeguarded.

The installation process includes:

  1. Connect the BX cable as a ‘home run’ from the first device position, such as your microwave or washing machine.
  2. Wire the Leviton device with the line and load appropriately. Line connection at the top and the load connection, typically covered by tape during shipping, at the bottom.
  3. The AFCI device includes a reset and a test button, similar to a ground fault circuit interrupter (GFCI).

By employing this technique early in the setup of electrical circuits for appliances prone to tripping, callbacks and additional troubleshooting can be avoided.

Upgrading Your Breakers Accordingly:

  • Swap the combination arc-fault breaker with a regular 15 or 20 amp breaker.
  • This new setup will not have arc-fault issues upon the first activation of appliances post-installation.

Remember to conduct routine tests of the AFCI device to ensure its efficacy in preventing unwarranted breaker trips. This proactive approach has proven successful time and again for me, alleviating the need for post-occupancy electrical adjustments. If you encounter similar issues or devise alternative solutions, sharing them can contribute to a collective improvement of electrical practices.

Resolving Breaker Tripping Challenges

Have you encountered persistent tripping with your Siemens breakers? The issue is more common than you think, especially with new appliances like microwaves and washing machines in brand new houses. While some homes may never experience a trip, others may have sensitive breakers that trip at the slightest electrical variance, affecting even minor appliances like a cell phone charger. But there's a method that has proven reliable in solving this annoyance while adhering to the Canadian Electrical Code, and I’m going to guide you through it.

Step 1: Choose the Right Arc Fault Device
To start, using a Leviton-made blank face arc fault device can make a significant difference. Here's why this choice is ideal:

  • Brand Quality: Although I'm not certain if other brands offer a similar product, Leviton's reliability is commendable.
  • Model Specifics: The model you're looking for is the Smart Lock Pro AFCI blank face device.

Step 2: Understand the Device
This device isn't your typical receptacle — it's a blank face gadget with reset and test buttons but without plug slots. Below are its attributes:

  • AFCI Functionality: It fulfills arc fault circuit requirements without providing an additional receptacle.
  • Code Compliance: Its design allows for code adherence, as it doesn’t count towards the maximum allowed receptacles on a circuit.

Step 3: Bypass the Breaker Tripping Issue
Your objective is to install this device before any nuisance tripping arises. Here’s the strategy:

  • Installation: For appliances prone to tripping, like microwaves and washers, connect them to the arc fault device immediately.
  • Circuit Protection: Ensure from the panel to the first device, the wiring is protected by either BX cable or conduit.

Step 4: Configure your Panel
Adjust your panel by substituting the sensitive breakers with a standard 15 or 20 amp breaker, ensuring it's linked to the newly installed arc fault device.

  • Breaker Types: Use a conventional breaker in lieu of a combination arc fault breaker prone to nuisance trips.
  • Wiring: The home run wiring that typically goes from the laundry room to the panel should now connect through the arc fault device.

Step 5: Test and Reset
With the arc fault device installed, you'll be able to test and reset your circuit directly at the device, which should now prevent unnecessary breaker trips.

Remember, this solution not only mitigates the frustration of constant trips but also saves the time and expense of returning to address these issues post-installation. If you’ve hit the limits of your patience with finicky breakers, consider this method as a tried-and-true solution to keep your circuits flowing smoothly.

Adhering to Canadian Electrical Safety Standards

In your professional experience, you might have encountered persistent tripping issues with Siemens breakers, particularly in new constructions where microwaves and clothes washers cause the main inconvenience. This can happen in some houses but not in others, leading to a baffling inconsistency that can be both time-consuming and costly to address post-occupancy.

To maintain electrical safety and compliance, you need a reliable method that aligns with the Canadian Electrical Code (CEC). One practical solution involves implementing a specific device that eliminates nuisance tripping while adhering to lawful standards. This device is a blank face arc fault circuit interrupter (AFCI).

Installation Procedure:

  1. Identify the Issue: Recognize the occurrence of tripping issues with arc fault breakers affecting various household appliances.
  2. Choose the Right Equipment: Use a Leviton-manufactured blank face arc fault interrupter to remedy the tripping problem.
    • Product Details: The Leviton Smart Lock Pro AFCI is designed without plug receptacles and features reset and test buttons, functioning similarly to a GFI receptacle.
  3. Integration Method: Install this device directly on the circuit for appliances known to trip breakers, like microwaves and clothes washers.
    • Before House Turnover: Integrate the device while setting up the panel and avoid callbacks for tripping issues.

Code Compliance Specifics:

  • Breaker Replacement: Replace arc fault breakers with standard 15 or 20 amp breakers.
  • Wiring Protection Requirement: Ensure the wiring from the panel to the first device is protected. Use BX cable or conduit up to the blank face AFCI.
  • Circuit Configuration: Connect the 'Home Run' from the appliance area to the AFCI, then from the AFCI into your panel.
  • Device Capacity: The blank face AFCI can handle up to 20 amps, aligning with code mandates for circuit protection.

Following these steps helps prevent the inconvenience of unnecessary breaker trips in new buildings. Additionally, by installing the appropriate equipment before completing the project, you minimize the need for return visits, fostering client satisfaction and upholding your reputation for quality electrical installation and compliance with the CEC. Implementing this solution has proven successful in every application, ensuring that your installations are both functional and standards-compliant.

Introduction to the Unpowered Arc Fault Solution

If you're encountering tripping issues with Siemens breakers, particularly with new microwaves and clothes washers, you're not alone. A consistent problem across numerous new homes has been identified, with random tripping affecting not just major appliances like microwaves and clothes washers but also lesser loads from a variety of electrical devices throughout different receptacles in the home. On the other hand, some homes experience no problems at all. It's important to note that such tripping does not stem from appliance malfunction or electrical mistakes but rather from the sensitivity of the arc fault breakers themselves.

Solving the Tripping Issue Within Code Compliance

Fortunately, a failsafe solution exists that aligns with the requirements of the Canadian Electrical Code (CEC). The approach involves the strategic use of a "blank face arc fault device" manufactured by Leviton. No indication shows other brands offer a similar device; however, it's prudent to check for updates. This device is an innovative alternative to conventional arc fault breakers, expressly designed to counteract unwarranted tripping.

Device Characteristics:

  • Brand: Leviton
  • Product Name: Smart Lock Pro AFCI Blank Face
  • Functionality: It shares similarities with a GFI receptacle, featuring test and reset buttons, but does not provide plug-in slots, hence the term "blank face."

Installation Approach:

  • Ensure compliance by using this device without exceeding the permissible number of receptacles per circuit.
  • It functions nearly as a switch rather than a receptacle, providing the necessary arc fault protection without being a plug-in point.
  • Instead of using a combination arc fault breaker, attach this blank face device at the beginning of the circuit for the specific appliances prone to causing tripping.
  • Utilize a standard 15 or 20 amp breaker in conjunction with the device.
  • Wiring from the panel to the device must be protected with BX cable or conduit to meet Canadian Electrical Code's protection requirements.

By integrating this device, you effectively mitigate the persistent arc fault tripping with microwaves and clothes washers, simultaneously adhering to CEC standards. It's a proactive measure that, when implemented before finalizing a project, has been shown to eliminate call-backs related to tripping issues, saving considerable time and expense. Remember, for any arc fault concerns, this device acts as the protective trip mechanism, ensuring only it will trip in case of an arc fault, with your breaker remaining unaffected barring an overload situation.

Adoption of this solution has proven successful time and again, addressing nuisance tripping without fail. For any further details or if you seek alternative solutions that could benefit others, engaging in dialogue with professionals in the field through comments or direct communication is encouraged.

Installation and Ensuring Compliance with Electrical Standards

When installing electrical breakers, efficiency and code adherence are paramount. Utilize Siemens equipment for consistency and a reliable supply. However, new installations may experience nuisance tripping with microwaves and washing machines, seemingly at random. To address this without contravening the Canadian Electrical Code (CEC), adopt a fail-safe approach.

Consider a Leviton-made arc fault circuit interrupter (AFCI) for situations where a standard receptacle would exceed the permissible count on a circuit. The AFCI's blank face design circumvents the issue, behaving similarly to a switch without receptacle slots. These are especially useful for areas where you encounter arc fault tripping with frequency.

Here’s how to stay on top of compliance and functionality:

  • Start with a Combination Arc Fault Breaker: Initially, begin with the blue-buttoned breakers in your panel.
  • Transition to a Leviton Smart Lock Pro AFCI Blank Face: To prevent unwarranted tripping and call-backs, install this device from the get-go for appliances prone to cause tripping, such as microwaves and clothes washers.
  • Ensure Code-Compliant Circuit Protection: Run a BX or conduit to your first device for wiring protection, as dictated by code.
  • Connect to a Standard Breaker: After installing the AFCI blank face device, you can utilize a standard 15 or 20 amp breaker. The AFCI device will handle arc fault protection.

Installation steps include:

  1. Run Protected Wiring: Utilize BX cable from the panel up to the AFCI.
  2. Wire the AFCI Device: Safeguard your circuit with a line and load connection on the AFCI device; reset and test functionality is available if needed.
  3. Complete the Circuit: This setup directs the circuit from the AFCI to the panel using a standard breaker, bypassing the combination arc fault breaker to avert nuisance tripping.

By implementing this method correctly, you will not only conform to safety regulations but also drastically reduce the inconvenience of subsequent site visits to rectify tripping issues. This assures a robust and compliant electrical installation, providing a lasting solution to the nuisance tripping dilemma.

Electrical Circuit Reliability Enhancements

Electrifying your spaces requires attention to safeguarding systems against unnecessary power interruptions. If you've encountered persistent nuisance tripping with specific Siemens circuit breakers, particularly affecting modern microwaves and washing machines, rest assured there’s a proficient remedy that adheres to all safety standards – tried and true.

In my professional practice, standardized use of Siemens panels and breakers has been the norm; practicality and availability shaped this choice. However, the occurrence of receptacle trips, regardless of how minor the device usage might be, prompts skilled intervention. Interestingly, some residences exhibit zero issues, while others have extensive tripping instances that affect various devices ranging from garage door openers to phone chargers.

The solution aligns with the Canadian Electrical Code (CEC) and concerns the setup of an arc-fault circuit interrupter (AFCI). Specifically, I implement a device known as a Blank-Face AFCI, whose design avoids additional receptacle counts on your circuits, maintaining your compliance with the maximum receptacle limitations set by regulation.

Your Wiring Protection Strategy:

  • Infrastructure and Integration: Use a standard 15 or 20 amp breaker in the service panel, connecting to the first device via a protected wiring system – employing either BX cable or conduit for durability and code adherence.
  • Installation Device Selection: Instead of a conventional receptacle, a Blank-Face AFCI by Leviton (or similar if available) fulfills the arc-fault protection role without contributing to receptacle count.
  • Usage and Advantages: Designed with a reset and test button, much like a GFI, though lacking plug-in slots, its installation permits regular breakers’ usage and eradicates unwanted trips, fostering uninterrupted operation of your essential appliances.

Set-Up Directions:

  • Ensure a line and a load connection – for clarity, the device has these clearly marked, often with the load side sealed for protection until ready for use.
  • Once you integrate the AFCI device, wire it to function as an early stage within your electrical layout. This allows for the continuation of standard breakers in your panel and wards off unnecessary tripping post-handover.

Deploying such a protective device during initial electrical installations for microwaves and clothes washers has drastically reduced return visits for tripping fixes. It’s a preventative approach that guarantees operation efficiency, curating a fault-free electrical environment on project completion.

Your engagement and understanding in such matters are paramount. If you've gleaned insight or if the solution resonates with your experiences, sharing thoughts and alternate solutions can further collective expertise.

Wiring the Arc Fault Circuit Interrupter

When you encounter persistent arc fault tripping with your circuit breakers, particularly involving Siemens models, there's a reliable remedy to address the issue while adhering to the Canadian Electrical Code (CEC). Having predominantly used Siemens electrical components and noticing a pattern of nuisance tripping linked to microwaves and washing machines, this workaround proves effective, circumventing needless call backs for electricians.

Materials Required:

  • Leviton Smart Lock Pro AFCI Blank Face device
  • Standard 15 or 20 amp breaker
  • BX cable or conduit for wiring protection
  • Wire strippers
  • Screwdrivers
  • Electrical tape


  1. Prepare Your Panel: Install the standard circuit breaker appropriate to the load, usually a 15 or 20 amp, into your electrical panel at the designated slot for your laundry or kitchen circuits.

  2. Protect the Wiring: Run armored (BX) cable or conduit from the panel to the location of the first device, ensuring the initial wiring run is fully shielded as per the CEC.

  3. Install the AFCI Device: The Leviton Blank Face AFCI device will be mounted in a suitable, accessible location. Do not confuse it with a receptacle; this unit lacks plug slots and serves a different purpose.

  4. Connect Wires:

    • Identify the 'Line' and 'Load' terminals on the device.
    • Connect the armored cable's wires to the 'Line' terminals.
    • The 'Load' terminals will connect to the wiring that runs towards additional circuitry, like an upstairs laundry room.
  5. Test the System: Finally, activate the system by pressing the 'reset' button on the device, followed by the 'test' button to ensure the unit operates correctly.

Points to Remember:

  • Utilizing the Blank Face AFCI allows for additional circuit protection without exceeding the maximum number of receptacles permitted by the CEC.
  • These devices are specifically designed to detect arc faults, tripping before your main breaker does unless there's an overload.
  • Installation of these stand-alone AFCI devices in locations like a utility room prevents nuisance tripping associated with microwaves and washing machines.

By incorporating this strategy into your electrical setups from the start, you can confidently deliver trouble-free electrical systems to new homes without the need for post-installation fixes for arc fault tripping issues.

Innovative Arc Fault Circuit Implementation

If you've been experiencing persistent arc fault trips with your Siemens breakers in newly constructed homes, particularly with microwaves and washing machines, you'll appreciate the reliability of the solution provided herein. The objective is to maintain compliance with Canadian electrical standards while resolving unwanted tripping.

When you're dealing with a maximum of 12 outlets per circuit, an effective solution is to use a Leviton Smart Lock Pro AFCI Blank Face. This device does not count as an additional receptacle, which helps you stay within the legal limit, and affords you the option to use standard breakers without sacrificing the protection an arc fault circuit offers. Below is an implementation guide:

  • Install the Blank Face Arc Fault Device: Unlike a standard outlet, this device doesn't have plug slots. With only a reset and a test button, it functions more like a switch and is not used for plugging in appliances.

  • Modification to Standard Breaker Setup: Place standard 15 or 20 amp breakers, such as the Siemens ones with blue test buttons, on circuits used by microwaves and clothes washers from the outset. This preemptive action prevents the need for later troubleshooting.

  • Wire Protection from Panel To First Device: Code requires wiring to be protected up to the first device in a circuit. Utilize BX wiring or conduit to meet this requirement. Run the BX wiring to the first device which should be your Leviton blank face arc fault device.

  • Connection to Arc Fault Device: Your arc fault device will have a line and load connection. Connect your BX wiring accordingly, enabling the device to serve as the first point of arc fault protection.

  • Circuit Continuity with Standard Breaker: After the first device, the circuit continues back into the panel housing the standard breaker. Since the Leviton device is already providing arc fault protection, using a standard breaker won’t lead to tripping issues related to sensitive electronics.

By taking these steps, you should notice a significant reduction in nuisance trips on your circuits. This method of integrating standard breakers with dedicated arc fault protection devices offers a robust solution that complies with safety standards and prevents the inconveniences of having to return to a finished job to address electrical concerns.

Insights on Implementing Circuit Solutions for Persistent Breaker Tripping

In my journey as an electrical contractor, I have consistently chosen Siemens panels and breakers. My choice stemmed from the availability my supplier provided, and I've continued using this brand for convenience and consistency. A challenge I encountered in new homes was the frequent tripping of breakers caused by microwaves and clothes washers. Situations varied, with some homes showing no signs of tripping, while others experienced tripping with any small device—from garage door motors to cell phone chargers. Interestingly, my own residence outfitted with Siemens components has exhibited no such tripping in over two years.

After extensive research that yielded no clear solution, I found a reliable remedy to address the tripping issues while adhering to the Canadian Electrical Code (CEC). The solution I adopted involves the use of a specific device that complies with safety standards but circumvents the issues caused by typical arc fault breakers.

This recommended device is the Leviton Smart Lock Pro AFCI blank face device. It doesn't present an opening for direct plugging, comparing to a GFI receptacle in function but lacking plug slots. It's particularly useful if your circuit is already at full capacity with the maximum number of receptacles, as adding a non-plug-in-able AFCI allows for code adherence without exceeding the allowed limit.

The process to address tripping is straightforward. First, I install a standard 15 or 20 amp breaker. Then, I connect the first receptacle in the circuit to a Leviton arc fault device using BX or conduit to protect the wiring – a requirement per the electrical code.

For example, a laundry room circuit, which would typically connect directly to a combination arc fault breaker in the panel, now connects first to the Leviton arc fault device. This approach has effectively resolved tripping issues for microwaves and washing machines throughout the house, eliminating callbacks and additional troubleshooting post-installation. These devices are designed to handle 15 or 20 amps, paralleling the capacity of standard breakers, and ensuring your circuits are protected without nuisance trips.

I have shared this solution to assist you in achieving the same reliable results in your electrical setups. Using this approach from the get-go for appliances prone to cause tripping ensures a smoother turnover and a more stable electrical system for homeowners. If you experience similar challenges or have additional insights, engaging in collaborative discussions on electrical safety and problem-solving methods can be valuable for professionals in the field.


Leave a comment

Please note, comments must be approved before they are published.