Understanding the CEC Requirements for ACFI Protection

Eaton ACFI House2

An arc fault is an unintended arc created by current flowing through an unplanned path. Arcing creates excessive heat that can easily ignite surrounding material, such as wood framing or insulation, resulting in a hazardous fire.

Eaton ACFI Breaker

Key Features and Benefits From Using Eaton AFCI

  • FIRE-GUARD model AFCI recognizes the unique current and/or voltage signatures associated with arcing faults and efficiently interrupts the circuit to reduce fire hazards.
  • Branch feeder mitigates parallel arcing faults, which produce the most energy of all arcing faults, in the complete circuit including connected cords for enhanced safety.
  • Eaton is the ONLY company that manufactures AFCI protection in both Circuit Breakers AND Receptacles.

To learn more, Download the Eaton Residential Products Group white paper

At a Glance

The new Rule 26-724(f) of the 2015 Canadian Electrical Code requires all branch circuits in dwelling units supplying 125V receptacles rated 20A or less to be protected by a Combination-Type arc-fault circuit interrupter (AFCI), except that branch circuits supplying receptacles installed in accordance with Rules 26-710(f) and 26-712(d)(i), (iii), (iv) and (v), and those supplying only one receptacle for the connection of a cord-connected sump pump, are exempt from the requirement for arc-fault protection.

AFCI receptacles are permitted for use by the new Rule 26-724(g), with some restrictions.

Typical Causes of Arc Faults

1. Arcing in installed electrical wiring from physical damage such as:

    • Wires accidentally punctured by nails or screwsACFI nail puncture
    • Cables that are stapled tightly against wall studsACFI staple pierced insulation
    • Animals and vermin chewing through wiring insulationACFI animals chew through insulation
    • Heat, humidity and voltage stress

2. Arcing at loose connections or joints in the circuit or at outlets

3. Arcing in appliance or extension cords

    • Bent or crimped cords
    • Brittle or aged cords
    • Cords under or behind furniture

ACFI damage under furniture

 ACFI Protection Options

A Combination AFCI circuit breaker protects the entire circuit including connected cords from its origin in the panel for both parallel and series arcs

Eaton Combination AFCI circuit breaker

An Outlet Branch-Circuit (OBC) AFCI receptacle can protect all downstream wire and connected cords from both parallel and series arcs, but only protects from series arcs upstream in the home run

Eaton Outlet Branch-Circuit (OBC) AFCI receptacle

Download the Eaton 2015 ACFI code compliant safety brochure