Electrical Wiring in the Home/AFCI Odd behaviour


I have a lighting and ceiling fan circuit that is on an AFCI. An odd thing is happening....When I have the light sockets filled with LED or CFL, the AFCI works as expected. But, if I switch any of the bulbs in the ceiling fans to standard bulbs, the AFCI pops as soon as I get more then 2 bulbs installed.

Odd thing is that I have a few standard hanging fixtures on the same circuit and when I put standard bulbs in those fixtures, the arc fault is fine. Only when I place the bulbs in the ceiling fans, do i have a problem.

What would cause a 20AMP AFCI circuit to not pop on LED and CFL bulbs (17+) and ceiling fans (3) but as soon as I add some standard bulbs to the fan sockets, it pops?


All I can tell you from experience is that sometimes certain combinations of light bulb types, fans, devices etc can make these protective devices trip for no apparent reason. Just today I replaced a small timer in a new control box that we suspect is making the GFI trip for no obvious reason. So far its still working. Its strange, its wierd and it can be hard to diagnose exactly whats doing it with out experimenting which takes time.

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Electrical Wiring in the Home

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Licensed Master Electrician (32 years) 6165B Contractor in Closter New Jersey with 40 years total experience in Residential - Commercial - Industrial work. Emergency Service - General trouble shooting and repair work - ONAN & GENERAC generator installation - Paddle fans - Kitchen & Bath exhaust fans - AC lines - Smoke detectors - Telephone lines - Cable TV lines - Computer network cabling - Exterior lighting - Recessed lighting - Security lighting - (200 - 150 - 100 amp service up grades) - Electric Heat - New circuits - New appliance hook ups - and more ! FREE ESTIMATES 201-358-1552 Fully Insured


Licensed contractor in Closter New Jersey.

"The Frank Williams School of Electrical Construction". My dear old boss is 100 ! and still going God Bless him. I started working for "Tenafly Electric" right out of high school at 19. He was tough but I learned more working for him in 8 and half years than most guys. We did mostly industrial work while doing some commercial and residential so I was fortunate to be exposed to all 3 areas of electrical construction. The guys I worked with were all good guys and I stay in touch with some of them still. Most of us went into our own buisness's which says something about the caliber of the guys I worked with. We had some interesting clients : Wella Corp. of shampoo fame, Farah Fawcett etc, I didn't buy shampoo for 10 years. It was a great place to work. Pan Am the former airline just before they went under, another great place to work, nice clean environment. C&C Metals, the largest button manufacturer in the US at that time, a not so clean environment but a very interesting place to work, lots of machine's cranking out buttons of all kinds but you had to be on your toes, it was a potentially dangerous place to be . All kinds of action going on around you.

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