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AFCI In Existing Panel

Posted: Tue Oct 01, 2019 7:46 am
by kdand
Hi there,

I was wondering how you can tell if an existing panel is compatible with AFCI breakers. I’m planning on redoing my basement along with all the electrical and will require AFCI for the new stuff. I have plenty of space on the neutral basr especially when pulling a few circuits out.

I have a Square D QO Combination Service Panel QO-24M series T3B. It is a 100 amp service that will have all 24 slots full by the end with a couple tandem breakers installed in the existing upstairs circuits.

Thanks,
Kyle

Re: AFCI In Existing Panel

Posted: Tue Oct 01, 2019 8:52 am
by Aaron
Yes, any panel can take an AFCI breaker because the AFCI breakers connect to both the hot and neutral buses in the panel.

Just find a QO series AFCI and it should just snap right in. Make sure it's a Square D brand as the panel and all its breakers need to be the same manufacturer for safety, warranty, and liability reasons.

Re: AFCI In Existing Panel

Posted: Tue Oct 01, 2019 1:27 pm
by emtnut
Depending on your location, you may require GFCI down there as well.

Re: AFCI In Existing Panel

Posted: Tue Oct 01, 2019 10:39 pm
by Aaron
Yeah if you're in the US in an area governed by the NEC (most), you need a GFCI if it's an unfinished space. If the space is habitable, it need only be AFCI.

Except a bathroom and kitchen area, of course, which always require a GFCI.