Hints for Arc Fault Circuit Breakers (AFCI)
AFCI’s have been designed to work with devices with motors that are within the FCC standard for “noise”. “Noise” can be described as what transpires with normal arcing in motors such as vacuum cleaners and fans. Even though these devices have been manufactured to the FCC’s standards, after frequent use wear within the motor can create noise which trips the AFCI. To mitigate the noise generated by these devices, try using a surge plug or surge outlet strip. If the AFCI breaker continues to trip you will have to repair or replace the faulty device.
Sometimes when something causes an AFCI breaker to trip, the breaker may not be able to be reset immediately. Turn the breaker to the off position and wait for 5 minutes before turning it to the on position. While waiting, unplug all electrical devices on the circuit that can be unplugged, or if switched, put the switches in the off position. When five minutes have passed reintroduce all loads on the circuit one at a time by turning switches back on and re-plugging in all devices. This will help determine the problem item causing the breaker to trip.