How to Successfully Install AFCI Breakers
- Apr 17, 2018
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One of the best ways to ensure an electrical fire never breaks out in your home is by purchasing an arc-fault circuit interrupter (AFCI), designed specifically for preventing fires and protecting circuits throughout your home from electrical damage.
Something as simple as a broken or cracked wire can be all it takes to start a small fire that quickly grows into a huge one, so these breakers are definitely worth the very modest investment.
Of course, until you actually install your AFCI breaker, it won’t be able to successfully keep your home and family safe.
5 Steps to Installing AFCI Circuit Breakers
Fortunately, it’s incredibly easy to install AFCI circuit breakers.
Before you get started with the installation process, be sure to first turn off the power to your main circuit breaker. This will cut the electricity from your home, but, as you’re about to see, this is a relatively quick installation.
Then, after you remove the panel cover, just follow these five steps.
1. Remove Your Current Circuit Breaker
Take out the circuit breaker that needs to be replaced. You should notice a black wire connecting it, so be sure you remove that, as well.
2. Disconnect the Wire
Next, follow that black wire you just removed until you find where it connects to the box. You should notice a white wire coming from the cable, which you can then follow to the neutral bus bar.
Remove that one, as well.
3. Connect the AFCI Circuit Breaker
AFCI circuit breakers all have handles for turning them on and off.
Turn this one off.
Loosen both of the breaker terminal’s screws.
Connect the white wire (note: this is not the coiled wire, which you’ll be connecting in a moment) to the breaker terminal. It may have a label that says “white,” but it may also say “panel neutral.”
Find the breaker terminal with the “black” or “load power” label and connect the black wire to it.
4. Connect the AFCI Circuit Breaker’s White Wire
You can now connect the coiled white wire we mentioned in the last section. It connects with the neutral bus bar. Put it in the same position as the white neutral wire you just disconnected in the last section.
5. Install Your AFCI Circuit Breaker
You are now ready to put your AFCI circuit breaker in place.
AFCI circuit breakers are incredibly simple to install. You can literally just snap it into place.
Then, just double-check to make sure that its connections to the breaker panel are tight, so you don’t have to troubleshoot the issue later.
Testing Your AFCI Circuit Breaker
After following these easy steps, go ahead and test the main breaker and then do the same with your AFCI breaker.
You’ll also want to test the arc fault breaker. Press your breaker’s test button and you should notice the breaker immediately trip open.
You’re now ready to enjoy all the benefits that have made AFCI circuit breakers so popular.