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Author Topic: Arc Fault Circuit Interrupters (AFCI's)  (Read 58947 times)
W6GX
Member

Posts: 2330




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« Reply #225 on: July 25, 2014, 08:08:42 PM »

Terry- I only see one picture.

I wouldn't be surprised if Eaton had different breakers codenamed for 'Ham', 'Treadmill', 'Vacuum', 'Circular Saw', etc  Wink

73,
Jonathan W6GX
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W4TL
Member

Posts: 54




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« Reply #226 on: July 26, 2014, 09:35:57 AM »

Terry- I only see one picture.

I wouldn't be surprised if Eaton had different breakers codenamed for 'Ham', 'Treadmill', 'Vacuum', 'Circular Saw', etc  Wink

73,
Jonathan W6GX
I can't say about the other code names for different problems.  You may be absolutely correct.

I only posted George's photo of the BR type. I made a pic of the box for the CH breakers and also the back side of the actual HAM breaker. The only way to differentiate between the good and the bad is to take the actual breaker and look on the back side for a label that depicts HAM in the product code. If you go to a supply house today and buy one of these breakers rest assured it will be the faulty one.

Other potential problems that could occur because of these devices are in home life support equipment that would have the potential to shut down because the faulty AFCI tripped because of an amateur radio transmission nearby. Some of these devices are:

Kidney dialysis machine
Apnea monitor for infants (24 months and under)
Oxygen concentrator
Respirator
Ventilator
Pressure breathing therapy
Infusion feeding pump
Peritoneal dialysis machine

All of the general public and all amateurs need to know about theses faulty AFCI's.

I am also attaching a questionnaire on how for his neighbors to deal with the tripping AFCI's that was sent to a fellow ham (whom I will not name) in another part of the country that was having problems. Read this questionnaire, it's heading to me infers that "HAM Radio" is the problem and not the breaker itself.  If there is not a ham nearby then there would not be a problem.







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W6GX
Member

Posts: 2330




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« Reply #227 on: July 26, 2014, 10:10:29 AM »

As I had said earlier I think there's a good reason for Eaton to continue to manufacture the 'bad' breakers despite the high costs of spending money on labor and parts to remedy false tripping by RF.  I have the older style ham-friendly version.  This version doesn't appear to be sold and perhaps it's the same ones that are being supplied to ham operators.  Eaton's biggest headache IMHO isn't ham radio but a myriad of other household electrical equipment that cause false trippings, such as treadmills, vacuums, etc.  I wonder if anyone who has the ham-friendly breakers has seen false trips on common household equipment?  I don't own a treadmill and my vacuum is hard-wired to a non-AFCI outlet.

73,
Jonathan W6GX
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W0VTT
Member

Posts: 2




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« Reply #228 on: Yesterday at 11:12:33 AM »

Our new house has 11 of these Eaton AFCI breakers.  5w on 17m is enough to trip them all.  I'm awaiting a return call from Joe Fello to see about getting mine replaced. 

73,
Mike Cizek W0VTT
St Charles MN
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W4TL
Member

Posts: 54




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« Reply #229 on: Yesterday at 12:45:17 PM »

Our new house has 11 of these Eaton AFCI breakers.  5w on 17m is enough to trip them all.  I'm awaiting a return call from Joe Fello to see about getting mine replaced. 

73,
Mike Cizek W0VTT
St Charles MN

Mike, if you are in a neighborhood that is being built by the same developer your neighbors probably have the same type of breakers and may be experiencing the same problems.

Terry, W4TL
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W6GX
Member

Posts: 2330




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« Reply #230 on: Yesterday at 04:08:46 PM »

Our new house has 11 of these Eaton AFCI breakers.  5w on 17m is enough to trip them all.  I'm awaiting a return call from Joe Fello to see about getting mine replaced. 

73,
Mike Cizek W0VTT
St Charles MN

Wow.  That's pretty bad.  Is this on all modes or just certain modes.  I believe SSB is fairly immune to the problem. At what power level could you replicate the problem in SSB?   Do the test after hours so you don't drive your household members nuts, hi.

73,
Jonathan W6GX
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AK2L
Member

Posts: 4




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« Reply #231 on: Today at 08:23:16 AM »

Update 3:  The new Eaton breakers have been installed.  A 200 Watt dead carrier on 17M and on 20M will not cause any of them to trip.  With the old ones just 10 Watts was enough to trip several.

I have photos of the old and new breakers but I see that others have posted photos since I last reviewed this thread.  (If anyone really needs my photos, send me a message off-thread.)  The most noticeable difference between the old and new are the letters "HAM" after the part number on one side label.

Now for the disappointment...

When I first spoke to Joe Fello at Eaton, he said he would contact their area representative and arrange to have a licensed electrician replace the breakers.  (Yes, I am a ham and could do it myself.  But I am not a licensed electrician and did not want that to become a factor.  Also, my new house is still under warranty.)  Once I received the new breakers, there was no further response from Joe Fello.  In the end I decided to hire a licensed electrician.

What do you think my chances are of getting Eaton to reimburse me for the electrician?  (Try not to laugh too hard.)  Joe Fello had asked me if he could have the old breakers back for examination.  I will not be spending my time or money to package them and ship them to Eaton unless I am first reimbursed.

73 de AK2L

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KF7CG
Member

Posts: 815




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« Reply #232 on: Today at 10:42:56 AM »

Dead 200 watt carrier, what about medium speed CW at 200 watts, or any of the digital modes at available power? A signal switching on and off at the correct rate might be more prone to cause problems than a dead carrier.

I have a feeling that this problem will get worse as the expense to the manufacturer(s) gets worse. Lookout for an end run by some manufacturer other than Eaton that has problems to mount a move to have Amateur Radio declared a public nuisance in some communities.

The question becomes, once cooperation has expired, what is more important some arcane hobby or public safety?

KF7CG
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W5YZ
Member

Posts: 27




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« Reply #233 on: Today at 01:56:43 PM »

I would press Joe Felo hard to get reimbursed.  They contracted with the same electrician that did our subdivision.  They haven't been too reliable about showing up and have stiffed my neighbor 3 times.  I contacted our local Eaton rep and had him light a fire under them.  Seems to be working.  Good luck on getting reimbursed (not laughing).
George, W5YZ
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W6GX
Member

Posts: 2330




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« Reply #234 on: Today at 03:53:15 PM »

AK2L- did you keep the old breakers?  They are worth about $35 a piece retail.  Perhaps you could recoup some costs by selling them to an electrician if Eaton fails to reimburse you.

73,
Jonathan W6GX
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AA4PB
Member

Posts: 12688




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« Reply #235 on: Today at 04:08:54 PM »

Just make sure he doesn't install them in your neighborhood  Wink
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W0VTT
Member

Posts: 2




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« Reply #236 on: Today at 06:52:08 PM »

Our new house has 11 of these Eaton AFCI breakers.  5w on 17m is enough to trip them all.  I'm awaiting a return call from Joe Fello to see about getting mine replaced. 

73,
Mike Cizek W0VTT
St Charles MN

Wow.  That's pretty bad.  Is this on all modes or just certain modes.  I believe SSB is fairly immune to the problem. At what power level could you replicate the problem in SSB?   Do the test after hours so you don't drive your household members nuts, hi.

73,
Jonathan W6GX

SSB?!?!?  What's that?!?!?
On 17m I couldn't even key up with 5w to tune the antenna.  Tried both CW and phone on  lower bands.   I can run a kW on 80m, 100w on 40m, sometimes 100w on 30m, and sometimes 50w on 20m. I received an email response from Eaton this morning saying they are sending me the new breakers and asking me to return the old ones.  I will post both here and on QRZ after the new ones are installed and tested.

73,
Mike W0VTT
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