AFCI

What are AFCIs?
 
Arc-fault circuit interrupters (AFCIs) are special types of electrical receptacles (or outlets) and circuit breakers designed to detect and respond to potentially dangerous electrical arcs in home branch wiring.
What are AFCI testers or indicators?
 
AFCI tester indicators (sometimes called AFCI testers) are portable devices designed to test AFCI functionality. They create waveform patterns similar to those produced by actual arc faults, thereby causing working AFCIs to trip. AFCI indicators are considerably larger and more expensive (by several hundred dollars) than  ground-fault circuit interrupter (GFCI) indicators and are of questionable effectiveness. For these reasons, they are not used as widely as GFCI indicators.
Why are AFCI indicators important?
 
While an AFCI circuit breaker comes with a test button that performs a role similar to a portable AFCI indicator, this button cannot test for arc faults within individual portions of the branch circuit. An AFCI indicator, however, can test any individual receptacle within the branch. InterNACHI inspectors should use AFCI indicators to inspect receptacles observed and deemed to be AFCI-protected.
How do they work?
 
AFCI indicators should be inserted directly into the receptacle. Some AFCI indicators, such as the popular #61-165 model produced by Ideal™, offer a number of testing options. This indicator creates eight to 12 pulses of 106 to 141 amp charges in less than a second which should be recognized by the AFCI as a dangerous arc and cause it to open the circuit that it serves. The indicator can also test for nuisance tripping, the annoying tendency of an AFCI to open its circuit when it detects a safe, shared neutral connection. For this test, it produces a 300mA arc that should not cause the AFCI to trip. Some AFCI indicators conveniently incorporate a GFCI indicator into their design.
AFCI indicators are somewhat larger than GFCI indicators but they are operated in the same way. An inspector simply inserts one into a receptacle and navigates the menu in order to produce the desired electric current. The user will know that the circuit in question has been tripped if the AFCI device loses power. If this occurs following an AFCI test, the AFCI is functioning properly. The user should then go to the electrical panel to reset the AFCI breaker. If the test results in the failure of an AFCI breaker to open the circuit, then a qualified electrician should be contacted.
How effective are they?
 
It is important to understand the distinction between an AFCI indicator and the test button on an AFCI device. The latter produces an actual arc fault and can be relied upon to assess the functionality of the AFCI. An indicator, by contrast, creates waveforms that are not true arcs but are characteristic of them and are thus not a completely reliable measure of an AFCI’s functionality. As a result of this distinction, an indicator might not cause a perfectly functional AFCI to trip. Although commonly called testers, it is more appropriate to refer to them as indicators, despite terminology that often appears in AFCI “tester” user guides.

Underwriters Laboratories, a product-testing organization that develops product standards, requires AFCI indicators to include the following information detailing this limitation in their product manuals:

CAUTION:  AFCIs recognize characteristics unique to arcing, and AFCI indicators produce characteristics that mimic some forms of arcing. Because of this, the indicator may give a false indication that the AFCI is not functioning properly. If this occurs, recheck the operation of the AFCI using the test and reset buttons. The AFCI button test function will demonstrate proper operation.
This caution implies that an AFCI is working properly if the indicator causes it to trip, but the reverse is not necessarily true.  An AFCI that does not trip as a result of an indicator may actually be perfectly fine. The test button on the circuit interrupter can be used to confirm its malfunction in the event that the indicator does not cause it to trip. Manufacturers claim that their AFCI indicators provide a universal method to test AFCIs that are produced by different companies.
In summary, AFCI indicators help ensure that AFCIs are properly monitoring the circuits that they serve for dangerous arc faults. These devices create electrical waveforms characteristic of those produced by an actual arc. As their effectiveness has been debated, they should be viewed as a complement to the test button on an AFCI, rather than a substitute.

Who is New horizons Inspections?

New Horizons Inspections offers the expertise of two certified home inspectors. Our background in-home repairs provide a unique perspective in identifying potential future issues. We are certified according to national residential inspection testing standards. Our multiple certifications include:

Licensed through the State of Oklahoma (certifications #70000586 and #70001178,) we are members of InterNACHI, an international organization for home inspectors.

We are committed to serving you, the buyer, and providing you a thorough, visual, and non-invasive inspection of your potential investment. We let the home speak for itself at the time of home inspection and provide you the necessary information to make a sound decision on your purchase. Our professional home inspection, pre-purchase inspection, call for details of your Oklahoma city inspection

Our computer-generated reports are easy to read and contain color photos for easy assessment of any issues brought up during the house inspection.

Home inspections in Oklahoma City serving Edmond, Yukon, Moore, Norman, and central Oklahoma. For more information or to schedule an inspection in Oklahoma City or anywhere in the metro,  give Edward or Leeanne McEntire a call at 405-639-7408 or email us.

Manufactured Home Foundation Certifications

 

The requirements for government-guaranteed FHA and VA loans on manufactured housing changed to include a permanent foundation. It is required that foundations be certified by a licensed professional engineer to be in compliance with HUD-7584 (Permanent Foundation Guide for Manufactured Housing).

As a result, many private lenders offering conventional loans have added this as a requirement for their loans. We have partnered with the engineers at Foundation Certifications to provide these certificates. The process takes approximately 3-5 days with rush service available. Ordering a Foundation Certification is easy. Please contact us, then simply complete our online order form at http://www.FoundationCerts.com/order and our team will immediately go to work for you.

Be sure to mention  New Horizons Inspections as your reference on page two when ordering your Foundation certificate so that New Horizons Inspections will be the one to receive the work order.

Inspecting a Deck, Keep it safe.

Inspecting a Deck, Illustrated

by Nick Gromicko, Founder, International Association of Certified Home Inspectors (InterNACHI)
Graphics by InterNACHI’s Lisaira Vega
More than 2 million decks are built and replaced each year in North America.  InterNACHI estimates that of the 45 million existing decks, only 40% are completely safe.
 Deck inpection.
Because decks appear to be simple to build, many people do not realize that decks are, in fact, structures that need to be designed to adequately resist certain stresses. Like any other house or building, a deck must be designed to support the weight of people, snow loads, and objects.  A deck must be able to resist lateral and uplift loads that can act on the deck as a result of wind or seismic activity.  Deck stairs must be safe and handrails graspable.  And, finally, deck rails should be safe for children by having proper infill spacing.  
 
A deck failure is any failure of a deck that could lead to injury, including rail failure, or total deck collapse.  There is no international system that tracks deck failures, and each is treated as an isolated event, rather than a systemic problem.  Very few municipalities perform investigations into the cause of the failure, and the media are generally more concerned with injuries rather than on the causes of collapses.  Rail failure occurs much more frequently than total deck collapses; however, because rail failures are less dramatic than total collapses and normally don’t result in death, injuries from rail failures are rarely reported. 

Continue reading “Inspecting a Deck, Keep it safe.”

New Horizons Inspections

A home inspection allows you the opportunity to see the condition of your potential investment at the time of the house inspection.
New Horizons Inspections offers:

  • A team of two Oklahoma certified, licensed house inspectors
  • A home inspector with building experience
  • Oklahoma City metro service – Guthrie to Chickasha; El Reno to Harrah,

​      Edmond, Yukon, Moore and Norman

  • A computer-generated, easy to read report
  • Free 90 day warranty
  • RecallChek service with every complete inspection
  • Insurance coverage of inspection

HOME INSPECTIONS IN OKLAHOMA CITY

​​​NEW HORIZONS INSPECTIONS

New Horizons Inspections
405 639 7408
A Home Inspector with Building Experience

​The components of the home that are covered in our visual, non-invasive home inspection report are:​

  1. roof, vents, flashings, trim, skylight, chimney, and other roof penetrations
  2. grounds, grading and drainage, downspouts and gutters
  3. exterior covering, decks, stoops, porches, walkways and railings
  4. fireplace, damper, doors and hearth
  5. water faucets / fixtures, tubs / showers, toilets
  6. plumbing supply and drainage, main water shut-off valve, water heating system
  7. electrical panels and service line, breakers or fuses, service amperage, GFCIs and AFCIs
  8. electrical main disconnect, bonding and grounding
  9. basement, crawlspace, foundation, water penetration and foundation movement

10.  installed appliances

11.  garage doors, safety sensors and openers

12.  attic, insulation and ventilation

13.  heating and cooling systems, and distribution

14.  interior lighting, outlets, doors, windows, floors, ceilings and walls