WHAT IS AN ARC FAULT?
An ARC FAULT is an unintentional electrical discharge – a problem that even the most saftey-conscious homeowner can’t always avoid. That’s because arc faults are usually caused by undetected problems: Damaged extension cords. Improperly installed wall receptacles, electrical cable pierced by picture-hanging nails.
WHY IS AN ARC FAULT DANGEROUS?
An arc fault may ignite combustible materials and cause a fire – a threat to any home and its occupants. Furnaces in attics are a common problem.
WHAT CAN I DO TO PREVENT ARC FAULTS?
You can’t prevent arc faults from occuring. However, there is a device that can stop them–by interupting the electrical current before any damage is done. It’s called the Arc Fault Circuit Interrupter (AFCI), and it electronically detects any arc fault and stops the flow of electrcity in a fraction of a second. No electricity, no heat, no fire. And, by tripping on a specific circuit, the GE AFCI helps you identify the source of the problem right at the load center.
DO FUSES AND CIRCUIT BREAKERS SERVE THE SAME PURPOSE AS AFCI'S?
No. Fuses and circuit breakers cannot detect low-level arcs. Only AFCIs are specifically designed for that purpose.
ARE AFCIS REQUIRED BY THE NATIONAL ELECTRICAL CODE?
Yes. As of January 2002, arc fault circuit interruptors are required by the National Electrical Code on all new bedroom circuits. But, you can protect you existing home too! By installing GE AFCIs now, you can get peace of mind from their added fire protection.
WHAT CAUSES A POWER LOSS?
A POWER LOSS may be caused by a winter storm, an energy shortage, a summer brownout, a downed tree falling on a power line – any unforeseen event that cuts off the power to your electrical system.
HOW CAN I PREPARE FOR THIS TYPE OF OCCURRENCE?
You can install a backup power system, consisting of a generator connected to a generator panel.
HOW DOES A GENERATOR WORK?
When the power goes out, a generator creates electrical power without using a utility’s electrical source. Typically, a generator is run on fuel, like natural gas or LPG. When a generator is installed in your home, one main breaker is connected to your home’s load center and the other main breaker is connected to your generator. The generator panel is then connected to circuits for critical electrical loads – furnace, refrigerator, lights, sump pump, etc. – that you designate need to remain on during a power loss.
WHAT DO I DO WHEN I LOSE POWER?
Emergency standby generators operate automatically and simultaneously switch OFF the main circuit breaker connected to your load center and switch ON the main circuit breaker connected to your generator. The generator senses the utility power loss and makes this switch even if no one is home. It also knows when the power comes back on and will automatically switch power back on through your home’s main load center.
WHAT TYPE OF GENERATOR IS RIGHT FOR MY HOME?
The first step in purchasing a generator is to identify the things you absolutely cannot live without during a power outage. Usually high on the list will be the refrigerator and the freezer, a well pump, the furnace fan if you have natural gas or oil heat, or maybe some lighting.