New AFCI Breaker Tripping

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Old 12-28-19, 10:53 AM
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New AFCI Breaker Tripping

I had a few new AFCI breakers just installed in our basement. One of the new 20-amp circuits keeps tripping. I can plug a night light or a small LED strand of Christmas lights into an outlet on the circuit, and it doesn't trip. If I plug in a power tool battery charger or vacuum cleaner, it trips immediately. I just went through the ritual of opening every outlet cover to make sure none of the wiring came loose, but it all looks good. Is this likely just to be a faulty new breaker? What would be my next troubleshooting steps?
 
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Old 12-28-19, 10:58 AM
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I have been reading about incompatibility issues between certain electrical devices. I have a second identical AFCI breaker just installed on a different circuit at the same time. The vacuum cleaner and battery charger do not trip that circuit.
 
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Old 12-28-19, 11:01 AM
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If they are the same size breaker....... swap them. It can be a defective breaker.
 
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Old 12-28-19, 07:00 PM
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Might be a neutral-ground short. A GFCI breaker would trip without any load, but with AFCIs (except GE), only with some load.
 
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Old 12-29-19, 05:15 AM
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The first thing to do is what PJMax suggested. Since you had several AFCI breakers installed try using one of the other ones on the same circuit that is tripping the said AFCI breaker. If it does not trip under the same exact scenario then the said breaker may be faulty. If after you swap with another AFCI breaker that breaker trips under the same exact scenario then the problem is in the circuit.

Do this test of swapping and then report back the findings and then we can take it from there; otherwise it is all just guess work.

NOTE: before you perform this swapping, do you feel comfortable enough to work in a live panel? Have you worked in a live panel in the past? Do you have a disconnect prior to this panel that will allow you to disconnect the power to this panel before swapping the breaker? We just don't know your skill level yet.

Also GFCI breaker is not playing any role in this issue that we know of. It was reported by the OP that the breakers are AFCI breakers.
 
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Old 12-30-19, 06:24 AM
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Thanks for all of the feedback, guys. I eventually figured out that it was a faulty outlet.

Shortly after posting my question, I decided to try picking an outlet about halfway down the circuit, disconnecting the circuit at that point, then turning the power back on and plugging devices into the hot half of the circuit. It didn't trip. So I kept working my way down the circuit, reconnecting/disconnecting one outlet at a time, until I finally got it to trip again. I then replaced that outlet, and now all is well.
 
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