Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Subject: Laser printer and Arc Fault breaker

Name: Matt

Question: Greetings,We have a new house (modular) we built in 2007/2008. One of the bedrooms was supposed to be an office, but for some reason, the factory installed a 15 amp arc fault breaker in that room and not one on the actual 2nd bedroom. Now, if we plug in and turn on a brand new Laser printer (small one), the arc fault breaker keeps tripping. I'm thinking this is due to the printer powering up. This room also has the wired-in smoke alarm. Since we do not use this as a bedroom, can I swap the arc fault for a regular breaker, and if I do, will it cause problems with the smoke alarm?

Answer: Hi Matt,Yes, you can switch the breakers. The laser printer use a little arch of electricity in it's printing process which tricks the breaker into thinking there is a problem. This will happen with some devices when plugged into a arch-fault breaker.Smoke detectors are designed to be on bedroom circuits so they should all work with arch-fault breakers.

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