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AFDDs: your questions answered

As a leading supplier of AFDDs (Arc Fault Detection Devices) in the UK, Electrium has had many conversations with specifiers, designers, & installers about this new technology.

Many people have asked the same questions e.g. Why use AFDDs? What does recommended mean? What does a dangerous arc fault look like? How do arc faults occur on ring circuits? Are AFDDs suitable for lightly loaded circuits? How do I know if an arc fault has occurred?

Which is why Electrium has taken the most commonly asked questions and put them together with their answers in a short video. AFDDs offer an increased level of protection against electrically ignited fires from arc faults that can occur, for example, where insulation faults exist or where poorly made terminations overheat.

The AFDD technology itself has been in use around Europe for quite a while, and in America from 2002. Since the publication of the 18th Edition of the IET Wiring Regulations these products have become more prominent in UK electrical installations.

Initially there were some barriers to the adoption of this technology but Electrium has overcome these with the introduction of its single module AFDDs with integral 30mA Type A RCBO.

Single module AFDDs are the same size as an MCB yet they include MCB technology,  RCD technology, and the AFDD technology but only take up 1 way in the consumer unit. Even more surprising is the fact that these AFDDs switch both line & neutral poles to totally isolate any faulty circuit.

Installation is easy, it’s the same process that is used for installing RCBOs. Fault finding is made even easier by the amber fault status indicator on the device. A single repeated flash indicates an arc fault. A twin repeated flash indicates an overvoltage. A triple repeated flash indicates an earth leakage fault. Electrium AFDDs also carry out a self test function every 15 hours.

Testing is also made easy, there’s no reason to disconnect the final circuit cables to carry out insulation & resistance tests. Simply switch off the device to isolate both poles of the circuit.

Electrium single module AFDDs are available in both Wylex & Crabtree brands and are suitable for retrofit & new installations. These devices are designed manufactured & tested to BS EN 62606 and the Siemens technology that is used in the Electrium devices is already protecting millions of circuits.