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How do I test AFCI residential breakers?

In 2005, the UL Field Report Department issued a letter stating:

"If an AFCI indicator plugged into a receptacle protected by an AFCI does not trip the AFCI, it does not mean that the AFCI protecting the circuit is defective and needs to be replaced.

When this situation occurs, you should push the "TEST" button provided as an integral part of the AFCI itself, with load wires removed from breaker and leave pigtail connected. Then turn breaker to "ON" position and push "TEST" button to determine if the AFCI breaker is working properly.

If the integral test button does not trip the AFCI circuit breaker, it should be replaced."

  1. UL updated AFCI test procedure.pdf