AFCI Vs GFCI in Details

An Arc-Fault Circuit Interrupter (AFCI) also known as an arc-fault detection device (AFDD) is a circuit breaker that breaks the circuit when it detects an electric arc in the circuit. Whereas Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter (GFCI), or Residual Current Device (RCD) is a type of circuit breaker which shuts off electric power when it senses an imbalance between the outgoing and incoming current.

What is AFCI?

AFCI stands for Arc-Fault Circuit Interrupter. AFCI can detect an electrical arc in the circuit and breaks the circuit. This is how AFCI can stop any potential fire by detecting electrical leakage.

National Electrical code has made AFCI bound to be installed in most of the household gadgets to prevent potential hazards.


Where are AFCI breakers required?

NEC updated their codes in 2017 and set mandatory to install AFCI breakers in kitchen, family rooms, dining rooms, living rooms, parlors, libraries, dens, bedrooms, sunrooms, recreation rooms, closets, hallways, laundry areas, or similar rooms.


Are AFCI breakers required in kitchens?

Yes, According to the National Electrical Code 2017, in the US it is mandatory to install GFCI breakers in kitchens and laundry.


What is GFCI?

GFCI stands for Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter. GFCI devices can detect a small change in the outgoing and incoming current and it will disconnect the circuit to stop any potential shock. The GFCI breaks the circuit when it senses an imbalance of mere 5 milliamperes in the US, in Australia, Europe, and some Asian countries limit is upt0 30 milliamperes.

You can read more about how gfci works on



Are GFCI breakers required in kitchens?

As mentioned earlier, According to the National Electrical Code 2017, in the US it is mandatory to install GFCI and AFCI breakers in kitchens and laundry. Other places where AFCI should be installed are in bathrooms, outdoor areas, unfinished basements and crawl spaces, garages, boathouses, laundry areas, and within 6′ of sinks, bathtubs and shower stalls.

Bottom Lines

It is important to check a device has AFCI and GFCI in it or not. If the device is used in the kitchen, Washroom then you should immediately inform the Electric Board about the device and the company who is making it.  Information about AFCI and GFCI will be mentioned either in the manual or the sticker of the gadget.


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