Project Guide

How to Install an AFCI Breaker

1
TURN OFF THE MAIN CIRCUIT BREAKER
TURN OFF THE MAIN CIRCUIT BREAKER - Install AFCI Breaker
  • Locate the breaker or breakers you plan to replace with AFCI breakers.
  • Turn off the main circuit breaker, which will cut power to your entire house.
2
REMOVE THE PANEL COVER
REMOVE THE PANEL COVER - Install AFCI Breaker
  • Unscrew and remove the panel cover.
  • Use your circuit tester to be sure the power is off in the panel.
3
REMOVE OLD CIRCUIT BREAKER
REMOVE OLD CIRCUIT BREAKER - Install AFCI Breaker
  • Pull the circuit breaker you want to replace out of its slot.
  • Remove the black wire from the breaker.
4
DISCONNECT WHITE WIRE
DISCONNECT WHITE WIRE - Install AFCI Breaker
  • Follow the black wire you just disconnected up to where the cable enters the box.
  • Follow the white wire from the same cable, which means it is part of the same circuit, back to the neutral bus bar, and disconnect it.
5
CONNECT THE AFCI BREAKER
CONNECT THE AFCI BREAKER - Install AFCI Breaker
  • Turn the AFCI breaker handle to the off position.
  • Loosen the two breaker terminal screws.
  • Connect the white circuit wire (not the coiled white wire) to the breaker terminal labeled “Panel Neutral” or “white.”
  • Connect the black circuit wire to the breaker terminal labeled “Load Power” or “black.”
6
CONNECT THE COILED WHITE WIRE
CONNECT THE COILED WHITE WIRE - Install AFCI Breaker

Connect the AFCI breaker’s coiled white wire to the neutral bus bar in the same position as the white neutral wire you removed in Step 4.

7
INSTALL THE AFCI BREAKER
INSTALL THE AFCI BREAKER - Install AFCI Breaker

Snap the new breaker into the breaker panel and double-check that all connections are tight.

8
PUT THE PANEL COVER ON
PUT THE PANEL COVER ON - Install AFCI Breaker

Screw the breaker panel cover back into place.

9
TURN ON AND TEST AFCI BREAKER
TURN ON AND TEST AFCI BREAKER - Install AFCI Breaker
  • Turn on the main breaker followed by the AFCI breaker.
  • Test the arc fault breaker by pressing the test button on the front or per your breaker manufacturer’s instructions. If the breaker is wired correctly, the breaker will trip open.