Amplifier power on trips arc fault breaker intermittently

I have a new amplifier that has tripped my 20 amp arc fault circuit breaker at startup. But this has happened only 3/10. The other 7 times it started up fine and the three times it tripped the circuit breaker, I was able to turn on the amp without any problems after resetting the breaker. And the three times it tripped the breaker were all when using the power button on the unit. I turned on the amp a number of times from the remote without any problems.

The amp is a Hegel H390. The circuit breaker is 12 years old.

Anyway to find out if it is the amp or the circuit breaker without hiring an electrician?

Plug the amp into a different circuit without ARC fault and turn it on.

Thanks, I did this the first time I started it up and all was fine. BUT I only did this once and my issue is intermittent.

Arc fault breakers are the bane of many an electrician.

Can you explain more?

A arc fault breaker works by sensing arc in a circuit and shutting it down before the heat generated from the arching can cause a fire. A switch alway has some arching when turn on and off so when you turn on your amp, especially from the large amount of current it draws, it can trip the breaker. So can using power tools, as I have experienced that happening very often. It’s better to use a circuit without an arc breaker for your stereo.

Thanks, this is very helpful.

When you say “switch,” are you referring to the internal switch on the amp or the mechanical one that I press to trigger the power on? I ask because I am wondering if using a big mechanical switch like Hegel has could trigger additional arcing and maybe I would be fine if power on only from the remote.

I don’t have the option of using a different circuit.

The mechanical one passes the big current. By remote I assume you mean turning the amp on from standby, which is less current. There’s a certain point that triggers the breaker. That’s why turning on lights and other things that don’t draw a lot of power will not trip the breaker.

Actually, the amp goes into standby when you turn the power off. To power on, I can use the mechanical one or the remote. Both do the same thing.

Most people think the electricians don’t do a quality job when they come out to replace the breaker because the breaker may fault even if new. They cannot legally do a code compliant job by replacing the arc breaker with a normal one either. So many have to tell the arc breaker story and suggest the customer do something that is against code.

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