Finally… HF RFI problem diagnosed

I’ve been frustrated by an ongoing RFI problem here at home when I attempt to transmit on my HF radio. I will frequently blow 4-5 circuit breakers when I key up. Not fun.

Well, I happened to be Googling around a couple of days ago and found a very interesting article on the ARRL website.

This article describes a certain model of faulty circuit breakers that will incorrectly trip when faced with the RF from a ham radio transmission. These are AFCI breakers. Kind of a special thing. They trip when they sense an arc. Well, turns out this article was written within months of when our home was built. And the circuit breakers they were talking about are the same exact ones that we have!

So, problem solved. The manufacturer will be sending us $345 worth of replacement circuit breakers under warranty. Yay! I just have to pay an electrician to replace them.

But after they are replaced, I should be able to use my HF radio without being concerned about popping breakers.

Well almost. My neighbors undoubtedly all have the same circuit breakers because our houses were all built by the same builder around the same time frame. I’m really hoping that they won’t be suffering from tripping breakers when I play radio.