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50 Amp enough for basement?

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#1 of 3 OFFLINE   Jason Price

Jason Price

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  • Join Date: Sep 16 1998

Posted November 06 2001 - 03:48 AM

I'm planning a sub-panel for my basement, and have been trying to figure out how big a sub-panel I need for the job. Talking to a guy at Menards and an electrical engineer friend of mine, they both said that 50 Amps would be plenty for my basement (and a whole lot easier to run from the main panel). Neither of these guys is into HT at all, and I don't know if they really understand the draw required for HT equipment (nor do I, for that matter). I went ahead and bought a 100Amp sub-panel, the breakers, and the wire to run a 50Amp line from the main breaker. But, before I do anything with all this, I want to double-check that I'll have enough juice. Here's what I will be running off the sub-panel:

6-8 recessed lights (cans)
10-15 std outlets
2 20 Amp dedicated circuits (Equipment and TV)
bar fridge
small tv (13")
pool table light
1 ground fault circuit (for bathroom)
small space heater (possibility - all depends on how well it heats down there)

My current equipment:
Yamaha RXV-2095
Samson s700 amp
Panasonic A110 DVD
Sony Sat T-60 DirecTiVo
Sony 5-disk CD changer

I plan to add a large RPTV (65" or so) and a multichannel amp (5 ch, 150-200W) in the future.

Taking the above into account, do you guys think 50Amps is sufficient?


If at first you don't succeed, see if the loser gets anything...

#2 of 3 OFFLINE   Wayne A. Pflughaupt

Wayne A. Pflughaupt


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Posted November 06 2001 - 06:32 AM

More than enough, probably twice what you need for what you have now. Even with upgrades, 50A will be plenty.

Wayne A. Pflughaupt

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#3 of 3 OFFLINE   Geordon



  • 17 posts
  • Join Date: Oct 27 2001

Posted November 06 2001 - 02:07 PM

One way to check is to determine how many circuits you are running. You already said you have 2 20A circuits -- that is 40A right there. My guess is that you will run the outlets and lights on several 15A circuits, so the potential usage quickly puts you over 50A, if you actually used everything at once. Add up the Amperage ratings of all your appliances and see what you have. Remember, you will probably not have everything on at one time, and you will also probably want occasional usage of other items, such as a vacuum cleaner, power tools, etc.

I just bought a Carvin DCM4000 power amp, which requires a 50A circuit! Since it uses two independent 25A fuse-protected plugs, I am adding two 30A circuits to my breaker box. Hope the dryer, AC, well pump and oven aren't all running at the same time as my 4000W amp, or I may quickly run out of reserves!

I think you made a good choice to go large than you originally may need. Materials are cheap, compared to the time it takes you to design and install everything. No sense doing it twice.