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Wall Power: How to wire your house for HT


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#1 of 20 OFFLINE   Highplainsdakota

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Posted July 11 2014 - 11:48 AM

Hi Guys!

 

I've received so much valuable information from this forum that I've decided to dive in again.  This may be an easy question to answer...  Since I'm currently building a house, it will soon come time to place outlets where I want them.  Here's my home theater hardware (Integra 50.1 receiver, Behringer inuke 3000DSP amp, Emotiva XPR-5 amp, room for another amp, XBOX/playstation, internet modem, cable box, record player, etc.)

 

How many separate circuits should I have installed?  How many amps per circuit?  How many outlets per circuit? What guage of wire to these outlets?  Any ideas?

 

Thanks



#2 of 20 OFFLINE   schan1269

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Posted July 11 2014 - 12:40 PM

Add up the amperage, divide by 15. Add 1 more.

Standard is 15. Unless you specify 20. Don't think that Emotiva will need its own.

#3 of 20 OFFLINE   Highplainsdakota

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Posted July 11 2014 - 02:42 PM

Is everyone using a power conditioner these days?  Ideally everything would plug into that, but then that would plug into just one outlet.  I just want to run enough current to that outlet.  So I can just run a dedicated 20A circuit to a 4 gang outlet and I should be set if I use a conditioner.

 

How much should a guy spend on a power conditioner?  Any favorite brands?  Thanks



#4 of 20 OFFLINE   schan1269

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Posted July 11 2014 - 03:33 PM

My theatre has 4 dedicated 20.
My living room has 2 dedicated 15.
Office has 3 dedicated 15.

I use UPS that run off the battery. Power conditioning is a by product.

And the house has a 9kw generator.

#5 of 20 OFFLINE   Phil A

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Posted July 11 2014 - 06:59 PM

My combined main music/theater system has two 15 amp circuits each on a single receptacle and a 20 amp circuit where I plug my 20 amp Torus Power Conditioner into.  If you have the newer (last 13-14 years) arc fault breakers you're better off getting at least a couple of 20 amp circuits as they can trip easier than those of older electrical code.



#6 of 20 OFFLINE   Highplainsdakota

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Posted July 11 2014 - 09:25 PM

Thanks Phil and Sam,

 

Another question:  Is running a 20A circuit with 10-2 romex direct to a 1 gang receptacle enough, or should a separate cable be run from the meter to a separate breaker box?  I guess the question is "Would there be any difference between the two options".

 

What about the "First Impression Music" AC outlet?  There are rave reviews out there about this drastically improving audio and video quality?  Anyone here think there is something to this?



#7 of 20 OFFLINE   Phil A

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Posted July 12 2014 - 07:09 AM

For a 15 amp circuit you need 14 ga. wire.  For a 20 amp circuit 12 ga. wire to carry the current.  If you go with a separate breaker box you can run extra wire to the main breaker box and make expansion easier if the separate breaker box is in a location closer to the main system, otherwise I'm not sure if there will be tons of difference. I just got the main system back together in the new place (after taking it apart 8 months ago).  I have not experimented with different outlets in the new place but in the old place I had run a receptacle on its own circuit and the builder used really cheap receptacles (house was built in 1997 and at that time comparable receptacles of similar quality to what the builder used was like $0.35 at Home Depot).  I had a cryo (don't remember but probably at least $50) one, hospital grade ones and better Leviton ones.  Never tried the outlet you mentioned but found the $3 Leviton vs. the $0.35 builder's grade ones a nice upgrade that was worth it.  I replaced the ones I used most often like in the bedroom audio system too.  Cheapo stuff the builder used was ready to fall apart ten years later.  Had to replace the piggyback dual switches in the bathrooms (for light and fan) as they literally fell apart.  The builder used decent quality receptacles in this place and if I do get to it, it will be down the road.  The Torus conditioner is what I used for the main 2-channel stuff and isolates the system nicely.  I have a bunch of PS Audio Noise Harvesters too.  I remember when I got my first couple and was away on vacation and had a friend getting the mail.  I ordered them and an imported Super Audio CD.  I told him to open the package and try them.  I got home and he told me they did nothing and then we pulled it out of his system and heard the difference.



#8 of 20 OFFLINE   schan1269

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Posted July 12 2014 - 09:01 AM

There are so many ways to skin the cat for power conditioning.

A whole home UPS is your best choice. Yes they cost a bit, But when your power goes out and you have 15-20 minutes to power stuff down (anybody that installs a projector and doesn't give it a UPS is an absolute idiot), you'll add life to your gear.

#9 of 20 OFFLINE   Highplainsdakota

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Posted July 12 2014 - 08:23 PM

So this may be a silly question, but how do you know the power goes out if your whole house is on a UPS?  Is it hooked up to your alarm system?



#10 of 20 OFFLINE   schan1269

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Posted July 12 2014 - 08:43 PM

The UPS causes a power shortage. Same way as when you shut a car off and run something off the battery. You notice.

The generator control lets the UPS get to 60%. That takes anywhere from 4 to 10 minutes.

When the generator kicks in, it takes 20 minutes to get to 100% power.

In my case, I check the webpage of NIPSCO to see how large an outtage. I'll then set the generator to kick in at 90%. I'll reset once the grid is back.

#11 of 20 OFFLINE   Highplainsdakota

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Posted July 12 2014 - 08:51 PM

Which UPS do you use if I may ask?



#12 of 20 OFFLINE   schan1269

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Posted July 12 2014 - 08:57 PM

Which UPS do you use if I may ask?


I haven't the slightest idea.

I know how much I paid for the 9Kw Generac, that and installation. They(and generac) recommend a UPS. They came and installed a power usage meter. Measured a week of use and said I needed X size UPS.

I wrote a check.

#13 of 20 OFFLINE   Highplainsdakota

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Posted July 12 2014 - 09:07 PM

I figured that was the protocol.  I just wrote my builder an e-mail regarding it. 

 

This is completely off topic, but we talked about this in another thread (Sorry for cross-threading).  You touted the benefits of AT screens and a false wall to hide any speakers I wanted to hook up.  How exactly did you build the false wall as far as materials go?  (Like 2x4s and spandex cloth or PVC?  I'm sure there's many ways)



#14 of 20 OFFLINE   schan1269

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Posted July 12 2014 - 09:13 PM

I don't have a false wall...but I've designed them.

 

You build a platform, usually, to keep the tweeters of the 3 chosen speakers at ear height. That depends on your speakers. Something like the SVS Ultra would not need a raised platform.

 

The wall is 2x4 and plywood. You attach your fabric via(my technique of choice) Velcro tabs. If you build a false wall. It is usually done across a wall with nothing behind it(as in no doors to the next area).

 

Velcro allows easy take down if you ever need to get to a speaker. Obviously you don't Velcro the screen. You attach it with mounts. The Velcro holds the fabric under, over, left and right of the screen.

 

Then if you want to get stupid fancy, you can incorporate powered curtains and do a CIH(google "projector CIH").



#15 of 20 OFFLINE   Highplainsdakota

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Posted July 12 2014 - 09:15 PM

Material of choice for the fabric?



#16 of 20 OFFLINE   schan1269

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Posted July 12 2014 - 09:25 PM

Material of choice for the fabric?

 

http://www.parts-exp...bric_319_651_BP



#17 of 20 OFFLINE   Glen B2

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Posted July 18 2014 - 09:46 AM

My combined main music/theater system has two 15 amp circuits each on a single receptacle and a 20 amp circuit where I plug my 20 amp Torus Power Conditioner into.  If you have the newer (last 13-14 years) arc fault breakers you're better off getting at least a couple of 20 amp circuits as they can trip easier than those of older electrical code.

Where is this easier to trip information coming from ?  I am running current generation combination AFCI breakers.   I have been using arc fault breakers since the introductory/educational period, well before they were required by code.  Back then, I paid around $140 a piece for them, special-ordered from the manufacturer by a local electrical supply house where they didn't yet know what an AFCI breaker was.  During all those years, through three generations, I have never encountered a single nuisance trip.  Breakers should not trip for no valid reasons.  If indeed there is excessive nuisance tripping not caused by true wiring fault or improper installation, then manufacturers need to address product design/quality control issues.


Main system: Denon DP-59L, AudioTechnica AT33EV, Marantz Reference SA-11S2, Classé CP-50, Classé CA-300, Classé DR-10, PSB Stratus Gold is, DIY Balanced AC Power Conditioner, Classé RC-1, Acoustic Zen Cables, Oyaide and Furutech AC receptacles and power connectors, HiFi Tuning Supreme fuses, 20A isolated ground dedicated line.


#18 of 20 OFFLINE   Phil A

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Posted July 18 2014 - 10:12 AM

Where is this easier to trip information coming from ?  I am running current generation combination AFCI breakers.   I have been using arc fault breakers since the introductory/educational period, well before they were required by code.  Back then, I paid around $140 a piece for them, special-ordered from the manufacturer by a local electrical supply house where they didn't yet know what an AFCI breaker was.  During all those years, through three generations, I have never encountered a single nuisance trip.  Breakers should not trip for no valid reasons.  If indeed there is excessive nuisance tripping not caused by true wiring fault or improper installation, then manufacturers need to address product design/quality control issues.

 

 

From the electrician who has been in business over 25 years (and every other electrician I've personally asked), from manufacturers like Lutron (http://www.lutron.co...ry/AFCI_FAQ.pdf) where they indicate a load over 1000W can cause an issue a tripping issue.

 

Just sold a 3-channel Bryston 6BSST and it would trip about half the time starting and the only thing on that 15 amp circuit is a single receptacle.No problems experienced taking a 25 foot extension cord and plugging that amp into one of the kitchen nook outlets that are on a 20 amp circuit (I have a 20 amp circuit and two 15 amp circuits for the audio system).

 

There is also plenty of discussion on audio forums such as http://www.avsforum....r-tripping.html  or  http://www.audiokarma.org/forums/archive/index.php/t-405680.html



#19 of 20 OFFLINE   JohnRice

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Posted July 18 2014 - 11:24 AM

Some amps, like the Emotivas, claim to have a soft start circuit that is supposed to pretty much eliminate overloads when the amp is turned on.  I used to use an Aragon 4004II amp, and when I turned it on, the house voltage visibly dropped 2-4 volts for a moment.  Any drop the Emotivas cause is less than 1 volt.  I use an XPA-5 and XPA-2, which have the same power supply, running on different (not dedicated) circuits, also staggered to turn on a few seconds apart.  I have never had a circuit trip and I have low sensitivity, low impedance speakers.

 

 

I'll correct that.  I have thrown a circuit when I was cranking music while I ran the vacuum.


The Hybrid System

The Music Part: Emotiva XSP-1, Thiel CS 3.6, Emotiva XPA-2, Marantz SA8004, Emotiva ERC-3, SVS PB-12 Plus 2

The Surround Part: Sherbourn PT-7030, Thiel SCS3, Emotiva XPA-5, Polk & Emotiva Surrounds.


#20 of 20 OFFLINE   Phil A

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Posted July 18 2014 - 12:00 PM

I decided not to deal with the issue (the electrician was willing to try replacing the breaker) as I really did not need a 3 channel amp.  I have a (Modwright) 2-channel amp and amp and am ordering a digital Wyred4Sound mono block (less weight to deal with too) for the center.  The amps built in the receiver are fine for the surrounds, back channels and height channels.  In the old place the room was bigger and felt I needed more power.  Driving Thiels as well, 3.7 mains, MCS1 center, old SCS2s for the back and surround channels and Power Points for the height channels.  I have an Emotiva XPA200 in one spare system and a Brystn 3BSST in another.  Neither are on dedicated circuits and don't cause an issue.






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