Dedicated 20 Amp Circuit - is it worth it?

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Bryan Acevedo, May 5, 2002.

  1. Bryan Acevedo

    Bryan Acevedo Second Unit

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    OK guys - this may seem like an obvious question, but I am building a new house. I have the opportunity to put in a dedicated 20 amp circuit to the home theater rack. It is only $125 to do now, but I am just trying to figure out if I even need it. Here is my equipment list:

    Receiver: Denon AVR 3802

    DVD Player: Denon DVM 1800

    TV: Mitsubishi VS 60603 (Which may be staying in the old house, probably get a new HD Mits)

    Satellite: Standard RCA DirecTV satellite receiver - maybe upgrade to a DirecTivo in the future (having 2 coax runs to the area)

    VCR: JVC 3600

    Sub: Velodyne SPL 1200

    Power Conditioner: Monster HTS 1000

    All of my speakers are Klipsch Reference series - so they are very efficient, and power to them has never been an issue.

    What I am wondering is if my equipment even needs a 20 amp circuit, and I don't see myself upgrading to separates or more powerful amps. I am happy with the sound now in my current house, which is running a 15 amp circuit (shared by other outlets in the room).

    Will there be an audible/visible difference in my equipment? Or is it more the peace of mind knowing that my equipment has all the power it needs, and won't get any noise from other things plugged into the walls?

    Any input would be appreciated.

    I most likely will add it to the house, but by the time you have payed off the mortgage, this $125 option will cost me more like $300 - which I am assuming is still a lot cheaper than having an electrician come out after the fact to add one in.

    Thanks,

    Bryan
     
  2. ChrisB

    ChrisB Stunt Coordinator

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    125 dollars, holy cow, that builder is realy marking that one up, especialy in AZ. I guess everyone has to make money, but 300% is a little to much.
     
  3. Mike Matheson

    Mike Matheson Second Unit

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    Bryan,
    Yes, you should do it. Maybe even run two circuits (be sure they're the same phase). Use decent outlets (minimum of commercial/industrial grade).
    The result will be cleaner power to your equipment--less likelihood of dips, hums, buzzes, etc., from lights/dimmers/vacuums/etc.
    I'd recommend two circuits because, well, you never know. [​IMG] (at least I keep upgrading). But also, even if you don't need such for purposes of power delivery, it would allow you to separate your analog and digital items onto two different circuits.
     
  4. Bryan Acevedo

    Bryan Acevedo Second Unit

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    Well that includes the wire run and warranty, etc. That is not just the cost of the outlet. Yes they mark it up! But what can you do? How much would it be after the fact to hire an electrician to rip out your walls and run a circuit for you. I would imagine a lot more than $125 and then you would have walls that aren't "perfect" anymore.

    Just to be clear - this is a new house - being built - and the $125 is for a dedicated 20 amp circuit to anywhere that I want.

    As a comparison - they charge $100 for a cable outlet anywhere in the house. This is pretty much standard price to add a cable outlet to a room. They usually only include 2 per house out here. The rest you have to pay extra for!

    Bryan
     
  5. Bryan Acevedo

    Bryan Acevedo Second Unit

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    Thanks Mike - I doubt I will need two, but it is something to think about. The people at the design center should be able to help out as well. I am just trying to make sure I will not just waste $125 for something I don't need.

    Bryan
     
  6. Chu Gai

    Chu Gai Lead Actor

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    no chance you can run it yourself?
     
  7. Mike Matheson

    Mike Matheson Second Unit

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    Bryan,

    Maybe they would offer a discount (vs. another $125) for a second line--the additional labor and materials is very minor.
     
  8. Bryan Acevedo

    Bryan Acevedo Second Unit

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    Chu - I could probably run it myself, but I am not an electrician, and I don't know the codes in my area. Also, many builders here will rip out wiring if they see it, that they didn't run. They use the excuse that it may not be up to code. I would hate to try and save $125, and then have either a problem with the run (which is behind walls) or do something structurally that would compromise the integrity of my house. Remember - this is a new build - a two story 3450 sq foot house. The room I want it in is far from the electrical box, and on the first floor. Getting into this afterwards would be near impossible. I am pretty convinced that I am going to do it.

    I guess my real question is not for the price, but is a 20 amp circuit in general needed? What will it do for me? If it was $1000 to run, then of course I wouldn't do it.

    But for $125 (which is minuscule compared to the price of the house), I will most likely do it.

    I am just trying to figure out what exactly it is that a 20 amp circuit will give me - what benefits will it have in my home theater.

    So, if you could (forget about price), would you have a 20 amp circuit run to your home theater, and why?

    Bryan
     
  9. Jeff Mills

    Jeff Mills Stunt Coordinator

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    The only benefit you will gain is the ability to drive components requiring more current. If in the future you see yourself adding seperates, then do it. A 15A circuit is all you need to run a receiver, TV, DVD, VCR, and a little extra.

    As you said above, you cant see yourself going with seperates, so I wouldnt bother.
     
  10. Wayne A. Pflughaupt

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    Wayne
    Bryan,

    I was all prepared to say “$125 on construction? I’ve seen plenty of people here say they paid an electrician only $100 – 150 to put in a dedicated circuit after the fact!

    Then I saw that you wrote:
     
  11. Bryan Acevedo

    Bryan Acevedo Second Unit

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    Thanks guys!

    Wayne - thanks for all of the input!

    I am trying to decide where I am going to put the sub, and I really want it to be plugged into the power conditioner. I guess I could just get a good surge suppressor for the sub, and have it on it's own outlet. I will see what they offer me. One thing that is cool about this builder - they are totally set up for Home Theater wiring. Their design center has a dedicated audio room, that you can choose all the options you want (down to a 42" plasma TV). They offer the "structured wiring" package - which is basically a big punch out type box in the master closet, where all of the wiring comes to, and you have a whole house point of distribution. Of course, this is a $2000 option - which I am not going to get! But it is pretty cool!

     
  12. derek

    derek Second Unit

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    Bryan,

    I just went through similar decisions. My builder wanted $150 per 20 amp outlet. $100 for extra phone and $75 for extra cable jack. To top it off they wouldn't let me prewire anything. Fortunately my home theater will eventually be in our unfinished basement where I can do all the wiring my heart desires. *laugh* However I can tell you I did not opt for a 20amp outlet for my secondary system (receiver,vcr,tv,dvd,ld) or bedroom system (stereo receiver,tv,ld,vcr.)
     
  13. Frank_S

    Frank_S Supporting Actor

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    Isolating your stereo/HT gear from all other devices is advisable. Wayne explained why so I won't rehash, however, a 15 amp circuit is plenty for what you have now and even if you move to separates it would probably suffice.

    I have all my gear on (1) 15 amp circuit and have had no problems. I had an electrician perform a load test on that circuit while playing soundtracks at reference level(extremely loud) The power draw was just over 9 amps.

    Here is a list of my equipment that was running at the time:

    Aragon 8008 x 3 amp(200 wt/3 ch)

    Aragon 8008 BB amp (200 wt/2 ch)

    Toshiba TW40X81 RPTV

    Toshiba SD-5109 DVD player

    Classe SSP-25 pre/pro

    B&W Nautilus 804 mains, HTM-2, N805 surrounds.
     
  14. Yohan Pamudji

    Yohan Pamudji Second Unit

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    Frank,

    That's some really helpful info. 9 amps for all that equipment? Wow. I was thinking about adding a 20 amp outlet for my HT, but now I know I won't need it. Thanks!
     
  15. Mike Matheson

    Mike Matheson Second Unit

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    Frank,

    Did the electrician say the 9 amps was continuous, or the max draw at startup?

    Yohan,

    A common solution is to run a 20 amp circuit but use one or two 15 amp outlets.
     
  16. Dave Schofield

    Dave Schofield Second Unit

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  17. Brian Campbell

    Brian Campbell Stunt Coordinator

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    Mike,

    I thought using 15 amp outlets on a 20 amp circuit was incorrect. I believe I read this in my wiring book.
     
  18. Bryan Acevedo

    Bryan Acevedo Second Unit

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    Thanks - Dave - yeah I know that it is more than them making money - and to me - it is valid. I totally agree - if I am going to be held responsible for something, I won't let someone else piggyback on it. To me, $125 isn't bad - they have to charge something for it, and it is a nice round number! [​IMG]
    Bryan
     
  19. Mike Matheson

    Mike Matheson Second Unit

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    Brian,

    I'm not a pro, so don't know for sure regarding the 20 amp line w/ 15 amp outlets.

    My electrician did do such for me (and it was his idea).
     
  20. Frank_S

    Frank_S Supporting Actor

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    Frank,
    Did the electrician say the 9 amps was continuous, or the max draw at startup?
    Mike, with all my equipment on but idling, the continuos draw was 7.5 amps. The Aragon amps run Class A for the 1st 25 watts so they draw a lot of power.
    As I turned the volume up to reference level, which is louder than I listen, the continuos draw rose to 9.5 amps, it did'nt go beyond that for during the 20 minute test.
    Hope this helps. [​IMG]
     

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