Dedicated Power Line

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Craig Morris, Apr 3, 2002.

  1. Craig Morris

    Craig Morris Stunt Coordinator

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    I have read about installing a direct power line from my electrical switchbox to a dedicated power outlet for my stereo/HT equipment. A colleague at work here just paid an electrician to do it and claims it was worth every penny.

    I believe the theory is that you remove all other electrical devices from the circuit, thereby minimizing intereference both from RFI/EMI and avoiding any competition for the supplied current.

    My dad has wired basements before and he's willing to help me install two dedicated lines and some hospital grade outlets.

    I'm curious if anybody here has done this before, and if so, is it worth the effort in your opinion? and would you have any advice?
     
  2. Ron-P

    Ron-P Producer

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    Craig, I installed one 20amp line into The Green Room. I used 12 ga. Romex, a 20amp breaker and a 20 amp outlet. It was extremely easy although a bit time consuming. Run your wire, wire up your outlet, shut down the power to your panel, install breaker, power up and your done. Very easy to do.
    ...and yes, it is worth the effort.
    Peace Out~[​IMG]
     
  3. James Mudler

    James Mudler Stunt Coordinator

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    Ditto. Do it!
     
  4. Tim Hood

    Tim Hood Agent

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    How much did this cost him?

    Tim
     
  5. Craig Morris

    Craig Morris Stunt Coordinator

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    My colleague paid $350 CDN for two dedicated lines with 10 gauge wiring and floor mounted outlets. It took the electrician about 4 or 5 hours to wire everything. Mine is much easier because my basement is unfinished.

    I just have to double-check at my swithbox what's free. I want to make sure I have room for Central Air Conditioning at some point.

    And what's with 20 amps? If I'm running regular stuff, I just need 15 amps right? Aren't 20 amp outlets those funky dryer/stove style plugs?
     
  6. Elbert Lee

    Elbert Lee Supporting Actor

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    Better to spend the $400 or so on 2 or 3 dedicated AC lines than $400+ on an AC power conditioner. If you can isolate your digital an analog components at the SOURCE rather than purchase conditioners with expensive isolation transformers, you're getting the best filter of all - physical separation. Separation from other outlets in the house will already yield huge results, so you might as well run at least 2 dedicated ac lines to separate your digital and analog components.

    In addition, you'll find that you'll have a lot more stable current to power your amp. Bass will tighten up, wider and deeper soundstage, more focus, smoother highs and mids - better all the way around.

    If you own your own home, or if you rent and don't plan to move for a long time, it is definitely worth running the AC lines. More often than not, a general contractor is more than able to do the job. Therefore, if you have to do other work around the house, it will be more cost effective to have your contractor run dedicated AC lines and install dedicated AC outlets near your components. Electricians will generlly charge a higher amount.

    Elbert
     
  7. Brandon B

    Brandon B Second Unit

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    A 20 amp outlet looks almost like a 15. One of the slots has the additional little horzizontal "T" bar on it, so it can accept both regular 15 amp plugs (2 vertical tabs) and 20 amp plugs (one vert tab, one horizontal tab same size).
    As to why, extra current available. Say your running a TV (a few amps) a dvd player and pre/pro (another few amps), a seven channel amp (10-18 amps), and any other components, the extra 33% headroom might be necessary.
    Since 20 amp breakers are the same size as 15 amp, generally a few $ more, and you have to run 12 gauge instead of 14 gauge wire, the cost difference is minimal. Why not give yourself the added capacity?
    I, being rather fond of excess, just ran a 30 amp line (LARGE subwoofer amp) and three 20 amp lines (2 slightly less large bass amps for biamped woofers, one 3 channel amp and 2 stereo amps, pre/pro, TV, DVD, VCR, etc). Will I ever draw 90 amps? No, all the windows would leave my house very quickly, or all the drivers in my speakers would fry. But I know I will NEVER be limited by current draw. I will likely peak at a total of 30-35 amps.
    So I don't think a 20 is overkill.[​IMG]
    BB
     
  8. Tim Kilbride

    Tim Kilbride Stunt Coordinator

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    I'm in agreeance here also...I ran two dedicated 20A circuits for my gear...one for the amps and one for everything else. Wouldn't have it any other way...

    Tim K.
     
  9. Craig Morris

    Craig Morris Stunt Coordinator

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    Hmmmm.... two of the free switches on my switchbox are labelled 30A. but I have a feeling I'll need those if I get Central Air installed.

    If there's empty slots, I can always just add more switches right? (I'm obviously NOT an electrician. LOL)
     
  10. Craig Morris

    Craig Morris Stunt Coordinator

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    Ok, I found a Canadian source for Hubbell 20A outlets. Only $24.49 each. This could actually be a very affordable upgrade, particularly if Dad and I can do all the work ourselves. Yay!

    Any recommendations for wire? My colleague had 10ga. installed. Is Home Depot bulk wire good enough? Did you run your cable through a conduit to 'shield' it?
     
  11. Tim Hood

    Tim Hood Agent

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    What about if you don't have a basement? I live here in Sandy Eggo, CA and everything will have to be done through my walls...

    I just had 2 20 amp circuits installed in my garage, and had no room in my panel, so they used a quad-breaker (2 20's and 2 30's) in a double stacked arrangement.

    I was a bit worried about the cost to run a dedicated line to my stereo equipment...

    Tim
     
  12. Brandon B

    Brandon B Second Unit

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    Craig -

    The switches are called circuit breakers.

    My and many others AC units (compressors) run off a 50 amp dual breaker, so yes you will probably need the two spaces for the A/C especially if your house is 2000 sq ft or more.

    As for conduit, it depends on the electrical code for your location. Conduit is not allowed where I live unless it is on the outside of the walls. Romex is required in L.A. CHeck with an electrician, or look how the job at your friend's was done. Conduit is not for shielding purposes, it is protection for the wire as well as a grounding device. Romex has an earth ground built in.

    Home depot bulk wire is fine. 12 gauge is generally code for a 20 amp breaker for any normal length run. 10 gauge will certainly work and will minimize the voltage drop to your outlet, so if the few $ makes no difference to you, go for it.

    Tim -

    I gots no basement either, just a big hard slab. And my panel was at the far corner of my house from my AV closet. I found a route into the garage and across the garage ceiling (with wire and conduit, switched to romex in a J box) and then up an AC duct return up into my attic, across the house, and then down another AC duct enclosure into the wall of my AV closet. Phew.

    Is your house one of the "beam ceiling/roof right on the walls" type of Sandy Eggo houses, or do you have some sort of attic/crawlspace?

    BB
     
  13. Tim Hood

    Tim Hood Agent

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    Brandon...
    Well, my home is definitely a cookie cutter SD home...
    I have a two story, so it sounds like my endeavors would be exactly like yours...
    Except, I'd have to run across multiple ceiling beams (all perpendicular) to get wire over to my entertainment unit.
    Though, there may be AC conduits that I could run the wire through. I'd want to keep it to code, of course, but unfortunately, as yours was run, I don't see any easy way of doing mine.
    To answer your question though, yes/no? I don't quite get it [​IMG] I have rafters up on the second floor, but yes, the ceiling beams are right on the walls on the first floor (where the entertainment center is). Hope that helps you...
    The electrician wanted $100 per 20 amp circuit installed in the garage (which was right on the other side of the panel). This was the cheapest I could find...
    Thanks for the help!
    Tim
     
  14. Brandon B

    Brandon B Second Unit

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    When I say I ran mine in AC duct returns, I mean a framed dead space within the walls of the house that the HVAC duct travels through. There was already romex inside these spaces by the builder.

    You should certainly NOT run romex inside your AC ducts themselves. Big no no.

    So there is no space between your 2nd floor ceiling and the roof?

    How about any sort of place to run it in your 2nd floor joists/first floor ceiling?

    BB
     
  15. Tim Hood

    Tim Hood Agent

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    Brandon,

    Yeah, same with my home. I wasn't going to run anything non-plenum through my HVAC ducts...

    There is some room between the ceiling of the first floor, and the floor of the second floor, but from where the AC duct runs down from the rafters, I'd have to go across multiple floor joists which are running perpendicular.

    I believed this to mean having to cut out the ceiling drywall, drilling a hole in every joist, and running the power cable from the duct through every hole, and down the wall to my entertainment center...

    That's way too much work for someone like me...

    Tim
     
  16. Bryan Michael

    Bryan Michael Supporting Actor

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    you can use the emty brakers for you ht if you get central air just get a seccon meter on the outside and you get a beter rate. the braker i got was like 10dollars and the 12-2 was like 10 and the outlet was 4 and the cut in box was a dollar
     

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