Question about dedicated HT circuits

Discussion in 'Home Theater Projects' started by Tom Kay, Jul 22, 2003.

  1. Tom Kay

    Tom Kay Stunt Coordinator

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    Hello All !

    I am close to doing some wiring in my new basement HT, and want to know how most people go about it. I mean, would you typically have one circuit, 20 amp, dedicated for all of the equipment? My equipment would be, one 36" tube TV (later to be a rear projection widescreen), one AVR, probably a Denon when I save some dollars and replace my Yamaha DSP, one Toshiba DVD player, and the 100 watt powered sub. I also have my stereo on the same rack, but would not have it running while my movies are running. As my system expands, I suspect I'll be adding more, such as satellite equipment, etc.

    I will be doing the wiring myself, I feel OK about this, and have already passed an inspection for another room.

    Do most people use a fully dedicated 20 amp circuit, and it is proper to plug all the HT equipment into one line? And I assume that 20 amps needs 12/2 gauge wire?

    Separate from this will be the ceiling and sconce lighting, eventually controlled by x-10 scene-capable dimmers. The wet bar will have its own circuits for neon signs, etc.
    I also plan to install a whole-house surge protector on my main panel so that my x-10 components, and other items don't get fried.

    So, have I left out anything obvious? I'm pretty lucky because I have 14x23 feet to work with, in my basement, but it takes a lot to properly fill that room, including electrical stuff.

    Thanks for any input, especially about the dedicated circuit to run my electronics.

    Cheers, Tom Kay, Ottawa.
     
  2. MikeWh

    MikeWh Second Unit

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    Tom,

    Here was a recent thread on the subject:
    http://www.hometheaterforum.com/htfo...hreadid=140427

    I highly recommend doing the math to determine the needed capacity. I quickly scanned your list of components, and I don't think you'll have a problem.... but I like doing the math. I believe most people here have found a single 20A circuit was enough for their HT component needs (a single 15A circuit was enough for my needs). Some people preferred splitting components among multiple, separate circuits, but I just don't understand why someone would do it just for the heck of it. It's a pretty simple math problem.

    Fully dedicated and on a different leg seems to be the concensus. It's discussed in the thread above. It's sometimes very hard to pull all motors and transformers over to one leg and non-interfering circuits to the other, especially with all the large appliances in a house (requiring 240V, or both legs combined).... but try as best as you can to segregate the equipment. Also, I don't know a thing about electricity in Canada. If you are working with 2-phases of 120V each, then this is the way to go.

    And yes, 20A gets 12-gauge (under "normal" circumstances).

    I'm moving my HT lighting (and other gadgets) to an X-10 system from a Lutron/IR system. So far, I've been experimenting with several X-10 switches, in particular the SmartHome SwitchLincs , and I've been happy with the preliminary results. Some people require "phase coupling" for X-10 to work throughout their home. All of my X-10 devices are going to be in my HT.... so I'm only working on one phase anyway. If you're doing the same, then you can kill two birds with one stone: all X-10 devices will be segregated on a different leg from the HT components (so you'll cut down on potential RF interferences there), and you won't need to install a phase coupler.
     
  3. Tom Kay

    Tom Kay Stunt Coordinator

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    Hi Mike

    Thanks for the detailed reply, and reference to the earlier discussion on wiring. I think I understand most of what you meant, and I just had a new breaker panel installed to replace my old fuse panel. Can you believe there were only 8 separate circuits in my house???

    So, I am pretty sure that we have 2 phases of 120VAC, totalling 240VAC. I have been shown that (with mini breakers) each side of the breaker is a different leg, so if this is correct I'll try to keep the x-10 lighting components on the opposite leg from the HT equipment, and perhaps give some thought to which leg should have all of the household motors wired to it. At least I have flexibility, because I asked the electrician to install a 32/64 panel, which means 64 mini-breakered 15 amp circuits could be installed, in theory. Of course, certain appliances take up a full breaker space, but still I have lots of room. Quite a relief from the 8 fuses !

    I have never fooled around with x-10, so I am trying to learn all I can before frying some of all of the components. Also, it's good to read about how others have handled the electronic equipment power issue, typically a 20 amp dedicated circuit. Thanks again !

    Tom.
     
  4. MikeWh

    MikeWh Second Unit

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  5. MikeWh

    MikeWh Second Unit

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