True value of 20A circuits?

Discussion in 'Home Theater Projects' started by Jay Mitchosky, Oct 27, 2005.

  1. Jay Mitchosky

    Jay Mitchosky Producer

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    Hey All

    I'm wondering what is needed to take full advantage of 20A electrical. Do you need to replace standard power cords for amps in order to get the extra juice? When running a power center (surge, filtering) does that need to be a 20A model, and if not are the 20A circuits basically a waste? They're already installed so it doesn't matter one way or another. Just wondering if I need to worry about spending big cash on a 20A power center (ex. Furman Elite-20PF) or if I can get away with a 15A.

    Thanks.
     
  2. Leo Kerr

    Leo Kerr Screenwriter

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    The advantage of haveing a 20a circuit is so that when you power a bunch of stuff off of one circuit, and the last thing you pop on (by tradition,) is the massive, power-hungry amplifier, the inrush current doesn't trip out the breaker.

    For many people - if I were to include myself as 'average' - I dare say a dedicated 20a circuit is a waste. My 'peak' load is something like 1300 watts if I fire all devices instantaniously (amplifier and subwoofer, too,) which is well below the safety margin of a 15amp circuit (which in the United States should be good for 1800 watts.)

    I'm fond of specing a 20a circuit, because I know that when other people start hanging things off of the other branches, I'll still have power.

    Leo Kerr
     
  3. KenKusan

    KenKusan Extra

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    I have 2 15 amps for the equipments and 2 15 amps for lights mostly and another 15amps for other devices in my ht room and I still dont think I have enough... :O
     
  4. Leo Kerr

    Leo Kerr Screenwriter

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    yes, but would you see much value in having 3 or 4 20amp circuits in favor of your five 15s?
     
  5. Parker Clack

    Parker Clack Schizophrenic Man
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    Jay:

    You are cool with what you have as a power center. Now if you notice that your are blowing the power center because you are drawing too much off it then you would need to get one that will handle a higher draw. The 20 amp circuit I would just count as an extra cushion that you have to meet the power demands of your system. A 15 amp circuit will give you about 1800 watts of power where as a 20 amp circuit will give you about 2400 watts.

    Keep the equipment you have unless you start to notice a problem or you get upgradeitis and just have to have a new powerstrip.
     
  6. Wayne A. Pflughaupt

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    As Parker indicated, as long as your gear doesn’t exceed the power center’s capacity, you’re fine.

    Regards,
    Wayne A. Pflughaupt
     
  7. Chuck Bogie

    Chuck Bogie Second Unit

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    Odds are that you're not going to break things, even with a single 15 amp circuit. I've got a friend who runs a stack of Phase Linears off a single 20 amp circuit. And he's never popped the breaker. I've got two 20 amps and two 15 amps in The Bunker, and they work fine. I'm running two Hafler DH-500s with a peak draw of 1800 each, and three DH-2series amps that (I think...) draw between 6-800 watts each at peak. Then there's the DVD player, the BFD, the AVR, the power strip (with lights), three sub amps, the projector, and miscellaneous lighting.

    Before I had the 20 amp circuits in, I had everything hooked to a pair of 15 amps... but if I knew I was gonna get stupid loud, I'd run a short heavy-gauge extension from the washer-dryer area.

    Thing is, you're going to only RARELY need peak current draw - generally when you turn the things on, and the caps charge.
     
  8. Ben Ch

    Ben Ch Agent

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    I ran a single 20 amp cct to my ent. center to power all of my rack (HK-AVR 525 receiver, 2 staellite receivers, a DVD player and a VCR), I used a 20A cct, mainly because my distribution panel is about a 70 foot run from the rack and I wanted to avoid voltage drop in the long run during higher load.

    My automation, lighting and display are all on sepreate 15A ccts.
     
  9. Jay Mitchosky

    Jay Mitchosky Producer

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    Groovy. [​IMG]
     

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