Originally Posted by Slingblayde
Hi guys, this is probably an odd/ridiculous question but, anybody have problems with monsters like these subs popping breakers when rocking out movies? I dont mean the breakers in the amps on the subs, I mean on your electrical panel lol.
Im pretty much a n00b when it comes to HT and am in the process of building one in the basement now. I want to try to plan for power requirements, but how do I plan for them when I dont know where I have to place 1 or 2 subs. I dont have drywall up yet and dont want to run into a problem of not enough juice, especially since I have lots of room in the panel to add additional power.
I recently went through your above question in another thread and FWIW I'm still butt burned regarding how poorly my question was handled. The following will give you accurate (empirical) information in which to answer your above question.Here's a PDF file that gives accurate information to help answer your question.
See Pg 4, for 20A, breaker information.
For pertinent information, one needs to find out what the manufacture of their electric service box is and then put the name of the service box manufacture plus circuit breaker amperage and; "circuit breaker time current curves" into their search engine. Use the following as a search engine template:
"Murray 20A circuit breaker time current curves"
With this information one will be able to easily figure out exactly what the circuit's, circuit breaker is capable of and for how long. You'll also need to find out what the constant current draw is of all the appliances that will be plugged into the circuit as the circuit demand is a total of all the appliances plugged into the same circuit; constant demand vs peak demand.
As an example, ambient internal wall temperature aside, the above curve is for our panel's breakers (120V/60Hz) and it shows our 20A breakers can hold a 60A surge for, at minimum, approximately ten seconds. For perspective, a pair of Seaton, SubMersive HP's, running hot, each draw about 800W continuous or about 1,600W for the pair; max amplifier demand for one amplifier is ~2,400W; 4,800W for a pair. As you can see, the peak demand our living room circuit is capable of handling, for short bursts of under ten seconds in duration, is some 7,200W. It's all about resistance and temperature wise, how hot the wall wiring is going get as nobody wants their house burned down due to a newly rented Blu-ray movie.
If your walls are open, it never hurts to have a couple of dedicated 20A circuits run to your equipment wall. This allows for one to have a dedicated breaker for subs and to have a second dedicated breaker for a separate outboard amplifier. In the future, if you plan to go all Home Theater crazy, make sure and have the basement electrical, wired for crazy; separate 20A breakers on each wall. If the walls are open, then it's nothing more than running wires to the breakers. It will depend on the age of your electric service box and what it's rated capacity is; 90A vs 200A. Breaker wise, being the wall is open, what's prudent to have installed is dependent on how crazy you plan to get, now and well into the future. I also recommend, for a few bucks more, have all duplex outlets be of a "hospital" grade for durability and have gangs of two/three duplex outlets installed; four/six plug capability. It's your call.
Never allow one to talk you out of upgrades, logic says you should have installed. If one is at home, it's always better to have more than less. Discuss your concerns with the individual doing the electrical work and let them know that when the wallboard is in place, you don't want to worry about the future. Hope the above helps.