Is it okay to plug a 350w sub into a 4-way surge protector? - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 37 Old 12-03-2012, 02:06 PM - Thread Starter
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Sorry if this is a dumb question, it's been many years since I've hooked up a home stereo system. I just bought a new receiver/speakers/powered sub and want to make sure I don't overload my current 4-way surge protectors. I'm planning on putting the 500w receiver on one surge protector along with my PS3, PS2 and DVR box. The other surge protector (separate outlet, obviously) will be the subwoofer, 26" LCD TV, Nintendo Wii and cordless phone. Will this be okay, or am I going to be drawing too much power and risk damage/fire?

This is my receiver: http://www.amazon.com/Harman-Kardon-AVR-1700-Receiver/dp/B009HB2USI/ref=sr_1_1?s=electronics&ie=UTF8&qid=1354572063&sr=1-1&keywords=harman+kardon+1700

This is my sub: http://www.amazon.com/Pinnacle-Speakers-Subsonic-6-5-Inch-Subwoofer/dp/B0038OLNV0/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1354570914&sr=8-3&keywords=pinnacle+subwoofer

And these are the surge protectors I have: http://www.amazon.com/360-Electrical-36035-W-4-Outlet-Protector/dp/B001O4BN48/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1354572122&sr=8-3&keywords=belkin+surge+4-way

Will I be okay plugging everything in as planned? And another question: If a sub is 350w, does that mean it's drawing 350w regardless of what volume it's on, or is 350w only how much it's drawing when cranked up to maximum capacity?

Thanks for any and all help! I don't want to burn my house down or fry my stuff smile.gif
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post #2 of 37 Old 12-03-2012, 02:46 PM
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I think you will be OK. Your sub only uses 350w during a loud passage of bass during a movie.
How many amps on the circuit breaker(s)? I have a 150w X 5 power amp, Pioneer Elite used as a
pre, Oppo 93 Bluray player, Velodyne SMS-1, Dish cable box, all hooked up to a plain power strip
and had no problems whatsoever. If you over drive the system, the surge protector will trip, so
don't worry to much about frying your equipment.

My subs (all four of them) are on a dedicated 20 amp circuit breaker, and I have had no porblems.
Two subs are 500w, and the other two are 250w (10"sub(s). Because I have four, I don't have to
turn up the gain more than a quarter of a turn. Like I said, the only draw on them is when
there is loud bass material on a movie. They are always on the "on position"...and draw
about as much power as a 20w light bulb when not in use.

I like you choice of equipment....especially the Pinnacle sub. Pinnacle subs IMO are great.
The Harman Kardon receiver is very nice, should have a warm sound signature which I
like (non fatiguing sound). Best of luck. smile.gif

vardo
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post #3 of 37 Old 12-03-2012, 03:44 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by papatoony View Post

Will this be okay, or am I going to be drawing too much power and risk damage/fire?
No current passes through the active element of a surge protector, so you can't overload them. But if at all possible don't use two separate outlets, as that can lead to ground looping. Get a surge protected outlet strip, plug everything into that.

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post #4 of 37 Old 12-03-2012, 04:25 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bill Fitzmaurice View Post

No current passes through the active element of a surge protector, so you can't overload them. But if at all possible don't use two separate outlets, as that can lead to ground looping. Get a surge protected outlet strip, plug everything into that.
I have 2 six plug strips plugged into a single outlet. 1 in the top plug of the outlet and 1 in the bottom plug of the outlet. Are you saying I would be better off to just have one 12 plug surge protector plugged into just 1 of the outlet plugs? I hope this question makes sense. btw. I have each sub plugged into its own surge protector and its own outlet. So the tv and receiver are the only things drawing a lot of juice in this scenario and I have the tv plugged into one surge protector and the receiver into the other. Dont know if that helps or not but seemed like a good idea at the time. Also, I am not an electrician.eek.gif

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post #5 of 37 Old 12-03-2012, 04:39 PM
 
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I had an electrician come out and covert the duplex outlets to fourplex outlets so we have ten outlets on the one equipment wall. biggrin.gif

"Look ma, no plug strips."

.........tongue.gif
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post #6 of 37 Old 12-03-2012, 04:44 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bond 007 View Post

I have 2 six plug strips plugged into a single outlet. 1 in the top plug of the outlet and 1 in the bottom plug of the outlet. Are you saying I would be better off to just have one 12 plug surge protector plugged into just 1 of the outlet plugs?
No, because they're the same outlet. What you don't want to do is use two different outlets, even if they're on the same breaker, because of the distance between them. With two strips there could be enough ground path differential between them to cause a ground loop, but only if the cords are longer than six feet or so.

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post #7 of 37 Old 12-03-2012, 04:49 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bill Fitzmaurice View Post

No, because they're the same outlet. What you don't want to do is use two different outlets, even if they're on the same breaker, because of the distance between them.
Many thanks. I will have to look into that then regarding the subs. Dont know what outlets are on what breakers but it is all in one room so I suspect all are on the same breaker. Perhaps I should just get better insurance!biggrin.gif

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post #8 of 37 Old 12-03-2012, 05:58 PM
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Your surge protectors are insurance. They will protect your equipment. If outlets are both in the the
bedroom, you can bet they are on the same breaker. All my equipment, including my laptop,
and desk top computer, plus theater sconces are on the same 20 amp breaker. Don't worry about
a 350w sub if it's on the same breaker. Just make sure it is 20 amp.....should be okay.

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post #9 of 37 Old 12-03-2012, 07:38 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vardo View Post

If outlets are both in the the
bedroom, you can bet they are on the same breaker.
Not in my house. Run an AC and an iron on the same circuit and you can blow it, so when I wired my house I used all 30 of the breakers in the box to have as many separate circuits as possible, especially in the kitchen, and with a separate circuit for lights so if an appliance blows a breaker you can still see. Most electricians don't do it that way, since it takes a lot more wire. But they should.
Quote:
Your surge protectors are insurance. They will protect your equipment.
They won't stop a lightning hit, and that's the major cause of fried circuits. But they're so inexpensive you might as well have them to handle what they can.

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post #10 of 37 Old 12-03-2012, 08:06 PM
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Bill, I know from your posts, you are very knowledgeable about all things
when it comes to electronics.

I live in So Cal, so a lighting hit is rare. But a month ago, a freak
lighting strike hit. Loud as hell, right where we live. Of course electric
power was a gonner. We had the Edison crew working in our backyard,
because the power lines are run above, and there is a telephone pole
in the corner of the yard next to us. The hit was so hard, it blew out
a light bulb to pieces in a swag lamp we have. We were without power for
24 hours. A lot of electric lines down everywhere.

Something like that is very, very rare in the area where I live.
But it could happen again sometime.

I thought surge protectors protect your equipment. All I have are
$10 surge cheapo power strips. Yet none of my audio equipment
or anything else was damaged, except one outlet won't work which
I replaced which with no results. Time to call the electrician biggrin.gif

Anyways I just thought expensive surge protectors would be of a
big help with a lighting hit.

vardo

Vardo
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post #11 of 37 Old 12-03-2012, 08:20 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vardo View Post

Bill, I know from your posts, you are very knowledgeable about all things
when it comes to electronics.
I live in So Cal, so a lighting hit is rare. But a month ago, a freak
lighting strike hit. Loud as hell, right where we live. Of course electric
power was a gonner. We had the Edison crew working in our backyard,
because the power lines are run above, and there is a telephone pole
in the corner of the yard next to us. The hit was so hard, it blew out
a light bulb to pieces in a swag lamp we have. We were without power for
24 hours. A lot of electric lines down everywhere.
Something like that is very, very rare in the area where I live.
But it could happen again sometime.
I thought surge protectors protect your equipment. All I have are
$10 surge cheapo power strips. Yet none of my audio equipment
or anything else was damaged, except one outlet won't work which
I replaced which with no results. Time to call the electrician biggrin.gif
Anyways I just thought expensive surge protectors would be of a
big help with a lighting hit.
vardo
Vardo
Sounds like you were just lucky. As far as I know nothing is going to help much if you have 1,000,000 volts (or amps or whatever, again Im no electrician) go through your house wiring. There are whole house proteftion methods that can be built into the breaker box or something but I dont think those would even do much if it was a direct hit. Probably just be happy if the house didnt burn to the ground. Yes Im bored and that's why Im typing this useless post that adds nothing worthwhile.rolleyes.gif

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post #12 of 37 Old 12-03-2012, 08:43 PM - Thread Starter
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Thanks for the replies, guys...I just wanted to make sure I don't make sparks fly lol. So I should put the receiver and subwoofer on the same surge protector?? I was trying to spread them out so that I don't overload any single outlet. I've never even heard of a ground loop...no idea what that is. Why does cord length increase the likelihood of that happening? I can certainly plug all my audio equipment into the same surge protecter if necessary, but I'll still have to use the other surge protector for my TV/etc...would I still be running the risk of a ground loop then? I guess I'm confused about what exactly causes a ground loop--audio equipment being split between outlets, or the use of two grounded surge protecters in the same room?

If I get a ground loop, what happens? Do I get electrocuted? My stuff gets fried? What exactly is the risk? Thanks!
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Quote:
Originally Posted by papatoony View Post

Thanks for the replies, guys...I just wanted to make sure I don't make sparks fly lol. So I should put the receiver and subwoofer on the same surge protector?? I was trying to spread them out so that I don't overload any single outlet. I've never even heard of a ground loop...no idea what that is. Why does cord length increase the likelihood of that happening? I can certainly plug all my audio equipment into the same surge protecter if necessary, but I'll still have to use the other surge protector for my TV/etc...would I still be running the risk of a ground loop then? I guess I'm confused about what exactly causes a ground loop--audio equipment being split between outlets, or the use of two grounded surge protecters in the same room?
If I get a ground loop, what happens? Do I get electrocuted? My stuff gets fried? What exactly is the risk? Thanks!
It will boil your brain and make your limbs shoot across the room. Which is why I'm not an electrician.

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post #14 of 37 Old 12-03-2012, 11:03 PM - Thread Starter
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BTW in the manual it says the sub can draw up to 800w (I guess because it's a dual sub), so I don't know if that changes anything.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by papatoony View Post

BTW in the manual it says the sub can draw up to 800w (I guess because it's a dual sub), so I don't know if that changes anything.

What is the plug strip rated at? If it's your home, my recommendation would be to get an electrician out and increase the number of wall outlets. As to a surge protector, protecting the audio gear, stories abound on AVS regarding people who's gear was fried from a lightening strike while hooked up to a surge protector. Some were fried when hooked up to a service connect surge protector. The point, surge protecting is a crap shoot, not a sure thing.
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post #16 of 37 Old 12-04-2012, 06:14 AM
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Originally Posted by vardo View Post

I just thought expensive surge protectors would be of a
big help with a lighting hit.
Nope. When the voltage across it is normal and/or up to a specific percentage above normal it does nothing. When the voltage exceeds the threshold it sends the excess to ground. At that point it's a conductor, and like any conductor has a current limit. If the current it passes exceeds its capacity it blows, and when that happens it's no longer providing any protection. In the case of a lightning hit it will usually blow. It's possible to make one with adequate current capacity to handle a lightning hit, but the cost would be prohibitive, especially considering how rare such lightning hits are. That's why Furman has their $25k damage guarantee. It's not because their surge protectors are that good, it's because damaging lightning hits are so rare.
Quote:
I've never even heard of a ground loop...no idea what that is.
http://www.rane.com/note110.html
Quote:
BTW in the manual it says the sub can draw up to 800w (I guess because it's a dual sub), so I don't know if that changes anything.
That's 7 amps at full power.

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post #17 of 37 Old 12-04-2012, 06:33 AM
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Sorry to hijack this thread but it’s relevant to the OP’s question as he and I are in the same boat… (we don’t know Jack about electricity).

Bill – would you recommend a whole home surge protection at the junction box or is that just snake oil? Santa is bringing me some new goodies and I want to make sure they’re as protected as they can be. I’ll have similar gear to the OP, if that helps.

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post #18 of 37 Old 12-04-2012, 07:56 AM
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It only helps if you actually need it... I have whole-house surge and lightning protection installed in our main service, cost about $300 - $500 IIRC. Since our power tends to be flaky out in the sticks I count it as good insurance. As for lightning protection, pretty much nothing is going to stop a direct hit, but a strike that hit a tree about 25 yards from our house did no damage except to the cable line (they installed an inlet lightning arrestor after that). For a $20k sound system plus all the other stuff in the house it made sense to me.

The whole-house suppressors tend to be heavier-duty so they last longer, and are certified for code/UL compliance and protection parameters (overvoltage/current limits, let-through voltage, etc.) vs. the relatively undocumented local outlet suppressors from Wal-mart or Other Fine Shopping Centers.

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post #19 of 37 Old 12-04-2012, 08:00 AM
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Originally Posted by DonH50 View Post

It only helps if you actually need it...
+1. It's like any form of insurance. I have home insurance, but I don't pay extra big bucks for a rider that covers stampede damage.

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post #20 of 37 Old 12-04-2012, 08:17 AM
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Thanks for the replies. It seems like we live in Tornado Alley here in GA so I’ll probably look into getting one installed. I’m a risk averse kind of guy so I’d rather have it and not need it rather than need it and not have it.

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post #21 of 37 Old 12-04-2012, 11:34 AM - Thread Starter
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Okay so I read a few articles about ground loops, and 90% of it made no sense to me (too technical). Am I actually risking my electronics with a ground loop, or is the effect usually just annoying sound/video transference?
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post #22 of 37 Old 12-04-2012, 03:27 PM
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Is this a joke? How did this diverge into ground loops? In any event, in residential and commercial buildings a ground loop is an annoyance, not a safety issue. If you have a defective component then it is a problem whether there is a ground loop or not.

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post #23 of 37 Old 12-04-2012, 04:45 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DonH50 View Post

How did this diverge into ground loops?
Because one of the main reasons for them is plugging into different outlets, and that's very often the case when powered subs are remotely located from the rest of the electronics. As to being an 'annoyance', tell that to someone who can't get rid of the 60Hz noise that they create.

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Well so far I've not noticed any buzzing or anything coming from any of the speakers. So I'd be okay putting on one outlet: 500w receiver, (up to) 800w sub, PS3 and DVR box? That seems like a lot to me, especially if they're all on at the same time.
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Originally Posted by papatoony View Post

Well so far I've not noticed any buzzing or anything coming from any of the speakers. So I'd be okay putting on one outlet: 500w receiver, (up to) 800w sub, PS3 and DVR box? That seems like a lot to me, especially if they're all on at the same time.
The current draw of the amps is only at maximum when output is at maximum. Even accounting for the inefficiency of typical amps I doubt yours would ever pull more than 10 amps. Devices other than amps and TVs usually draw insignificant current.

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post #26 of 37 Old 12-04-2012, 08:50 PM
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Originally Posted by Bill Fitzmaurice View Post

The current draw of the amps is only at maximum when output is at maximum. Even accounting for the inefficiency of typical amps I doubt yours would ever pull more than 10 amps. Devices other than amps and TVs usually draw insignificant current.
How many amps would you estimate a plasma tv using 400 watts might pull?

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3
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How many amps would you estimate a plasma tv using 400 watts might pull?

Not trying to be anal or challenge any responses in my following; Watts/Volts equals Amps.

400W/120v = 3.333333A

This graph will tell you roughly how long a current model breaker, in good working order, can be expected to hold a load. See pg 3 for 15A and pg 4 for 20A breakers..
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Not trying to be anal or challenge any responses in my following; Watts/Volts equals Amps.
400W/120v = 3.333333A
This graph will tell you roughly how long a current model breaker, in good working order, can be expected to hold a load. See pg 3 for 15A and pg 4 for 20A breakers..
Good to know the equation. What's the old saying: Rather than give a man a fish, it is better to teach him how to fish.

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