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post #1 of 11 Old 09-23-2017, 07:11 PM - Thread Starter
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Wiring

What's the typical wire gauge that's used in running outlets and scones lighting. And 15 or 20 amps? And does sub's need to be on on separate line? Thanks in advance

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post #2 of 11 Old 09-23-2017, 07:17 PM
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I used 12/2 romex wire throughout my entire basement and theater build for lighting and outlets. I'm sure I could have used 14 gauge wire for the lights, but I already had 12/2 leftover.

My theater is using 4 dedicated 20 amp breakers:

1. Lighting and seat outlets
2. Amps
3. Rest of racked equipment
4. Subwoofers

Last thing you want are the lights dimming everytime the subs hit

It may not be your job, but perhaps it's your opportunity.

MPJ's theater build: http://www.avsforum.com/forum/19-ded...ter-build.html

Last edited by mpjmeyer; 09-23-2017 at 07:21 PM.
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post #3 of 11 Old 09-23-2017, 07:24 PM
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I get nervous when the level of questions asked regarding electrical issues indicates a fundamental lack of understanding of the basics. Do what I did when I was in your shoes, read a good book with pictures.

https://www.alibris.com/The-Complete...985?matches=25

Also the previous answer has an implied code violation that could cause a fire. You can not use 14/2 wire with a 20 amp circuit.

Last edited by BIGmouthinDC; 09-23-2017 at 07:27 PM.
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post #4 of 11 Old 09-23-2017, 07:28 PM
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Generally speaking , 14 ga wire , 15 amp circuit for lighting , 12 ga wire 20amp circuit for receptacles . Nothing says you can't run 12 ga for the lighting and have it on a 15amp breaker , unless your city has reg's against that for some silly reason.

As for subs on a dedicated line , that depends on how much power everything is drawing . If you can pull the additional circuits over without starving the rest of your house , why not? just make sure you are doing everything correctly and up to code .

It was like that when I got here
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post #5 of 11 Old 09-23-2017, 08:12 PM
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Yes I apologise, should have been more clear with my answer. I'm sure I could have used 14 gauge wire on the basement lights which are on a 15 amp breaker. All theater wire is 12/2 and on 20 amp breakers

It may not be your job, but perhaps it's your opportunity.

MPJ's theater build: http://www.avsforum.com/forum/19-ded...ter-build.html
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post #6 of 11 Old 09-23-2017, 08:23 PM - Thread Starter
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I'm just running the wire and placement of outlets, having an electrician. Just wanted an overall option on what is used frequently and what should be on each run. I know my limitations lol, thanks for the input and fast response. I read up on the codes in my area didn't want to run the cable

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post #7 of 11 Old 09-24-2017, 09:47 AM
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Receptacles should be 20A rated as well for the 20A circuit.
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post #8 of 11 Old 09-24-2017, 09:57 AM
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A 20 amp breaker will support 2400 watts total ( 12 amps times 110 volts= 1320 watts) on a 12 gauge power wire. I would not go this high a wattage unless you do NOT expect all appliances to be on at the same time. It would take this much but the breaker could kick off if any have an "on surge" like a motor or a compressor. I run my two SVS 16 ultra subs
(each marked 1500 watts) on the same dedicated single 20 amp line. They are unlikely to have any big surges due to having large internal capacitors. At least they never have kicked a breaker.even with 115 dB peaks at my seat so it may be that they are capable of much stronger volume than I ever use. Remember though a 3 dB increase in output is two times the power! Maybe I have a some headroom that I could use but never have. All my remaining components are on two other 20 amp breakers, most of which are through two APC J35 power conditioner/ battery backup units. Those show actual total watt load of the connected components so I can sort of balance things out. My subs are not connected to those though. One of the APC units is connected to an outlet that is also connected to my outdoor generator so I can watch TV and use a few lights (as well as refrigerators etc) during a power outage. .

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post #9 of 11 Old 09-25-2017, 03:46 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bill Shenefelt View Post
A 20 amp breaker will support 2400 watts total ( 12 amps times 110 volts= 1320 watts) on a 12 gauge power wire. I would not go this high a wattage unless you do NOT expect all appliances to be on at the same time.
That confused me for a moment. I suppose you mean you would not run equipment that will draw the full 2400 watts.
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post #10 of 11 Old 09-25-2017, 04:38 AM
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sorry I meant 20 amps times 110 volts or 2200 watts and 15 amps times 110 volts is 1650 watts. You are not allowed to use 14 gage wire protected by a 20 amp breaker since it is not protected! A 20 amp breaker requires 12 gage or thicker wire (10 is thicker than 12 so you do not get that backwards). I would not put that much wattage on the line of each size with all of the appliances that you would run at the same time. That is sort of a steady state number meaning that if you had high draw equiment, like a toaster or a microwave oven that draws a lot of steady current and a refrigerator that pulls a big pile of amps upon starting the motor/compressor it can trip a breaker more easily than running an audio amplifier that has very brief near full power speaks. I run two 1500 watt subwoofers on one 20 amp breaker with no problems. That could be as much as 3000 watts on that breaker but they draw much less than 3000 watts steady power. Remember giving an amp or receiver 3dB volume level head room drops the power draw by 50% . Also you might not have all your equipment on at the same time. Just try adding up all the watts marked on the back of the equipment and see what that comes to. If over the 2200 watts for a 20 amp breaker see which ones draw the biggest load. Are they on at the same time?

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post #11 of 11 Old 09-25-2017, 10:49 AM
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Getting back to scyna's original question. The answer is "it depends". There is no hard or fast number. Lighting is often on 15 amp circuits, but if you have a lot of lighting, a 20 amp circuit might be advisable. I generally like to us 20 amp circuits for outlets. The cost between 15 and 20 amp circuits (14 ga and 12 ga) is not significant. The thicker 20 ga wire is slightly more difficult to work with.

Unless you have a really big and powerful sub amplifier, you probably don't need a dedicated circuit for your subs.
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