20 amp dedicated line install - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 23 Old 10-05-2013, 08:14 PM - Thread Starter
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Hello..

Looking at installation of 2-3 dedicated 20 amp power lines for HT and stereo. Prior to doing so...any advice, tips ? Should I install regular line or "audiophile" quality line (cryo-treated?) How about receptacles ? Regular or premium ?
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post #2 of 23 Old 10-05-2013, 08:39 PM
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Originally Posted by _stranger View Post

Hello..

Looking at installation of 2-3 dedicated 20 amp power lines for HT and stereo. Prior to doing so...any advice, tips ? Should I install regular line or "audiophile" quality line (cryo-treated?) How about receptacles ? Regular or premium ?
You're kidding, right? Why would you use anything but standard 12 gauge romex? And there's really no need to spend more than a buck or two for a decent outlet.


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post #3 of 23 Old 10-05-2013, 09:03 PM
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+1

Standard Romex or whatever is allowed where you live is all you need. You can get 20A outlets for $1.59 to $20+, just get a decent quality outlet and you will be fine. Anything other than standard wire is a waste. The power coming in has gone through miles of wire, any number of transformers, possibly weak splices, it's shared with what ever other neighbors are on the same transformer and exposed to various electrical noise generated all along the line. Suddenly converting to a cryo wire for the last 30 feet is going to have zero effect on anything other than your bank balance.
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post #4 of 23 Old 10-05-2013, 09:12 PM - Thread Starter
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Interesting....thank you.

Appreciate the input.

What about a power conditioner, regulator plugged in the outlet. Will this have any benefit ?
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post #5 of 23 Old 10-05-2013, 09:32 PM
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For convienience of the wire run you could use two - 12/3 Romex = 4 20 amp outlets. The two hot wires must be on opposite sides of your breaker box. Similar to many kitchen wiring applications. NOTE: This must be done right or there can be serious consequences.
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post #6 of 23 Old 10-05-2013, 10:04 PM
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For convienience of the wire run you could use two - 12/3 Romex = 4 20 amp outlets.
Really bad idea. The only advantage is a small cost savings. It really isn't any more trouble to pull four 12-2 than two 12-3. There are serious downsides. What you are describing is a multi-wire branch circuit. If it isn't wired correctly you can overload the neutral or create an electrocution hazard. Even if it is wired correctly, if the neutral ever fails, you can have anything up to 240V or the 120V lines.
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post #7 of 23 Old 10-05-2013, 10:08 PM
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Originally Posted by _stranger View Post

How about receptacles?
As already mentioned, you don't need fancy receptacles or wire. It would be a good idea to use commercial or hospital grade receptacles, only because they grip the plug better than the residential grade ones.

You could up-size the wire to minimize voltage drop if you are going to be drawing a lot of current,
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post #8 of 23 Old 10-05-2013, 10:09 PM
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What about a power conditioner, regulator plugged in the outlet. Will this have any benefit ?
Nope. The power supplies in your gear already do all the conditioning that is necessary. Spend the money on whole-house surge protection at the service entrance if you are worried about surges.
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post #9 of 23 Old 10-06-2013, 06:12 AM - Thread Starter
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Excellent ...

Thank you very much
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post #10 of 23 Old 10-06-2013, 02:40 PM
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+1 to all the advice above.

First, no outlet is going to change the sound quality unless the plug keeps falling out. The difference is in mechanical durability. The "specification grade" outlets are better built, grip the plugs better, and last longer. So for your project I would buy these. They cost about 3-5$ each at Home Depot or Lowes. Stay away from the 79 cent outlets as they are a cheap build but still do not sound any different.

Above all avoid all this cryo, gold / platinum plating, and other audiophile bunk. The major recording studios, broadcast, and video production facilities do not use these products - I know I have been building them for 30 years! Neither do top scientific labs or medical facilities. That's should tell you right there it's all snake oil. Medical facilities do use "green dot" lasted receptacles but that's for tested ground safety and btw, these only cost about $9 on a retail level.

The same goes for wire, power cords, and circuit breakers. Just use brand name commercial quality stuff. You can buy it all at any home center.

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post #11 of 23 Old 10-09-2013, 04:09 PM
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I remember a white paper over at MA that has some interesting info on this topic.

http://www.middleatlantic.com/power.htm
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post #12 of 23 Old 10-09-2013, 07:35 PM - Thread Starter
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Thank you for the link. I will study it closer as ready. Finding time (and focus) for HT this year as be challenging, particularly during summer.

I will print this and work my way through it. Gee, just glancing though, I had forgotten that yes indeed, there are 2 industrial building fairly close by (within a city block, as example - as this is a small rural town - added to give reader a reference of distance)

In fact, one of the buildings operates as a steel cutting, assembly business with a huge steel cutting computer controlled "robot" or cutting nozzle than cuts where it's aimed (huge CNC thing) ...draws a tremendous amount of power. Lots of welding there too.

The other is a truss making company, gosh, I figure they have some pretty intense cutting machinery in there too. Totally overlooked in terms of how their power demands can affect my household power.

Gee, does this change what I should do, how I should do it. I'll dig through the white paper ....additionally do appreciate further input from readers.

Thank you all for helping make my dream feeding the best power to my HT and 2 channel ..one as good as can be with what I got to work with
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post #13 of 23 Old 10-09-2013, 09:04 PM
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IIWY I wouldn't worry about your industrial neighbors at this point. They are almost certainly running 3-phase power off a different transformer than your single phase residential power. So you have a good deal of isolation between your gear and their's. And you may even be on a different distribution line from the substation. Just wire the circuit according to code. If there are problems, the fix is either going to be something installed at or near the service entrance, or at your gear.

FWIW, although there are plasma cutting power sources that can draw up to around 800A, most heavy duty cutting is still done with oxy-fuel (oxygen with acetylene, propane, or propylene). And as big as the gantry on the CNC gear is, it doesn't require nearly as much power to move as you would think.
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post #14 of 23 Old 10-09-2013, 09:16 PM
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I guess I would ask, are you having problems now or are you just anticipating problems? I would suggest investing your time finding the equipment you want, then evaluating how it preforms before you focus on potential power line problems you may or may not have.

In terms of power lines, is your neighborhood served by overhead or underground lines? If it's overhead you can easily see the transformers and who and how many are sharing your feed from the transformer. If you have supply issues, such as lights dimming when none of your equipment has kicked in then the transformer may be overloaded. Years ago I complained and had a new transformer put in because I noticed a drop in power when the neighbors air kicked in. As Colm has said the local shops/plant are a non issue as they use a different kind of power -- plus there is nothing you can do about it anyway.
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post #15 of 23 Old 10-10-2013, 04:44 AM - Thread Starter
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Regarding issue I am experiencing currently ..

When I power on the AVR I get an initial "oomph" surge sound. Than as the machine completes its startup process I get a loud mechanical "thud" followed almost always by (simultaneously) what I a can only describe as a "slight pop" from the speakers..

I had a 5 channel amp (dual power supply is my understanding) but the hum although somewhat tolerable, certainly wasn't ideal if one enjoys a quiet background noise. I had a dated matching processor that I was disappointed when hooked up as it really caused the setup to buzz, hum loudly (like the sound of a microphone feedback) ... not good.

So I reverted back to just the AVR only. I get the sounds as mentioned above in startup.

I only assuming really that dedicated 20 amp lines will eliminate all this background noise and give me plenty of power to draw down on for my multichannel amp that's sitting idle.

I bought a Torus IS15 thinking that is may help control my power and give me a better sound. To be honest, it did help giving a better sound in the pure sense of the word. But...doesn't seem like it helped much to clean up the hum, crackle, pop ..



Hmmm...gee I always thought there was a transformer outside my home. Never really thought about it. Looking outside, there is no transformer on the pole beside my house, or the neighbours. Peering up the road I do see a "smaller" transformer that I guess there are 4-5 or more homes sharing. Hmm..

I can't recall any noticeable changes in the homes power, or draining or power. Not regularly anyway. To be honest what does come to mind is sometimes the power will cut out, amd turn back on shortly after. Like a brownout I guess, if that's the right term. Nothing lately though....maybe there was some work being done in the area at the time.

Only other think I may notice is the speed change in the fan I regularly run in my other room. Ya know...the fans steady, than ill hear a mild drop in the fans operation.

Overall I think the power is fine coming into the home. No issues...just a few normal occurrence at times, rarely.
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post #16 of 23 Old 10-10-2013, 09:59 AM
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The hum could be from several sources. What exactly do you mean by "dated matching processor"?

The hum you hear from adding in the processor could be from a bad filter capacitor, if it's old that can happen. As for the other hum that can be generated by a faulty ground, unbalanced connections and any sort of thing. I'd start by disconnecting everything from the AVR and see what you get. If the hum goes away it's a problem with some connected equipment. If not, then problem could lie in the equipment, or in the circuit it's connected to. Try connecting it to a different circuit, a long extension cord helps if you do not want to move the equipment.

You can buy a basic circuit tester that will indicate if the outlet is wired correctly for $4 or $5, this has lights that identify what is going on. also cable boxes are a great source of hum as they are often not grounded properly. You need ONE and only ONE ground point in your home. Often cable and SAT installers get lazy and drive a second ground rod for the equipment and that is the worst thing you can do. Phone, SAT, Cable, Antenna all must be connected to the same ground potential. You can bond them with a #10 copper wire if need be.
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post #17 of 23 Old 10-10-2013, 01:25 PM - Thread Starter
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Interesting, thank you sir.

By dated matching processor I am referring to an audio refinement pre2dsp, that matches a audio refinement multi5 amp. Lovely little HT amd supposedly great 2 channel. It's a shame really...i don't wanna sell it, rather have the opportunity to remedy and utilize it,

I will follow up on your suggestions, gain an understanding of current situation prior to additional installations. Life is hectic, but soon evolving to a slower pace to enjoy my HT and make any adjustments, tweaks as needed. The electrician is a friend of mine. Very bright guy, I trust his input as well.
Maybe finally I can get the bugs worked out of this setup and really settle in and enjoy my HT and good solid power feed, without annoying surge, hum...etc.

Very enlightening for me. Can't thank all of you enough. I'll follow up certainly.

Oh...yes, your right. My PVR has been a source of pain for me. Gosh that thing hums and buzzes alot. Seems to spread throughout the system as well. ..I think it wise to have the local installer come in a verify regarding the ground. I do have a feeling he set a separate ground.
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post #18 of 23 Old 10-13-2013, 07:32 AM
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Run a dedicated 12-2wg for each outlet, buy commercial spec grade receptacles as they have tighter jaws, and put all outlets on the same phase in your electrical panel.
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post #19 of 23 Old 10-13-2013, 02:27 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ELECTRICDON View Post

Run a dedicated 12-2wg for each outlet, buy commercial spec grade receptacles as they have tighter jaws, and put all outlets on the same phase in your electrical panel.

Curious as to the benefit of having each 12-2 run in the same phase?
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post #20 of 23 Old 10-13-2013, 10:22 PM
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Curious as to the benefit of having each 12-2 run in the same phase?

There is none. It's an audiophile myth. Commercial broadcast and mastering facilities as well as recording studios are three phase. So there is not harm in using split phase at home.

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post #21 of 23 Old 10-17-2013, 09:39 AM
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There is none. It's an audiophile myth. Commercial broadcast and mastering facilities as well as recording studios are three phase. So there is not harm in using split phase at home.

It's to prevent against ground loops.
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post #22 of 23 Old 10-17-2013, 10:13 AM
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If the common and ground are at the same point electrically regardless of phase, how does using the other line have any impact? Ground loops occur when 2 grounds have differing potential, the whole point of bonding all the grounds to the same point electrically.
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post #23 of 23 Old 10-17-2013, 04:44 PM
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It's to prevent against ground loops.

Like I said, that's an audiophile myth. Read the post just above. It's quite correct.

The reason moving to the same phase sometimes kills hum is because you have also moved to a different ground path. But it has nothing to do with the phase of the AC line. Again large technical facilities including broadcast and mastering facilities are typically three phase power systems as in most medium to large commercial buildings. If having equipment on different phases caused ground loops, that how would those facilities work?

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