Electrical receptacles for my home theatre - what should I install? - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 52 Old 06-28-2012, 09:13 AM - Thread Starter
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I'm currently finishing all the electrical work in my basement before the drywall goes up. I can do anything I want at this point. In my theatre area I'm going to have a large flat panel (likely 60"+ plasma), subwoofer (15" 300w RMS/700w peak), BD player, LD player, S-VHS (yes!), PS3, XB360, and my surround receiver. Initially I plan to just fire up my old Pioneer Elite VSX-09TX (100w x 5) but b/c this unit is severely input & format limited a newer mid to hi-fi 7.1 receiver will likely replace it in the near future.

So right now I actually have one receptacle in that area which the builder left. This receptacle is almost certainly linked to others (and/or lights) but I've kept two mini freezers running off this receptacle simultaneously for years with no issues so I'm not too worried. My plan from day one was to run a new dedicated receptacle for the receiver. I've done some research and I'm thinking now of running a Leviton GFCI 15 amp receptacle that is rated for a 20 amp feed-through. I spoke to Leviton and the tech support assured me I can run just this one dedicated receptacle by itself off a 20 amp breaker (using 12g or better wire of course). I know this is probably overkill but since I can do it I figure what the hell. MAYBE down the road I'll get separates or a newer receiver driving 4ohms, who knows...

So my question is this: should I only plug the receiver into this new dedicated (20a circuit) receptacle and use a power bar (NOT dollar store but not monster either) on the other receptacle to power the sub, TV, and players? Or should I also plug the SW into the dedicated receptacle along with the receiver? (or do TV and receiver from the dedicated outlet?)

Is a receiver really going to benefit having the dedicated outlet all to itself vs sharing it with a big SW?

Should I be considering a different wiring setup altogether??
Thanks
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post #2 of 52 Old 06-28-2012, 10:19 AM
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Im an electrical contractor having your reciever on a dedicated will make zero difference. My 7.1 pulls 6.5 amp max so u still have 9.5 amps left, We use a 80% breaker ampacity rule so 16 amps.

If ur worried of too much power being used then have a circuit fot all ur audio video and a seperate for the rest of the room and fridges.

I have a computer , lamp , 59 plasma xbox, subwoofer , 7.1 audio xbox all run on same time on 15 amp and never trip.

By having a dedicated circuit forur audio and video is very smart and ensures your not overamping the wire and making it run hot but you dont need one for just your receiver. One circuit for all will be perfect
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post #3 of 52 Old 06-28-2012, 10:47 AM - Thread Starter
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Appreciate the reply Lance. Another one of my searches online has been "how many amps can a receiver draw from a receptacle?" :P

I should point out the freezers are gone now, but I get what you are saying. The existing outlet will be left alone and it, together with the new dedicated outlet, will be the two outlets powering all my AV components. Any other new outlets I install down in that area including the lighting will be run from a brand new 15a breaker.

So I'll probably end up plugging my receiver and SW in the new dedicated outlet and connect all the video equipment to the existing outlet. Guess I could always unplug the SW to see if the receiver sounds any better, but from the majority of stuff I've read there won't be any difference (especially with this old receiver).

Hey just out of curiosity when you are blasting a receiver at high volume and the front panel LED read out/lights starts to flicker, what is happening? Is the amp overloading itself, or is it trying to draw more power from the outlet?
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post #4 of 52 Old 06-28-2012, 12:41 PM
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The problem isnt the recep or breaker it would be your reciever having problems pushing that much power.

The only time youll have problems with the wiring is if you are over amping the circuit and the breaker trips bit sometimes it dont trip and can cause problems but what you got wont over amp a circuit assuming you wont have every single device on at once
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post #5 of 52 Old 06-28-2012, 03:43 PM
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I'd run the dedicated AV circuit you propose (or maybe two since the wall is open - wire and outlets are cheap).
If you run two circuits, ask the electrician to run them both on the same phase.
I'd put several outlets on that (or both) circuit(s) - just in case you decide to move your equipment.
I'd leave the existing outlet - you might want it someday for lights or fridge or something - sometimes
lights on dimmers and fridges can make noise, so better to keep them on a separate circuit if possible IMO.
And since you have the walls open now is the perfect time

Everything I say here is my opinion. It is not my employers opinion, it is not my wife's opinion, it is not my neighbors opinion, it is My Opinion.
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post #6 of 52 Old 06-28-2012, 03:56 PM
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I agree with dk immediately above, plus I'd add some extra outlets on the existing circuit because they're a damn sight harder to add after the walls are finished and you never know what you'll need/want later. Just mark or remember which outlets are the existing circuit and which are for the AV.

Outlets are not critical jsut get something you like the look of and is decently made. Get the electrician to run the largest gauge conductors to the new AV circuit(s) to reduce the voltage drop and provide max current capacity.

Not sure what the rules are in Canuckistan, but get a licensed electrician to install it, don't DIY.
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post #7 of 52 Old 06-28-2012, 06:17 PM
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again, me being an electrician.

You only need ONE circuit for all your A/V equipment. Unless your run is over 200 feet(code says 125 feet) you will not need anything above 12 gauge copper, 12/2 wire. If I was you for your own safe of mind. I would run 12/2 to the area you are adding your equipment. Put it on a 20 amp breaker and use a 20 amp receptacle.

IF I was you. I would run this circuit to where you know your going to put your A/V equipment and maybe even where you MIGHT move it later. But generally you can keep all your AV equipment in a corner or something even if you move your TV.

That said I would run multiple speaker cables to where you MAY move TV later as well and just put them in a box and blank them off.


Dont worry about asking him to put things on the same phase as this should not matter at all unless your panel and meter arent capable of the additional circuits/amps.

I have never ran two circuits for A/V equipment and I have wired 500,000 to million dollar homes. One circuit per A/V setup is plenty.

As for the TV/Xbox's you can have those on another circuit that feeds other receptacles in the room. your TV/Xbox/Blu ray players wont pull that many amps. Even Plasmas are real low amperage.

All in all. Yes have a circuit for Reciever/Sub will be 100% perfect and fine. IF you HAVE to have it with other recepts it is still fine. I have my 6.5 a reciever, my 200 watt sub(2~ amps), Plasma(1-3 Amps) and xbox/ps3 on one circuit and never have issues
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post #8 of 52 Old 06-28-2012, 07:11 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stuckin96 View Post

I
So my question is this: should I only plug the receiver into this new dedicated (20a circuit) receptacle and use a power bar (NOT dollar store but not monster either) on the other receptacle to power the sub, TV, and players? Or should I also plug the SW into the dedicated receptacle along with the receiver? (or do TV and receiver from the dedicated outlet?)
Is a receiver really going to benefit having the dedicated outlet all to itself vs sharing it with a big SW?
Should I be considering a different wiring setup altogether??
Thanks
If this is a dedicated room, I'd also run it as a separate sub main that does not connect to anything else in the house to minimise switching noise from other devices in the property, installed with reference to all local regulation. I'd install multiple outlets on the wall and plug all of your AV gear into that, rather than a powerboard.
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again, me being an electrician.
As am I, but that's the least of my electrical/electronics qualifications, though it is the one that earns my income for the most part.
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I would run this circuit to where you know your going to put your A/V equipment and maybe even where you MIGHT move it later.
Agree.
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But generally you can keep all your AV equipment in a corner or something even if you move your TV.
This I disagree with because you can never know what someone may want to do with the space later. For the small additional expense of cable, outlets and the labour to install the extra outlets now, I'd suggest strongly to the OP to do it as you never know what other device you'll want to use and it's placement in the room, even if it's not AV gear.
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post #9 of 52 Old 06-28-2012, 08:08 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by A9X-308 View Post

If this is a dedicated room, I'd also run it as a separate sub main that does not connect to anything else in the house to minimise switching noise from other devices in the property, installed with reference to all local regulation. I'd install multiple outlets on the wall and plug all of your AV gear into that, rather than a powerboard.
As am I, but that's the least of my electrical/electronics qualifications, though it is the one that earns my income for the most part.
Agree.
This I disagree with because you can never know what someone may want to do with the space later. For the small additional expense of cable, outlets and the labour to install the extra outlets now, I'd suggest strongly to the OP to do it as you never know what other device you'll want to use and it's placement in the room, even if it's not AV gear.

I agree, If he can add multiple circuits then I would agree and just do them now but I dont know how much panel space he has , etc. Thats why I even said for him to run extra speaker locations and blank them off just in case. 1000% easier now then later biggrin.gif and much less costly
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post #10 of 52 Old 06-29-2012, 12:57 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stuckin96 View Post

So my question is this: should I only plug the receiver into this new dedicated (20a circuit) receptacle and use a power bar (NOT dollar store but not monster either) on the other receptacle to power the sub, TV, and players? Or should I also plug the SW into the dedicated receptacle along with the receiver? (or do TV and receiver from the dedicated outlet?)
Rather than use a power bar, why not just have enough outlets installed to accommodate all your gear that needs unswitched power?

Also, I’d recommend upgrading your outlets to commercial or industrial specification grade devices, rather than the cheap 50-cent builder’s grade fare.

Regards,
Wayne A. Pflughaupt


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post #11 of 52 Old 06-29-2012, 08:00 PM
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Quote:
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Get the electrician to run the largest gauge conductors to the new AV circuit(s) to reduce the voltage drop and provide max current capacity.

Very good point, this comes up often.

If the walls are open, I'd up-size the AWG to an audio system. Your current set up may not be encountering any issues, but voltage drop is an issue in many systems. Perhaps a subwoofer upgrade, or amplifier upgrade may place you into a need for larger gauge circuit. It's not about tripping the breaker,..as breakers will pass extraordinary amounts of current for significant periods of time. It's about instantaneous current delivery, unimpeded by voltage drop caused by circuit gauge or length. Playback of HT material can place incredible transient demands on every system component all the way to the circuit.

A system that's encountering voltage drop during demanding playback conditions, is difficult to discern until one hears the same scenario without the current limiting. It's akin to compression, it's insidious because it's subtractive and not a nasty additive distortion that's easily discerned. Anyway, it can be a limiting factor, and if the walls are open, and one has access, I always advise up-sizing to diminish potential current limiting from voltage drop.


Best of luck

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post #12 of 52 Old 06-29-2012, 09:46 PM
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I went for overkill with my AV submain using 10mm² (~ 7AWG) conductors because I had it spare and I could. The combined rated output power of the amps in my system is 12kW so draw from the wall will be higher, plus the draw for the projector and BRP etc. Though it's unlikely I'll ever use full power, it's nice to know I can and nothing is anywhere near capacity.
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post #13 of 52 Old 06-30-2012, 06:37 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by A9X-308 View Post

I went for overkill with my AV submain using 10mm² (~ 7AWG) conductors because I had it spare and I could. The combined rated output power of the amps in my system is 12kW so draw from the wall will be higher, plus the draw for the projector and BRP etc. Though it's unlikely I'll ever use full power, it's nice to know I can and nothing is anywhere near capacity.

Are you talking about the outlet wiring??

you can run your outlet in 2/0 wiring it wont make you able to use 200 amps. Your amperage is dependant on the receptacle as well and you dont want to ever run more then 20 amp breaker on a regular receptacle. so even if you ran 7 AWG wire you shouldnt pull more then 16-20 amps which is 12 AWG wiring sized.

your definently not rated for 12,000 watts

if your receptacle is a 15-20 amp you are limited to that or you may burn your house down.

watts divided by volts(120-130) = Amps. your saying you have a 100 amp capable recept for your receiver? what size breaker do you have on it?

I truly hope im confused by your post or you are in a serious safety threat
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post #14 of 52 Old 06-30-2012, 08:44 AM
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One needs to be mindful to prevent nuisance tripping from motor start up and other scenarios, the circuit breaker time characteristics allow extraordinary amounts of current through for short periods of time.

Depending on the specific model, it's not uncommon for a residential circuit breakers to pass up to seven times their rated trip current for as long as a second or two. This drops toward around two times their rated amount around 20-30 seconds. Then, subsequently lowers the tolerance down to the rated trip point from there. This is why instantaneous current demand from high performance playback equipment, utilizing realistic levels and demanding material, creates situations whereby voltage drop can easily cause compression by reducing current delivery capability. The amplifiers power supply can handle much of the transient demand, but when the frequency and duration push the limiting factor toward the wall, up-sizing supply feed size pays dividends.

Unfortunately compression from voltage drop is a subtractive distortion, so it's not easy to discern. So you've got to examine the math involved, and assure ample delivery of huge amounts of current, so that voltage drop doesn't enter the picture. It's actually a nice, big bang for the buck upgrade in my experience. Certainly, all this depends on playback material, and playback level. But the trend over the years has been placing incredibly demanding LFE content, down into the infra range at significantly high mix levels. These signals are very current hungry at reference level playback, and really place big requirements on all system components, including the entire electrical system.



I paraphrase the late Jordan, aka Krypto; my fuse-box is my high pass filter, .. I still miss that guy.


Thanks

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post #15 of 52 Old 06-30-2012, 03:13 PM
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Quote:
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Are you talking about the outlet wiring?? you can run your outlet in 2/0 wiring it wont make you able to use 200 amps. Your amperage is dependant on the receptacle as well and you dont want to ever run more then 20 amp breaker on a regular receptacle. so even if you ran 7 AWG wire you shouldnt pull more then 16-20 amps which is 12 AWG wiring sized.
No, the submain is 10mm. It goes to a separate breaker panel that feeds the AVR rack, which has multiple socket outlets. They have a nameplate rating of 10A ea, but have much heavier contacts and are made from a much tougher plastic material that will withstand higher temps than the PVC insulation on the conductors. Each SOL is wired with 2.5mm.
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your definently not rated for 12,000 watts
The submain breakers are rated at 40A/240V, so I am rated for 9.6kW continuous and as FOH mentions, breaker I/t curves allow for large short term over currents before tripping (as do conductors before over heating). As most of the power in the system is signal dependent and the average output power of any given amp is about 20dB below rated, even if a peak caused clipping, the average output power is about 1/10 to 1/30th rated.
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if your receptacle is a 15-20 amp you are limited to that or you may burn your house down.
I am well within AS3000/3008.
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watts divided by volts(120-130) = Amps. your saying you have a 100 amp capable recept for your receiver? what size breaker do you have on it?
First of all, I'm in Australia, so we have 240V mains.
My AVR is only used as a pre, the internal amplifiers are not used. My speakers (6) are all 3 way active and I have 8 subs in use or under construction with a total of 12 drivers, each no smaller than a 12". The 5 2ch amps that drive the subs are on average rated at about 1000W/ch for the load they are driving.
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I truly hope im confused by your post or you are in a serious safety threat
You are confused - there is a lot of real world margin engineered into the system..
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post #16 of 52 Old 06-30-2012, 04:17 PM
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Haha i thought that u were talking about the outlets not a subfeed for the room heh.
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post #17 of 52 Old 06-30-2012, 08:10 PM
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Haha i thought that u were talking about the outlets not a subfeed for the room heh.
I thought you were too, which is why I explained. I'm always running into problems with terminology not always tracking to different countries, let alone rules.

When the rack gets rebuilt soon, I'm going to put in a 50A current sensor I have and attempt to record Vmains, Imains, SPL and line level program material to determine exactly how much power the system uses in real time with regard to the content of the movie/music you have on. If it works well I might do a portable version to try in other people's systems too.
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post #18 of 52 Old 06-30-2012, 09:28 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
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...I'd also run it as a separate sub main that does not connect to anything else in the house to minimise switching noise from other devices in the property...I'd install multiple outlets on the wall and plug all of your AV gear into that, rather than a powerboard...

Not sure what you mean by "sub main" - a separate receptacle just for the sub with its own dedicated circuit, OR simply a second receptacle that's connected to the first receptacle on the same dedicated 20a circuit?

I hear you guys about installing multiple receptacles vs using a power bar. I think I'll do that.

Right now this room has nothing in it - its just insulation and wood framing that's up. I went out today and picked up the 12/2 cable along with the 20a circuit and the Leviton GFCI 15 amp receptacle (20a pass through). Tomorrow I'll run the wire to the location. When the room is complete I was thinking to just plug both the receiver and SW ac cords into this one dedicated receptacle. There's going to be nothing in between the breaker and this single outlet. **Are you guys telling me I should REALLY buy a second Leviton GFCI receptacle and run some extra 12/2 from the first outlet to a second one, so that the receiver plugs into its own outlet and the SW plugs into its own outlet? If you guys think that is "better" I can easily do so. I bought 100' of 12/2 and I only need 70' to wire the first outlet. I have plenty of extra metal outlet boxes; I'd just have to pick up an extra GFCI ($18) outlet once the room is done. Is it really worth it?

As far as the rest of the room goes I've now spec'd out 9 OTHER ac outlets in this (theatre) area of basement. All of these receptacles will be fed from a new 15a circuit that's going into my breaker box. I was going to run the 14/2 cable for these tomorrow. Although I'm installing 9 outlets, 2 of these receptacles will be for the other home theatre devices (1 BD player, 2 LD player, 3 S-VHS player, 4 game console) - maybe I'll even run a third outlet in case I ever get a scaler or tuner box. The rest of these outlets around the room will likely not be used for anything... I'll have 2 outlets on either end of my little wet bar but aside from a guest charging their BB/iphone I don't see what else I'd have regularly - oh ****, my mini beer fridge is going to need one of those outlets... I may need to rethink this now. I may have to tap into a different recruit for the bar fridge receptacle. If I can eliminate the mini fridge from this chain of 9 new receptacles, wouldn't that be sufficient for the rest of my home theatre gear? Is a BD player or PS3 really going to bog down or hiccup if its just that playing and say one table lamp (w 13w energy saving bulb) sharing the same 15a circuit? Or say I plug in a tassimo espresso maker on my bar counter top and when we've got a BD cranked up on the home theatre my wife decides to make a cappuccino... if its just that and my BD running on the same 15a circuit am I going to see snow on the screen from noise polluting the BD player?

Aside from these 2 new lines I was getting ready to run (dedicated 20a plus the 15a for the rest of the receptacles) all the lighting in this basement will be on their own (new) 15a circuits. As for the TV, I was planning to use the existing outlet I have there right now (from the builder) - the same outlet that's been powering my 2 freezers up until now.

I appreciate all the replies and input BTW. Much thanks.


EDIT: Happy CANADA Day folks! 145 years ago today the British North America (BNA) Act established the Dominion of Canada and our huge stride towards nationhood.
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post #19 of 52 Old 07-06-2012, 06:48 PM
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I'm sorry, I got busy during the week and forgot to reply.

The following is what I would do, but I'm unsure what local codes you need to comply with to remain legal.

AV system: run the 12/2 from the breaker panel to the point where you plan to put the AV gear. First outlet must be the GFCI (RCD to Aussies). Other outlets can be wired daisy chain from this one. Other AV outlets in other parts of the room should still connect to this circuit alone and all Av gear powered from this circuit. With multiple wall outlets connected with 12/2 this way, it really won't matter where you plug the sub in, ie first outlet or a later one in the chain, nor the rest of the gear.

Ancillary power: Run the 14/2 from the breaker panel to a convenient place in the room. First outlet again must be the GFCI. Other outlets can be daisy chained from this one.

The GFCI must be first point or it will not provide protection to outlets upstream from it.

Personally, I don't like GFCI outlets. I don't trust them as much and they invariably end up behind heavy furniture making them a nuisance when they trip and need to be rest. I much prefer a DIN rail or surface mount unit in the breaker panel. If you went this path, each circuit would still need protecting, but depending upon local codes, you could use a single GFCI there and a single breaker for each of the two new circuits with both being fed through the GFCI.
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post #20 of 52 Old 07-07-2012, 09:59 AM
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you do NOT need a GFCI outlet.

GFCI are mainly for wet condition areas, IE you throw a toaster in water the GFCI is SUPPOSE to trip it before it kills you :P

Are GFCI mandatory for regular non wet area outlets in Canada? In the USA they are only for Kitchen , Bathroom, Outside and anywhere near water sources.

Now, the Code does ask for Arc Fault Breakers or Arc Fault Receps but they SUCK!!! Arc Fault trips quite often especially with older equipment or high powering sources. Its just a gimmick to get money as they cost 20x a regular breaker
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post #21 of 52 Old 07-07-2012, 12:42 PM
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Quote:
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you do NOT need a GFCI outlet.
GFCI are mainly for wet condition areas, IE you throw a toaster in water the GFCI is SUPPOSE to trip it before it kills you :P
Are GFCI mandatory for regular non wet area outlets in Canada? In the USA they are only for Kitchen , Bathroom, Outside and anywhere near water sources.
That's interesting to know, and why I don't comment on NEC rules.

In Australia and New Zealand, if you were doing this, the RCDs would definitely be required in any new or modified installations with very few and specific exceptions. As I have seen them work in use in non wet area, very innocuous seeming instances, I have no doubt of their effectiveness. As the OP already has one, and for the small cost of another, I personally think he is mad not to use them.
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post #22 of 52 Old 07-07-2012, 01:25 PM
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FWIW arc fault circuit interrupters (AFCIs) are required for all habitable rooms of a residence in new construction or upgrades in most areas of the USA. And many (most/all?) of them will trip on a 30 mA ground fault (same as RCD in Oz?) as well as an arc fault. They just won't trip at the 5 mA required for a GFCI. Canada tends to hamornize their code with the USA, but I don't know what the state of Canadian code for this is.

In addition to the locations listed above, GFCIs are required in unfinished basements, garages, utility buildings, etc. IOW they are required just about everywhere AFCIs aren't required.

I don't hold LanceX's opinion of AFCIs. From what I have seen, there is usually a valid reason for them tripping. Yes, sometimes they nuisance trip. But some electricians have developed an attitude that any time one trips, it is the AFCI's fault. Some even go as far as to automatically swap it out for a standard breaker, in violation of code, rather than investigate and find the cause.
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post #23 of 52 Old 07-08-2012, 04:28 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LanceX View Post

you do NOT need a GFCI outlet.
GFCI are mainly for wet condition areas, IE you throw a toaster in water the GFCI is SUPPOSE to trip it before it kills you :P
Are GFCI mandatory for regular non wet area outlets in Canada? In the USA they are only for Kitchen , Bathroom, Outside and anywhere near water sources.

Also, for all readily-accessible outlets in a garage. Often defined as those within so many feet of the floor.
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Now, the Code does ask for Arc Fault Breakers or Arc Fault Receps but they SUCK!!! Arc Fault trips quite often especially with older equipment or high powering sources. Its just a gimmick to get money as they cost 20x a regular breaker

AFCI's are designed to trip when an appliance attached to them is arcing internally. Since some appliances do that as a matter of course, they get a bad rap.

The basic idea is to increase safety in places where people spend a lot of time but are unable to consciously monitor the environment.

A common source of death or injury is a defective heating appliance in a bedroom that arcs internally for a while and eventually starts a fire.
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post #24 of 52 Old 07-08-2012, 08:20 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Colm View Post

FWIW arc fault circuit interrupters (AFCIs) are required for all habitable rooms of a residence in new construction or upgrades in most areas of the USA. And many (most/all?) of them will trip on a 30 mA ground fault (same as RCD in Oz?) as well as an arc fault. They just won't trip at the 5 mA required for a GFCI. Canada tends to hamornize their code with the USA, but I don't know what the state of Canadian code for this is.
In addition to the locations listed above, GFCIs are required in unfinished basements, garages, utility buildings, etc. IOW they are required just about everywhere AFCIs aren't required.
I don't hold LanceX's opinion of AFCIs. From what I have seen, there is usually a valid reason for them tripping. Yes, sometimes they nuisance trip. But some electricians have developed an attitude that any time one trips, it is the AFCI's fault. Some even go as far as to automatically swap it out for a standard breaker, in violation of code, rather than investigate and find the cause.

I absolutely never change out AFCI for tripping alone BUT They do trip on many things for no reason

OId vacuums trip them alot, almost any workout equipment may trip them. These are issues I run into. Its because of the big pull of startup power these equipments use that trip the breaker.

They cost so much more then regular breakers its Disgusting. The new AFCI combination cost like 50~ dollars. Its disgusting. The first models were only 25~ dollars and were doable but now with the new price its very hard to explain to people the cost of them.

Say They want me to change a panel out, I use to be able to do it for 500-600 including breakers/material and thats CHEAP. Now I spend 500- 750 on breakers alone if I choose to update it to new code.

We use to only have to have AFCI in BEDROOMS and I agreed with that 100% because of lamps, heat radiators ETC. but now Every non GFI circuit must be arc fault. Its overkill and silly IMO. I doubt these breakers will truly cause less housefires but I guess you could argue, if it saves one life its worth it biggrin.gif
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post #25 of 52 Old 07-08-2012, 11:43 AM
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Originally Posted by LanceX View Post

...almost any workout equipment may trip them.
Yep, that is because a lot of them have poorly designed VFDs.

Never had an AFCI trip in my house until recently. Plugged a finish sander in and AFCI tripped, before the sander was turned on. Sander had a bad switch.

I don''t think we will see the real benefit of AFCIs for many years until the insulation of the circuits they protect has deteriorated.
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post #26 of 52 Old 07-09-2012, 09:13 PM
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you may be right. I can see the benefit in an older house too. That stuff is SCARY!
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post #27 of 52 Old 07-10-2012, 12:18 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LanceX View Post

We use to only have to have AFCI in BEDROOMS and I agreed with that 100% because of lamps, heat radiators ETC. but now Every non GFI circuit must be arc fault. Its overkill and silly IMO.
Oh stop exaggerating. They are not required everywhere..

Only in family rooms, dining rooms, living rooms, parlors, closets, hallways or similar rooms or areas.

Bathrooms and kitchens are not in that list.

Oddly enough, rooms where we either input or output are not on the list (yet). Go figure.

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post #28 of 52 Old 07-10-2012, 01:51 PM
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Originally Posted by LanceX View Post

you may be right. I can see the benefit in an older house too. That stuff is SCARY!

You should see the stuff I just removed from within the walls of our bath. 3 buried junction boxes, one without cover and it looks like they used a 2 by 3 to shove the wires and nuts in.

It's amazing that some "handyman" would slap a box in the ceiling to splice two pieces of 14/2 instead of just pulling a new piece 15 feet long..

On topic: Some home audio systems will pull enough to drop a 20 amp breaker. That forces the user to get more power from somewhere else, like plugging a sub into another branch. That makes for interesting ground loop problems since a lot of equipment isn't balanced I/O. 2008 doesn't really address it from the standpoint of audio.. There is 250.146(D) Isolated Receptacles, and 647 Sensitive electronic equipment (separately derived 60/60) which isn't exactly home use.. Code is pretty dismal when it comes to audio equipment which is unbalanced but needing multiple branches to support the power requirements.

The most important thing that is typically missed, is the need for all the equipment having a common ground at the equipment, not independent grounds back to the panel. An aquaintance from a long time ago had his electrician run conduit to the location, with one suitable grounding conductor in with several circuits. He didn't provide much in the way of details, but the intent was to have a single bonded run to the panel so that each piece of equipment had a common local ground reference. This reduces ground loop sensitivites to other appliances.

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post #29 of 52 Old 07-11-2012, 06:29 AM
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Oh, almost forgot..

Branch draw may be limited to 80%, but let's look at the math..

A 20 amp circuit, useable at 16 amps.

16 amps into a linear amplifier running maybe 50% efficiency,, effectively 8 amps.

1 kW of audio power assuming 120 volts.

My RMX 1450 puts 1500 watts out bridged into 4 ohms. If I run low eff speakers, I might take the amp to clip..If I biamp, I'll get closer to RMS draw without even considering mids or highs.

If I used both my amps, I'd chew up all the derating factors, and would eventually pop the breaker.

This doesn't even consider the fact that the amplifier has NO PFC circuitry. I don't recall 2008 mentioning derating for haversine style current draw, but the peak currents in the breakers can be significantly higher as a result of bridge input power supplies.

All said and done, if I had my druthers and needed such, I'd design the system with a 240/20 amp breaker in conduit to duplex outlets, and use multiport SPD's at the equipment to protect against transients between the bonding conductor and wires from outside sources, like cable or internet. I'd recommend only a ganged breaker and a two circuit limit within one box, as two independent breakers raises the possibility of working hot for someone who is unaware that two breakers energize one box. When I flip a breaker, I want everything de-energized.

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post #30 of 52 Old 07-15-2012, 12:29 PM - Thread Starter
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Update folks: basement is all wired. Drywall goes up this week hopefully.

I ran about 70' of 12/2 from the breaker box to the first receptacle box, then another 5' or so from that box to a second box. My receiver will use the first outlet, and my sub woofer will use the second outlet. The receiver & sub will be the only devices powered by this dedicated 20a circuit. BTW I only bought the GFCI outlets b/c they were rated for 20a pass through. B/c I'm doing most of this myself and a certified electrician will be finishing off I wanted to do everything right (perhaps overkill? ah well).

I also ran a second line of 14/2 from the breaker box that will be hooked up to a new 15a circuit. I ran this line to 3 separate receptacle boxes next to the first receiver box. So that will give me 6 additional outlets plugs to power the rest of the AV gear and I managed to ditch the mini fridge so this second 15a circuit will have nothing else on it. I'm pretty satisfied with how it turned out.

Now, my quest continues for 12/2 CSA in wall speaker cable!!!! I can't find it anywhere. Very few places even carry it in the Toronto area and those that do only sell by the box (150' is the smallest box I could find I think on tigerdirect.ca). I only need about 30 feet! frown.gif Need to run this stuff now before the walls go up. When I worked for a custom cinema co. years ago we cut it off our roles for anyone who wanted it. Wish I still had that hookup.
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