[decided about March 1, 2015]
In my last theater I had run two new 20 amp circuits to the theater (one for equipment, mostly, and the other mostly for lighting and outlets). This proved a great overkill, of course, for my equipment and plans, but it was fairly easy to do (except working with 12/2 Romex...what a pain in the hand), so I did it.
This time, running new circuits was, er, problematic. The main panel, and the pool sub panel, were on the extreme opposite side of the house, and the panels were not on a garage wall. I looked for many ways to run the new circuits, but determined the only real practical way was to run metal conduit on the outside of the side of the house to the porch, and then on the ceiling of the front porch all the way across the house and into the garage, and then from there, using the garage attic and some new holes, hopefully into the theater area, and then across the theater to the equipment closet.
My wife did NOT like the idea of conduit on the porch. I didn't like the idea of running all that cable. So I did some calculations and some circuit sleuthing. I determined that there was an existing 15 amp circuit that only supplied the theater already. It was used for three existing ceiling lights (two can lights and a center fixture) as well as the 6 wall outlets. There was another 15 amp circuit that supplies the main family room (four can lights and about 10 wall outlets). Unrelated to the theater, I've been converting all of my lights in the house to LED lights, also, so the already low amp draw on the existing family room circuit is even lower now.
After figuring out what my future AVR possibilities might use, as well as my sub woofers, and the LED lights that will be in the theater, as well as the rest of the gear, it seems that my amp draw will be pretty small. So what I decided (at least for now) is to dedicate the existing theater circuit (all existing outlets and lights to be removed) to the equipment and subs and extend the family room circuit into the theater to power the column outlets (hardly ever to be used, mostly there to meet code) and the LED lights in the theater. I will run both circuits to outlets near the likely sub locations so either circuit could be used, and both circuits will be available in the equipment closet as well.
Here are my rough calculations:
Family room circuit
4 9.5W LED can lights = .25A
Ceiling Fan and two 5w LED bulbs = 1A
Theater 8 9.5W LED can lights = .5A
Theater 2 9.5W LED sconce lights = .2A
Actually measured the family room 5.1 system at reference levels (Yamaha AVR, DIY 200W sub, 5 ceiling speakers, Xbox One, Tivo all running and playing) = < 3A
I would probably put one or both of the subs (AVS told me to plan for about 4-5A total max, but 99% of the time they would be sipping <.5A together).
That's an occasional maximum (when everything is on full) of about 9A (with maximum subs). Obviously I wouldn't be able to run my 10A Dyson vacuum cleaner while everything was hitting maximum, but as long as I don't do something stupid like that, I would think this would be okay.
That leaves a typical usage of probably less than 5A with a total maximum possible of about 10A
Future AVR (Denon X4100) has a max rating of [email protected]
which = 5.6A (most of the time it would likely be drawing <2A, but nevertheless using the maximum)
Tivo, other small devices = < 1.5A
Oppo 103 = .3A
Xbox One Power Supply (lists a maximum input of 4.8A, again, would hardly ever (never?) approach that, but use the max again to be safe) = 4.8A
Total on this circuit is < 12.5A. Again, this is if everything is running maximum (which is likely never, except perhaps on start up when everything is starting together).
Typical usage on this circuit with the theater going would be probably less than 5A with 12.5A
Okay, okay...I know it's a bit of justifying, but I think I can get away with the two existing circuits. I don't like it either...not having headroom for more if I need it later, but I feel like I'm a bit locked in since it looks like it WILL actually work okay. Anyone see any problems with my assumption/math/logic?
So, for now, that's the plan. Thoughts?