Dedicated circuits. How many? - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #1 of 33 Old 02-05-2018, 05:28 PM - Thread Starter
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Dedicated circuits. How many?

Trying to finish up all the wiring, so we can start on drywall. However, I wanted to know opinions and suggestions on how many circuits I should have in the room. Here is what I have now but could change if needed:
1 circuit for AV rack
1 circuit for power recliners
1 circuit for LED can lights, recepticals in room ( which subs will be plugged into)

Is this ok?

Thanks for any help
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post #2 of 33 Old 02-05-2018, 05:41 PM
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You need to plan for the future and possibility of bigger amps, bigger subs, and more components. 4-5 30 amp circuits would be ideal if the panel can handle it, even though you may not need them all right now. Also, no GFCI breakers in the panel. They are way too sensitive and pop too easily. Just replaced mine last week. I'm not an electrician and a professional would be able to give you a better idea of what you need but I always find them to be under-engineered. Just make sure you have the proper ROMEX running from the panel and hospital grade 20A receptacles. This way the breaker can handle more current than what you are drawing and worse case you end up having to replace a 20 amp plug.
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post #3 of 33 Old 02-05-2018, 05:45 PM
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This may not fully answer your question, I've actually have been wondering the same thing so hopefully someone with more experience/knowledge will chime in. I ran across these suggestions by @BassThatHz in another thread and they seemed like good ideas so I earmarked the thread ...Post #11 halfway down his list he gets into ideas for equipment/breaker consolidation.

https://www.avsforum.com/forum/showthread.php?t=2953360

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post #4 of 33 Old 02-05-2018, 05:46 PM
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I got 7. Rack 1, Rack 2, Lights, 2 for front main monoblocks, Subwoofers. EDIT: also a dedicated line for an PS Audio PPP power regenerator/filter which supplies my preamp, small stuff in the rack + clean power for the projector.

20 amp slow fuses. 4mm cables, lights only normal 2.5mm.

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post #5 of 33 Old 02-05-2018, 06:08 PM
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There is no one right answer. It is like asking how many horsepower do I need in my car. You cold get to work reliably every day for the next 10 or 20 years with a car that has less than 100 horsepower. Others wouldn't consider anything less than 500 HP and a car that costs more than most houses.

If you have a moderately sized home theater, one 20 amp circuit for the equipment and projector may be sufficient. Maybe a separate circuit for your sub amp if you plan on a high capacity sub amp.

It would be a good idea to have the lights on a separate circuit from the rest of the equipment.

Ideally, the wall outlets for the rest of the room should be on their own circuit. That lets you run a high amperage vacuum cleaner without tripping any circuits or causing electrical interference on your audio and video circuits. There is no reason why you couldn't put your power recliners on the same circuit as the rest of the wall outlets. They use very little power, and that's only when they are moving.

Plenty of people have more, but unless you have multiple racks of equipment, it probably isn't necessary.
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post #6 of 33 Old 02-05-2018, 07:29 PM
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Typically you would want lights on a seperate circuit from the room outlets. To figure your lights, add up all fixtures max capacity and get a total wattage. Divide your total wattage by your voltage for the total amperage and stay under 80% of your total capacity, so 12 amps for a 15 amp circuit or 16 amps for a 20 amp circuit at 110v (a bit more if you are at 120v). This is to follow code if you will get it inspected. Also if you are using LEDs you can put a crap ton on a single 15 amp circuit or approximately 12 100w incandescent light bulbs

Your outlets need to be within 6' of any place you may stand or 10' apart. Your room should be on it's own circuit if possible like was mention above so the the vacuum and other appliances can operate without interference to your gear.

In a simple install with a projector, AVR and a sub amp/powered sub/s It would be beneficial to have 2 20 amp circuits. If multiple high current amps I would start adding more dedicated 20 amp circuits.

For me and all of my amps, it was easier to run a 100 amp sub panel but my power requirements are large.

I hope this helps.
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post #7 of 33 Old 02-05-2018, 07:39 PM - Thread Starter
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Thank you everyone! So, I believe I should have:
1 circuit for AV rack
1 circuit for lights
1 circuit for recepticals (recliners and subs on this)
Then should I put an extra with AV rack to future proof or one behind the screen in case of high powered subs, or both?
Thanks again to everyone!
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post #8 of 33 Old 02-05-2018, 07:40 PM - Thread Starter
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The projector will also be on the recepticals circuit.
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post #9 of 33 Old 02-05-2018, 07:54 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by woodboss83 View Post
Thank you everyone! So, I believe I should have:
1 circuit for AV rack
1 circuit for lights
1 circuit for recepticals (recliners and subs on this)
Then should I put an extra with AV rack to future proof or one behind the screen in case of high powered subs, or both?
Thanks again to everyone!
If you think you might do something in the future then add it now. One behind the screen would be a bonus for sure. I would however try to avoid using the room circuit with A/V gear in general. If you know the location of the sub I would run a circuit there. I would also avoid your projector being on a circuit where there might be a any high current devices subs included.

This however is just me and I prefer to add dedicated circuits for my A/V gear, not use the standard household circuits.
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post #10 of 33 Old 02-05-2018, 08:13 PM
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I have 4 total electrical circuits from service panel.

#1 - 20 amp - lights and room plugs - Used for lights, power recliners and vacuum for cleanup. all around room power, and rope lights.
#2 - 20 amp - Dedicated for Amps - ran to rack location, specifically for AVR and 2nd AVR (Amplifier)
#3 - 20 amp - Dedicated for Remainder Equipment inc. Projector - supplies power to UPS - Projector, network switch, blu-ray player, etc.
#4 - 20 amp - Dedicated for Subwoofers - Ran to front of room behind screen wall, dedicated for subs/sub amps.

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post #11 of 33 Old 02-06-2018, 08:43 AM
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This is what I have planned:

#1 20a - Sub1 behind screen wall
#2 20a - Sub2 (to add later) behind screen wall
#3 20a - AVR & Projector
#4 15a - All other plugs and lights in room
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post #12 of 33 Old 02-06-2018, 08:44 AM
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I went overboard, but I had the luxury, and it isn't easy to add more after drywall is up.

1 20a 110v for the network rack
1 20a 110v for the equipment rack (all but amps)
3x 20a 220v and 3x 20a 110v for amplifiers in the rack
1 20a 110v for theater lights
1 20a 110v for theater outlets
1 20a 110v behind screen wall in case I ever do powered subs

Projector will run off network rack power with UPS in between. All network rack (~375w of PoE switches, firewall, modem, HDHomeRun, monitor, Plex server, etc.) only pulls 2-4 amps, so plenty left for projector.

The amplifiers could easily run off on 220v 30a and a few 110v, but I wired for future expansion too.
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post #13 of 33 Old 02-06-2018, 10:08 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jish9 View Post
4-5 30 amp circuits would be ideal .
Are you running an arc welder in your theater!? You won't need more than 20 amps @ 110V for anything that you'll be plugging into your theater. Also there's no reason that you need power recliners to be on a separate circuit, they are not a huge draw and only run for brief moments. Splitting lighting and walls into their own circuits will allow you to run 20 amp outlets and 15 amp lighting. Of note on outlets, you'll see a lot of debate about the difference between a 15 and 20 amp outlet. They are both capable of running a 20 amp load, it's just the ones designated for 20 amps have the special prong and cost more. Go and look in your kitchen and you'll see all the outlets are normal (aka 15 amp), but the circuit is 20 amps.
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post #14 of 33 Old 02-06-2018, 11:53 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by woodboss83 View Post
Thank you everyone! So, I believe I should have:
1 circuit for AV rack
1 circuit for lights
1 circuit for recepticals (recliners and subs on this)
Then should I put an extra with AV rack to future proof or one behind the screen in case of high powered subs, or both?
Thanks again to everyone!
If you are going with 3 circuits, I would go with:
1 circuit for AV rack (including subs, unless you have a very powerful sub amp)
1 circuit for lights
1 circuit for receptacles (recliners on this)

I would avoid putting the subs or any other AV equipment on the same circuit as the room receptacles.

If you have a very powerful sub amp, add another circuit for the sub amp.

If you have a lot of equipment, or expect to have more in the future, you can increase the number of circuits,
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post #15 of 33 Old 02-06-2018, 07:57 PM - Thread Starter
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Thank you again to everyone! This forum is awesome! With everyone's help and suggestions I've decided to go with:
1 to AV rack
1 for lights
1 for recepticals
Extras just in case:
1 behind screen wall for subs
1 more ran to AV rack just in case I need it down the road.
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post #16 of 33 Old 02-06-2018, 09:37 PM
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keep in mind that you will need the space on your panel for the breakers. In my neck of the woods, the electrical code states any new wiring to outlets has to be arc fault protected. The arc fault breakers take up one entire breaker slot for one circuit where as non arc fault breakers can fit two breakers in the one slot.

I recently had my panel replaced for an entire basement gut and almost all the spots for the breakers are used up and I "only" have two dedicated 20A circuits with about 6 outlets on each circuit which alternate around the room. I used grey outlets on circuit A and brown outlets on circuit B. There is a separate 15A circuit / breaker for the lighting.
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post #17 of 33 Old 02-07-2018, 08:10 AM
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The combination arc fault breakers are horribly expensive and can trip in all kinds of situations that would never result in a fire. But I am told that they will learn after a few false faults and stop tripping. I had one in my brand new house that was tripping from a brand new washing machine, but it stopped after tripping 3 times in a row. I just put in regular breakers for the theater, and unless I start pulling permits, it really doesn't matter. I am far more concerned with matching breakers to the capacity of the wiring, both in the wall and from the wall to the devices. If you put 30A breakers in and have power cords that will catch fire pulling 29 amps, you did it wrong. All my power wires are capable of pulling 20A. The only reason I would add a 30A breaker is if I was running a massive single amp like a speaker power 120000 watt...
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post #18 of 33 Old 02-07-2018, 08:10 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EC View Post
keep in mind that you will need the space on your panel for the breakers. In my neck of the woods, the electrical code states any new wiring to outlets has to be arc fault protected. The arc fault breakers take up one entire breaker slot for one circuit where as non arc fault breakers can fit two breakers in the one slot.

I recently had my panel replaced for an entire basement gut and almost all the spots for the breakers are used up and I "only" have two dedicated 20A circuits with about 6 outlets on each circuit which alternate around the room. I used grey outlets on circuit A and brown outlets on circuit B. There is a separate 15A circuit / breaker for the lighting.
I have the same code issues so I just installed a separate sub-panel for the theater room. Those 20a arc fault protected breakers are expensive too!
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post #19 of 33 Old 02-07-2018, 08:43 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by woodboss83 View Post
The projector will also be on the recepticals circuit.
Best practice is to run the outlet for the projector through a power conditioner UPS via a PowerBridge like connection. I you spend several thousand on a projector you want it protected and you want to be able to run the cool down cycle in case you have a power outage.
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post #20 of 33 Old 02-07-2018, 09:08 AM
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I have one 15A for lighting, one 20A for the chairs and outlets in the room and then two dedicated 20A for the equipment and projector.
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post #21 of 33 Old 02-07-2018, 09:44 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BIGmouthinDC View Post
Best practice is to run the outlet for the projector through a power conditioner UPS via a PowerBridge like connection. I you spend several thousand on a projector you want it protected and you want to be able to run the cool down cycle in case you have a power outage.

One of the few oversights in my wiring. I now have to trace the pull through the joists to intercept it before it enters the theatre. Don’t overlook this step.

FWIW I have 2-20 amp and 2-15 amp in my closet, 1 - 15 amp running all outlets (8 in total) with the exception of 2 outlets behind the screen. They’re on a 15 amp for future powered subs. 1 - 15 amp running all lights (20 in total - all LED) and 1 - 15 amp for the projector. Didn’t need a dedicated for the projector but wanted it UPS’d.
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post #22 of 33 Old 02-07-2018, 10:07 AM
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My only recommendation would be: don't forget physics!

A 20 amp circuit can only make so many watts out of a amplifier. A great quote from familyhandyman dot com explains this well:

"Larger appliances, like electric water heaters, dryers and stoves, require so much power that electricity is brought to them via 240-volt circuits. That’s because the voltage in 240-volt circuits pushes twice as hard. For example, a 6,000-watt electric flugelhorn on a 120-volt circuit would require a 50-amp circuit (6,000 watts divided by 120 volts = 50 amps). That would require mammoth wires. But that same 6,000-watt flugelhorn on a 240-volt circuit requires only a 25-amp circuit (6,000 divided by 240 = 25) and a smaller wire and circuit breaker."

What does this mean? Don't think you're getting 6000w (or anywhere near close) out of your brand new iNuke6000, if you're powering it off a 15 amp circuit.
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post #23 of 33 Old 02-07-2018, 10:14 AM
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How are you feeding power to the projector? im doing this same setup in mine

Quote:
Originally Posted by dkersten View Post
I went overboard, but I had the luxury, and it isn't easy to add more after drywall is up.

1 20a 110v for the network rack
1 20a 110v for the equipment rack (all but amps)
3x 20a 220v and 3x 20a 110v for amplifiers in the rack
1 20a 110v for theater lights
1 20a 110v for theater outlets
1 20a 110v behind screen wall in case I ever do powered subs

Projector will run off network rack power with UPS in between. All network rack (~375w of PoE switches, firewall, modem, HDHomeRun, monitor, Plex server, etc.) only pulls 2-4 amps, so plenty left for projector.

The amplifiers could easily run off on 220v 30a and a few 110v, but I wired for future expansion too.
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post #24 of 33 Old 02-07-2018, 10:27 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by David Blosser View Post
How are you feeding power to the projector? im doing this same setup in mine
I am using this power inlet:
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B002XDQAA6

I will install this at the rack and run an extension cord from the UPS to the inlet. The other end of the inlet will be an outlet in the hush box that the projector will plug into.
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post #25 of 33 Old 02-07-2018, 10:46 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DougUSMC View Post
My only recommendation would be: don't forget physics!

A 20 amp circuit can only make so many watts out of a amplifier.
...

What does this mean? Don't think you're getting 6000w (or anywhere near close) out of your brand new iNuke6000, if you're powering it off a 15 amp circuit.
This is true, but there should be an asterisk in there... Sound is very dynamic, and amplifiers are not reproducing a square wave 100% of the time. On a big amplifier, the peaks can far exceed the rated amperage of a breaker without popping it or even risking over heating the capacity of the wires because they only last a few milliseconds. But that being said, if you clipped your output at the max for sustained periods of time, you would pop that 20 amp breaker. The inuke6000 doesn't output 6000 watts, more like around 2800 max, but even so, at 120 volts that is still over 20 amps if the amp was 100% efficient, and it isn't, so technically it COULD draw probably around 30 amps, yet few people will ever pop a 20 amp breaker with one, or even a 15 amp breaker. If you also put your receiver and other media equipment on that breaker, along with some fans and rack lighting, you are just asking for trouble though. Dedicate individual circuits based on the max draw of the amplifier and run items that don't take as much current to run on common circuits.
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post #26 of 33 Old 02-07-2018, 12:17 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dkersten View Post
This is true, but there should be an asterisk in there... Sound is very dynamic, and amplifiers are not reproducing a square wave 100% of the time. On a big amplifier, the peaks can far exceed the rated amperage of a breaker without popping it or even risking over heating the capacity of the wires because they only last a few milliseconds. But that being said, if you clipped your output at the max for sustained periods of time, you would pop that 20 amp breaker. The inuke6000 doesn't output 6000 watts, more like around 2800 max, but even so, at 120 volts that is still over 20 amps if the amp was 100% efficient, and it isn't, so technically it COULD draw probably around 30 amps, yet few people will ever pop a 20 amp breaker with one, or even a 15 amp breaker. If you also put your receiver and other media equipment on that breaker, along with some fans and rack lighting, you are just asking for trouble though. Dedicate individual circuits based on the max draw of the amplifier and run items that don't take as much current to run on common circuits.
I agree with everything you said, and thanks for finishing the thought that I started, but didn't complete properly. I type pretty fast, but my brain (often) moves faster than my hands. There's a LOT of times when I pre-read a post prior to hitting the submit button, to realize I didn't finish sentences or even complete thoughts.

You already made it, but the point I was trying to make was something more along the lines of: 1x 15 amp circuit, feeding 2x 2 receptacles in a double wall box will not support a theater rack that has a receiver, BluRay, cable box, HTPC, receiver, DSP, network switch, and a couple of amps very well. I've seen a few theaters set up like that, with multiple surge protectors plugged into the receptacles, and they wonder why they keep tripping the breaker. You can't have "a few amps" plugged in there, b/c the draw is too high. Also, your amps won't be able to draw the current they need, so having a few iNukes off the same circuit will starve them.

Crazy after thought: You were posting a reply to my comment at the SAME TIME I was reading your thread and posting in it! Small world!
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post #27 of 33 Old 02-07-2018, 12:28 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gouie View Post
One of the few oversights in my wiring. I now have to trace the pull through the joists to intercept it before it enters the theatre. Don’t overlook this step.

FWIW I have 2-20 amp and 2-15 amp in my closet, 1 - 15 amp running all outlets (8 in total) with the exception of 2 outlets behind the screen. They’re on a 15 amp for future powered subs. 1 - 15 amp running all lights (20 in total - all LED) and 1 - 15 amp for the projector. Didn’t need a dedicated for the projector but wanted it UPS’d.
I'm curious: By 15 amp do you mean 15 amp breaker, 15 amp outlet, 14/2 wire?
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post #28 of 33 Old 02-07-2018, 01:03 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BIGmouthinDC View Post
Best practice is to run the outlet for the projector through a power conditioner UPS via a PowerBridge like connection. I you spend several thousand on a projector you want it protected and you want to be able to run the cool down cycle in case you have a power outage.
This is what i did and my theater isn't even all that fancy. Very easy do when you're down to the studs.
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post #29 of 33 Old 02-07-2018, 04:10 PM
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Most people go crazy with power specs. I ran two 20 amp circuits to my rack. I don't think I will ever need 30 continuous amps (.75 X 20 X2) but I have it just in case. I have the usual gear (bluray, media players) and some unusual stuff (preamp + 6 external amps, a few DSPs, dedicated PC in the rack, commercial networking hardware, etc) but I am pulling about 4.5 amps off A and 1.5 amps off B at idle. With all of the amplifiers turned on as well as the projector I'm pulling 5 amps off A and 7 amps off B ( 12 amps out of 30, less than half full capacity). I do run my projector through a powerbridge to the closet. I would recommend the same (as did BIG!) so that you can have the projector on a UPS and also so you can have an even ground potential between the projector and connected devices for lightning/surge purposes.

I used some "0U" vertical PDU units with L6-20 twistlock connectors for power so I only have two outlets and two cords for the rack. I also get power stats. Very cheap off ebay and I don't waste rack real-estate on power distribution.

I do have wall and lights on dedicated circuits with subs on wall circuit so if you're doing inukes you may need an extra rack circuit.
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post #30 of 33 Old 02-07-2018, 08:00 PM - Thread Starter
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So my electrician came over today and we do have limited space on our basement panel. So here's what we did.
-1 dedicated circuit for subs. Put two outlets behind the screen and 1 outlet in corner across the room behind the seating. This way I have options on sub placement.
-2 dedicated circuits to the AV rack.
-1 dedicated for lights and room recepticals. I know it is recommended to have them seperate, but the only things plugged into outlets will be projector and recliners. Lights are LED. Will this be ok? I'm really interested in this power inlet mentioned in a couple of post. So does this replace my outlet I'll plug the projector into?
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