Biggest amp for 15A breaker? - Home Theater Forum and Systems - HomeTheaterShack.com

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post #1 of 13 Old 12-12-10, 04:31 AM Thread Starter
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Biggest amp for 15A breaker?

Hello everyone!

I am going to start my sub build here shortly and have a concern about the amp. Basically I want to know what is the biggest amp I can run on a non-dedicated 15A breaker? This breaker would be shared with my TV (plasma), AVR (Pioneer Elite VSX-21TXH), Blu Ray, HD Cable Box, and some other misc things from the next room (bedroom). I was hoping to get the Marathon MA-3050 or 4050 but not sure if they will be too much.

Also, is there anything in the specs that tells me how much power it pulls at full load? Or is there a way to measure how much I am currently using when say watching a movie, to see how much additional power it can handle?

I won't be able to run any kind of dedicated outlets since we are currently renting the house. If it means anything the house is brand new, less than 1 month.

Please let me know if more information is needed.

Thanks,
Joseph Quintana
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post #2 of 13 Old 12-12-10, 09:26 AM
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Re: Biggest amp for 15A breaker?

Total wattage for a 15A circuit is 1800 max. Running 80% would be 1440 watts.

You could figure out exactly how much each unit you have is pulling by putting a measuring device between whatever you want to measure and the wall outlet. I believe you can find it at parts express. Add those up at your upper usage levels (ie running your reciever hard), take the max 1800 watts minus this sum and you'll know what's left over for your sub amp.
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post #3 of 13 Old 12-12-10, 09:50 PM
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Re: Biggest amp for 15A breaker?

In my experiance you should be fine, you won't be useing full wattage all of the time even with multiple components in the same outlet. It would be nice if you were able to pull power from another location to keep things on the safe side.
FWIW i have my TV, AVR, 2 Emotiva XPA-1's, Cable box, PS3, and a powerd sub all running on the same 15amp circuit and never had a probem.
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post #4 of 13 Old 12-12-10, 11:32 PM
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Re: Biggest amp for 15A breaker?

In theory you should be safe but if you can put the amp on a different circuit that would be optimum.

Matt

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post #5 of 13 Old 12-13-10, 12:06 AM Thread Starter
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Re: Biggest amp for 15A breaker?

Thanks for the help so far...

I was talking to my father in-law about it and he suggested I just upgrade it to a 20A. Would that be better? I am pretty sure I can just do that myself or see if I can't just isolate that particular outlet to its own breaker. This may be hard though, as he said all the outlets on that breaker are probably daisy chained, or whatever its called.

I really don't have an option to run it from any where else or I would.

Do you see any issues with just swapping the 15A for a 20A?

Joseph
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post #6 of 13 Old 12-13-10, 12:52 AM
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Re: Biggest amp for 15A breaker?

The wire gauge inside of the wall is the issue. If you just swap out to a larger breaker then you are really putting things at risk.
I think your best bet is to just hook things up and see how it goes, if you happen to trip the breaker then we can figure something out. At the least though you will be safe as the breaker will trip rather then if you were to swap to a larger breaker then you run the risk of fire as the wire may melt before the breaker trips. Do you know what the wire gauge is that is inside the walls?
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post #7 of 13 Old 12-13-10, 10:06 AM Thread Starter
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Dang, looks like I am out of luck. Appears to only be 14 gauge which is for 15A. From what I read on the web I need 12 gauge for 20A. Oh well will have to hook it up and see! I did find out that three is a plug on a different circuit at the top of the stairs behind my couch though. Would be a pain to use, but might be possible...

Thanks for all the help though!!

Joe


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post #8 of 13 Old 12-13-10, 10:21 PM
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Re: Biggest amp for 15A breaker?

I don't remember the exact cost, but I got a hungry local electrician to run a new 20 amp quad outlet to behind my HT system for fairly cheap.

Before I did this the lights would dim as I fired everything up, now, there are no issues.

If you are spending thousands on equipment, what's a few hundred more to feed it right? Just shop around, you might be suprised.

Paul
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post #9 of 13 Old 12-18-10, 03:40 PM
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Re: Biggest amp for 15A breaker?

Kill A Watt is your friend. I have one of these and you'd be amazed how little amps use. If I remember correctly, I think I got my EP2500 to 9A once. I may have to plug it back in and keep notes.


Jim
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post #10 of 13 Old 12-18-10, 03:42 PM
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Re: Biggest amp for 15A breaker?

That could be a handy device to have around. Did you get it fro PE?
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