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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Ok,I tride to do a search for wall receptacle but with no success.With me looking to run an ep 2500 amp for my sub build,I was thinking I should run a dedicated line from my breaker box to my living room,which is around 50ft one way.I was looking at my Audio Advisor mag and saw they had a hospital grade receptacle and was woundering if it was worth the 50.00 investment? I have an H/K 630 AVR, dish dvr,dvd player, HTPC,and small 22"monitor hooked up to my 15a line as of right now but I do plan to purchase a big plasma tv and an external amp (EMOTIVA upa-5 or upa-7)in the next 6 mo.

So my questions are this:
1.Would 20a wire be good for this run?
2.Should I use a high grade receptacle?
3.If yes to #2, is there a cheaper place to buy one.


4.Now here is another route I was thinking of doing was the high grade receptacle from audio advisor was able to run a dedicated circuit per outlet(you can run one circuit to the top and another seperate one on the bottom) and put my amp sub on the top and the rest of my theater gear on the bottom.Would this be the best appoach so I don't run any problems?

5.How are you other shacksters running power to your gear in your family/living rooms?

Mods please move this if it is not in the right place.
 

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Splitting the plug into two circuits is defiantly an option You would need to run 12/3 for a 20 amp load to save you some money as you can share one neutral between the two circuits (remember to snip the jumper between the screws on the hot side of the plug). Hospital grade plug-ins are good as they have better contacts and are built better. Home depot has them as well so you should be able to find them for less than $50 each.
 

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Elite Shackster , HTS Moderator Emeritus
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+1 to what Tony said. Look for the orange outlets at Home Depot, they are usually the hospital grade ones. They clamp really hard and have very good terminals on the back for wiring, but that's their only advantage. No need to spend $50.

I also ask if you really think you need to add a new circuit? I have a Marantz preamp, Outlaw 5ch amp, and 1000W sub amp all on one power conditioner with the projector and sources. Even at loud volume with everything on, I've never drawn more than 5 amps, well under the 20A limit on the circuit.

I'd invest in a Kill-A-Watt or similar current meter and test your rig to see if you need the extra capacity. If you don't draw 10A at loud listening levels, I wouldn't even worry. If the sub and mains are spread out, you can use the meter to measure the sub then measure the main unit (provided they are on the same circuit) and then add. Again, less than 10A and you are fine. 10 to 15A, think about how often you'll have it that loud. Over 15A, run a dedicated line. These assume your plugs are on a 20A circuit (12 gauge wire). If you are on a 15A circuit, then I'd run a dedicated one if you draw 7 or 8 amps (roughly half capacity on the circuit).

Hope this helps.
 

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+1 to what Tony said. Look for the orange outlets at Home Depot, they are usually the hospital grade ones.
The orange receptacles are isolated ground. Hospital-grade receptacles can be isolated-ground, but they're two different things; hospital-grade refers to the pull-out strength, materials, and other performance specs. Isolated-ground receptacles only benefit metal-conduit systems, where the mounting strap (yoke) would otherwise ground the receptacle to the conduit.


Splitting the plug into two circuits is defiantly an option You would need to run 12/3 for a 20 amp load to save you some money as you can share one neutral between the two circuits.
Not recommended, and technically incorrect. Typically you want HT circuits to all be on the same phase. However, a 12-3 run is correctly for two circuits on opposite phases. This is the only way the neutral can carry both loads, since it is “active full time” as it where, while the out-of-phase hot legs alternate between positive and negative. So, a 12-3 with both circuits on the same phase would have to be treated as 14 ga. and downgraded to 15 amps.

On top of that, 12-3 circuits are supposed to use breakers that are mechanically interconnected.

As noted, there’s no reason to spend $50 for an “audiophile” outlet. If hospital grade is what you want, you can find them at the big box hardware stores for a few bucks. Another option is industrial specification-grade outlets. Either will be quite a bit cheaper than isolated ground outlets.

Regards,
Wayne
 

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Elite Shackster , HTS Moderator Emeritus
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Thanks Wayne. I did not know that bout the isolated versus just "hospital" grade. Do you have to use isolated ground for conduit installations? Even if you have a separate ground wire?

And I never liked the concept of shared common. Too many opportunities for confusion, live circuits that you think are off, etc. I know they are legal in some cases and do have their place, but I always opt to use a full new circuit if the panel has room.
 

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And I never liked the concept of shared common. Too many opportunities for confusion, live circuits that you think are off, etc. I know they are legal in some cases and do have their place, but I always opt to use a full new circuit if the panel has room.
The only issue with that is then you have to run two 12/2 cables as you are not supposed to use any other color wire for a neutral other than white (running 12/4 is not allowed because there is only one white wire and is costly)
 

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Thanks Wayne. I did not know that bout the isolated versus just "hospital" grade. Do you have to use isolated ground for conduit installations? Even if you have a separate ground wire?
The fact that there would even be a ground wire in a conduit would mean the circuit was intended to be isolated ground. Otherwise, the conduit serves as the ground, so there are normally only two wires in the conduit for a circuit. Using a standard outlet would defeat the isolated ground, since the ground lug shares continuity with the mounting straps. An IG outlet separates the ground lug from the straps and as such enables an isolated ground – IOW, grounding that’s separate from the conduit “house ground.”

Of course, this assumes a commercial etc. setting. I don’t know whether or not this applies to conduit used in a residential setting.

Regards,
Wayne
 

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Elite Shackster , HTS Moderator Emeritus
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Sorry to threadjack, Deezer. :)

This is for a workshop in my basement. I'm running conduit and a dedicated ground wire. I will have the conduit grounded as well, but since there will be many connections to the conduit, I don't want one bad connection or loose set screw to lift the ground of the whole system. And it's only power tools, so a second ground path won't hurt anything. I just didn't know if it HAD to be isolated. I didn't think so, but I've seen weirder rules in the NEC.

Thanks.
 

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Elite Shackster , HTS Moderator Emeritus
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Just did some quick interwebs research:

Isolated Ground is NOT required in conduit or anywhere else. In fact it has to be justified for use in the NEC. There is major debate as to whether or not it helps noise in computers, communications, or audio equipment. But if you make the case that your equipment is very sensitive to electromagnetic noise, then that meets the requirement.

What you don't want to have happen is to accidentally use an isolated ground outlet in a regular circuit. The frame and cover plate (if metal) will not be grounded and it could be a safety issue. Not all isolated ground outlets are orange, but they do all have a triangle in the corner (and they cost more).

Just FYI.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
First off sorry for the long reply.I'm glad i checked back here cause I was going to do the wiring as the first responder to my question suggested with the 12/3 wiring!!Ok ,I didn't wont to over load my circuit that is already in the house cause i didn't know what it was all tied into already.I think I'm still going to run a dedicated line anyway just for the ep 2500 amp and the emo-uap5 amp I plan on buying later on.So do I need a 20a receptacle and wire or will I be safe with running a 15a circuit and keeping it as one instead of splitting the receptacle as I mentioned?I plan on doing this tomarrow or thursday.On the receptacle itself,does anybody have a link to the best one i should by at home depot for my application,I do better with pictures.Just want a good quality receptacle to to avoid any problems later down the line.Just for fyi,I'm your average diy'er and have basic knowledge of wiring if you guys couldn't tell.
 

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Elite Shackster , HTS Moderator Emeritus
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Run a 12 gauge wire, 20A circuit, but only put on 15A outlets. If this is truly a dedicated line, you can get a 20A outlet (it has a -| | instead of just | | for the prongs).

As for outlet quality, look for outlets that are labeled as commercial or back-wire outlets. A true back-wire outlet has a wide hole for the wire and then the side screw clamps down on the wire. Avoid the ones that have a little hole that spring-locks the wire in place.

Once you find the correct outlets, you can see and feel the difference. The cheap $.99 ones feel like you can snap them in half. The higher grade ones feel like you can hit them with a hammer (please don't :) ). Expect to pay $3 per outlet for better ones or $8+ for true industrial premium ones (probably overkill here)
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Is there any advantage to the 20a outlet over the 15a?Kinda confused as to what you were saying about them.If I understand what your saying then, I should run a 15a outlet with a 20a breaker/12ga wire if I'm running more than one outlet on that circuit.But if I'm running from just the breaker box to the 1 wall outlet,I can use/or should use a 20a outlet.
 

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Elite Shackster , HTS Moderator Emeritus
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20A circuits usually just have 15A plugs on them, because you can have multiple devices plugged in along the way and not trip the breaker. Sometimes plugs are in different rooms and such and you may not realize you are overloading the circuit.

If this truly a one-line, one-outlet circuit, then you can have the 20A duplex outlet as the plug. The thought being that you wouldn't plug two, 20A draw items into the same plug, whereas, you might accidentally overload a circuit if there were a bunch of plugs on it (especially in different rooms, etc).

So, if you want multiple plugs, go with the 15A outlets. If you have a single plug, you CAN have a 20A outlet, but you might not NEED it, unless your amp has the special - | plug on it. My beefy Outlaw 5ch amp still has the standard | | plug.

Regardless, use a 20A breaker and 12ga wire for the circuit.

Hope this helps.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 · (Edited)
Awsome!! This helps alot cause I'm headed to home depot today,and I will pick me up what you have confurmed I need.Going with the 12/2 wire and a 20a outlet,this way if I ever sold the house it would help the next inline to know what it is with a little research.

Thanks for your help and everyone else who replied here.
 
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