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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
When my home was built I had the electrician run three dedicated 20A outlets to my AV equipment closet under the stairs. At the time I requested this with the assumption that I would need that many outlets to power my equipment and that having them dedicated would allow for more robust power hungry equipment to be run, and therefore "future proof". The basement was un finished but the outlets are in place. I'm currently building my dedicated HT and am wondering if I was wrong to do the electrical this way? Should I have just done one dedicated 20A outlet and used a power conditioner/UPS that has one connection to the wall receptacle with multiple outlets on the unit for the equipment? Should I add or change anything to my existing circuits? I'm not concerned about battery backup but would like to eliminate the potential for ground loops/hum within my speakers...
 

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I think you have done it right. I am also planning 3 for the AV cabinet in my upcoming remodel. My sub amp requires one, I will use the 2nd circuit for the signal components and AVR, and will put any future upgraded power on the 3rd.
 

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Three was good planning. Depending on what amps you run later, power can become an issue. As far as the power conditioner, plug it into one of the outlets. You will need additonal surge protectors for each of the other 2 receptacles. I don't think you will need battery back up on all three. I would use products from the same company to avoid warranty issues in case you need to file a claim. I would go as far as to contact them & ask for their recommendation, then use it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Good deal. So I'll run my AVR off the power conditioner and the rest on a surge protector. I already have a Monster PowerCenter HTS 800 8-Outlet Surge Protector to use for my other equipment and I'm starting my research and shopping for a conditioner.
 

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Three 20s was a bit of over kill but it won't hurt. I have two 15amp dedicated circuits in the rack and a third for the projector. The two power conditioners I use have amperage read outs for draw on each and have yet to ever even hit 3.5 amps draw on the one my receiver is plugged into and not even 2.5 amps on the amp and other equipment plugged into the other one. I hit reference levels often so I don't worry about. I really thought I needed more but turns out not.

My only caution is that plugging items that are only 15 amps into a 20amp circuit will mean that those items won't be protected if they for some reason over current where they would need to trip the breaker as a 20 amp circuit won't till much more draw is detected.
 

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You can always replace the breakers with 15 amp ones and then you will be fully protected.
 

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My only caution is that plugging items that are only 15 amps into a 20amp circuit will mean that those items won't be protected if they for some reason over current where they would need to trip the breaker as a 20 amp circuit won't till much more draw is detected.
No! Branch circuit breakers are meant to protect the wiring, not the connected equipment. The connected equipment have their own overcurrent protection. In the case of line to ground faults, fault current will be high enough to open the breaker, regardless of what is plugged in. The NEC permits 15A duplex outlets on a 20A branch circuit (per Article 210.21 b).

If what you suggest is true, there would be a problem when you plug a clock radio or other low power device into a 15A outlet, or small appliance into a 20A kitchen countertop outlet and the device malfunctions. Yet, every day we operate all kind of low powered devices on 15A and 20A household circuits. If this were a problem, the insurance companies would have a field day. In 30A and higher circuits, the rules change.
 

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Yes and no, if that was true they would simply build all houses with 20amp circuits as it would allow for more to be put on one circuit. The cost difference is not even worth mentioning for 12/2 wire.
 
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