20 Amp Circuit Design Basics

Do you find that you spend a lot of time worrying that you over-think things?

Yes, you know me. But, I do have fun while I am at it. I probably will have more questions, coming from an “inquisitive mind”.
My continued thanks to all,

I think all the info given is excellent but I did not see any mention of two things that in my experience have made a difference in my installation. My first dedicated line was two 20 amp circuits using (6)-10 gauge stranded copper conductors. I can not quite explain why but the overall sound was less than optimal it always had a mistyness to it. My second installation used (6)-10 gauge solid copper conductors where each conductor is cut to the exact same length, with each circuit consisting of 3 wires (white, black and green). These three wires are twisted with a drill and the two pairs of (3 conductor wires) are pulled in a 1" conduit. The reason for the critical length is to prevent potential gound loops. Both ground and neutral wires should terminate on the respective busses as close together as physically possible. The twisting of the conductors provides a bit of noise rejection. One of the dedicated circuits is for all digital equipment, and the other is for all analog equipment. This install is dead quite with no mystness. Has any one else experienced any difference between solid and stranded conductors? Has anyone else used twisted conductor pairs?

There’s definitely a positive sonic difference between solid and stranded, I meant to mention that earlier: but some installers don’t like to work with 10 gage solid conductors, especially with multiple bends in a conduit.

Looks like an IG to me. Use it in a wall faceplate.

Bruce in Philly

Thanks, will do.

If you are going to the expense of getting dedicated circuits installed, I would do two 20 amp circuits, and possibly a third 15 amp, since you have video as well.

My points are as follows:

  1. You can never have enough (You mentioned AN1’s, (did you mean AN3’s, they will be the little ones?) they might want one 20 amp circuit each depending on the power amps built into the speakers.) You are no longer talking a “modest” system when you mention $50K± speakers.
  2. The major expense is getting the electrician to your house, and his time.
  3. If you have room in your electric panel, it only has to come apart once, and the electrician can make sure to ground everything properly. It is easier to move things around once rather than twice.
  4. Video devices more often than not have different ground potentials than audio , so they tend to be the source of most ground loops (hum). They like to be on an opposite phase from the audio.
  5. Do 4 outlet boxes for each circuit, just in case (see # 1)
  6. Use the PS Audio outlets, they are the most reasonable 15/20 amp outlets I have been able to find (buy 4 get one free)
  7. Definitely do "home runs’ for the wires, and depending on the length of the runs to the panel, 10 gauge should be fine in most cases. This is a calculation that I do not know the formula for, it has to do with resistance over the length of the wire.
  8. You are adding value to your house, especially if the next owner is a committed as you.
  9. You are designing the electric system to be flexible for your future needs, explaining to the significant other that an electrician needs to get involved needs to happen as little as possible.

The odds here are incomprehensibly small.

Yes, I meant the “AN3”, the smaller speaker. My wife gave me permission for the electrician. Although, I don’t want her to hear about a 50K speaker, even via a typo. Like everyone, I would love to hear it, experience it. I will fly out to PSA to hear all 3 ANs.

When I retired, my new PSA system was her idea of a retirement present.

I am planning on two circuits using the 10 gauge solid copper wire. I have already ordered the PSA power ports and noise harvesters.

You have confirmed the decision to leave the TV on the old 15 amp circuit with my laptop.

Thank you,

If my listening room circuit is connected to a sub panel which is connected to the main circuit breaker, do I need to run 10 gauge wire from my room to the sub panel or need to run 10 gauge wire between the sub panel to the main circuit breaker as well? Please advise. Thank you guys!

See Ted smith’s earlier discussion on grounding, he covers the sub panel situation.
Thanks again Ted

Just to torture you a bit here’s the latest renderings of the AN3 as we get closer to actually ordering cabinets to begin the building process.

1 Like

Bring on all the pre-order torture you got…Beautiful, love the wood trim. Did you post these wonderful pics under the Speaker topic.
Thank you

Just opened the download; looks elegant, spectacular!

The wire will depend on the panel rating. It most likely will be larger the 10 gauge.

1 Like

I just did, thanks for the nudge.

How about a better circuit breaker with improved contacts?

I’ve got 2 - 10awg dedicated runs but they are both on Eaton $3 spec-grade breakers. It did put silver paste on the contacts to the bus but this does nothing for the internal contacts. According to the cut sheet are silver-tungsten but its not clear if this is the contacts to the buss bars or the contacts that open when a fault occurs.

Can anyone recommend a brand that is known to have better contacts and/or better sonics than a $3 breaker powering my entire system - though a P10 of course.

I did not give any thought to the circuit breaker in my dedicated 20 amp circuit. Sorry, I can’t tell you with even the model name, as I haven’t received my detailed installation bill. My 2 concerns relative to the breaker are that I had it installed in the main panel and the ground was run uncut to the receptacle. I am happy with the sonic results; however, I had no noise, hum on the old circuit.

I would like to know what Ted recommends.

Addendum: I had mentioned that I would put my Sony Monitor on the 20 amp circuit. I left it off and on the old circuit to keep things simple.
Best wishes for you.

If it were me once the wallet is open I’d install dedicated (home-run) lines for each outlet. Probably only three versus five, one dedicated to digital, one dedicated to analog, and one dedicated to power amp(s). Twenty amp running 10 gauge copper lines for each run. Run dedicated ground from the main panel to the outlets, do not use the conduit or metal receptacle boxes for ground. I’d also consider installing whole how voltage surge protection at your main electrical panel, and have the electrician confirm your earth ground to main panel integrity. Also, confirm tightness of all connections to circuit breakers in your existing main panel.