20 amp circuits & P20

After reading many threads & posts here, I recently added two new 20 amp circuits to my listening room/home theater, including one circuit dedicated to my PS Audio PowerPlant 20. Previously I had one 15 amp circuit powering all of my equipment and room lights, router, etc.

WoW what an improvement in sound quality!

The easily heard improvements include: faster, wider, & deeper dynamics, smoother mids & highs, wider sound stage, blacker backgrounds, and an overall cleaner sound! I was finally able to upgrade my PS Audio PowerPlant P20 power cord from 15 amp to 20 amp (C19) to use the P20’s full capabilities.

The sound improvement that I already hear from this upgrade (without the breaking in of wiring/cables) is, in my opinion, better than spending $10000s on new equipment upgrades. I think that upgrades to electrical service for audiophiles & videophiles should be recommended more often than they appear to be and should be made before other much more costly equipment upgrades. I think it is akin to fixing the base of a system pyramid with all other equipment improvements layered on top but being dependent on a good base layer of clean electricity and copious electricity & power. Fixing the pyramid base of a system helps all of the other layers above perform better!

Thank you to the many PS Audio forum members who have previously posted for providing advice on specifications for an electrician to complete this job! Of course my electrician said that nobody had ever requested 10 gauge wire with no splice circuits before, but pulling these thick 10 gauge wires through metal conduit only turned out to take about 30 minutes with 2 people (my completed installation took many hours in total).

My 2 new 20 amp circuits had these specifications:
-Wire: Romex 10/2, solid core, each circuit wire run continuously as “home runs” from panel to receptacle with no splicing.
-Conduit: metal (about 1.5" diameter), surface mounted on outside of house containing wires for both circuits.
-Breakers: 2 new 20 amp breakers wired to bottom of electric panel where incoming electricity comes into panel
-Circuits: both wired to same phase in electric panel
-Receptacles: 2 PS Audio PowerPorts using the isolated grounds wired directly to each receptacle
-Electrical outlet box in wall: 2 gang, metal, containing both receptacles, side-by-side
-PowerPlant 20 amp power cord: new 5 foot Iconoclast BAV 10 gauge power cord with C19 connector. P20 is now plugged into its own new 20 amp circuit
-Existing 2 subwoofers: plugged into 2nd 20 amp circuit (not through P20 as they were previously)
-Existing 15 amp circuit now has router & other noisier type equipment plugged into it

My electrician also installed/buried 2 new ground rods since my existing house ground was only to the cold water pipe. I was told that this brought my home’s grounding up to current electrical code. Unfortunately, I was unable to get before and after resistance to ground readings from the electrician as they did not have the proper meter or probes.

Special thanks to @BobBJC at Iconoclast/Blue Jeans Cable for expediting the new power cable to me! :slight_smile:

Thanks again everyone for your earlier forum posts, suggestions, and advice!

Carl

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Hi Carl and welcome! Where do you live that you used metal conduit for the outdoor portion of the run? If in the U.S., I’m pretty sure that’s against code. You could be looking at a problem in either safety, or any insurance claim that may involve the house electrical system.

I have specified hundreds of miles of outdoor metal conduit/raceway. It is not against the National Electrical Code (NEC).

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I stand corrected!

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Hi carl.e. It’s amazing how much clean dynamics and clarity dedicated circuits can bring to the sound. I use to be an electrician, then later an licensed electrical contractor in California.

I noticed you used 1.5" metal conduit (EMT) for couple of #10 Romex. All you really needed was only 3/4" conduit and 6 #10 THHN solid wires for your 2 circuits.

Putting the circuits opposite the noisy circuits like appliances is good as well as close as possible to where panel is fed is also good.

Usually overhead service, the power cables comes in from the top of the panel and undergound service come from below. you have to see where the feeding cables are connected and put your circuits as close as you can to the feeding cable.

Many thinks that you don’t need a good power cord for a regenerator, since the power is a clean new regenerated power antway, but I found in reality it does indeed makes an shocking difference when you put in a really good power cord to power the regenerator. My guess is when you regenerate cleaner power, the results are even cleaner power.

Enjoy your new circuits.

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You should spend $10,000 on something fun to celebrate!

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Welcome to this great community of like-minded audiophiles. I had a similar experience when I added a dedicated 20A branch circuit to my panel for my two Sanders Sound Systems Magtech amplifiers. The listening room lights no longer dim during peak loudness passages and the sound benefits immensely.

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[PSA: @carl.e “Hang Out” with Al at your peril.]

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Well done, very impressive.

Please a post picture of your panel, so we can see how much power your system uses.


Here’s mine. My class D M1200’s draw very little power.
I have plenty of reserve for head room. :smile:

PS please ignore the cobwebs on the handles.

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Hello Carl, It’s nice to hear about how important clean power is to getting better sound out of your system.I just have a question about the C19 connection to the P20 Power Plant, it appears to me that the P20 has a C15 receptacle. Did you by any chance have it modified to accept the C19 connection? Thanks, & Happy Holidays.

Hi Clifton,

Thanks for your comments!

My electrician specified the diameter/size of the metal conduit. He mentioned needing a larger diameter to be able to more easily pull the 10 awg wire.

For the 10 awg wire, I asked for 10 awg solid core wire, so either THHN or Romex would have worked and my electrician choose to use Romex.

These circuits were not installed in my main service panel containing the utility supply, but instead these 2 circuits were installed in a ‘critical loads panel’ that was previously installed with my solar/whole house battery backup system, and this panel has the feed at the bottom. My main service panel does have the utility feed at the top however.

Thanks again!

Carl

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Greetings @jm.russo !

Thanks for your comments!

The P20 has both a C15 and C19 receptacle built in with a sliding door that covers one or the other connection depending on the user’s needs. No modification to my P20 was necessary.

Thanks & Happy Holidays!

Carl

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Greetings @1cdfoley

Thanks for your comments!

Looking at my historical PowerPlay data, the max that was recorded there was 560 watts. However, now that my 2 powered subwoofers are not connected to my P20, the max will be lower with much more headroom!

Thanks again!

Carl

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Thank’s Carl, Enjoy your system!

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Does it make sense to use BX wire instead of Romex for in house runs? I’ve read that can reduce RFI, but I’m way over my head on this and could have just been reading nonsense.

Braided 10AWG solid core THHN. IMO much better than Romex. You’ll have to braid it yourself or have someone do it for you.

MC cables are the ones to use. BX cables does not have a ground wire and uses metal sheath for ground. THHN whether braided or not must be run in conduits so a metal conduit would be good for RFI rejection.

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Yes, thanks for mentioning the conduit. I failed to add that detail.

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