Running dedicated power lines - need advice


I’m converting my garage into listening room. I plan to run dedicated lines, I know I want 20amp lines, but not sure how many I need? I’m thinking 2x 20amp drop should do right? or do I need 2x 20amp and 2x 15 amps? Confused. :slight_smile:

Please advice.


1 Like

I would run as many 10awg dedicated as is practical for system now and in the future.

What does your system consist of now? Do you have a power regenerator or conditioner that many devices plug into?


Outlets are, in my opinion, like motorcycles, cars, guitars, hifi amplifiers. One can never have too many.
And since you seem to be starting with a clean work surface, and you’re running lines anyway, why not all 20amp?


I would bring a 15 amp circuit for your lighting, one or two 20 amp circuit for convenience outlets arounds the garage, and two dedicated 20 amp circuits with #10 wires for two outlets at the sound system.

1 Like

Thanks everyone… I guess depending on cost… I’ll do 2x 20amp for dedicated audio use, and 2x 15 amp for lightning, and AV use.

I have P15, it’s powering all of my system:

  • DS DAC
  • BHK Pre
  • First Watt SIT2
  • Cube Audio Nenuphar
  • 2x REL S/510 subs

My system isn’t power hungry by any hifi standard. But who know what I’ll end up with in the future.


I have 2 dedicated. One for the P10 and the other for all things not handling the audio signal like computers and switches.

I would say 2 circuits for audio is the minimum. It’s not so much about current capacity unless you have class A monos but isolation. 15a breakers will do fine but run 10awg wire. Lights and room outlets on their own respective circuits.

Noted. Good advice! Thanks

@Paul When running 2 circuits for audio use (to the same location), should both be on the same phase? If it doesn’t matter, should you wire both with separate Romex or could you use one 3 wire Romex (with ground)? Are there an advantages/disadvantages to one configuration or the other?

I would lean towards separate Romex. Two hot wires in the same polarity will interact and I believe it alters the magnetic field for the worse.

I’m confused by your answer. Are you saying to run two Romex but put them on different phases? Or two separate Romex on the same phase? If you run a 3-wire with ground, the neutral is common so the two hot wires are required to be on separate phases. So there are three possibilities - which one?

Sorry, I was saying no to the 3 wire with ground. You don’t want two hot wires on the same polarity in close proximity to each other. @raystone1998 I wouldn’t share the neutral… I believe you have the potential for noise sharing among the devices… not sure. I’m not sure the mechanism exactly but many have advised against having gear on different polarity than each other.

Run two separate Romex on the same phase with each other. Also, I highly recommend trying some BAV power cables if you haven’t already !

I’m assuming from your answer that what I call phase is what you are calling polarity. Then the problem is getting two breakers on the same phase in the breaker box which is almost full. Installing double breakers is possible but without rebalancing the existing house circuits, getting two new circuits on the same phase will be a challenge. Upgrading the breaker box would break the bank…

If it is wired traditionally you’ll want to skip one slot if you wire the two circuits vertically. Or if they are horizontal you wire them right next to each other left/right. Have you taken the cover off to see the different “legs” ?

I wish when I ran 2 extra dedicated circuits that I also put at least one on the opposite side of the room behind me in case I ever ran subs out the back or rears Wireless speakers


Need advice on my issue guys… electricians laid one metal conduit but I learned just recently that he plan to use the metal conduit as common ground. I was planning to put in 3 dedicated 10 gauge circuit, but there isn’t enough space in the conduit for individual dedicated ground cables.

Couple questions:

first: Is dedicated ground the desire here? or this would increase potential for ground loop.

second: Is it OK to run 12 gauge ground with 10 gauge wires?

What are my options?

  1. Assuming dedicated ground is desired. I can do one dedicated circuit 20 amp 10awg circuit with 10 awg ground. The other two 20 amp circuits will be 12 awg with their own 12 awg ground.

  2. Run all 3 circuits at 10 awg, with one common 10awg ground

  3. Run one dedicated 20 amp 10 awg circuit with 10 awg ground, and use the metal conduit for ground for the other two circuits.

  4. two 20 amp 10 awg circuits with 12 awg ground for each of them, the third circuit is 10 awg with the electrical conduit as ground.

Any recommendations? electrician will be back tomorrow to pull the cables.

Thanks! I guess it paid to clarify… dedicated circuit mean different things to different people. Lesson learned for me, hope it will benefit those that will do this in the future.

Dedicated ground is desirable. This reduces the potential for ground loops as all tie back to the same place.

Yes, it’s fine to use 10awg for the load carrying conductors and 12awg for ground as 12 is rated to 20amp in typical household distances.

Of the choices I like #1 then #4. The key to our needs is that all 3 conductors in the circuit are independent of any other circuit(s). Secondarily is the wire gauge.

My only concern with #4 is how good will the connection be and continue to be as time goes on with the conduit serving as ground.

Thanks, I’m leaning toward #1 actually… I rather have consistencies in the circuit. I only need one 20 amp anyway… the other two are for future use, so it’s good to have one right one.

The bright side to this is I have both dedicated 10 awg circuit and 12 awg one in the same room, I can test to see if that’ll make any difference at all. And I guess that’s also part of the fun.

1 Like

It’s not uncommon in residential and commercial installations to use the conduit for the equipment grounding conductor. That being said, if it use me, I’d prefer a dedicated equipment grounding conductor wire. You don’t need a dedicated ground wire for each branch circuit, you can use a single 12awg ground wire in the conduit to use in parallel with the three circuits. Even though you are using 10awg for the hot and neutral to compensate for voltage drop, they are still 20Amp circuits. As a result, 12awg will suffice for the equipment grounding conduct.

OK, so 12 awg common ground is OK. I like that actually.

I’ll chat with the electrician tomorrow to see what are some of the realistic options… those options are all mine :slight_smile: