10 or 12 gauge wire for designated 20 amp outlet?

Discussion in 'GENERAL AV Discussions' started by brad1138, May 4, 2010.

  1. brad1138 Audioholic

    brad1138
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    My system is currently hooked up to a shared 15 amp outlet. It is shared with about a dozen other outlets (most not used) wired with 14 gauge wire (unfortunately that is code in this county). I am going to add a designated 20 amp breaker & outlet and wire it with 12 or 10 gauge romex. 12 gauge is normally for 20 amp outlets and 10 gauge for 30 amp, I was thinking of running 10 gauge wire because it isn't much more expensive, is it completely overkill? Any thing else to consider while I am doing this?

    Thanks,
    Brad
  2. BMXTRIX Audioholic Spartan

    BMXTRIX
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    I would consider it overkill. National standards for a 20 amp circuit have a ton of overhead in the wiring specifications. You won't get one bit of extra benefit from going to 10 gauge wiring on a 20 amp circuit.
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  3. Alex2507 Audioholic Overlord

    Alex2507
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    I have enough trouble wiring an outlet with 12 gauge.
    Doing it with thicker and stiffer 10 gauge would be harder still.
    I'm thinking of going with 14 gauge. :D
  4. GO-NAD! Audioholic Ninja

    GO-NAD!
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    Alex, would that be for a 20 amp circuit? If it is, I'd stick with 12 gauge.
  5. Rickster71 Audioholic Spartan

    Rickster71
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    You can't (by Code) put a 14 AWG or smaller wire on a 20 Amp breaker.
    You can go with bigger wire, but it only makes sense if it a very long run.
    How long of a run is it; and what's your load?

    If it were me, I'd run two 20 Amp breakers with 12 AWG, one for your sub and one for the rest of your equip.
    Unless you have some gigantor mono blocks.
  6. brad1138 Audioholic

    brad1138
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    It will be about 25-30 feet and the run is fairly easy. I have 3 amps (will be getting a 4th) and 2 sub amps. The Citation 5.1 has a max draw of 1800 watts, they are all listed in my sig.
    Last edited: May 5, 2010
  7. Stereodude Senior Audioholic

    Stereodude
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    Just use 12ga. That run is so short there's nothing to be gained with 10ga wire.
  8. Rickster71 Audioholic Spartan

    Rickster71
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    Thirty feet is nothing to worry about, go with 12AWG.
    Since your doing it (running wire) anyway, and buying a roll of Romex, why not run two 20 Amp circuits for equip and a third for your sub.
  9. Warpdrv Audioholic Ninja

    Warpdrv
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    Always go bigger.... There is not a darn thing wrong with using bigger wire, and no matter what you do in the future, you will never have to revisit it, get 10/3 + ground cable, you can still use dual 20 amp breakers but will always have the opportunity to swap out the breakers for 30 amp if you want.... Its a minimal added expense now, but piece of mind will last forever.

    I originally ran dual 12ga 20 amp circuits and figured that was overkill back when I did it, and just recently added 2 more 30 amp 10ga runs to the system. I know I will never have a need for more power every again...
  10. brad1138 Audioholic

    brad1138
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    I went a head and just put in 12/2 with an off the self outlet. The run is so easy, I can use the 12/2 to pull bigger wire in the future and I can upgrade the outlet at any time. I agree that 10/2 or 10/3 couldn't have been worse, but I don't think for now it would have made a difference. Unfortunately I had to look at the least expensive option for now, just getting the isolated line is the biggest deal.

    It was really easy to do, took me about 2 hours total.
  11. Alex2507 Audioholic Overlord

    Alex2507
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    I was only kidding. I'm using 12 gauge on everything I wire because I bought a 250' roll and I ain't used it up yet.
    Didn't anybody see the big grin ??? :confused: :p
  12. mtrycrafts Audioholic Slumlord

    mtrycrafts
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    Yes, I did see it but that is a happy grin, not a wink or something else to indicate something else.;):D
  13. mtrycrafts Audioholic Slumlord

    mtrycrafts
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    Check me out at the sig line with all that stuff on a 15A, no problems:D
    The audio part draws 4A after turn on and most of the listening and viewing with small changes. The subs do take a bit but it is not often that it gets to 5 or more amps. The projector is fairly constant at whatever.;) Long ways to go to 12A, 80% of loading.

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