Is a 20 Amp circuit enough to run a home theater?

Z

z71sierraslt

Audioholic Intern
Is a 20 Amp circuit enough to run a small home theater?
How much do you really need to run a small home theater?

Ex:
AVR 7.1.4 Surround
Amp (600 watt?)
Sub
Home Theater Seats
Blu-Ray Player
Projector
 
panteragstk

panteragstk

Audioholic Spartan
Is a 20 Amp circuit enough to run a small home theater?
How much do you really need to run a small home theater?

Ex:
AVR 7.1.4 Surround
Amp (600 watt?)
Sub
Home Theater Seats
Blu-Ray Player
I ran mine off a single 15 amp breaker with a 1500w pro amp, 7ch receiver, htpc, roku, projector, etc. Never had an issue.

Keep in mind that just because you have an amp that can at maximum consume x amount of power that doesn't mean it will all the time. At best you'll be around half depending on volume level and other factors.
 
S

Speedskater

Audioholic Chief
Unless you have a large CRT projector or thousands of audio watts, then yes a 20 Amp circuit should be fine.
 
2

2channel lover

Audioholic Field Marshall
Is a 20 Amp circuit enough to run a small home theater?
How much do you really need to run a small home theater?

Ex:
AVR 7.1.4 Surround
Amp (600 watt?)
Sub
Home Theater Seats
Blu-Ray Player
Projector
I saw your post on this in another thread and meant to respond.

15a is more than sufficient for what you have, but it doesn't hurt to have 20a.

I'm not an electrician, but my brother n law is licensed and I help him on large projects sometimes....I know just enough to be dangerous I guess.

Most Familyroom, Greatrooms, bedrooms, bonus rooms (spaces that typically get converted to HT) run off 15a...for a dedicated HT room with multiple large subs, multiple power amps, etc. 20a would be my preference.
 
Z

z71sierraslt

Audioholic Intern
Thanks guys, just wanted to get some opinions. I didn't want to blow anything or mess anything up as I am keeping things pretty simple. The switch has 20a on it at the breaker box so I'm pretty sure it is 20 amps for that room.
 
lovinthehd

lovinthehd

Audioholic Jedi
Thanks guys, just wanted to get some opinions. I didn't want to blow anything or mess anything up as I am keeping things pretty simple. The switch has 20a on it at the breaker box so I'm pretty sure it is 20 amps for that room.
FWIW there are some amps that have particular plugs that need an appropriate receptacle to take advantage of a 20A circuit, like this and this. Just curious, is the room already fitted with such receptacles?
 
panteragstk

panteragstk

Audioholic Spartan
Thanks guys, just wanted to get some opinions. I didn't want to blow anything or mess anything up as I am keeping things pretty simple. The switch has 20a on it at the breaker box so I'm pretty sure it is 20 amps for that room.
All of my breakers are 20 amp and all wiring in the house is to code for that size breaker, but as LHD said you may not have the plugs to take advantage of 20 amp circuit. I don't.
 
2

2channel lover

Audioholic Field Marshall
All of my breakers are 20 amp and all wiring in the house is to code for that size breaker, but as LHD said you may not have the plugs to take advantage of 20 amp circuit. I don't.
Wow...you have enough juice for 2 houses!
 
Z

z71sierraslt

Audioholic Intern
FWIW there are some amps that have particular plugs that need an appropriate receptacle to take advantage of a 20A circuit, like this and this. Just curious, is the room already fitted with such receptacles?
Now I am glad I asked. Let me check my receptacles when I get home. I don't have any equipment that have prongs like that either. So does that mean its not using the full 20 amps? You have to have prongs and outlets like that to use 20 amps even if it is wired for 20?
 
Z

z71sierraslt

Audioholic Intern
My breaker switches for every room has 20 on it. The AC/heater, Utility room, Kitchen has 30 or 40 on the switch.
 
lovinthehd

lovinthehd

Audioholic Jedi
Now I am glad I asked. Let me check my receptacles when I get home. I don't have any equipment that have prongs like that either. So does that mean its not using the full 20 amps? You have to have prongs and outlets like that to use 20 amps even if it is wired for 20?
My understanding is for an appliance to be rated for 20A it would need to employ such plug/receptacle to meet specs. Also gauge of wiring from breaker to receptacle comes into play IIRC.
 
Z

z71sierraslt

Audioholic Intern
I guess that's standard now. I've only had my house a year. I had them wire two dedicated 20 amp breakers just for the theater. Can't ever have too much power.
My house was built in 2008 so it is fairly new. Cat 5e back then, I think Cat 6 now.
 
panteragstk

panteragstk

Audioholic Spartan
My understanding is for an appliance to be rated for 20A it would need to employ such plug/receptacle to meet specs. Also gauge of wiring from breaker to receptacle comes into play IIRC.
You are correct, but if the 20 amp breakers were installed by the electrician that put in the panel, it wouldn't have passed inspection had they used 14ga wire instead of 12ga required by code (at least in TX). You could easily install the 20a receptacles if needed. To be safe I'd have an electrician do a quick inspection to make sure.
 
mtrycrafts

mtrycrafts

Audioholic Slumlord
You really don't need that 20A plug unless of course that component comes with it and still take advantage of that 20A breaker as you can load more up to it.
 
2

2channel lover

Audioholic Field Marshall
I guess that's standard now. I've only had my house a year. I had them wire two dedicated 20 amp breakers just for the theater. Can't ever have too much power.
Yeah it's never a bad thing!

I thought I went overkill...until I read yours! ;)

I was fortunate enough to have input on the pre-wiring my current home also. In the loft I had them run a homerun 20 amp circuit that has only 4 outlets on it, the other wall switches and outlets are on a separate 15a circuit.
 
2

2channel lover

Audioholic Field Marshall
You are correct, but if the 20 amp breakers were installed by the electrician that put in the panel, it wouldn't have passed inspection had they used 14ga wire instead of 12ga required by code (at least in TX). You could easily install the 20a receptacles if needed. To be safe I'd have an electrician do a quick inspection to make sure.
Yep...20 a = 12-2 wire, 15a = 14-2 wire.

The only reason to ever use the funny looking outlets on a 20amp circuit is if the appliance calls for it...you can have all 15a outlets on a 20a circuit if you want.
 
2

2channel lover

Audioholic Field Marshall
Now I am glad I asked. Let me check my receptacles when I get home. I don't have any equipment that have prongs like that either. So does that mean its not using the full 20 amps? You have to have prongs and outlets like that to use 20 amps even if it is wired for 20?
Think of electrical circuits like a garden hose...just an example...a 15amp circuit might allow for 20 gallon per min flow rate and a 20 amp circuit might allow for 35 gallon per min flow rate.

On your 20 amp circuit...the wires connecting all the fixtures on that circuit should be rated 12/2...if the circuit is a 15a, the wires will be a little smaller...a 14/2 wire.

You can always use 15a fixtures on a 20 amp circuit...but not the other way around. On a 20amp circuit and you have a fixture that requires 20amps...of course, you will need an outlet that matches the prong pattern on the plug.
 
Z

z71sierraslt

Audioholic Intern
Yeah it's never a bad thing!

I thought I went overkill...until I read yours! ;)

I was fortunate enough to have input on the pre-wiring my current home also. In the loft I had them run a homerun 20 amp circuit that has only 4 outlets on it, the other wall switches and outlets are on a separate 15a circuit.

I didn't have a choice in this one...lol. This is how the house was built as a standard. I know for a fact the wires they used are 12g, because I added an outlet for the ceiling and the electrician used a 12g wire to tie into one of the outlets. The wires were the same gauge. 12g romex
 
Z

z71sierraslt

Audioholic Intern
Think of electrical circuits like a garden hose...just an example...a 15amp circuit might allow for 20 gallon per min flow rate and a 20 amp circuit might allow for 35 gallon per min flow rate.

On your 20 amp circuit...the wires connecting all the fixtures on that circuit should be rated 12/2...if the circuit is a 15a, the wires will be a little smaller...a 14/2 wire.

You can always use 15a fixtures on a 20 amp circuit...but not the other way around. On a 20amp circuit and you have a fixture that requires 20amps...of course, you will need an outlet that matches the prong pattern on the plug.

I think I'm ok then. I'm not going to have anything with a 20 amp prong
 

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