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

jbonn500

jbonn500

Audiophyte
I found this thread immensely helpful. But I'd still like a bit of input on my setup, which was recently upgraded.

Here's what I'm running:

Yamaha rx-v685: pretty much standard consumer, running two polk surrounds. unsure of max draw but I think 400 watts
Emotiva A-300: brand new. haven't even powered it up. Max draw: 350 500 watts
Polk Audio PSW505 12" Powered Sub: max draw: 300 watts
TCL 6 series (65" TV): max draw 370 watts
xBox one: unsure
PC: unsure
various lights, phone chargers, a ceiling fan, a google wifi puck, sometimes an SNES: unsure

All of these things are on one 20 amp breaker, with 15 amp receptacles. I've had zero issues. Even with an occasional vacuum or laptop plugged in. But the Emotiva power amp is new and I'm worried I'm going to trip the breaker (or worse).

This thread seems to suggest I have nothing to worry about but would like some input. Is my setup safe to run? If not, is there any benefit to me hiring someone to swap out the 15A receptacle for a 20A and run my audio/home theater off of it?

Many thanks!
 
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S

Speedskater

Audioholic Chief
The difference between quality 15 Amp and 20 Amp receptacles is what plugs will plug in. Because 15 Amp receptacles are often used in 20 Amp circuits all the internal metal parts have to be the same.
 
-Jim-

-Jim-

Full Audioholic
I found this thread immensely helpful. But I'd still like a bit of input on my setup, which was recently upgraded.

Here's what I'm running:

Yamaha rx-v685: pretty much standard consumer, running two polk surrounds. unsure of max draw but I think 400 watts
Emotiva A-300: brand new. haven't even powered it up. Max draw: 350 500 watts
Polk Audio PSW505 12" Powered Sub: max draw: 300 watts
TCL 6 series (65" TV): max draw 370 watts
xBox one: unsure
PC: unsure
various lights, phone chargers, a ceiling fan, a google wifi puck, sometimes an SNES: unsure

All of these things are on one 20 amp breaker, with 15 amp receptacles. I've had zero issues. Even with an occasional vacuum or laptop plugged in. But the Emotiva power amp is new and I'm worried I'm going to trip the breaker (or worse).

This thread seems to suggest I have nothing to worry about but would like some input. Is my setup safe to run? If not, is there any benefit to me hiring someone to swap out the 15A receptacle for a 20A and run my audio/home theater off of it?

Many thanks!
Hi,

See my post earlier ( https://forums.audioholics.com/forums/threads/is-a-20-amp-circuit-enough-to-run-a-home-theater.108923/page-2#post-1207917 ) for details, but the bottom line is it's the breaker at the panel that ultimately limits the current (power) to a circuit.

On a totally resistive load, the theoretical maximum amount of watts available in your circuit (before tripping) for a 20 ampere breaker = 2400 watts. It's a simple exercise to add up all of the loads (receivers, amplifiers, Subs, etc.) based on what they draw (don't use the output claims in their marketing literature - use what's on the nameplates usually found on the back of the device, or in their manuals).

Although your circuit is able to supply 20 amps constantly without tripping, the draw from your devices swings all the time, and it's rare that they all would pull maximum power at the same time. (Although Bass Freaks do like to light up the world...). The wild card in your system is probably the PC (believe it or not), as depending on how it's built, it can typically draw as little as an amp or two after startup, up to 15 Amps for a full blown Gamer Rig with a Corsair AX 1500i Power Supply. (I build PCs as a hobby too!)

Again, most folks won't be running their Gamer Box at full load simultaneously with their Home Theater Rig, but I guess some folks do. Of course the easy answer would be to put the PC on it's own circuit, but rarely do houses have separate circuits pulled into a non-kitchen room, unless they were custom wired for it.

What Power Supply is in your PC, or what make / model of PC do you have? Does it have input amps on it's nameplate? If so, you can figure out your connected load to the circuit. Please post back your findings.

I hope this is helpful.
 
S

Speedskater

Audioholic Chief
While a 20 Amp breaker will trip at 20 Amps, but and it's a big BUT. That's a continuous 3 hour 20 Amp current. It will allow 200 Amps for a good fraction of a second and do it over and over with lighter continuous loads.
* * * * * * * * * * * *
There is a common misconception that a 20 Amp breaker will somehow limit AC current into your amps to 20 Amps. But the only way a breaker limits current in any way is by tripping.
 
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