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  1. #1
    Forum Regular N. Abstentia's Avatar
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    Upgraded electrical outlets?

    Almost to the stage where it's time to buy electrical stuff for my ht room...what's the concensus..are expensive electrical outlets worth it? Are the hospital grade outlets really better than the ones you get at Home Depot for $2?

    Well guess what..it don't matter cause I got 12 of these on the way already
    http://www.levitonproducts.com/Catal...el_8380-IG.htm

    But seriously I would like to hear what others think about them. Personally I feel that for a ht room you'd have to be insane to spend $60 for EACH outlet but I don't feel to bad as I found those same outlets for $12. That's cheaper than a regular ground fault outlet and only $10 more than a regular outlet..well worth it I think. But at $60? I don't know.

  2. #2
    Forum Regular PAT.P's Avatar
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    [QUOTE=N. Abstentia]That would be nuts spending $60 on each duplex receptacle.Had that price I would rather buy the $2 receptacle and buy a surge protection for the electrical panel for around $269.Pat.P

  3. #3
    fergot... whasa XLR3?
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    Yeah those look great for $12 ea. My question is what size wire are you using from the load center to those outlets and how far is it?

  4. #4
    Forum Regular N. Abstentia's Avatar
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    Don't have the wire yet but it will be at least 12 gauge. The longest runs will be 40-50 feet.

  5. #5
    fergot... whasa XLR3?
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    The reason I ask is that depending on how heavily you load each circuit, you can have an appreciable loss in that (in wall) wire especially on peaks, and peaks are where our expensive powerful amplifiers are separated in high volume performance. Running a system that can draw 50 amps (on peaks) on a 12 ga wire? might as well get smaller amps.

    I actually rewired a rental I lived in for 8 years with 2 circuits of 10ga on opposing legs (for less neutral current) to minimize line loss. Here where I am now, my hifi circuits (3 of them) are less than 10 feet from the breakers, but even so I did a little modding.

    Good power distribution from the load center is way more important than upgraded power cords on the equipment IMO. A bit of metering can suss all of it out, but by the time it's built, it's a pain to mod. I'd just go wiv 10 ga while it's cheaper and easier.

  6. #6
    Loving This kexodusc's Avatar
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    My HT room use to be a room for the previous home owner's ailing mother well half of it, I punched out the dividing wall between that and a large wasted hallway space to make it bigger)...I think she had a dialysis machine or something, anyway, I have a 2 of those funky hospital-grade outlets in the room.
    I have to be honest, I don't tell any difference whatsoever between those are the standard el cheapo ones. I guess electricity isn't fussy? Probably doesn't hurt to have them though.

    What exactly are they suppose to do?

  7. #7
    Silence of the spam Site Moderator Geoffcin's Avatar
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    Dont sell yourself short

    Quote Originally Posted by N. Abstentia
    Almost to the stage where it's time to buy electrical stuff for my ht room...what's the concensus..are expensive electrical outlets worth it? Are the hospital grade outlets really better than the ones you get at Home Depot for $2?

    Well guess what..it don't matter cause I got 12 of these on the way already
    http://www.levitonproducts.com/Catal...el_8380-IG.htm

    But seriously I would like to hear what others think about them. Personally I feel that for a ht room you'd have to be insane to spend $60 for EACH outlet but I don't feel to bad as I found those same outlets for $12. That's cheaper than a regular ground fault outlet and only $10 more than a regular outlet..well worth it I think. But at $60? I don't know.
    I didn't go with hospital grade outlets when I built my HT room a couple years ago, but whatever receptacles you choose to use, I would recommend bringing at LEAST 40 amps to the front wall. My wife thought that I was crazy having 5 receptacles installed on the front wall (one a 4 outlet), but I use them ALL!

    I would also recommend dedicate a specific line just for your amps. With HT, the amps current draw can get enough to lower the voltage, and if you can separate this from your source components it will be a lot better for them.

    I didn't have GFI outlets installed on the wall in the HT room, but at the breaker box I've got GFI "fast acting" breakers. Also I have a copper grounding spike driven into the ground, and a lightning arrestor on the power meter.
    Audio;
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    PS Audio Classic 250. 500wpc into 4 ohms.
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  8. #8
    Loving This kexodusc's Avatar
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    Now I'm confused...

    Quote Originally Posted by Geoffcin
    I would also recommend dedicate a specific line just for your amps. With HT, the amps current draw can get enough to lower the voltage, and if you can separate this from your source components it will be a lot better for them.
    How does current draw lower the voltage? RMS voltage remains constant until its diminished by the appliance. Adding more appliances in parallel shouldn't change the voltage any, just split the current demand...

  9. #9
    Silence of the spam Site Moderator Geoffcin's Avatar
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    I've never measured it, but here's a clip from Stereophile

    Quote Originally Posted by kexodusc
    How does current draw lower the voltage? RMS voltage remains constant until its diminished by the appliance. Adding more appliances in parallel shouldn't change the voltage any, just split the current demand...
    When testing the immensely powerful Musical Fidelity KW amps.


    "Finally, the kW is aptly named (and specified), delivering just over one continuous kilowatt of power into an 8 ohm load: 1100W, or 30.4dBW! This increased to 1800W into 4 ohms (29.5dBW) and 2.5kW into 2 ohms (28dBW) (fig.7). However, it should be noted that my wall voltage drooped during this final measurement, from 126.5V to 121V. The resistance of the owner's AC wiring will be what limits the kW's ability to deliver prodigious current into low-impedance loudspeakers.—John Atkinson "

    When your AC wiring is the limiting factor then you've pushing some power!

    My HT current draw is about 4kw absolute max total (theoretical), hence the need for at least 40amps of service. I just checked, and there's actually 60 amps.(4-15amp breakers) dedicated to the HT room.
    Audio;
    Ming Da MC34-AB 75wpc
    PS Audio Classic 250. 500wpc into 4 ohms.
    PS Audio 4.5 preamp,
    Marantz 6170 TT Shure M97e cart.
    Arcam Alpha 9 CD.- 24 bit dCS Ring DAC.
    Magnepan 3.6r speakers Oak/black,

  10. #10
    Forum Regular PAT.P's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by N. Abstentia
    Don't have the wire yet but it will be at least 12 gauge. The longest runs will be 40-50 feet.
    First of all do you have enought room in your breaker box for the extra receptacle your adding.There are only a certain amount of power per breaker ,like in kitchen there one breaker for each receptacle (new house).Is is going to be 15 amp or 20amp ?There more than adding receptacle there the safety part .Did you check with electrician,the total amperage most not exceed the circuit capacity.Pat.P

  11. #11
    ride a jet ski Tarheel_'s Avatar
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    [QUOTE=PAT.P]
    Quote Originally Posted by N. Abstentia
    That would be nuts spending $60 on each duplex receptacle.Had that price I would rather buy the $2 receptacle and buy a surge protection for the electrical panel for around $269.Pat.P

    this is very good advise....I had our electrican add a 'whole house' surge protector that goes between the incomming power feed (from power company) and your house circuit box.

    the $269 sounds about right....with installion i paid around $400 and i live in a 'lively' area for 4 years and to this day have not lost one component or pc. (phone lines are not protected...so i've lost a few modems) We've had plenty of power outages and surges without incident.

  12. #12
    Forum Regular PAT.P's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tarheel_
    this is very good advise....I had our electrican add a 'whole house' surge protector that goes between the incomming power feed (from power company) and your house circuit box.

    the $269 sounds about right....with installion i paid around $400 and i live in a 'lively' area for 4 years and to this day have not lost one component or pc. (phone lines are not protected...so i've lost a few modems) We've had plenty of power outages and surges without incident.
    I still have to by one.I lost two vcr by power outages,when to power comes back the surge comes from the breaker box .Where did you buy yours ? I know APC sells them www.apc.com Pat.P

  13. #13
    Loving This kexodusc's Avatar
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    Lol

    Quote Originally Posted by Geoffcin
    When testing the immensely powerful Musical Fidelity KW amps.


    "Finally, the kW is aptly named (and specified), delivering just over one continuous kilowatt of power into an 8 ohm load: 1100W, or 30.4dBW! This increased to 1800W into 4 ohms (29.5dBW) and 2.5kW into 2 ohms (28dBW) (fig.7). However, it should be noted that my wall voltage drooped during this final measurement, from 126.5V to 121V. The resistance of the owner's AC wiring will be what limits the kW's ability to deliver prodigious current into low-impedance loudspeakers.—John Atkinson "

    When your AC wiring is the limiting factor then you've pushing some power!

    My HT current draw is about 4kw absolute max total (theoretical), hence the need for at least 40amps of service. I just checked, and there's actually 60 amps.(4-15amp breakers) dedicated to the HT room.
    ROFLMAO...I should have figured as much coming from you
    I'm thinking about power in the 5 X 100 or 7 X 100 watt range, and then you go and blow that to hell with a 2.5 kW example...

    Hmmm, his drop in voltage could be accounted for in the accuracy of the measurement when he switches from 8 to 4 to 2 ohms...all my meters seem to do this. Could be just the way the circuit delivers power.

    When we talk voltage we're using RMS like watts, Average US household voltage is 115-120 volts, but peaks are as high as 170 volts usually...I'm thinking in this case the guy was drawing so much juice that the LCR properties limited the voltage. But the 126.5 number makes me think he's measuring instantaneous voltage, not average...in which case the voltage drop is nothing to worry about...

    Either way, I dare say for mose of us, this won't be a problem...next time he should use a 240 volt receptacle (which you should be using for super amps) and not worry about it, it'd cover the peak voltage of those units.

  14. #14
    Silence of the spam Site Moderator Geoffcin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kexodusc
    ROFLMAO...I should have figured as much coming from you
    I'm thinking about power in the 5 X 100 or 7 X 100 watt range, and then you go and blow that to hell with a 2.5 kW example...

    Either way, I dare say for most of us, this won't be a problem...
    I wouldn't be too sure. Take a quick look at what you've got hooked up to the front wall and I bet you'll be shocked to see it's well over 1k. Remember, amps never put out what comes in, so a receiver can draw a lot more current than it's rated output. Also subs can have some serious amps built in. It's not uncommon for a 15" sub to have an amp that can draw 1kw or more! Put this all on one circuit and you'll see the lights dimming in beat to the music (voltage drop).
    Audio;
    Ming Da MC34-AB 75wpc
    PS Audio Classic 250. 500wpc into 4 ohms.
    PS Audio 4.5 preamp,
    Marantz 6170 TT Shure M97e cart.
    Arcam Alpha 9 CD.- 24 bit dCS Ring DAC.
    Magnepan 3.6r speakers Oak/black,

  15. #15
    Audio Hobbyist Since 1969 Glen B's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by N. Abstentia
    Almost to the stage where it's time to buy electrical stuff for my ht room...what's the concensus..are expensive electrical outlets worth it? Are the hospital grade outlets really better than the ones you get at Home Depot for $2?

    Well guess what..it don't matter cause I got 12 of these on the way already
    http://www.levitonproducts.com/Catal...el_8380-IG.htm

    But seriously I would like to hear what others think about them. Personally I feel that for a ht room you'd have to be insane to spend $60 for EACH outlet but I don't feel to bad as I found those same outlets for $12. That's cheaper than a regular ground fault outlet and only $10 more than a regular outlet..well worth it I think. But at $60? I don't know.
    The $2 "residential" grade outlets are crap. They aren't good for anything. They lose grip over time to the point where plugs are not held very well and can slip out easily. Because of this poor grip, you get a high resistance connection (and undesirable heating) at the receptacle/plug interface. Commercial/industrial/specification and hospital grade receptacles are designed with tighter plug retention and sturdier construction and are the better choice. If you think $60 outlets are insane, I use $70.00 silver plated outlets throughout my system because to MY ears they make a difference in MY system, in addition to the death grip they have on plugs. To those not willing to spend that much, the $6-$7 specification grade outlets from Home Depot should work just fine. I guess the outlets you ordered are okay at $60 M.S.R.P. because they include surge protection with failure alarm.
    Last edited by Glen B; 07-25-2005 at 09:03 AM.

  16. #16
    Loving This kexodusc's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Geoffcin
    I wouldn't be too sure. Take a quick look at what you've got hooked up to the front wall and I bet you'll be shocked to see it's well over 1k. Remember, amps never put out what comes in, so a receiver can draw a lot more current than it's rated output. Also subs can have some serious amps built in. It's not uncommon for a 15" sub to have an amp that can draw 1kw or more! Put this all on one circuit and you'll see the lights dimming in beat to the music (voltage drop).
    Well 1 kW is pretty doable for a circuit. I have my gear split between 3 outlets. 3 power amps and the receiver get 2, the TV gets one to itself, and my power bar gets all the source components.
    I guess I have 4, the Sub amp is connected in parallel with a small lamp. 1 circuit has all the amps and and sub. So far no dimming at any level.
    Oddly enough, the vacuum cleaner will dim the lights in the same room when nothing else is on...

  17. #17
    Audio Hobbyist Since 1969 Glen B's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kexodusc
    Oddly enough, the vacuum cleaner will dim the lights in the same room when nothing else is on...
    Because of the size and duration of inrush current at startup, vacuum cleaner and other substantial sized electric motors will dim the lights no matter how good your wiring is. I've had some "fun" measuring inrush current of appliances and power tools around the house with my Fluke clamp-on meter with inrush current measurement feature. Readings ranged from a low of 23 amps on the vacuum cleaner (12 running amps) to a high of 84 amps on my Craftsman air compressor (14 running amps).

  18. #18
    ride a jet ski Tarheel_'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PAT.P
    I still have to by one.I lost two vcr by power outages,when to power comes back the surge comes from the breaker box .Where did you buy yours ? I know APC sells them www.apc.com Pat.P
    I'll have to take a look. The guy was doing the wiring for the entire house (it was being built) and i spoke to him about my concerns of all my gear. He suggested the house protector (i didn't know they existed) and he chose the brand/model. Like i said, i'll take a look. It sits just above the circuit box.

    We live on a power companys' lake and we encountered daily surges (radios reset and flashing every night after work) and to this day, not one component lost! They have improved alot since.

  19. #19
    Loving This kexodusc's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Glen B
    Because of the size and duration of inrush current at startup, vacuum cleaner and other substantial sized electric motors will dim the lights no matter how good your wiring is. I've had some "fun" measuring inrush current of appliances and power tools around the house with my Fluke clamp-on meter with inrush current measurement feature. Readings ranged from a low of 23 amps on the vacuum cleaner (12 running amps) to a high of 84 amps on my Craftsman air compressor (14 running amps).
    That's kind of neat....so approximately 120 Volts X 12 amps means the vacuum is consuming 1440 watts? That's some kind of draw compared to my stereo gear.

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