20amp circuit and surge protection

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  #1  
Old 02-06-06, 09:15 AM
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20amp circuit and surge protection

Hi everyone,

I recently added a new circuit to my house. It's a 20amp circuit with only 1 recepticle (it's dedicated power for my home theatre). I decided to run a 20 amp circuit instead of 15, because, well...you can never have enough power Some of you may even remember seeing some posts when I installed the thing.

Anyway, I just had a thought...do I need a special surge protector for a 20amp circuit? I'll only have about 750W or so of power coming through the outlet (that's all my current home theatre draws), but I noticed while shopping for surge protectors that many of them have 14 gauge cords on them (the cord from the surge protector to the wall).

The only reason that this pops into my head is that I know, at least with Romex, 14 gauge wire on a 20 amp circuit is a no-no. Does this apply to the surge protector also? I just don't want to fry my system...or worse, start a fire. I've always had the home theatre plugged into a 15 amp circuits...

Thanks!

JP
 
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  #2  
Old 02-06-06, 09:58 AM
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Your surge suppressor is designed for a 15 amp circuit. What this means is that it it only has 15 amp receptacles on it, and that it's cord and plug are rated for 15 amps. It also means that if it has an integral circuit breaker that it will be rated for 15 amps.

These ratings, however, have nothing to do with surge suppression, they only refer to the normal operating current.
 
  #3  
Old 02-06-06, 10:15 AM
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Thanks for the help once again racraft. So, does this mean that it's safe to use this on the 20amp circuit?

Thanks!

JP
 
  #4  
Old 02-06-06, 10:45 AM
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I wouldn't try to pull more than 15 amps through it.
 
  #5  
Old 02-06-06, 10:48 AM
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Sounds good. Thanks racraft. Looks like I'm on a hunt for a 20amp surge protector.

JP
 
  #6  
Old 02-06-06, 11:08 AM
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Or use two 15-amp surge protectors, which are probably a lot easier to find and a lot cheaper.
 
  #7  
Old 02-06-06, 12:16 PM
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Oh, interesting. So what, just daisy chain them together (Plug one into the other)? I guess the theory that the first would 'step down' and only allow 15 amps to the second?

Thanks!

JP
 
  #8  
Old 02-06-06, 12:22 PM
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Your first post said that you only had 750W of power to pull through that thing. That's less than half of the 15A capability of your surge protector.
 
  #9  
Old 02-06-06, 12:48 PM
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That's right MAC, only about 750W-ish (rough count, but definitly not over 1000W).

Anyway, I'm fairly ignorant when it comes to Amps. I'm good with the rule of thumb stuff (what gauge wire to use with breaker size, how many watts per breaker etc etc), but I don't understand the theory behind it.

Am I making too much of this? If I only have 1000W max going through this (let's up level the estimate to be safe), is my standard 15A surge protector ok?

Also, since this is a single outlet circuit, should I just change to breaker and the outlet to 15amp and forget about all this nonesense (I used 12 gauge wire, since it was 20amp, but it's easily identifiable...since it's the only yellow wire in the house)? I know people don't like to do that (since it could give the wrong impression if just viewing the wire...but it wouldn't be unsafe).

Thanks folks...sorry for my ignorance, but I guess that's why I'm here

JP
 
  #10  
Old 02-06-06, 01:29 PM
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The breaker's rating means that it will allow UP TO that amperage. You will only pull through it what your equipment requires to operate. The breaker is designed to protect the hardwiring and receptacles, so a 20A breaker with 12-ga. wiring is par for course. It doesn't care if all you plug into it is a table lamp with a 16-ga cord.

I'd get back to watching TV...
 
  #11  
Old 02-06-06, 01:50 PM
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Ah, so I'm making a mountain out of a mole hill here then

It sounds like I would need a 20amp surge protector if I was trying to pull like 2000watts through it. But since I'm only pulling 1000W max, plug in the 15A, all the components and forget about it right?

I'm still finishing the basement (painting now), so I'm not using the outlet yet.

Anyone object to that analysis?

Thanks!

JP
 
  #12  
Old 02-06-06, 02:24 PM
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Sounds like a plan.
 
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