Adding new electrical sub panel...help needed

Discussion in 'Home Theater and Stereo' started by Dennis Pagoulatos, Jan 21, 2020.

  1. Dennis Pagoulatos

    Dennis Pagoulatos Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    May 8, 2007
    Messages:
    2,868
    Likes Received:
    62
    Any electricians in the house? :)
    I'm interested in upgrading my media room's juice.
    Currently, I have 2 dedicated 20 amp circuits that I added to my existing electrical panel many years ago, but I'm interested in adding more channels for Atmos and also a second subwoofer and also a beefy gaming PC for VR so I'm thinking I need more juice.
    My house was bought new back in 2005 so the wiring is reasonably up to date.
    How complicated/ expensive is it to have an electrician add a small dedicated sub panel specifically for the system vs. adding to existing panel.
    Currently, the house has 2 panels- one is outside the garage on the exterior wall and a sub panel is inside the garage coincidentally sharing a wall with my home theater. This is the panel that we added (2) 20 amp breakers to (my dad who is an electrician did the work). There are more empty breaker slots but I'm not sure if adding more is a good idea (I guess another question is how can I determine the max safe capacity of that panel?)
    Thanks for any help from the experts!
     
  2. DYohn

    DYohn Bronze Member Donor Top Poster

    Joined:
    May 8, 2007
    Messages:
    33,766
    Likes Received:
    2,704
    First, I doubt you'll need more than the 40 amps you already have. But to address your question, adding a sub-panel in the media room (depending on the number of circuits you want and how far it is from the main panel) would likely cost around $500 -$700.
     
    Dennis Pagoulatos likes this.
  3. Dennis Pagoulatos

    Dennis Pagoulatos Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    May 8, 2007
    Messages:
    2,868
    Likes Received:
    62
    That's not too bad...
     
  4. DustinDavis

    DustinDavis Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    May 8, 2007
    Messages:
    2,592
    Likes Received:
    433
    I can’t imagine needing more. Even most people who dedicate a circuit to HT allocate a single 20 amp circuit don’t they? I mean as long as you are just talking media equipment and not HVAC for the room or some such.
     
    Barry_NJ and DYohn like this.
  5. Mike B

    Mike B Bronze Member Donor Top Poster

    Joined:
    May 18, 2007
    Messages:
    16,844
    Likes Received:
    513
    I agree. 20 amps is two and a half kilowatts continuous. You have 5 kilowatts available now and you think you need more?
     
  6. Dennis Pagoulatos

    Dennis Pagoulatos Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    May 8, 2007
    Messages:
    2,868
    Likes Received:
    62
    I have one sub with a 4000W amp and plan to add a second one...I'd prefer to not run both subs on a single 20 amp circuit. Then there's the amplification for the rest of the speakers 7x300 + 2x300, various source(s), gaming PC, etc.
    I was thinking of it this way:
    Sub 1- Dedicated 20a 1
    Sub 2- Dedicated 20a 2
    Sources (Consoles, preamp, projector, TV, disk players, etc)- Dedicated 15a
    Speaker amps- Dedicated 20a 3,4
    Gaming PC- Dedicated 15a
    4x20a + 2x15 = 110amp so probably a 125 amp sub panel to run the whole system

    This is obviously way overkill but what I was thinking...
     
  7. Mike B

    Mike B Bronze Member Donor Top Poster

    Joined:
    May 18, 2007
    Messages:
    16,844
    Likes Received:
    513
    Those sub amps will never do that continuous.
     
  8. Dennis Pagoulatos

    Dennis Pagoulatos Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    May 8, 2007
    Messages:
    2,868
    Likes Received:
    62
    Yep definitely not
     
  9. DYohn

    DYohn Bronze Member Donor Top Poster

    Joined:
    May 8, 2007
    Messages:
    33,766
    Likes Received:
    2,704
    The output wattage of an amplifier is related to the input current needed, but it's not a one-for-one thing. You won't be pulling 4Kw from your amp no matter what you do with it - indeed ratings like that are usually "inflated" (i.e. bullshit.)

    Right now in my HT I have a total of 9 amplifiers with a combined total rating of over 5000 watts plus my prepro, all my sources, my large LED screen, and some ambient lighting, all on one 20-amp circuit and I believe the most I've ever drawn when it was cranking pretty hard and with all three subwoofer systems pumping was 8 amps.
     
    Barry_NJ and Dennis Pagoulatos like this.
  10. Dennis Pagoulatos

    Dennis Pagoulatos Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    May 8, 2007
    Messages:
    2,868
    Likes Received:
    62
    David, are you trying to save me money??! :D
     
    DYohn likes this.
  11. Mike B

    Mike B Bronze Member Donor Top Poster

    Joined:
    May 18, 2007
    Messages:
    16,844
    Likes Received:
    513
    I'd spend the dough on a generator and a transfer switch for when PG&E shuts off the power for fire safety.
     
    Dennis Pagoulatos likes this.
  12. Carl V

    Carl V Bronze Member Donor Top Poster

    Joined:
    May 8, 2007
    Messages:
    12,166
    Likes Received:
    816
    Good luck.
     
    Dennis Pagoulatos likes this.
  13. DYohn

    DYohn Bronze Member Donor Top Poster

    Joined:
    May 8, 2007
    Messages:
    33,766
    Likes Received:
    2,704
    More to spend on gear!
     
    Dennis Pagoulatos likes this.
  14. Bent

    Bent Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    May 15, 2007
    Messages:
    2,287
    Likes Received:
    102
    unless your subwoofer uses a dryer or range plug, or is hardwired directly to 240 through a 20 amp 2-pole breaker, you aren't seeing 4000 watts for any appreciable amount.
     
    Dennis Pagoulatos likes this.
  15. Barry_NJ

    Barry_NJ Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2010
    Messages:
    1,910
    Likes Received:
    250
    You already have more than you need. Just add a decent power distributor if you need more outlets.
     
  16. Dennis Pagoulatos

    Dennis Pagoulatos Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    May 8, 2007
    Messages:
    2,868
    Likes Received:
    62
    Ok...you guys have convinced me to keep things the same!
    Like David mentioned, more money to spend on other gear!
     
    Barry_NJ and DYohn like this.
  17. Dennis Pagoulatos

    Dennis Pagoulatos Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    May 8, 2007
    Messages:
    2,868
    Likes Received:
    62
    This is a good point...we both live in the new nightmare world of bankrupt PG&E now
     

Share This Page