Electrical and Grounding Needs


I have an electrician coming to my house this week. I have two outlets in my basement dedicated to my home theater setup -- but they are both on the same breaker. I ran the wire using 12/2 rather than the usual 14/2 thickness, thinking it would be better. Any thoughts on this? Also, he will be hooking a new sub-panel as I have run out of breaker slots, does anyone know of any special grounding considerations I should have the electrician take into account.

Also I will be using a Richard Gray 400s Power Plant on this line.

Thanks for any help in this matter!
1. IMO you would probably be better served to not go the sub-panel route but instead install double or dual circuit breakers in place of one. This is easier for the electrician and less costly to you and perhaps cleaner AC as a result.

2. 10 gauge is even better than 12 gauge and you may want to look for some special romex such as 99.95% OFC copper.

3. You should inquire about having a seperate isolated ground for all audio component circuits. This should help quite a bit.

Hi Stehno,

I am finishing my entire basement, so the sub-panel is needed:) Do you know what would be involved in getting an electrician to make the audio circuits on their own ground? Would this be a tedious expensive task on the electricians part?

This would be my recommendation as long as you have an electrician coming in to do the work. First get a 220 volt line to run to the subpanel in the audio room (or adjacent room). At the end of the 220 volt line connect a toroidal transformer to step the voltage down to 110v. With the right wiring method this will give you 2 live poles of +/- 55 volts that are out of phase, thus canceling much of the inherent noise on the line (although there probably isn’t much after the isolation transformer). The problem here is finding a transformer large enough for your needs. I used one that was rated at 30 amps at 220 volts (6.5 kVa). That’s pretty high, and it may be difficult to find one at that rating. I’m still looking for some common sources for one that’s rated that high. The subpannel then gave me 4 separate circuits all independently filtered and grounded (one for the projector, one for amps, one for analog, and one for digital) I then use 10 gauge solid copper to the outlets which are all Hubble hospital grade. Hope that helps.
Rives suggestion is an excellent one. Perhaps one suggestion to add to Rives: if you are able to convert your equipment, especially the amp to 230 volts, then you would not need a step down voltage converter. Instead, you would have some of the best AC you could practically muster. But this last step takes know-how and gonads but is cheap with excellent results.

Your electrician or perhaps Rives could best answer your question about isolated grounds.

I agree that the suggestions by Rives are good. The isolation transformer may be a tad expensive though.

If you do not use a transformer, the only way to get a true Isolated(in contrast to Dedicated ground)ground, is to have the electrician put an isolated ground bar in your new sub-panel, and run a separate ground wire that is not grounded to any thing else until it reaches your main house grounding point, where it will need to be connected per the National Electrical Code.

Then your electrician can install true isolated and dedicated grounds to each Isolated ground type receptacle you install. This will ensure a separate grounding path back to your main gounding point with no other grounds tied to it in-between to create noise.