Internal Power Surges and Dedicated Circuits

My question, do dedicated circuits protect gear from "internal" power surges occurring in other circuits? I realize, that external power surges happen that can affect all circuits, but my question is not about that nor is this intended to be a discussion about sound quality.


Kenny - What type of internal "Power Surges" are you thinking of?

There may be DC voltage variations (generally, a momentary drop in voltage) which occur under certain conditions due to the inadequacy of the power supply . but there should be no internal "power spikes" (i.e. increases in the DC voltage)  if the circuit is designed correctly.

Separate circuits alone will not protect against this, but separate circuits with some form of power isolation/filtration or their own power supplies are generally very effective and often used, especially when there is a digital circuit in a component along with analogue components.


Thanks willewonka.
For example, air conditioners or clothes dryers on different breakers than my audio, that is on its own and separate dedicated circuit. I plan to add an all house surge protector and I'm wondering if that's enough.
So, can a surge from the air conditioner affect my audio gear?
Now I understand :-)

OK - first off there is no one-size-fits-all answer to this one, since it really depends on the power supply to your house, the power company and the supporting local infrastructure.

Power surges (increases in voltage) experienced in a home environment generally come from some external source and transferred via the power lines - the house-wide surge protector will protect against "most" of them from damaging electronics. 

However, lightening strikes in the ground directly outside the house, it can elevate the potential of the  ground and neutral and probably fry most electronics inside, but if it hits the house, the electronics will probably survive with the house wide suppressor

Now,  power fluctuations (i.e. a drop in voltage) can occur when high current devices, like air conditioners, furnaces etc,  power up.

Modern housing generally have enough power capacity to make this a rare occurrence and modern appliances are quite energy efficient, but older properties with old appliances can suffer this type of issue.

Noise from older "noisy" appliances will probably not be fixed by a house-wide suppression unit - you may require a separate unit that the device plugs directly into.

Separate power circuits help and if the breaker is as far from the breaker of the noisy appliance that will help also

A separate distribution panel goes a long way to remedying noise in house appliances - other than replacing them.

Having said that, its always a good idea to have an electrician take a look, since they would be able to provide the right solution based on their observations of your power supply and house wiring.


williewonka, thanks for all of this good information.

I'm trying to be a minimalist in terms of adding filters and suppression directly to my audio gear. I would rather, if possible, quiet the noisy appliances on those other circuits and keep my audio circuits as unfiltered or nearly unfiltered, so that the AC is delivered as is.

I will be doing the all house solution first and may apply both stage 1 and 2 protection out there. I have two dedicated 20 amp circuits with isolated grounds for my audio gear. Instead, of re-arranging the panel, or adding a separate panel, how would I quiet my AC/Furnace, dryer, refrigerators, etc., from spilling noise over to my audio circuits? What type of units are available to use on those types of appliances? I'm not familiar with that approach.


Kenny - I would suggest a trip to an Electrical Supply Store, (NOT Home Depot) since they will have products that can probably fit into the distribution panel you currently have

Personally I  have not found a need for such devices.

A company called Allen Bradley offers some of the best products available for this purpose


Kenny - just been reading a little about modern appliances and found out that if an appliance has any kind of digital controller in them, the motors are probably "supressed" to avoid blowing the control circuit

In which case there is no need to add additional suppression.

Another example - If you have a mid or high efficiency furnace it will probably also contain a digital controller circuit, so again,  I doubt you will need any additional device.


Again, thank you.

I recently moved into my home and know that most of the major appliances are new or like-new. The j-boxes are all metal in the house. I had a licensed electrician install the 20A dedicated circuits, and it was he who recommended the isolated grounds.

Due to multiple foundation walls in the way, the boxes/IG receptacles were installed in the floor behind my audio rack. UF-B wire was used in the crawl space and continues under the outside deck and then straight to the panel. The wire was run in metal conduit where exposed outside. The one thing that I really like about this install, is that the wiring is nowhere near any other wiring, as it is basically run outside of the home, so isolated in that respect.

I had some thoughts about providing stage 3 protection for the audio gear, but I'm trying to avoid tampering with the AC power. Another consideration is AC conditioning, and one can spend a small fortune on that stuff. Do you think, I can do without that as well?

I consider any type of conditioning as a last resort that depends on the state of the power supply.

If the supply is good you’d be much better off spending that money on good power cables.

If the supply has a lot of problems, then it’s definitely worth considering

Are you into making your own power cables?

If yes see...

I  found them to be the best I’ve tried to date - they provide a very quiet background

Regards - Steve :-)
Sounds about right to me, Steve.
One of the most eye opening changes to my system, just the other day, was removing my power regenerator and plugging right into the receptacle. But, we're not here to discuss sound quality.
l will check out the link you sent.