Outlets and Wire Gauge? - Please help!

I finally contracted an electrician to run two dedicated lines - a week from today! I have been reading thread after thread and the consensus appears to be going with 10awg wire for the 20amp run. My problem is two-fold:

  1. I'm stuck selecting an outlet because the electrician says that no 20amp outlet can take 10awg, that "10awg is for 30amp outlets".
  2. I'm stuck selecting an outlet because of what it might do to my sound. 

I simply want to install something good that's going to feed a Puritan Audio PSM156. I am now running ADG Gran Vivace monos. I prefer a rich midrange.

Additionally, I asked for both a 15 and 20 amp run. People suggested I do this so my sources can be run off the 15A with amps / subs off of the 20A, but someone here mentioned ground loops? I am not well-versed in things electrical. Ideally I would like to know if I should stick with the two runs, and what would be a few good choices for each outlet if I do. @jea48 @erik_squires ... I have seen solid advice from you on the topic of outlets, but they lack things specific to awg and outlet type.

Thank you in advance!

PS I estimate the length of the run to be approximately 50', max.


As long as you follow the rules as written by the national electric code all of this other stuff doesn’t make a difference. The engineers that designed the product that you purchased at the store have thought through all of this. Of course you know AC stands for alternating current. For some unknown reason, people fall into the trap of thinking of electricity as if it were water. Some of the metaphors between AC current and water do make sense but many others don’t. Before you hear anything musical, it’s all converted into DC inside the component. Every component does this, that’s the point where everything changes and the engineers have designed the cleanup of the power. If I was an engineer, and I’m not, but if I was, I would want this step in the process to be as effective as possible as to not make my product susceptible to interference. Thus making my design sound less than what it could. You’ve got this process in every component in your system. It’s been cleaned up right before it hits the DC circuitry , that makes the component work. The engineers have left no time for it to get contaminated. If you’re going to think of this as cleaning up the power that’s the place to do it. Right before you drink it and that’s what they’ve done in every product that you have in your system . 

I think that these changes that you speak of that happen daily can be attributed to you and not the device. Think about all of the things that change inside of us as living organisms. Depending on how much moisture is in the air affects your sinuses, which are part of your ear, nose, and throat. What about the amount of earwax and location of the earwax that changes from day to day? how about just your general mood? I’m sure if I thought about it I could come up with more. I really believe that there’s more things that alter what we hear because of being human than things that change inside of a wall outlet.

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@jea48 I uploaded a photo of the panel to my system.You can see it under my profile.

I do not worry too much about this. The electrician plans on rearranging some things. He may be adding a sub panel for this. 

I only listen at night when the family has gone to bed. I have central air - no ceiling fans. 

I will be connecting a new Puritan Audio 156. My PS Audio PP20 is for sale.

I have been living off of a single 15A run that has more cheap outlets along the run than you would believe, and I have been happy with the sound. I am expecting better things from dedicated runs, and I will finally be able to have some lighting in the room by using the old 15A run

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Doesn’t afci/gfci refer to duplex receptacles that are used when there isn’t a ground wire present? You can buy them at Home Depot.


They are 2 different types of protection. GFCI protects from shock, AFCI from fires, and the requirements are different.

GENERALLY speaking, GFCI is required near water (bathrooms, kitchens and outside) or to replace 2 prong outlets when a true ground isn’t present. The Ground Fault (GF of GFCI) happens when you become part of the electrical current pathway.

Arc Fault Circuit Interruptors, now upgraded to Combined AFCI (i.e. CAFCI), detect sparks that happen in the walls or junction boxes. While GFCI is required near anything wet, CAFCI is now required on ALL residential 120V circuits.

So, generally speaking, CAFCI gets implemented in breakers, GFCI on outlets, but there are combined breakers and outlets that do both.

Should note however that while GFCI’s are legal for 2 to 3 prong upgrades in old homes most surge protectors won’t work without a true ground. If you have expensive computers or home electronics and want surge protection you should get a ground installed.

Historically, GFCI predates AFCI by decades, but the NEC has continued to expand the requirement for them. Now you may need GFCI on your range or refrigerator depending on where they are in your kitchen, and those are most convenient with GFCI breakers.

Of course, these requirements are only enforced with new construction and updates. You aren’t required to retrofit old circuits but you may.