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.


cleeds, et al.,

Mia culpa, you certainly may run 10awg wire from a 20 amp breaker to a special 20 amp outlet that will accommodate that wire size.  You will not gain any more amperage as the circuit breaker will only allow roughly 20 amps.  If your wire run is really long, you will have less voltage loss with 10awg.  A 50-foot run of 12awg will lose 3.95V, while the same length of 10awg will lose 2.49V.  I overstated/misstated the safety issue. 




I am running all audio equipment on a regular 12awg/20 amp circuit with the following:

2 mono blocks with power output specs of 350W @ 8ohms/540W @ 4ohms. They each can swing 40 amps symmetrical & 52.6V RMS @8ohms. These are plugged in to the same duplex outlet.

A subwoofer via a class D amp, Preamplifier, HDA PC, Turntable, etc.  All on the same circuit.

You can do this!

@perazzi28 just because you aren't tripping the breaker with all that equipment on one circuit doesn't mean you are getting top performance. A 20 amp circuit can handle a lot more than 20 amps for short durations of time, which is why 10awg wire works better especially for high powered amplifiers that can cause the voltage to drop considerably.




..."A 20 amp circuit can handle a lot more than 20 amps for short durations of time, which is why 10awg wire works better especially for high powered amplifiers that can cause the voltage to drop considerably."

I would agree with half of the above statement.  The 10awg wire can certainly handle more than 20 amps but not so much for the 20 amp breaker.  There probably is a +margin for amperage draw but not much.  Fortunately for my purpose, I did install a typical dedicated 20 amp outlet in my listening room.  This run from service panel to outlet is only 25'.  I have never detected any sign of low voltage behavior.  

You may have equipment that is more susceptible to voltage supply demands or the like.  I am certain that your power set-up gives you some confidence and that does matter.  That checks off that box!

Best listening!

Thanks for your input


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PS - When measuring voltage drop make sure you include the hot and neutral both. Meaning, for a 50’ 12 gauge Romex we expect ~ 3.2V drop per current carrying conductor, of which there are two: Hot and Neutral.

So the total effect of the voltage drop would be 6.4V total dropped (available) at the appliance, a little over 5%.

Assuming linear amps with unregulated supplies:

The lower the AC voltage the longer the recovery time for the amplifier storage capacitors, After an amp has been turned on and warmed up caps will only charge at the peak of the AC waveform so this becomes a bit of self-maintaining situation.

Whether or not it will affect your listening is another subject altogether, but personally I run all my gear after a Furman voltage regulator which keeps the incoming AC within 5 V at any point in time.  After my amp has turned on the biggest issues to my AC voltage are my heat pumps, oven and normal hourly variations in power supplied from the transformer.  My modest 100WPC integrated just doesn't stress the circuit very much.

Most other audio devices are fully regulated, and, with enough excess storage capacity, may never feel any difference between 100V and 130V.