Questions on Dedicated 20 amp home wiring

Hello, I live in a home that is 45 years old.  I have purchased a lot of equipment recently and would like to add a dedicated outlet.  I need some help and was wondering if someone has a contact for someone to consult with.  I have the following questions:

1. what gauge wire should be used

2. Any specific Fuse that should be used

3. Any specific outlet that should be used

4. I have 11 sources, 2 solid state amps, 1 tube amp, 1 pre, 1 phono stage, 2 turntables, 1 tuner, 1 cd transport, 1 DAC, 1 streamer.  Can I use a single outlet or is it better to run two?

5. I'm using two Decware ZLC power conditioners each with 6 outlets, wondering if I can plug each into a single outlet plug and call it good after the home wiring has been completed?


Thank You



Your first question is the most important.  12 awg solid copper wire. 

Don't use a fuse, use a breaker. on my list is to upgrade my breaker and maybe this thread will help me get to it but the standard circuit breaker is adequate.  

outlets don't matter as much as people think they do but a quality outlet should be used.  Most use Hospital grade. The main thing a good connection as cheap ones loosen up.

I put in 5 outlets and a 240 outlet.  I have half the outlets on the red leg and half on the black leg.  If I need to plug something in like a noisy switching power supply for a Roku, i plug it into the opposite circuit that my amp is on.

But people exaggerte the value of a dedicated circuit to minimize noise.  It will ensure you have adequate current which is 99% of the battle.  but the noise on your AC line comes mostly from outside your house.  My power regenerator has an oscilloscope built in and the power into my house has clipped sine waves and about 4% thd.  After regenertion it has perfect sine waves and .1% THD.

Still, noise in a power supply isn't nearly as bad as inadequate current.


Your first question is the most important.  12 awg solid copper wire. 

That cannot be stated with certainty without knowing:

1. The length of the run from service panel to rececptacle

2. Whether the run is in a conduit.

3. Whether there are any relevant local codes that may apply.

Notwithstanding the answers to those questions, 12 awg copper would be the minimum size that would be allowed. There can be good reasons to derate the circuit by using a larger gauge wire. It minimizes voltage drop and helps provide a lower impedance path to ground.

How open are the walls currently and is it easy to run the new line?  If yes, I might suggest running two dedicated 12 AWG wires off two 20 amp breakers.  This would give you a dedicated line to each of your power conditioners.  Overkill?  Probably, but you never know where you are gong to go in the future and if the lines are easy to run now.......   One last thought.  You might run a 10 AWG wire.  This is not required for a 20 amp breaker but, it would give you the option in the future if you decide to install a 240 volt outlet off a duplex 30 amp breaker.   Building over spec today has no real disadvantage and gives you options in the future that might otherwise not be available to you.   

I would go 10 gauge. I think std breakers are 15. You need not go 20amp. Typically one would have dedicated lines for amp(s)… and a dedicated line for power conditioner (s). If you’re doing it, I would do a total of 4 dedicated lines. The cost will not be hugely different and more flexibility. 


I agree with @ghdprentice :

Use 10 gauge regardless of length.  Sounds better I am told so why not?

At least 2 dedicated runs but I did two and then did two more!!!  So do four and be set.

I did not spend a ton and used PS Audio outlets.  They grip great.  Many opinions about more expensive outlets, I did not go there.

I used some special silver grease in the install of my breaker, supposed to enhance conductivity and not expensive.


Myself have awg10  Copper wiring , a 4 wire 2 grounds 1 common ground 

the other a insulated,isolated ground with its own buzz bar inside the box with its own ground , and breaker contacts are from Siemens Germany Silver over copper to eliminate oxydation , which very hard to get I tried to order more , maybe online or highly recommended changes 20 amp copper breaker every 4-5 years for copper oxydizes. And for house Siemens  surge protector at the breaker box  That  is passive until a fault .

@carlsbad2 is spot on, and I agree with him.

New to Hifi, and conveniently renovating a house I had multiple 20amp breakers, with 12ga copper wire (whole house was actually 12ga) with audio grade outlets put in. I think I had 4 outlets for my main system and 3 outlets for my living room system. Sadly once I set everything up my big power amps still generated a hum in one of my tweeters, and surprisingly a HumX did the trick. I'm now building out a tube mono block system and kinda concerned about my electrical, but this time I'm trailing a Puritan 156 (line noise conditioner) with my new amps once they come this week. Well see...

I even had upgraded AC cables (Corona cables) for my solid state amps (JC1+), yet luck of the draw I guess.

I still would have done it since work was already underway throughout the house and we weren't living in it at the time, but now I'm 50/50 on having electricians add additional 20amp outlets in our bedroom, but I will absolutely do it again and then some once I start work on my dedicated office/listening room which is just studs now.

So if you have everything else dialed in for your system (if you feel that way) dedicated lines is yet another good move for guaranteeing your power needs are met, but again there are also power line conditioners +/- that could help you should you feel your power isn't the best.

Good luck and happy hunting!

I installed two 20 amp circuits. One for my Pass Labs XA 60.8 mono block amps and one for my pre amp, CD player, turntable, and other accessories. I used 10 gauge wire (not fun to pull and maybe overkill), audio grade receptacles and nothing special regarding the breakers. It made a noticeable difference.

I've been looking into this because we are just about ready to begin construction on a new house. Here is a link and a couple specific suggestions.

1. One of the big factors you are trying to manage is the voltage at your outlet. This is a function of the voltage coming into your house plus the length and gauge of wire you are running from the panel to your outlet. If you specify a 20 amp outlet the gauge of wire for code purposes is 12 gauge. One of the links above addresses this issue. If you are doing a fairly short run I'm skeptical that 10 gauge will sound any better than 12 gauge. But if it is a long run then you want to use larger wire to minimize the voltage drop. Do not use a 15 amp breaker with 12 gauge wire. You want to do everything as standard as you can and the normal application is 12 gauge wire for a 20 amp circuit.

2. The electrical labor will be a big cost so definitely run at least two circuits. If it were me I would run 3. For my new house I'm going to have a separate panel for the listening room and I will have 4 dedicated 20 amp outlets with 12 gauge wire. My builder rolled his eyes but I'm going for the gusto in case I spend my kid's inheritance on a pair of massive mono amps (I currently run a Krell KSA 300S on a dedicated 20 amp circuit). A related constraint is the size of your main panel coming into the house. If you run 60 amps of new circuits you could max out your panel.

3. You don't want to install "hospital grade" outlets because they are stainless steel which does not have as good of conductivity as copper. Hospital outlets are designed to resist corrosion from strong cleaning chemicals. I met Caelin Gabriel from Shunyata at AXPONA a few years ago (great guy) and he told me that if I wasn't thrilled with spending a lot of money on outlets I should buy Hubbel outlets which are very good quality. I'm using these and they seem to be of stout build and they work fine. Caelin is the one who told me not to use hospital outlets.

4. Here is a link for an in-depth article on audio wiring. This is more than you probably want to know but it shows you how far you can go with this stuff. If you give this to your electrician he will likely think you're nuts but if he reads it he will get a great understanding of the issues that us audiophiles are concerned with.

I would ONLY approach splitting a 220V or a 240V line by havening a licensed electrician do the work. In many cases it won't even be legal according to NEC. Much less safe. My first job out of highschool, was in an appliance shop where the owner tried that, one on each side of the shop. You didn't dare touch any thing like two refrigerators  that were plugged in on opposite walls. You become a bride for the third leg of the 3rd phase. So many ammeters on this site!


Yo need to look up the definition Hospital grade. It has NOTING to do with Stainless. My PS audio outlets as actually marked as Hospital grade and I don't think there is one gram of steel of any kind in them. And I have NEVER heard of anyone referencing chemical exposure when discussing Hospital grade. When looking them up Leviton did mention that SS was used in HEAVY DUTY Hospital grade batu that is the only reference I can find. Here is the NEC Specs.

A true dedicated branch circuit does not share a neutral, hot or ground with any other branch circuits.😎


FWIW: Another reason for multiple branch circuits for audio besides dedicated power see my previous post below:

ditusa’s avatar


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Probably the biggest reason for installing more than one Dedicated Branch Circuit is to decouple the power supplies of audio equipment from one another. Example digital source(s) equipment from analog equipment.

I agree!

That was one of the reasons I ran four 60’ runs of galvanized steel armored MC solid copper core conductor cable 10AWG. That’s four true dedicated branch circuits, one for each mono block amp, one for analog and one for digital. It helps to reduce noise on the AC lines, by reducing the amount of transformers and power supplies on each circuit. Also, the MC helps to reduce hashing noise EMI, and electric fields, on the dedicated branch circuits feeding your audio equipment. You don’t realize how much hashing noise is on the AC lines, until it’s reduced. No ground loop hum. No noise. System is dead quiet with ear against speaker horn, I have tube and SS amps. (The efficiency of my speakers is 2.7% sensitivity 96dB). 😎




Bigtwin, the panels and wiring is in an unfinished basement and will be mounted on the ceiling and passed through to the first floor.  The run from panel to the stereo is probably 40 feet.

I ran 50 feet of 12 awg romex connected of course to a 20 amp dedicated breaker at the panel. The other end terminates at a Audioquest NG Edison receptacle. I use two power strips, a Audioquest Niagara 1200 (connected via AQ Z3) and a Furman PST-8. The Amp/integrated is connected to the Audioquest’s provided high current outlet via AQ Thunder, and most source components (streamer, turntable, cassette deck, etc) connect to the Furman via AQ X3’s. Seems to be all I need for now. Installed myself, on the cheap. AQ’s Garth Powell designed Furman’s PST-8, when he was with the company.

Lot's of great information here, I'll only comment on the receptacles. I ran a good sized comparison of receptacles, and had a couple of my audio buddies give their 2 cents. I do not have my notes, so I can't go into detail on each.

I used 8 different including Hubbell, hospital grade, and a bunch of name brands.....there were 3 that stood out that I can recommend: Furutech GTX-D(G) Gold plated, Furutech GTX-D)R) Rhodium plated, Oyaide R1 (NOT Oyaide SWO-XXX), and Cardas 4181. I preferred the Furutech GTX-D(G) over the GTX-D(R) as I felt the Rhodium was a little too detailed. That is just my preference, I can see how many might find it just perfect