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



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.