Jump to content
Johnseye

Power cables, distribution strips, current taps and outlets

Rate this topic

Recommended Posts

I have a need to run 3 amps off an outlet.  Two amps are rated at 700w and the other at 240w.  I've run 10 gauge from the breaker to the outlet and I want to ensure I have maximum current available for these amps.  Because there are 3 I need some way to efficiently come off one of the outlets.  I could have an electrician make the outlet a quad, I could use a distribution strip and I could use a current tap.  Because I only need one more outlet a distribution strip would be overkill and unnecessarily expensive.  I should probably have an electrician put another outlet in there with 10 gauge wire.  I'm wondering if I just use a current tap to allow for two devices to be plugged into one outlet.  My question is whether one of these current taps, which are rated for about 1800w will hinder the performance of these amps or change my sound quality in any way.  My thought is that there is no cable or wire which is a good thing.  It's just a metal bar, probably brass running between each outlet.

 

This is an example of a current tap, or 3 way adapter.

 

https://www.homedepot.com/p/Commercial-Electric-15-Amp-Heavy-Duty-Triplex-Outlet-Orange-LT-6/204836969

 

Should I use one of these or have an electrician put in another outlet?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Does the circuit have a 15 or 20 Amp breaker?

Does the outlet have 15 or 20 Amp receptacles?

Do the amp cords have 15 or 20 Amp plugs?

 

* * * * * * * *

Or you could change the wall outlet to a quad receptacle unit.

Then you could run a cord from each amp straight to the wall.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

who cares?  his biggest amp is 700W - / by 110V to get 6+amps - which is only at a big transient any way (unless he is doing some arc welding)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

True it doesn't matter, but audiophiles often worry about easy things like this. And they often like going over-the-top.

 

* * * * * * * * *

added question:

how far is it from the wall outlet box to the amplifiers?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
8 minutes ago, Speedskater said:

Does the circuit have a 15 or 20 Amp breaker?

Does the outlet have 15 or 20 Amp receptacles?

Do the amp cords have 15 or 20 Amp plugs?

 

* * * * * * * *

Or you could change the wall outlet to a quad receptacle unit.

Then you could run a cord from each amp straight to the wall.

I would agree with a quad wall outlet and run separate cables to each amp.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My guess is you might worry about it, and wind up having an electrician come in any way. :) just call one in and spend the dollars to put your mind at ease. I would choose a power strip for isolation myself, but in the end, you have to do what makes you comfortable. And more importantly, safe!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Each individual outlet can take the max rating of the circuit.  You are into DIY so you could make a 4 gang distribution box with a nice 10 gauge cord to the wall and a couple of nice hospital grade sockets.  Pretty much everything you need at Home Depot 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

He's not using electricity terminology coherently [ 'Two amps are rated at 700w and the other at 240w'...AND ..''will hinder the performance of these amps'''] and doesn't seem to know Ohm's law. He's probably lucky he didn't electrocute himself running the 10 gauge [and did he do it according to code? ].

 

Out of an abundance of concern for the safety of the OP, please god call an electrician before you touch anything else.  

 

[I love the fancy talk, calling that two-dollar 3-to-1 adaptor a 'current tap.'' Which btw is the best solution here.]

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
14 hours ago, Speedskater said:

Does the circuit have a 15 or 20 Amp breaker?

Does the outlet have 15 or 20 Amp receptacles?

Do the amp cords have 15 or 20 Amp plugs?

 

* * * * * * * *

Or you could change the wall outlet to a quad receptacle unit.

Then you could run a cord from each amp straight to the wall.

 

The breaker is 20 amp, the outlets and power cables are 15 amp.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
9 hours ago, One and a half said:

There’s a correction needed in your assessment of the situation of applying ohms law.

 

Your formula applies to resistive loads only, reactive loads like amplifiers draw pulsed currents. 

 

The OP may not be in the US.

 

I thought scientists were supposed to be accurate.

 

I'm in the US.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
8 hours ago, Paul R said:

My guess is you might worry about it, and wind up having an electrician come in any way. :) just call one in and spend the dollars to put your mind at ease. I would choose a power strip for isolation myself, but in the end, you have to do what makes you comfortable. And more importantly, safe!

 

Why would you use a power strip, and what do you mean by "for isolation"?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, garrardguy60 said:

He's not using electricity terminology coherently [ 'Two amps are rated at 700w and the other at 240w'...AND ..''will hinder the performance of these amps'''] and doesn't seem to know Ohm's law. He's probably lucky he didn't electrocute himself running the 10 gauge [and did he do it according to code? ].

 

Sorry I don't know the correct terminology to be coherent enough for you.  No I don't have Ohm's law memorized but a quick Google search could give it to me in a second.  I had an electrician install the circuit but I could have done it myself and have in the past.   A half wit could run cable, I just wanted to make sure I did everything to code.

 

1 hour ago, garrardguy60 said:

 

Out of an abundance of concern for the safety of the OP, please god call an electrician before you touch anything else.  

 

[I love the fancy talk, calling that two-dollar 3-to-1 adaptor a 'current tap.'' Which btw is the best solution here.]

 

 

The two dollar adapter has current tap written on it so that's what I called it.  I learned to read when I was very young.

 

BTW, you don't need to come off sounding like a dick.  You provided no value and only embarrassed yourself.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
9 minutes ago, Johnseye said:

 

Why would you use a power strip, and what do you mean by "for isolation"?

 

Devices put noise back on the power line just as a byproduct of consuming power. You can buy power strips that will isolate each plug from the other. In theory, this prevents electrical noise from one appliance appearing on the input of another. How much effect that has in practice, if any, is arguable of course.

 

A power strip is also an inexpensive way to isolate equipment from surges on the line which can potentially cause damage, etc.

 

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 minute ago, Paul R said:

 

Devices put noise back on the power line just as a byproduct of consuming power. You can buy power strips that will isolate each plug from the other. In theory, this prevents electrical noise from one appliance appearing on the input of another. How much effect that has in practice, if any, is arguable of course.

 

A power strip is also an inexpensive way to isolate equipment from surges on the line which can potentially cause damage, etc.

 

 

 

 

I'm using an isolation transformer in front of all the outlets.  I suspect the power strip has to be labeled a surge protector and power conditioner for it to provide the functionality you're talking about.  Do you have any recommendations for a good strip?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
36 minutes ago, Johnseye said:

 

I'm using an isolation transformer in front of all the outlets.  I suspect the power strip has to be labeled a surge protector and power conditioner for it to provide the functionality you're talking about.  Do you have any recommendations for a good strip?

 

I am reluctant to recommend anything, because I tend to believe this is one of those areas where cost is not a good indicator of quality or performance. You can spend anywhere from $3 to upwards of $10k on a power strip. 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
13 hours ago, One and a half said:

Your formula applies to resistive loads only, reactive loads like amplifiers draw pulsed currents.

True, but for the wire, cords and cable part of the AC system the DC resistance and the impedance are almost the same.

* * * * * * * * *

and even then, almost all of the power in the pulses is below 600 hZ.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Tripp-Lite makes a good strip.

 

DC vs. AC is of no consequence here, despite <2's attempt to once again find an error in my posts (and once again stepping in it himself)

 

The tap you posted will be fine, tho a quad outlet is easy to DIY (don't know your code in Chi'land - could be city or county or state of Ill), and the quad will make a neater install.  If you DIY there is a box made for doing this later on and not during initial construction - they usually have tabs on them to grab onto the drywall, etc.

 

Don't worry about the terminology - with simple division, it's clear enough.

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The best way to do things will depend upon how sensitive the rig is to the waveform of, and noise on the mains, and how fussy your hearing is. I do simple experiments, in changing how gear is connected to the dwelling's power grid - different components in different circuits, say - which tells me a lot about the sensitivities of the system - and work from that.

 

The answers are never simple, because all audio systems, including the power feeding them, are a complex electrical network, considered as a single entity. Unfortunately, just enough 'messiness' to make audible differences, for those sensitive to such matters.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi Johnseye,

I personally do not like those 3 to 1 adapters for two reasons:

1) you never know what is inside one unless you buy two and destroy one so you can see what is inside

2) when you plug and unplug cords in you are producing highly unbalanced forces on the outlet this thing is plugged into. This can be very bad for the outlet. I have seen these destroy an outlet.

 

For number 2 you can theoretically plug all three cords in before plugging the whole thing into the wall, but I still think you wind up putting a lot of stress on that one outlet.

 

I personally think that your best bet is to have the electrician put in the quad outlet.

 

Other options are as has been mentioned using a good power strip. There is a whole range here. I personally do not like the ones with all the surge suppressors and filters etc, I find they harm the sound more than they help.

 

I really like the Tripp Lite ones with the aluminum housing, such as the PS120410. This is just a straight simple power strip, they are built well and work well.

 

Another option is the VH Audio Hot Box, it is a an electrical box with 4 good outlets and a power cord, no switch etc. It works very well but costs $250 so not cheap, but if it is cheaper than the electrician than it might be a good way to go. It is probably a little better than the Tripp Lite above for 5 X the price.

 

John S.

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 3/2/2019 at 3:22 PM, Johnseye said:

I have a need to run 3 amps off an outlet.  Two amps are rated at 700w and the other at 240w.  I've run 10 gauge from the breaker to the outlet and I want to ensure I have maximum current available for these amps.  Because there are 3 I need some way to efficiently come off one of the outlets.  I could have an electrician make the outlet a quad, I could use a distribution strip and I could use a current tap.  Because I only need one more outlet a distribution strip would be overkill and unnecessarily expensive.  I should probably have an electrician put another outlet in there with 10 gauge wire.  I'm wondering if I just use a current tap to allow for two devices to be plugged into one outlet.  My question is whether one of these current taps, which are rated for about 1800w will hinder the performance of these amps or change my sound quality in any way.  My thought is that there is no cable or wire which is a good thing.  It's just a metal bar, probably brass running between each outlet.

 

This is an example of a current tap, or 3 way adapter.

 

https://www.homedepot.com/p/Commercial-Electric-15-Amp-Heavy-Duty-Triplex-Outlet-Orange-LT-6/204836969

 

Should I use one of these or have an electrician put in another outlet?

 

I see two potential issues here.

  1. IMO, it all depends on the actual current draw of your 3 amplifiers and their mfg'er's stated max amperage requirements.  For example.  Years ago I owned a [email protected] Class B amp that required a 20 amp circuit/line.  I had a 15amp dedicated circuit/line for my source CDP and another 20amp dedicated circuit/line for my amplifier.  But on that same 20 amp circuit/line I also had a pre-amp drawing about 30 watts and 3 amps.  When I eventually installed a 3rd dedicated circuit/line for the pre-amp, I could not believe how dynamic the music presentation became.   Obviously, the 30 watts and 3 amp draw from the pre-amp was just enough to rob the amplifier of the juice it required to reproduce dynamic/complex passages.  I currently use two 575wpc Class D amps that draw a max of 10 amps each.  Each of them have their own 20 amp circuit/line but I've also tried them sharing a single 20amp circuit/line and I've not noticed any sonic difference. 
  2.  
  3. If any of your 3 amplifiers are Class D, then you have a second problem to consider.  Class D amps, though not digital, will induce a digital-like bi-directional noise that will go back up the AC cable into the power strip, the wall outlet, and some say all the way back to the service panel and then pass that digital-like noise to your other components.   The only way I'm aware to sufficiently resolve this problem is superior dedicated bi-directional-filtering line conditioners.

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
7 minutes ago, shtf said:

 

I see two potential issues here.

  1. IMO, it all depends on the actual current draw of your 3 amplifiers and their mfg'er's stated max amperage requirements.  For example.  Years ago I owned a [email protected] Class B amp that required a 20 amp circuit/line.  I had a 15amp dedicated circuit/line for my source CDP and another 20amp dedicated circuit/line for my amplifier.  But on that same 20 amp circuit/line I also had a pre-amp drawing about 30 watts and 3 amps.  When I eventually installed a 3rd dedicated circuit/line for the pre-amp, I could not believe how dynamic the music presentation became.   Obviously, the 30 watts and 3 amp draw from the pre-amp was just enough to rob the amplifier of the juice it required to reproduce dynamic/complex passages.  I currently use two 575wpc Class D amps that draw a max of 10 amps each.  Each of them have their own 20 amp circuit/line but I've also tried them sharing a single 20amp circuit/line and I've not noticed any sonic difference. 
  2.  
  3. If any of your 3 amplifiers are Class D, then you have a second problem to consider.  Class D amps, though not digital, will induce a digital-like bi-directional noise that will go back up the AC cable into the power strip, the wall outlet, and some say all the way back to the service panel and then pass that digital-like noise to your other components.   The only way I'm aware to sufficiently resolve this problem is superior dedicated bi-directional-filtering line conditioners.

 

 

 

This is what I'm reading for 2 of the amps:  700 W RMS amplifier for a total of 1,400 W RMS (2,800 W Dynamic Peak) impedance is compatible with 8 ohms.  Here's the other amp: Auto-ranging AC Input, 100 to 120 VAC +/- 10%, 8 Amps, 50 - 60 Hz

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 hours ago, JohnSwenson said:

Hi Johnseye,

I personally do not like those 3 to 1 adapters for two reasons:

1) you never know what is inside one unless you buy two and destroy one so you can see what is inside

2) when you plug and unplug cords in you are producing highly unbalanced forces on the outlet this thing is plugged into. This can be very bad for the outlet. I have seen these destroy an outlet.

 

For number 2 you can theoretically plug all three cords in before plugging the whole thing into the wall, but I still think you wind up putting a lot of stress on that one outlet.

 

I personally think that your best bet is to have the electrician put in the quad outlet.

 

Other options are as has been mentioned using a good power strip. There is a whole range here. I personally do not like the ones with all the surge suppressors and filters etc, I find they harm the sound more than they help.

 

I really like the Tripp Lite ones with the aluminum housing, such as the PS120410. This is just a straight simple power strip, they are built well and work well.

 

Another option is the VH Audio Hot Box, it is a an electrical box with 4 good outlets and a power cord, no switch etc. It works very well but costs $250 so not cheap, but if it is cheaper than the electrician than it might be a good way to go. It is probably a little better than the Tripp Lite above for 5 X the price.

 

John S.

 

 

 

Thanks John. I'll probably be having an electrician put another outlet in based on you and everyone else's feedback.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
27 minutes ago, Johnseye said:

 

This is what I'm reading for 2 of the amps:  700 W RMS amplifier for a total of 1,400 W RMS (2,800 W Dynamic Peak) impedance is compatible with 8 ohms.  Here's the other amp: Auto-ranging AC Input, 100 to 120 VAC +/- 10%, 8 Amps, 50 - 60 Hz

 

The specs of the 2 amplifiers is meaningless to me as apparently I'm one of the few non-techie audio enthusiasts remaining.  Either the amp manual or mfg'er should show the specs for max amperage current draw.   But I see for the 3rd amp it's 8 amps max.

 

Also, you didn't mention it but I have to presume these 2 amp, actually all 3 amps, are all Class D.  Otherwise the first 2 amps would probably each require their own 30 amp dedicated circuit/line. 

 

So I'm guessing all of your amps are Class D and each of your 2 bigger amps max amperage current draw of 10 or 15 amps each.  If 10 amps each, then a single 20 amp circuit/line would probably suffice just for those 2 amps but nothing else.  If 15 amps each, then you'll need two 15 amp lines dedicated just for these 2 amplifiers.

 

But don't underestimate your other problem of the Class D amp inducing a digital-like bi-directional distortion/noise all inducing their distortions on each other and any other components.  Not to mention that you probably have a digital front-end source component or 2 doing likewise.

 

Just one component inducing a digital-like bi-directional distortion/noise really isn't that big of a deal especially if you're not familiar with it properly being filtered.  But 4 or more components is some serious sharing of this distortion/noise and really should be dealt with.  It could make a night and day difference in your overall music presentation. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

×
×
  • Create New...