Power line question

I live in an apartment building that's relatively new (built in 1993). There are no visible power lines attached to the building, which leads me to believe the power lines are underground. The building has a dedicated line for air conditioners. I know very little about power outlets, wiring, amperes, etc. All I know it's 115 volts. Here's my question. I will be replacing my tube integrated power amp with tube monoblocks producing at least 150 watts per channel and a tubed preamp. I have seen occasionally discussions about the demand on the power line electronic equipment makes and parameters for dedicated lines and such. Should I worry about blowing fuses or overloading the power line with my new amplification? My gf and I triggered circuit breakers a few times in the past by using hair dryers simultaneously in our respective bathrooms, but once we stopped that practice, no other mishaps occurred. I have a basic power conditioner with 4 outlets, but that's about it. With my less than rudimentary knowledge of power delivery, I wouldn't even know where to start to answer my question so I thought I'd start here. Thank you for any advice.
Each circuit in your apartment will be 15 amps. If you determine the power consumption of your 2 amps and pre-amp - and they exceed 10 amps or so, you may have an issue, as the line you use will likely be shared with other stuff in the apartment.

Generally, getting into high powered mono blocks is something that deserves dedicated lines - something not doable in an apartment. Popping a breaker will happen if the load on one line exceeds 15 amps. The heaters in hair dryers use a lot of amps, for example, as do space heaters, refrigerators, portable AC units, microwave ovens (and power amps). Best you can do is a little math with what's on the same line from the breaker panel, add them up and see what's left for your amps.
Thanks Meiwan. How do you determine the power consumption at a given time in a circuit? I looked at the hair dryer and it states volts, watts and Hz, but not amps. No such info is listed on the manufacturer' website either. The sticker on the breaker panel says "Mains Rating 125 Amp Max." I assume this does not mean my apartment. The only thing that would be in use while I listen would be the refrigerator, laptop and the TV set, most likely.
Divide the watts rating by the volts...that will be the amp rating. Likely around 10 amps. You will need to find the breaker that turns off the wall plug that the stereo will plug into. Turn the breaker off. Then see what isn't working to determine what is fed by that breaker.

Easy as PIE....

P = I x E

p = power, watts, Va.

I = current, amps.

E = volts

To find (I) divide (P) by (E).

A 15 amp circuit should not be loaded more than 80% continuous load. 12 amps.... Or 1440 watts/Va....
Thanks! Sounds like this should not be a concern unless I'm blowdrying my balding head while listening to Metallica at a high volume...

The monoblocks deliver 150 watts per channel so 300 watts divided by the constant voltage of 115 equals 2.6 amps.
The 150 watts per channel ratings are the output measurements for the amps. Current draw calculations deal with the input ratings of the amps. If you post the make and model of the monoblocks , someone will likely know what the amperage draw is.
You probably are not going to have to worry. Your stuff on one 15 amp circuit should be just fine.
You should find the circuit breaker box in your apartment.
Each breaker is for a circuit inside your apartment. You should turn each one off,(one at a time) to find out what part of your apartment it controls. WRITE IT DOWN.
After you have gone through every outlet to see which one is controlled by which breaker, THEN you WILL KNOW what is going on.
For example. In my apt there are sets locked together of 2x15 for the exclusive airconditioner outlet.
one 15 for just the insink garbage disposal
A 20 amp for the refrigerator
one 15 for the kitchen wall, hood fan, and kitchen ceiling
A single outlet next to frig 20amp all by itself (probably for a microwave)
The 2x40 for the electric range
a 15 amp for all the wall sockets in living room and bedroom'
a 15 amp for the bedroon ceiling, all bathroom, and living room entry ceiling.
So you can read that I KNOW exactly what I can do with what. I have the breaker box marked with sticky markers denoting which is which.
So currently i use a living room wall for all my stuff. It is sufficient. i have made a set of wires that i eventually will use to connect the kitchen 20 amp (unused) for my stereo. The wiring is in place, but not finished.

Anyway, find out what goes where, and you will be able to KNOw what you can put on which line.
Avoid the ones with refrigerator!
You may discover you have very little, or a lot of electrical service. i have 210 amps coming into my apt. Other places I have lived had 80 amps, and one had only one 15 amp for two apartments together!!
The ONLY way you can know is to check it out.
Ska_man, the monoblocks are the Rogue Audio M-180s.

Elizabeth, it appears the apartment gets 125 amps total based on the sticker on the breaker panel. This makes sense as there are eight breakers (four of them locked in pairs).
Rogue Audio shows a main fuse value of 5 amps for an M-150.
They don't have the M-180 info available online. I think it would be safe to assume, for calculation purposes, that adding 20% to the value of the fuse will be pretty close to maximum current draw. So, a pair of M-180,s should be close to 12 amps total current draw.
Elizabeth- Is that " i have 210 amps coming into my apt" some sort of typo? If not, how big is that apartment?
I don't think you will have a problem. My guess is that each amp will consume about 300 to 400 watts each, maximum. That means both amps and a preamp in the same outlet will have as much of a power draw as a desktop computer, monitor and printer.

Look at the owner's manual. Unless it specifically calls for a separate outlet, you will have no problems. The UL listing means it is safe for standard 15-amp branch circuits.

The reason that two hair dryers tripped circuit breakers is because both draw over 2400 watts, exceeding the 1800 watt maximum that a 15-amp circuit breaker protects (maybe there are lights on that circuit as well). There is no way your rig will exceed 1800 watts -- unless those hair dryers are used on the same circuit.
Average one bedroom. i like the power supply! The main biggie is the electric stove at 80 amps from the panel, 30 more amps for the air conditioner.
So that leaves one hundred for everything else.
Seems normal to me... When they built it they KNEW i was gonna live here.. LOL.
90 units times 210 each, plus halls, add in three laundry rooms.. elevator, and a social gathering room... underground parking with exhaust fans, lighting.. total electrical service for building is around:
20,000 amperes service.
not bad.. not bad at all.
(might be higher if the heat is electric. (not certain?, water in pipes, but heated by gas or electric?)
Thanks guys; this helped a lot. I certainly understand much more about circuits and power usage now.

To go back to Elizabeth's advice, my breaker panel actually lists which circuit powers what in the apartment, so they did the job for me. Interestingly, the oven has a twin breaker of 40 amps, the dryer a twin of 30 and the AC a twin of 20 (two switches each but bridged so that operate as one). It appears the lights in the apartment (judging from the list, this includes the power outlets), have a circuit with two separate breakers, each stating 15 on them. Does this mean there are actually two circuits of 15 amps each? Funny how fascinated I am now by the topic. I just might talk an electrician! Thanks everyone.
Yes two separate circuits of 15 amps each. they are probably of different 'legs' so you do not want to try to use both for the stereo. (The incoming A/C power is in two phases. Those breakers with a clip holding them together are one of each leg of a 120V, so both together are 240 volts. So the stove and dryer are 240volt items. The reason you do NOT want to use both of the two circuits if they are of different legs, is that 240 volt potential.

IF (not likely, but better safe than dead) you electronics had a mixed up plus/neutral A/C in one component (very possible) and it developed an A/C fault. Well possibley a 240 volt potential could be then in your stack of stuff and 240 volts is a VERY hard shock to get.
Anyway, if your TV etc is completely separate from the two channel. then put that on other one.
(One VERY good use of an optical digital cable is in this situation. Then you can carry a signal from one to the other with NO electrical potential possible.)
Anyway, good luck on your electrical adventure.

PS: to know if the two 15 amp circuits are in fact different legs. the hot wire in an outlet is 120V to the neutral.
IF the hot from one 15 amp breaker to the hot of the other 15 amp breaker is 240 volts, then they are on different legs. IF the voltage is zero, they are on the same leg.
(I check this with sticking wires into the recepticals and measuring it with a voltmeter, but that is just me.
(PS I have witnessed a human nut-job stick two screwdrivers into a 240 volt wall outlet, then cross them with a third, and watched as the steel shafts melted off in spectacular fashion, it ruined the outlet too.)
I would bet money the two 15 amp breaker circuits are in fact different legs of the power.)
If you must play (or for other crazy fools: each receptical will have one side hot, and one neutral. So if you had a wire in the hot side, it will have a 120 volt potential to the neutral, OR to the ground, if the ground is working. The neutral will have no voltage to the ground. (that is why it is neutral!)'So if you have two outlets, and one is on another leg... then the hot of one outlet, measured to the HOT of the other outlet will be 240Volts. That is the ONLY combination to give 240 volts, each one to the other's neutral, or ground will only be 120 volts, and each other's neutral to ground will still be zero volts.
(and for the easily confused, the two plug pair in one outlet are ONE thing. they are almost always 99.999% of the time just connected to one set of wire, and do not have different stuff in them. so you do not have to worry about the two plug spots in one outlet pair OK)
And if you are at all confused abou this, DO NOT play around with it!!
Warning aside, have fun. (And if you use a cheap voltmeter, be certain it is good for up to over 240 volts reading! and safe for A/C circuits.)
Added: then a few powerline conditioners (like my Furman REF20i output what is called "technical power" which has no neutral in the A/C. each of the wires is hot, carrying 60 volts. and together they make 120 volts. (in the same manner as the two hot different legs make 240 volts)
Just a comment that stuff can be interesting..
I received an email from another member reminding me the ampacity of my total electrical reserve is limited by the wiring from the meter. So i went and looked at my meter, and I have only a maximum of 120amps from the meter. (The meter breaker is a pair of 60amp each breakers) Gee i am deprived!! I feel naked without my ampacity mojo up around 200 plus...
Actually i am certain 120amps is enough, considering I almost never use the electric stove..
(The meter breaker is a pair of 60amp each breakers)
03-07-11: Elizabeth

2 pole 60 amp main breaker? Then you have a 60 amp service....
It appears the lights in the apartment (judging from the list, this includes the power outlets), have a circuit with two separate breakers, each stating 15 on them. Does this mean there are actually two circuits of 15 amps each?
03-07-11: Actusreus

Are you sure the building was built in 1993?
You should have a bare minimum of (2) 120V 20 amp branch circuits for the kitchen and at least (1) 120V branch circuit GFI protected for the bath room/s.

What you described is more representative of the 1960s and earlier....
Only 60 amps would blow the breaker the minute the stove and oven with the air conditioner, frige,and other stuff all on at once. I can see what is on the panel of the meter. there are TWO 60 amp each breakers for my apartment.
What is the problem?
Nice to know that some folks have esp and can tell from some other location what is or isn't somewhere else they have never been. And they also know i must be wrong even though I AM here and looked at the box and can read. Sounds like you bought the "teleportation tweak" and think it applies to your brain.
Not that i am annoyed or anything...
I think I do. Here's the breakdown:
40 amps (bridged twin) for the oven
30 amps (bridged twin) for the washer/dryer
20 amps (bridged twin) for the AC
15 amps for the living room heater
15 amps (twin, not bridged - still confused what this means) for "lights." This one probably controls all of the outlets, but cannot test in now unless I want to incur my gf's wrath.
20 amps (twin, not bridged) for small appliances (fridge and kitchen outlets above the counter)
20 amps (twin, not bridged) for the dishwasher
20 amps (bridged twin) for the bedroom heaters

Not sure which one controls the bathroom outlets, however.
Jea48 has more knowledge on this subject than I do. So, if
I say or recommend anything that differs from him, please follow his advice. That said....the bridged breakers are for 240 volt branch circuits. The twin (not bridged) breakers are for 2 independant 120 volt branch circuits.

The wall outlet that you want to plug the stereo into, will be fed by one of the 20 amp (non bridged) breakers.
With a 20 circuit you shouldn't have any problems running your stereo. To make sure, as I mentioned earlier, turn off the breaker that powers that particular outlet and check to see what else is on the same circuit. While doing so remember that each 20 amp breaker lever controls one circuit. Don't turn 2 off at at time, it will skew your results.
Nice to know that some folks have esp and can tell from some other location what is or isn't somewhere else they have never been.
03-07-11: Elizabeth

I only went by what you posted Elizabeth.....

(The meter breaker is a pair of 60amp each breakers)
03-07-11: Elizabeth

And they also know i must be wrong even though I AM here and looked at the box and can read. Sounds like you bought the "teleportation tweak" and think it applies to your brain.

Who said you were wrong!

(The meter breaker is a pair of 60amp each breakers)
03-07-11: Elizabeth
If you have ONE TWO POLE 60 amp breaker at the meter for your apartment then you have a 60 amp service.

Do YOU only have ONE TWO POLE 60 amp breaker feeding your apartment? OR did I read your post wrong....

Thanks for the additional information....
Considering that both the M120's and the 250W Apollo's also have 5A fuses, I wouldn't consider that an accurate draw.

Do you really need a dishwasher? Ever considered a portable dishwasher? Frees up a dedicated 20A circuit... More cupboard space... You can sell that.
Jim & Elizabeth -- I think you are miscommunicating :-)

A two-pole 60 amp main breaker is referred to as "60 amp service," but means that 120 amps would be available if all of it were used at 120V, or that 60 amps would be available if all of it were used at 240V.

Best regards,
-- Al
I apologize and was completely wrong about the panel and what two brakers of 60 amps each means, indeed it is a 60 amp limit. I am likened to a tiger. I look pretty, but if annoyed (rightly OR wrongly) I leap with fangs and claws bared. Sorry!
Jim was 100% correct, and i am ashamed i did not investigate the issue more carefully before leaping.
Again I was wrong, I realized i was wrong as soon as I posted. i hope folks will fogive me. And I hope Jim will continue to try to help people understand stuff.

No need to apologize we all have our days.....

Al pretty much summed it up in his post.

I should have added in my post to you that indeed from each hot leg to neutral, (120V), there is an availability of up to 60 amps minus any 240V connected load/s. I guess in my mind it was a given we both understood that and we were in agreement.
Do you really need a dishwasher? Ever considered a portable dishwasher? Frees up a dedicated 20A circuit... More cupboard space... You can sell that.

Ha, ha, indeed, I do not need one! In fact, it has never been used since we moved in. However, my dedicated listening room is the farthest room from the kitchen. It's not a big apartment, but I cannot run an extension cord from the kitchen to the listening room; my gf would never allow it and it would look ridiculous as the cord would have to be run through the living room. Re-wiring is not an option as it's a rental.
Sorry to be reviving this dormant thread, but I have some additional questions that I'd like to ask to solicit your opinion.

Is it possible to have a truly dedicated power line in an apartment building? It seems that one could rewire one of the circuits perhaps to only feed the system, but wouldn't that line be still shared with the rest of the tenants in a general sense? In other words, if a 20 amp circuit in my apt feeds small appliances in the kitchen, would using it for the system only be what people refer to as a "dedicated line"? Since other tenants also have that circuit and might be using their blenders and microwaves at the same time as I listen, would that mean it is not a truly dedicated line? How isolated are individual circuits in an apartment from other tenants' circuits?

My neighbor, who also happens to be an audiophile, had an electrician rewire his air conditioner line to 115V for use with his system. He calls it a dedicated line, which it most likely is during the winter months, but if the rest of the tenants living on the floors below him and in the rest of the building are blasting their ACs in the summer, wouldn't that affect his "dedicated" line?
Actusreus, a dedicated line only insures there is nothing else on that breaker or line. If you have bad ac... you still will have bad ac.
Sure. Aside from that, are you saying that mine circuits are isolated from my neighbors' so that their usage has no effect on mine whatsoever? I noticed my kitchen light flickers barely noticeably sometimes; is that a sign of bad ac, heavy demand in the building, or something else?
Our power lines are underground and my audiophile neighbor agrees with me that we have a pretty good quality of current, especially late in the evening and at night for obvious reasons. I'm just exploring the benefit of dedicating a line in an apartment building with neighbors sharing walls and ceilings.
Get a Kill-A-Watt meter and start measuring stuff. worth about 20$

The callouts on an amp, unless it is a class'a' amp, are max ratings and will usually be much lower.