A 15 amp is plenty,you will never need a 20 amp it would be total overkill,a 15 amp is the correct type for your gear.
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The biggest expense of the job will be for the labor of the electrician. Install 20 amp branch circuits. #12 awg NM-B cable minimum.....
Make sure the new branch circuits are installed on breakers that are fed from the same Line, leg, in the electrical panel. Preferably not across from breakers that feed noisy AC loads such as motors, microwave, ect.
In my opinion,humble as it may be,dedicated lines should originate at the main panel not the distibution panel.I would run 20A circuits,only a few dollars more for materials.You might not need them now,but,you never know what you needs will be in the future.Others may disagree and that's fine with me.
Definitely 20A. circuits with the 12g.wire w/ground . Use copper not aluminum wire .
And I would suggest that you have them installed with an isolated ground . That would be a seperate ground from the rest of your electrical system with the grounding rod at least 6ft. away from the original . This will assure that you do not get any noise from other things in your home as mentioned above . This is the type of grounding system used in hospitals and computer rooms . You may need to hire a 'commercial' electrician to find one with experience with this type of grounding system . I did .
Just Google isolated grounds so that you will know what is involved with the installation procedure . It is not that difficult , just different .
Oh , and having two seperate lines will allow you to seperate your digital items from your analog items .
Good luck .
I can't understand why you need a 20 amp when your gear only uses about 500 watts. 1 amp= 110 watts so a 15 amp circuit is about 1700 watts; a 20 amp is about 2200 watts, it is like using a 5 amp fuse when you need a 1 amp fuse. You are better off having a breaker trip instead of frying your gear. I know of no audio gear that would ever draw that much current,but if it makes you feel better go ahead and do it!
I can't understand why you need a 20 amp when your gear only uses about 500 watts. 1 amp= 110 watts so a 15 amp circuit is about 1700 watts; a 20 amp is about 2200 watts, it is like using a 5 amp fuse when you need a 1 amp fuse. You are better off having a breaker trip instead of frying your gear. I know of no audio gear that would ever draw that much current,but if it makes you feel better go ahead and do it!The breaker is there to protect the branch circuit device, (receptacle), and the wiring... not the audio equipment plugged into it. The equipment has its own overcurrent protection.
As for the difference in cost between #14 awg wire and #12 awg the difference is miniscule. As I said in my earlier post most of the cost for installing the branch circuits will be labor.
And if by chance Kitegod would like to install Porter port receptacles on the end of his new branch
circuits he will be code compliant. It is against code to install a 20 amp receptacle on a 15 amp branch circuit.
Who can say down the road if Kitegod will upgrade his system. Maybe a bigger amp, or what ever.
A subpanel can have its own grounding, isolated from the ground of the main panel. I used 6 gauge for the ground, bolted to the center of a buried 2'x2' steel plate as is done for swimming pool installations.
For 20A circuits, 12 gauge solid core, not stranded, as a minimum should be used, but it all depends on the length of run. I did some overkill by running 10 gauge solid core for everything, which is not easy to work with but can be worth doing. Insist on the same size for the ground conductor. Twist the wires together using an electric drill before pulling them to prevent vibration in the conduit.
A subpanel can have its own grounding, isolated from the ground of the main panel. I used 6 gauge for the ground, bolted to the center of a buried 2'x2' steel plate as is done for swimming pool installations.Not in the USA... It is a violation of NEC code. The feeder equipment grounding conductor shall be installed in the same cable or raceway and terminated in the same electrical panel as the feeder conductors.
Bill, you can use either 20 or 15 amp breaker, just be sure to use 12GA wire in your new dedicated circuit. Most electricians will use 14ga wire for a 15 amp circuit.
One other thing to mention too. Before you plug the breaker into the panel, look and see which side or leg your kitchen frige is on, and select the other side or phase. no point of going to all that work then pulling power off the same leg your fridge is on, introducing the motor noise into your gear.
You may also want to look into a dedicated ground, which will remove additional noise, but just make sure you issolate the ground from the rest of your house.
You also did not mention how hold your house is, but many homes built in the 80s used the outlets where the wire can be pushed in from the back. Don't use those. Make sure the screw terminals are used so you get a solid connection.