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Topic # 26458 23-Sep-2008 14:25
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All,

As part of my home theater upgrade I felt I should add a dedicated eletrical circuit to minimise noise and all that jazz.  So I contacted a company that came very well recommended on www.nocowboys.co.nz, they answered the phone quickly, gave me useful information over the phone, then came out the next today to give me a free quote.

However the quote seems a bit high, and I just wanted to check if anyone could validate it, or has had similar work done.

As well as the home theater circuit I am also getting:

* 6 new power points (which apparently require 2 new circuits on top of the home theater on)
* As I have an old house (its a bungalow) and I have fuses, all eletrical work back to the switch board requires circuit breakers
* Plus I apparently need a RCD for the house as part of current regulations

So a total of 7 new sockets, 3 new circuits, whole house RCD, 3 circuit breakers, and assosicated cables, labour etc.

The quote came to just over $2K.

Thoughts?  Comments? Thanks!

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  Reply # 166545 23-Sep-2008 16:10
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Sounds like you've opened an electrical can of worms!

However at 2k I would say you've got a great deal - go for it! If your electrical reticulation is old, then its no suprise you need more circuits run (the old thinking was: why on earth would you need more than one powerpoint per room). Also adding in a central RCD is a very good thing for safety.

Not sure about your logic of minimising electrical noise by runnning a dedicated circuit. The lower impedance is a good thing (power and earthing), but if your equipment is that susceptible to noise that this would make a difference, I would be looking at your equipment! Disregard this last paragraph if you are an audiophile - ie: one of those guys that makes up their own "special" equipment power lead because it makes the audio sound more "pure" ;-)

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  Reply # 166592 23-Sep-2008 18:19
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You only need to RCD protect the new circuits, not everything. Get the RCBO breakers rather then a single RCD upstream of seperate breakers so they are individually protected. Too much switching power supply leakage will make them trip and its better to have the loads distributed across many RCDs so that the total leakage seen by each is less.





Richard rich.ms

 
 
 
 


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  Reply # 166684 24-Sep-2008 10:01
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richms: You only need to RCD protect the new circuits, not everything. Get the RCBO breakers rather then a single RCD upstream of seperate breakers so they are individually protected. Too much switching power supply leakage will make them trip and its better to have the loads distributed across many RCDs so that the total leakage seen by each is less.



Thanks for the info. From speaking to the eletrician, yes, only the new circuits will be protected by the RCD unless I also got the whole powerboard redone (it is one of the old ones with fuses), but that was more money.

I had to look up what a RBCO was, but I think I understand now, it is like a 'super' RCD with more protection?  I read that on the ABB site, which is actually quite informative.

So what you are saying is, inside of having one RCD upstream of the 3 new circuits (each with a circuit breaker), I should instead get an RCBO on EACH new circuit (and no need for the upstream RCD)?



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  Reply # 166686 24-Sep-2008 10:07
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argo: Sounds like you've opened an electrical can of worms!

However at 2k I would say you've got a great deal - go for it! If your electrical reticulation is old, then its no suprise you need more circuits run (the old thinking was: why on earth would you need more than one powerpoint per room). Also adding in a central RCD is a very good thing for safety.

Not sure about your logic of minimising electrical noise by runnning a dedicated circuit. The lower impedance is a good thing (power and earthing), but if your equipment is that susceptible to noise that this would make a difference, I would be looking at your equipment! Disregard this last paragraph if you are an audiophile - ie: one of those guys that makes up their own "special" equipment power lead because it makes the audio sound more "pure" ;-)


LOL!  Well, as far as I know, the whole house was rewired when it was relocated to its current site back in the 80's, so things are too bad!

Thanks for the validation of the price; I spoke to a neighbour who had their (old style) board moved and changed to the new style, and they far more than $2k.

In regards to the dedicated circuit for the lounge, this is something I have been recommended to do by the hifi dealer I buy from (who gets nothing for this advice), and I have read about, both in online forums and in magazine articles.  And since I need a new socket in the lounge anyway, putting this on a new circuit isn't too much more.

BTW - I wouldn't class myself as an audiophile, I DO like my audio but not to the point of making my own cables!  Clean power to the equipment seems like a logical option.

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  Reply # 166689 24-Sep-2008 10:33
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timbosan:   Clean power to the equipment seems like a logical option.


Only if you believe that the 1000kms of wire between your house and that actual power generators are intrinsicly cleaner and more free from interference than the wiring you have in your place :)

You should really only need a separate circuit if you have concerns about load or safety, IMHO this stuff about "cleaner" electricity is really up there with the chicken entrails,

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  Reply # 166690 24-Sep-2008 10:39
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Yeah the cable thickness can only carry so much current to be within the regulations, so they can only run one circuit to so many outlets.  You might not ever load this up too much, but they can't guarantee this, so that's why you need more than one circuit.

To be honest, even though your outlets will now be on a different circuit, all these circuits meet back at the board and there's no real barrier between the circuits where they meet.  If you're getting other work done then yeah go for it, but in real terms any interference you get on any circuit in your house can easily be transferred to other circuits.  It's a bit like the bi-wiring debate, but we wont go into that.

You don't need to redo every ciruit you have with an rcd, if you don't want to, but any new work will need an rcd.  Either way, sounds like you'll have a great setup that meets your needs.  Good luck.

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  Reply # 166718 24-Sep-2008 12:37
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Can help a lot with groundloops and having crap put onto the ground cable by other devices on the same circuit like crap power supplies for computers, UPS's and light dimmers which seem to manage to make loads of trash appear despite not even connecting to the ground.

I had to run an extension cable from where my power amp plugs in back to my preamp and the sub to get rid of the last bit of noise off them when the lights were on.




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  Reply # 166724 24-Sep-2008 12:46
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timbosan:
Thanks for the info. From speaking to the eletrician, yes, only the new circuits will be protected by the RCD unless I also got the whole powerboard redone (it is one of the old ones with fuses), but that was more money.

I had to look up what a RBCO was, but I think I understand now, it is like a 'super' RCD with more protection?  I read that on the ABB site, which is actually quite informative.

So what you are saying is, inside of having one RCD upstream of the 3 new circuits (each with a circuit breaker), I should instead get an RCBO on EACH new circuit (and no need for the upstream RCD)?


Yeah, it combines both the overload protection of a normal circuitbreaker and the earth leackage into one breaker. Most are double wide like the RCD's are but there are some single width ones now, but sadly the dont fit into most breaker panels since they are taller then the normal breakers.

Most electronic power supplies have some intentional leakage, thats why if they are not earthed you can feel a small charge on the chassis. When you get lots of them on the same RCD its enough to make it have nusuance trips. The wiring regs have being amended to now have a max of 3 circits on each RCD to help stop this, and usually one of them ends up being a lighting circuit with the other requriement that you dont have all the lights on one breaker so its less of an issue in new houses now then it was last year but still enough PCs and tvs and dvd players on one RCD and it will trip without being an overload situation. Its also made worse if you put surge protectors downstream of an RCD since everytime they divert noise/surges to ground the RCD sees an imbalance and may turn off too. Since removing my surge protected powerboards from my aquariums they have never tripped the RCDs, prior to that it was about a once a month occurance.




Richard rich.ms

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