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New circuit - 15 amp vs. 20 amd and 14guage vs. 12 guage

Posted by Andrew in NY on December 15th, 2000 09:32 AM


My wife and I have ordered a new entertainment center which fits into a corner in the den. Currently, there are no outlets that will be directly behind the unit, and I hate looking at extension cords. We recently had our service upgraded to 200 amp, and have plenty of room for additional circuits. I would like to install a dedicated circuit for the entertainment center, with a new outlet in the wall behind the unit. I would then plug a surge suppressor/outlet strip into the outlet to plug the TV, VCR, cable box, receiver, subwoofer, and CD/DVD changer into. I have run new wiring and installed new circuits before, but primarily for light fixtures, etc. My questions are: For some reason I have a BUNCH of 12guage sheathed electrical cable, but only a little 14guage left. Can I use the heavier wire for a 15 amp circuit? Also, is there any reason that I would need to use a 20amp circuit? I only plan on having the single outlet serviced by the circuit (although the den wall backs up against the garage, and I would not mind having additional outlets in the garage. However, I would probably run a separate circuit to the garage to avoid interference, overloading, and having to reset the clocks on the VCR and TV every time I tripped the breaker with the circular saw, etc.) Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

One additional question: rather than a standard outlet with a surge suppressor/outlet strip, would it be possible to install a multi-receptacled, surge-protected outlet in the wall? Based on my count, I have 6 items to plug in, although the subwoofer and CD/DVD changer can be plugged into the receiver, giving me a total of 4. Anything like this on the market?

Thanks in advance,

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