high wattage power amps and old house wiring?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by MacheteJames, Apr 21, 2004.

  1. Here's the story.

    At band practice one night, my QSC RMX 1850HD set off the breaker in our practice room. It just so happens that our practice room is the basement of the drummer's house. The house is over 100 years old, we don't know how old most of the wiring is. This was a one-time occurance and hasn't happened again. I'm running one side of the amp at 4 ohms and the other at 8 ohms, so I believe thats 340 watts on one side and 600 on the other. I want to get an Acme Low B4 and run the QSC in bridged mono, to give it the full 1800 watts. If I do this, what are the chances that I might trip the breaker again? Do high wattage power amps have a tendency to do this?
  2. BruceWane


    Oct 31, 2002
    Houston, TX
    Well, it shouldn't be a problem, but that's assuming that the house is wired with the proper guage and there are no defects. I'll tell you an easy way to check ahead of time, though......get a hair dryer that's 1500-1800 watts, plug it in, put the temp and blower on high and see what happens; it'll draw a higher continuous load than your amp will.
  3. Jerrold Tiers

    Jerrold Tiers

    Nov 14, 2003
    St Louis
    Just go look at the breaker. Odds are its rated at 15A, which means it will supply about 1500 watts continuous.

    You shouldn't be able to drive a bass amp even up to half power continuous, unless you are the Yngve of bass....Guitar is another story.

    Did it pop when you turned the amp on?

    How much else was plugged in?

    If it doesn't do it any more you might not have a problem, sometimes old breakers get funky and need to be switched on and off to make better contact.

    But old house wires and high power draw do not go together well. Especially in basements, when the outlet does not have 3 prongs......so it's ungrounded.
  4. The lights in the basement always dim for a second when I power up the QSC. The time that the breaker blew, there was a mixer, a keyboard amp, a guitar amp, and a bass amp plugged in to two different wall outlets, with a power strip connected to each outlet. I'm just worried that I could draw 1000+ watts with the Acme on a low B note or something, and cause the breaker to blow again. Thanx...
  5. If the breakers are in the basement, it might be a viable fix paying an electrician to run thicker wire and install a 20 amp breaker or two (assuming the box isn't maxed out already). Serious home theater gurus and audiophiles sometimes do this, why not musicians?

    Then again, an extension cord upstairs to another circuit would only set you back $10.