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Is 10 amps enough for a power strip breaker?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by Low Key, Nov 13, 2017.


  1. Low Key

    Low Key Supporting Member

    Feb 2, 2007
    Chicago
    I was going to purchase an extension cord reel with multi-outlets that has a 10A circuit breaker. I am powering a Mesa Boogie D-800+ and a pedal board via 1Spot. Is there a minimum amp rating that I should target for a breaker? I've performed many searches and haven't found a rule of thumb. I just want to avoid tripping the breaker at gigs (unless there is a legitimate reason).
     
    Last edited: Nov 14, 2017
  2. Stumbo

    Stumbo Wherever you go, there you are. Commercial User

    Feb 11, 2008
    the Intergalactic Mind Space
    Song Surgeon sofware
    What's your amp amp rating?
     
  3. Low Key

    Low Key Supporting Member

    Feb 2, 2007
    Chicago
    400 watts at 8 ohms and 800 watts at 4 or 2 ohms. I didn't see an amp rating, but there is an internal fuse at 6.3 amps (I think ... need to double check). Class D power, if that matters.
     
  4. agedhorse

    agedhorse Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 12, 2006
    Davis, CA (USA)
    Development Engineer-Mesa, Product Support-Genz Benz
    The breaker is required on the multi-outlet reel extension in order to protect the wire from overload. My guess is that the wire in the extension is 16 awhile.

    10 amps is plenty for the D-800, but note that the circuit breakers used on power strips are notoriously unreliable over time.
     
  5. What do you mean when you say unreliable over time? Cycles of the circuit breaker (failure to open or will not reset), regular non-tripping use (something internal degrades not allowing a trip)?
     
    Low Key likes this.
  6. charlie monroe

    charlie monroe Supporting Member

    Feb 14, 2011
    Buffalo, NY
    I have used those reels for a long time. So nice at load out time.

    I have never blown the breaker, but I generally only pushed a Fender Bassman 100 with it. I haven't used one with my SVT 4Pro, because I have a bunch of crap in my rack.
     
    a2zbassman and Low Key like this.
  7. Low Key

    Low Key Supporting Member

    Feb 2, 2007
    Chicago
    Yeah, my guitarist and keyboardist both use these and they seem like an smart investment. I was just worried about the breaker, but it looks like 10A should be fine. I just read that most modern power circuits in the USA are 15A or 20A. So if the theoretical maximum is 15A for some outlets, I can't imagine my amp and board would trip 10A by itself. But more importantly, hearing from the creator of my amp instills confidence!
     
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  8. Low Key

    Low Key Supporting Member

    Feb 2, 2007
    Chicago
    Thanks for being so active on TB and answering these questions. I love my D-800+.
     
    Stumbo likes this.
  9. charlie monroe

    charlie monroe Supporting Member

    Feb 14, 2011
    Buffalo, NY
    It has been recommended to me in the past to completely unroll the entire cable when in use. I have not done this.

    The premise is that the cable will get warm under load and if it remains coiled the heat cannot dissipate because it is surrounded by other loops of cable at the same temperature. Again, I never found this necessary but it is something to keep in mind.
     
  10. agedhorse

    agedhorse Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 12, 2006
    Davis, CA (USA)
    Development Engineer-Mesa, Product Support-Genz Benz
    The breakers are not a precision part, and the are exposed to getting smacked around. Same applies to switches on many power strips.

    Just be aware of the possibility because we have seen some amps returned for service with nothing wrong only for the owner to discover an intermittent breaker or switch on their power strip.
     
  11. Ampslut

    Ampslut Supporting Member

    May 15, 2017
    Well, your amp has a 3 amp internal fuse and your pedal board probably draws a fraction of that so 10 amps should be plenty. Like agedhorse wrote, the breaker and switches on those things do wear out with use. So, just be aware of that.
     
    Stumbo likes this.
  12. Kro

    Kro Formerly kap'n kro Supporting Member

    May 7, 2003
    New Jersey
    I started watching this thread to get a little smarter on breakers - so if I'm understanding correctly, the issue isn't that the breakers would become prone to not tripping as intended in a fault situation, but rather may be prone to... tripping inadvertently just due to wear/use.

    I'm ok with that if that's the case, as long as my gear is protected.
     
    Stumbo likes this.
  13. beans-on-toast

    beans-on-toast Supporting Member

    Aug 7, 2008
    There is a circuit breaker on the line that you are plugging into. A breaker on a power strip where you plug your amp into is not necessary.

    If you don’t need an outlet strip, you can use a hardware store contractor’s heavy duty extension cord, some have three outlets on the end. That would cover the amp and pedal power supply. There are ones without the illuminated outlet if that’s an issue.

    American Contractor 25 ft. 12/3 SJEOW Outdoor Extension Cord with 3 Outlet Power Block-34970002 - The Home Depot
     
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  14. Ampslut

    Ampslut Supporting Member

    May 15, 2017
    Like agedhorse wrote, the breaker is to make sure you don't overload the power strip by plugging in too many heavy load devices. For example, plugging in 4 devices that draw 5 amps each. Even though the wall breaker may be able to handle 20 amps, the cord on the power strip will overheat.
     
    Kro likes this.
  15. Kro

    Kro Formerly kap'n kro Supporting Member

    May 7, 2003
    New Jersey
    Cool, appreciate that. I've never really thought too much about it to be honest. I use a very thin rack mounted power strip that's more geared towards industrial use than for music - it does its job as a power strip and is super convenient for my needs - it just so happens to have a breaker on it. I guess I've misunderstood what the breaker was primarily for all this time, good to know!
     
    Ampslut likes this.
  16. john m

    john m Supporting Member

    Jan 15, 2006
    Get something without a circuit breaker—-
    It only protects the wire in the strip— your amp is already adequately protected,
    “Power strips” are designed for light duty or general duty—- such as office equipment.
     
  17. I read the title thinking, "Yeah I've probably plugged 10 amps into a power strip before!".
     
  18. Coolhandjjl

    Coolhandjjl

    Oct 13, 2010
    Appleton
    There are also molded 3 outlet plug-in adapters, like rat tails or in-line, so you can keep your current extension cord. But the cord linked earlier with the molded-in 3 way seems more secure.

    This thread has been informative for me. I do use a power strip, so I will limit its use to home practice only now.
     
  19. agedhorse

    agedhorse Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 12, 2006
    Davis, CA (USA)
    Development Engineer-Mesa, Product Support-Genz Benz
    The breaker is required in power strips for good reason, and are required for safety certification by all agencies.
     
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  20. mmon77

    mmon77 Supporting Member

    Jul 9, 2008
    Southern MN
    I have actually seen this happen at my work. We noticed it because we could smell a "burning plastic" smell. It wasn't burning, but it did get quite hot. I believe in addition to the cable not being able to dissipate heat as well, leaving the cable coiled up causes it to act as a large inductor coil.