(Topic ID: 294979)

Game Room Power Basics?

By fixintoplay

4 months ago


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  • 20 posts
  • 13 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 4 months ago by chuckwurt
  • Topic is favorited by 3 Pinsiders

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    #1 4 months ago

    I'm building a new house and curious if there are basic rules or guidelines for power and circuit protection of multiple pinball machines. I will have 6 in the room -- 4 EMs and 2 SS -- with the possible addition of more in the future. Is it a simple matter of adding up the operating amps of each machine to determine the correct breaker capacity? For years, my pin group has grown and been served by one 15A breaker which also serves lighting and TV for the same room. No fires yet.

    #2 4 months ago

    Awesome, but not a reason to go “short” anymore. You’re building a new house, so the key word is “More”. If it’s new construction, switching to two 20 amp circuits isn’t much more expensive than a single 15 amp one. Different breakers and different wires, but the same install cost really in new construction. If you have space on the end of your room, an extra one there for future expansion.

    You’re not new, so I don’t know if you would do a massive expansion of games. But allowing for it is always good in new construction. Same for data and televisions. Wire in cables into the walls for everything. Speakers, TVs, data in any location that could fit a TV. You don’t even need to pull them out of the wall, just have them there for future expansion and changes. It’s cheap insurance for your future self.

    And really, when I did my basement I did this, and never regretted it. The extra power and outlets came in handy when I switched things a few years later.

    #3 4 months ago

    I second what Dave said. Nobody in history has ever said, "Darn, I ran too many wires..." I have Cat5e and RG6QS all over my theater and game room. Most of it never gets used, but it's good that it's there, just in case.

    For power, I have a 20A circuit just for my pins (I can only fit 5 in my space, max). Lights have their own circuit. Theater equipment closet has its own circuit. And the rest of the outlets in the theater have their own circuit. Overkill, for sure, but again, why not?

    Regarding low-voltage stuff, if you're building new, instead of running wires to places you don't need yet, you might want to consider installing conduit. That way in the future, you can simply pull whatever wires you want through that. I have a conduit in the theater going from the projector to the equipment closet, and another one from the equipment closet to the central area in the house. The builder also installed conduit from the central area to the attic - which is great, if I ever want to run any cables to literally any room on the second floor. I haven't used it, but I'm glad it's there, and conduit is even cheaper than cable to install.

    #4 4 months ago

    These are great suggestions. Thanks. My neighbor told me how he ran conduit for speaker wires during construction, which is a great multi-use runway for any wire. I'm in the spec-editing paper stage right now, so the advice is timely. My builder charges HEAVILY for change orders. "I make a lot of money that way," he bragged.

    #5 4 months ago
    Quoted from fixintoplay:

    My builder charges HEAVILY for change orders. "I make a lot of money that way," he bragged.

    That's......... not a great sign.

    #6 4 months ago

    I have 2 20A circuits just for games, with 6 on each and no issues. To be honest I don't know if that's "appropriate" or not ha but it has served me well so far.

    #7 4 months ago
    Quoted from Fezmid:

    Nobody in history has ever said, "Darn, I ran too many wires..."

    That's what I did when I was wiring. Each TV got 3 x CAT 6, 1 x 3.5mm and 1 x HDMI. I also ran CAT 6 to multiple locations in the walls and are using them to power in wall tablets, VSCs (Volume Source Controls) for the audio and have a few buried at random places just because.

    I regret not running more conduit though. I have a few conduits, but I should have ran more. I ran speaker wire for 14 speakers in the ceiling some of which I'm using and some of which I'm not.

    There are more 20A circuits than I can shake a stick at. My breaker panel had plenty of spaces, so why not use them. I think I have 6 machines on each 20a circuit. I also have 2 dedicated to my rack which also runs my theater.

    Just like others have said, run more wire than you think you need. That will cover you for future use, or a wire potentially getting damaged during construction. If you're running conduit, which I highly recommend, run all your wires outside the conduit so you aren't taking up space that you might need in the future.

    #8 4 months ago
    Quoted from fixintoplay:

    These are great suggestions. Thanks. My neighbor told me how he ran conduit for speaker wires during construction, which is a great multi-use runway for any wire. I'm in the spec-editing paper stage right now, so the advice is timely. My builder charges HEAVILY for change orders. "I make a lot of money that way," he bragged.

    Find a new builder. We changed EVERYTHING off the plans and were charged nothing.

    #9 4 months ago
    Quoted from Spencer:

    Find a new builder. We changed EVERYTHING off the plans and were charged nothing.

    This will be in Kentucky, not Canada.

    #10 4 months ago
    Quoted from grantopia:

    I have 2 20A circuits just for games, with 6 on each and no issues. To be honest I don't know if that's "appropriate" or not ha but it has served me well so far.

    https://pinside.com/pinball/forum/topic/replacing-line-cords-plugs-wall-sockets-vids-guide#post-1945126

    #12 4 months ago

    Think how much outlets/Amps you need, triple that and you will still end up with too little of everything. Go crazy!

    #13 4 months ago

    I have a 600 sq ft arcade. I added 8 20amp circuits just for the games. One light switch for each circuit. I have like 25 outlets. Do it right the first time. You definitely want to go overboard on this.

    #14 4 months ago
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    #15 4 months ago

    My gameroom has a total of four breakers and a bunch of outlets; though not as many outlets as the post above haha!! I like to put a surge suppressor on each outlet. Living in Florida we have a lot of lightning, plus the ones I buy give six outputs and let the plugs come in from the side which is nice.
    amazon.com link »

    As far as power draw, modern pins and even older pins don't draw very much power as long as they are lit with LEDs. Converting an older game from the 80s or 90s to LEDs drops the power draw in half or ever less. You can easily hang five games on a 15amp breaker as long as they are LEDs.

    #16 4 months ago

    I agree on overbuilding at the start, but some examples and advice here is way overblown.

    I have 25 machines on 2 20 amp circuits and don’t see any issues playing. 20 or more are often in use at a time.

    This wasn’t the plan, but we needed to open the arcade last month and we are having problems getting an electrician to drop 2 more circuits.

    The other thing he needs to do is install a surge protector on the breaker box the protect the entire setup.

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    #17 4 months ago
    Quoted from fixintoplay:

    This will be in Kentucky, not Canada.

    Sweet! Another KY pinball hillbilly!

    For my house I have 5 20 amp circuits in the basement alone. I like to keep it to 5 games max per circuit. That way I know everything will be fine even if everything is rocking at once. Been holding leagues and tournaments at my house for 5 years now and never had an issue.

    #18 4 months ago
    Quoted from Spencer:

    Find a new builder. We changed EVERYTHING off the plans and were charged nothing.

    These kinds of builders don’t exist in the US. If you change the original order contracted items, you’re going to be charged for the cost plus margin for that additional work. Only way you wouldn’t be charged is if you went with like a different colored cabinet choice or something.

    #19 4 months ago
    Quoted from chuckwurt:

    These kinds of builders don’t exist in the US. If you change the original order contracted items, you’re going to be charged for the cost plus margin for that additional work. Only way you wouldn’t be charged is if you went with like a different colored cabinet choice or something.

    Well that sucks and frankly makes no sense. I was charged for the actual material/labour, just no cost to make the changes. We deleted things, and actually got a credit. In the basement we added plugs and paid like $40 per, for materials but no fees to make the changes.

    #20 4 months ago
    Quoted from Spencer:

    I was charged for the actual material/labour, just no cost to make the changes.

    Yeah. That’s what we’re charged for too. You aren’t charged a change order fee. Especially with a true custom builder. You get one of the big box places, they might. Cause they suck.

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