(Topic ID: 224848)

What size breaker would suffice for 5-6 modern pins ?

By Jeff1960

3 years ago


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  • 22 posts
  • 11 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 3 years ago by Mando
  • Topic is favorited by 3 Pinsiders

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    #1 3 years ago

    I have 9 total but I think they should be OK.
    Thanks Jeff

    #2 3 years ago

    20A should work for 5-6 pins

    #3 3 years ago

    Depends on if you believe in the 8amp/ 120v fuse for overcurrent draw is dramatic overkill or not.

    I think if you're only playing one at a time, it's not a big deal.....but if they are all cranking at the same time, suspect the amperage can easily pop a 20a breaker w 5 or 6 pins. I've never actually measured full load on these things...

    Only have 3 on a 20a dedicated circuit in my rig.....headroom

    #4 3 years ago

    Yeah kind of thinking a pin party all on and kicking.

    #5 3 years ago

    Hmm my game room has 6. All have leds. I have yet to pop the breaker with all of them on and playing. I think it's a 20 amp breaker. Possibly 15. Either way I've never got it to trip the breaker but maybe I'm just lucky? I need to use an amp meter and see how much each machine draws while in use.

    #6 3 years ago
    Quoted from darcangeloel:

    Hmm my game room has 6. All have leds. I have yet to pop the breaker with all of them on and playing. I think it's a 20 amp breaker. Possibly 15. Either way I've never got it to trip the breaker but maybe I'm just lucky? I need to use an amp meter and see how much each machine draws while in use.

    I seem to recall reading they draw around 2.5amps @ 120v, so w 80% rule, suppose 5-6 on a 20amp breaker would be ok.....I just wonder about inrush on coils when multiple games firing.....having only 3 per circuit, I figured I could easily add a couple more, plus all the other gizmos in the room

    #7 3 years ago

    20 amps will work. I also use serge protectors in each wall outlet.

    #8 3 years ago

    Aren't the main fuses [email protected]? guess they protect for a ground fault type of occurrence....

    When I put a new panel in my house, I measured around 90 amps on a leg with everything on. Don't remember how I got to sizing the main disconnect @ 200amps...have to drag my code book back out.

    #9 3 years ago

    I only have 2 pins currently, but have been considering adding more, so just last night I put a meter on my WOZ to measure the current draw.

    There's a pretty wide range of current draw while playing the game. Anywhere from below 2 amps in attract mode when all lights are off, all the way up to over 7 amps when the top lanes magnet and flying monkey kick in.

    It just spikes that high briefly. In general, I would say the game draws in the neighborhood of 4 to 4.5 amps during game play.

    Not sure how much effect the brief higher spikes will have, as far as popping the breaker. Still need to measure my TSPP as well.

    I only have a 15 amp circuit in this room currently.

    #10 3 years ago
    Quoted from Fizz:

    I only have 2 pins currently, but have been considering adding more, so just last night I put a meter on my WOZ to measure the current draw.
    There's a pretty wide range of current draw while playing the game. Anywhere from below 2 amps in attract mode when all lights are off, all the way up to over 7 amps when the top lanes magnet and flying monkey kick in.
    It just spikes that high briefly. In general, I would say the game draws in the neighborhood of 4 to 4.5 amps during game play.
    Not sure how much effect the brief higher spikes will have, as far as popping the breaker. Still need to measure my TSPP as well.
    I only have a 15 amp circuit in this room currently.

    That's the inrush I was referring to, not overcurrent (surge) protection. Just remember, you can't just pop a 20a in where a 15a was....wire gauge must be correct from the feeder.....warming the wire not a good thing... 14awg for 15a, 12awg for 20a....

    #11 3 years ago

    Alright..I don't know what I did.....my last 2 posts are responses to the prior poster...(#8 and #10, are my posts)....

    #12 3 years ago

    you can easily get 5-6 they draw 2.5 at peak , I bet you could get 8 as they won't all peak at same time.

    #13 3 years ago
    Quoted from Mando:

    you can easily get 5-6 they draw 2.5 at peak

    Use a kill-a-watt meter and you will see that 2.5 amps at peak is half of what it sucks down, especially if you have a shaker installed.

    -Mike

    #14 3 years ago
    Quoted from Grizlyrig:

    Use a kill-a-watt meter and you will see that 2.5 amps at peak is half of what it sucks down, especially if you have a shaker installed.
    -Mike

    Interesting, I need to get one of those and check them out. None of my games have shakers but that may change , a lot of times when I'm having a party or the league over to my house I will power 3 of my 6 pins using a circuit in another room with an extension cord pushed out of the way. It's not ideal but it works , after the party I remove it as I think extension cords are tacky, plus I trip on them

    #15 3 years ago
    Quoted from Grizlyrig:

    Use a kill-a-watt meter and you will see that 2.5 amps at peak is half of what it sucks down, especially if you have a shaker installed.
    -Mike

    That’s a good point about the shaker. The numbers I gave above for my WOZ are without the shaker. I have it turned off. Maybe I’ll turn it on and see how much that changes things.

    #16 3 years ago

    No clue what they draw but every Christmas I have the whole family over. For about 3 hours all we do is play pinball. All 6 of my games are in the same room and all have shakers as well as additional light mods. Never once have I tripped the breaker which is 20 amps.

    #17 3 years ago

    This is a recurring question and will never be answered to everyone's satisfaction. Some things to consider...
    1. The 15A circuit in your home already has the safety margin built in to it. You don't need to extend it.
    2. The breaker tripping is a nuisance, not a safety issue.
    3. LEDs do reduce the current draw of the games by a lot.
    4. A 15 amp breaker does not trip at 15 amps. It takes over 30 seconds to trip at 30 amps, so you don't have to worry about short surges. Web search for "15 amp breaker trip curve" if you want details. Fair warning: it takes some time to understand the chart.
    5. The raw current capacity of a 14 gauge wire is way more than 15 amps. Electric code limits the voltage drop to 5%. This allows 160 ft of 14 gauge wire in a 15 amp circuit, but code is probably more conservative (see #1).
    6. The distance from your outlet to the electric panel will be a factor (see #5).

    I've never heard of anyone with 6 pins on a 15amp circuit that blew a breaker but I can't declare it impossible.

    - Kerry*

    *Electrical Engineer but not a licensed electrician

    #18 3 years ago
    Quoted from KerryImming:

    This is a recurring question and will never be answered to everyone's satisfaction. Some things to consider...
    1. The 15A circuit in your home already has the safety margin built in to it. You don't need to extend it.
    2. The breaker tripping is a nuisance, not a safety issue.
    3. LEDs do reduce the current draw of the games by a lot.
    4. A 15 amp breaker does not trip at 15 amps. It takes over 30 seconds to trip at 30 amps, so you don't have to worry about short surges. Web search for "15 amp breaker trip curve" if you want details. Fair warning: it takes some time to understand the chart.
    5. The raw current capacity of a 14 gauge wire is way more than 15 amps. Electric code limits the voltage drop to 5%. This allows 160 ft of 14 gauge wire in a 15 amp circuit, but code is probably more conservative (see #1).
    6. The distance from your outlet to the electric panel will be a factor (see #5).
    I've never heard of anyone with 6 pins on a 15amp circuit that blew a breaker but I can't declare it impossible.
    - Kerry*
    *Electrical Engineer but not a licensed electrician

    Some of the above is not quite right ( except the first sentence)

    Not worth the bandwidth or the deep dive....just know that wire size, type of wire, and disconnect overcurrent device (breaker usually) are quite relative, and engineered as a complete system...

    When a breaker trips, something is (went) wrong.....there for safety and integrity of the design ( as opposed to melting the insulation off the wire in your wall).

    We can design load capacity easy in my world as power amplifiers are very specific on ratings (all about the heat, btw, raw current capacity has zero relevance and dangerous to even put in this equation). Pinball machines are certainly more dynamic on the power draw, but I've read several threads that claim 5-6 on a single circuit work fine. Doubt I would ever run more than 4 on a single circuit in my home, as they are individually fused @ 8a/ 120v, maybe they pull 2.5, maybe inrush to 7...apparently not a biggie......but I'm just a paranoid, licensed electrician (one of my hats). Just grab a couple of modern hair dryers and start plugging them in together.....you'll get the point.

    #19 3 years ago

    Thanks for all of your imput ,
    It seems that maybe just to be on the safe side an extra 20 amp should suffice so as not to strain the 15 amp that is there. I'd rather split it up even though it may not be needed and since the electrical box is below the room where pins are I'm hoping for an easy install.
    Thanks Jeff

    #20 3 years ago

    Eight early solid states on one 20a and seven DMD+alpha games on another 20a. No problems here even when i have a lot of people over and many getting played at once.

    Flippers and coils make a spike, but just sitting there the constant current draw isnt too high like a microwave or electric heater is. Maybe if everyone managed to flip at the same time it would be a problem.

    #21 3 years ago

    Seventeen pinball machines are using about 1900w / 15.8a sitting in attract mode. Balanced between two 20a I think it's fine.

    I do have switching regulators and LEDs in a lot of games which helps.

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    #22 3 years ago
    Quoted from Grizlyrig:

    Use a kill-a-watt meter and you will see that 2.5 amps at peak is half of what it sucks down, especially if you have a shaker installed.
    -Mike

    I did and mine seem to spike at 2-2.5 but they are all newer and no shaker in the ones I tested .

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