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# 1200w -1600w PSU's pushing the limits of the electrical outlet?

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I noticed power supplies are up to 1600w and some ever higher. I also noticed that they are using NEMA 15 plugs. Is this pushing the limits? or too much for a standard home electrical outlet? would one have to be worrying about tripping circuit breakers, etc? Thanks!

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Not sure, think in EU wall sockets can provide 13A at 230V if the whole cicuitry is up for it... so thats like 2900 Watts Not sure about America

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Ohm's Law is I= V/R, where I is the current in amps, V is voltage in volts, obviously and R = resistance in Ohms.

In a typical situation, one is using the variation of this equation, V=IR. Anyway,

I digress because I like this stuff and rewired my entire house.

You want to know max watts on a circuit. Watts is  a measure of Power and without giving you more equations one can load 2400 watts onto a typical 120V,20 amp circuit. Having said this, it is convention and maybe even code (I'm not an electrician) that one only use 80% of max load, so that's 1920 watts. So you're OK for monster PSUs

On a 15amp circuit, the max is 1800 watts, so less 20% is 1440 watts. In this case you ARE NOT OK for a 1600watt PSU. It would be a fire hazard!!

In case you think it is just a matter of switching to a 20 amp receptacle, you would be mistaken. The receptacle is dictated by the gauge wire that is run to it and the breaker. 12 gauge wire can handle the extra load of a 20amp circuit. Most people run 14gauge wire and that requires a 15amp circuit.

There, electricity 101

EDIT: I can't resist. The equation is P = I x V, where P is power in watts, and we've discussed I and V

Edited by ivangela

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I just learned something. I knew about the amp limit but I didn't think of needed to swap out the wires to since they arent rated that high.

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glad to help and possibly prevent a fire. my pal's haouse burned down in New Orleans from faulty wiring...it sucked

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glad to help and possibly prevent a fire. my pal's haouse burned down in New Orleans from faulty wiring...it sucked

Thanks for the help, so let say that you plug in the 1600w monster in the 15amp circuit. Wouldn't the PC be using only what is needed from the 1600w maximum? which in my case would be way under 1600w.

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glad to help and possibly prevent a fire. my pal's haouse burned down in New Orleans from faulty wiring...it sucked

Thanks for the help, so let say that you plug in the 1600w monster in the 15amp circuit. Wouldn't the PC be using only what is needed from the 1600w maximum? which in my case would be way under 1600w.

yup

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A 1600 watt PSU doesn't pull 1600 watts (or 1600/(efficiency rating at full load)) unless you have a rig that actually demands 1600 watts.

The vast majority of 1600 watt PSUs are 90+ Platinum which means even at the very worst, with you pulling 1600 watts in your rig, the PSU will only pull 1780 watts or so from the wall - just under 15 amps on a 120V circuit.

Nobody really has a rig that pulls that much though - even the most beastly rigs are under 1 KW. You are safe to pull 15 amps on a 15 amp circuit - if you're not, that means you're home isn't to code. Most 15 amp circuits can actually handle a lot more than that but the breaker on the circuit will go first.

For example:

My 4.7 GHz 2700K + GTX 780 SLI + 16 GB RAM + dual HDDs + SSD + cathodes + pump + 12 fans + dual temperature displays...all pull less than 800 watts from the wall at full load.

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A 1600 watt PSU doesn't pull 1600 watts (or 1600/(efficiency rating at full load)) unless you have a rig that actually demands 1600 watts.

The vast majority of 1600 watt PSUs are 90+ Platinum which means even at the very worst, with you pulling 1600 watts in your rig, the PSU will only pull 1780 watts or so from the wall - just under 15 amps on a 120V circuit.

A VERY bad idea to draw 1780 watts on a 15amp circuit, and NOT code!

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A VERY bad idea to draw 1780 watts on a 15amp circuit, and NOT code!

Continuously, sure, but how many rigs on the planet can pull 1600 watts continuously?

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I can build it! CrossFireX with 3 290x cards in an AMD 990 platform using an 9590 at 5Ghz. 16gb memory then the water cooling. On a 20 amp circuit of course.

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I can build it! CrossFireX with 3 290x cards in an AMD 990 platform using an 9590 at 5Ghz. 16gb memory then the water cooling. On a 20 amp circuit of course.

Even that probably can't hold a 1600 watt load continuously except for stress testing.

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