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220 wiring question (Hobart Handler 190)

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  • 220 wiring question (Hobart Handler 190)

    I'm new to welding have limited prior home electrical experience.
    I would like to put 220 in my garage. I have space on my circuit panel for it. I am in the United States. The plug that is attached to the welder looks like a 50 amp 3 prong plug.
    According to manual:
    Input amps at 30% Duty Cycle is 20.5 amps. Max recommended Normal operating fuse is 30 amp. Min Input conductor size is 14 AWG. My run will be less than 25 ft.

    I have been reading a lot online and on this website. My questions are:

    1. why is it a "max" recommended fuse of 30 amps when the plug is 50 amp rated? and why is it a max and not a minimum? Much of what I have already read online recommends a 50 amp breaker.

    2.14 AWG seems way too small based on what I've read, but then again this could tie into question 1.

    thanks

  • #2
    The NEMA 6-50 plug/receptical has become a industry standard for welders, and due to electrical usage there is no minimum current specification for plug/receptical... Using a maximum rating is to insure that a 50 amp draw on plug/receptical is not exceeded or goes beyond design/engineering capabilities ... This has been confirmed by a staff of engineers to keep the average person in a safe zone, and if one ventures outside the safe zone the liabilities are on that person...

    The recommended fuse/circuit breaker rating of 30 amp is more to protect the wiring from circuit breaker to receptical from overheating ( cause fire) and possible short circuit than to protect equipment using circuit.... The minimum 14 gauge wire size recommendation goes hand in hand with the 30 amp rating of fuse/breaker... The electrical industry has been very careful to establish safe wire sizes vs current rating/flow (amperage) to protect the industry/environment/persons from disastrous situations..... About 99% of the time upon investigation electrical fires were causes by people not following common standards of electrical equipment (plugs/receptacles/fuses/circuit breakers/wire sizes) and or lack of knowledge about energy they are working with....Minimums don't get you in trouble, exceeding maximum does.... This is why most appliances state average power consumption under normal conditions so that the cumulative of power draw on a circuit does not exceed engineered safe designs...

    Dale
    Last edited by Dale M.; 09-22-2018, 12:55 PM.
    Lives his life vicariously through his own self.

    Comment


    • #3
      I'm an experienced welder and a professional electrician.

      As mentioned, the 50A configuration on the plug is so that most welding equipment can be standardized and plug into any receptacle designed for welding equipment, whether it needs the full 50A capable of the receptacle or only needs 20A.

      But independently of the plug/receptacle's 50A rated maximum, you can design the circuit to the needs of your machine to save time and money. Your machine only needs 30A, so you can protect your 50A plug with only a 30A breaker. This is so you can run wire rated at 30A instead of 50A, which will be smaller, a lot cheaper, and a lot easier to work with.

      Because it is a welding machine instead of a clothes dryer, it has a relatively short duty cycle, typically 20 - 30% at maximum power. This means only 2 to 3 minutes out of every 10 minutes, it will be drawing power, and idling (while the wire can cool) during the other times. This is usually just fine because no hobbiest welds for several minutes at a time, all day long. Most of us, including pros in a one-man shop, have many other necessary tasks between actual arc-on times. So machines are made lighter to take advantage of that. It also means the wire that can carry up to 30A will be #10 copper for a clothes dryer (on all the time while in use) and #14 copper for a welding machine. It also means that if you size the wire smaller for the welding machine, you really should label the receptacle that it is only to be used for the welding machine.

      A very typical welding circuit can be made with the full 50A breaker and #12 copper wire. This is still affordable and easy to work with, and can provide full welding power to the bigger (still 20% duty cycle) machines that most weldors might upgrade to.
      Last edited by MAC702; 09-22-2018, 12:38 PM.

      Comment


      • #4
        Adam, Welcome to this board.

        The electrical code allows for a certain few "fudge" factors if a circuit will be used EXCLUSIVELY for a small welding machine (or any welding machine for that matter). Check the current Electrical Code, Article 630. It is only 3 1/2 pages long. A good portion of it deals with spot welders, which you don't have, and welding cables (which extend from a stick welding machine to the stinger and to the work clamp), which you also don't have. Everything my colleagues told you in the preceding posts is correct. However, if it were me, I'd install the 50 amp receptacle, wires capable of carrying 50 amps, and a 50-amp breaker. Then you'll have a REAL 50 amp circuit installed to your garage. You won't have the ABSOLUTE MINIMUM allowed by code for your (presently-owned) small welder. In the future you can get a larger welder, a big air compressor, a gigantic saw, lathe, milling machine, heater, or whatever strikes your fancy (including a dryer). You can plug such new big-boy-toys, one at a time, into your REAL 50 amp circuit without a care in the world. A welder, or anything electric, will draw only the amount of current from the "wall" that it needs to run. Wires bigger than necessary to carry the needed current? No problem. Smaller wires? Big problem.
        Hang in there, Adam; you can do this. ~0le
        "If a problem can't be solved, enlarge it." (The 34th president of the United States)

        Comment


        • #5
          good advice.....I have 210mvp and am running it on a 50amp circuit/6ga wire. I installed it years ago to run my Hobart TRU 230/140.....my 210mvp runs smooth as silk.

          If you're going to install a new circuit make it a 50amp (same work either way) and you have room to grow, if necessary.

          Last edited by Rangerhgm; 09-24-2018, 12:44 PM.

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          • #6
            The manuals are written for those familiar with Nema and code. There should be a general recommendation that exceeds it a bit and it would end some confusion. The max in that scenario is when the minimum wire is used. The problem with it is that the recept isn't listed for use with that small wire. It is also single circuit in pipe. If you use a cable use a 12 or better and a 30 for that machine. If you use a 10 cable it can use up to a 50 breaker. The only thing that should really be plugged in to a welder outlet is a welder. An electric range requires a different outlet and the welder outlet is only rated to 3 hp. Its really not the right outlet for much anything else.
            Its not a big deal to me, I usually run 10/30 for them just cause I can and these are small and need all the help they can get although a guy probably wouldn't notice any difference between 10 and 12. I have never ran one on 240 with 14 but tested 120V units 12 vs 14 and if I am looking critically need to adjust the machine a little with 50 ft of cord. About 8 or 9V from on 14;50 ft and only 3 or so on a 12 wide open north of 20A. With a 12 cant even tell its on a cord.
            http://www.facebook.com/cary.urka.urkafarms

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            • #7
              Originally posted by MAC702 View Post
              I'm an experienced welder and a professional electrician.

              As mentioned, the 50A configuration on the plug is so that most welding equipment can be standardized and plug into any receptacle designed for welding equipment, whether it needs the full 50A capable of the receptacle or only needs 20A.

              But independently of the plug/receptacle's 50A rated maximum, you can design the circuit to the needs of your machine to save time and money. Your machine only needs 30A, so you can protect your 50A plug with only a 30A breaker. This is so you can run wire rated at 30A instead of 50A, which will be smaller, a lot cheaper, and a lot easier to work with.

              Because it is a welding machine instead of a clothes dryer, it has a relatively short duty cycle, typically 20 - 30% at maximum power. This means only 2 to 3 minutes out of every 10 minutes, it will be drawing power, and idling (while the wire can cool) during the other times. This is usually just fine because no hobbiest welds for several minutes at a time, all day long. Most of us, including pros in a one-man shop, have many other necessary tasks between actual arc-on times. So machines are made lighter to take advantage of that. It also means the wire that can carry up to 30A will be #10 copper for a clothes dryer (on all the time while in use) and #14 copper for a welding machine. It also means that if you size the wire smaller for the welding machine, you really should label the receptacle that it is only to be used for the welding machine.

              A very typical welding circuit can be made with the full 50A breaker and #12 copper wire. This is still affordable and easy to work with, and can provide full welding power to the bigger (still 20% duty cycle) machines that most weldors might upgrade to.
              This is the very best response I have ever seen on the web concerning this subject/question. It comes up a lot, it confuses a lot of people and rightly so. This should be made a sticky or pegged somehow.

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              • #8
                The 30 max is when using the minium wire, if the wire is 12 or better it can be on 50a
                http://www.facebook.com/cary.urka.urkafarms

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                • #9
                  My wire is 12-3 dedicated to the 1 outlet. Thanks

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by RonnieH View Post
                    My wire is 12-3 dedicated to the 1 outlet. Thanks
                    12/3 cable or 12/3 cord? They are different and contain a different number of wires inside.

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                    • #11
                      12-3 wire. Bought it at home depot. Yellow cover

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by RonnieH View Post
                        12-3 wire. Bought it at home depot. Yellow cover
                        I'm assuming it's NM-B cable, then, though yellow cords also exist.

                        You only needed 12/2 if a cable, as it doesn't count the ground in the number. What did you do with the extra wire?

                        To clarify terms:
                        Wire is the individual conductor.
                        Cable is an assembly of wires used for permanent premises wiring, like NM-B "Romex."
                        Cord is a flexible assembly of wires used for temporary or flexible applications where allowed, like an extension cord or SO service cord.

                        12/2 cable and 12/3 cord have have the same number of wires inside.

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                        • #13
                          It was 12-2 instead of 12-3.

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