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220V Extension Cord - How Long?

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  • 220V Extension Cord - How Long?

    I'm a welding newbie who has been looking for a Mig welder for learning to weld and get a few projects done.

    Like many, my garage only has 110 because when I built it, like a fool, I didn't plan ahead and run another cable for 220.

    However, the good news is that I have 50 amp service 125' away at an RV pad I put in for my parents.

    So, finally, the question: Can I run 125' of extension cord from the source to the garage and not hurt the equipment?

    If it helps, I'm looking at a used package of a Millermatic 175 that includes 50' of 10/3 extension cord already.

    Thanks in advance.

  • #2
    It should work fine. If you are cheap like me I would look at the largest romex type solid wire I could find. Maybe 8, not sure, probably would work since you are probably not maxing out the amperage on the machine. When done roll it up in a 4' loop and hand it on the wall.

    A larger multi strand wire is gonna cost ya. Isn't that stuff running near a buck a foot and you need 375'.

    For my sticks I run 10ga with no problems, but I don't run them maxed out and the cord is only 30' long.

    Rob

    Oops, reread that last sentence, you only need 225', I'd certainly use that 10/3 the last 50'.
    Last edited by robsd; 09-24-2008, 01:57 PM.
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    • #3
      Attached or separate garage? How difficult would it be to run another circuit in? Romax isn't designed for anything other than permanent installation...though that doesn't stop some from using it otherwise.

      It may be cheaper to run another service in and be done with it than spending almost the same amount, or more, on an extension cord you wouldn't need if you did...and you already have an extension cord for those times you need one. The Owner's Manual for your machine lists a maximum recommended input conductor length of 66'.
      Miller 251, Lincoln PrecisionTig 275, Miller DialArc 250 AC/DC, Hypertherm 900, Bridgeport J-head, Jet 14" lathe, South Bend 9" lathe, Hossfeld bender with a collection of dies driving me to the poorhouse, Logan shaper, Ellis 3000 bandsaw, Royersford drill press and a Victor Journeyman O/A.

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      • #4
        NM cable (Romex) is illegal for extension cords for a good reason. Please don't do that.

        How far is the garage from the main panel where the existing 120V circuit comes from, and what size wires are there now?

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        • #5
          Thanks for the replies. More info:

          It's a detached garage. 8 gauge cable is underground from the house main panel to a sub-panel in the garage about 75 feet away.

          The sub panel has two 30 amp breakers ganged together, each accepting one wire from the cable (black and red) and applying it to the bus. On the other side of the bus are four breakers. One 20 amp wired to outlets, one 15 amp wired for lights.

          There are two spare breakers on the bus, one 20A and the other 15A.

          Here's the welding equipment for sale $700 firm:

          Millermatic 175, 230 volt mig welder with leads and gas gauges.
          Accessories available:
          cart, #3 80 cu ft bottle (32in x 6.6in) part full with steelmix, leather cape and bib, helmet, magnets, mig pliers, slag hammer, contact tips, flux core wire, steel wire, 50 ft yellow jacket 10-3 extention cord with 50 amp 250 volt plug, 30 amp breaker (for cutler breaker box)
          $500 is bottom price for welder, leads and gas gauges.
          Accessories available at additional cost. Accessories prices negotiable. If interested in the whole set up, I'll take $700 firm.

          Again, I've never welded, always wanted to be able to, I have a few projects in mind (fixing my utility trailer, for example) and just assumed I'd look around for a 110V unit, but I came across this package deal and figured that 220 must be twice as good as 110, right? ( <<<<=joke )

          Questions:

          1. Could a 220v outlet be wired from the current garage sub-panel?

          2. The Millermatic 175 package - Good deal? So-so deal?

          Thanks again.

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          • #6
            Post up a Pick of the Box- but is sounds like it is possible.
            Ed Conley
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            • #7
              Looks like you already have 240V in the garage, just not wired from its subpanel! The cable coming in has 3 wires or 4 wires? IOW, Does it have a white AND bare/green or just one of those? Hopefully there is also a ground rod for this subpanel as well.

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              • #8
                Here's a picture of the panel with the cover pulled off.

                As you can see the 8 gauge cable has a red, a black, a white to the neutral bar and a green to the ground bar. There is also a thick bare copper wire which is coming from the grounding rod.




                Any opinions on whether the package is a good deal?

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by alienbogey View Post
                  Here's a picture of the panel with the cover pulled off.

                  As you can see the 8 gauge cable has a red, a black, a white to the neutral bar and a green to the ground bar. There is also a thick bare copper wire which is coming from the grounding rod.




                  Any opinions on whether the package is a good deal?
                  It does not look like #8 to me, perhaps #10 and that is why they have 30 amp breakers. I'm not sure what a Miller 175 takes for current draw, maybe a 20 amp would do it... wish I could see the picture and type at the same time!
                  Edit: I don't see room for another breaker anyway. I see what looks like a GFI, and 3 other 120 volt breakers? What are they feeding? I could see one for lights, another for??

                  Mac, what do you think?
                  Last edited by wmgeorge; 09-24-2008, 10:39 PM.
                  Retired...
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                  • #10
                    It could be #8, hard to tell from here. But that is an empty two spaces below the main breaker, isn't it? Even without replacing some of them with tandem breakers, you should be able to fit a 20A two-pole breaker in there, which is all you need for a MM175. A one-man shop shouldn't blow the main.

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                    • #11
                      It's 8 wire, I read it on the casing.

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                      • #12
                        Good deal or not, the welding package sold.

                        Oh, well, I'm in no hurry, and if I can figure out how easy/hard it would be to add 220 to the garage I'll be ahead.

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by alienbogey View Post
                          Good deal or not, the welding package sold.

                          Oh, well, I'm in no hurry, and if I can figure out how easy/hard it would be to add 220 to the garage I'll be ahead.
                          I'm not familiar with that panel or what size breaker is on the other end. But you could replace that main 30 amp if it is #8 with up to a 60 amp depending on the rating and type of underground burial.
                          If its just conduit, and above ground 40 amps. Then move the 30 amp down and call it your welder circuit. It could be the other end has a larger breaker and they put a 30 in because that way the garage breaker would trip first?

                          Lots and lots of used tools and welders now coming on Craigslist... people needing cash. Sad state of affairs.
                          Last edited by wmgeorge; 09-25-2008, 01:08 PM.
                          Retired...
                          Master Electrician
                          Journeyman Refrigeration Pipefitter
                          Semi-pro/Hobby Welder
                          Hobart Handler 140
                          MakerGear M2 3D Printer


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                          • #14
                            Is this feed from a double pole breaker at the house?
                            http://www.facebook.com/cary.urka.urkafarms

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                            • #15
                              I'm thinking it was originally 30A on larger #8 wire to help the voltage drop at that distance, and I would not increase it beyond a 40A breaker, which is probably the limit for #8 when you factor in the types of connections at either end.

                              Make sure of Cary's question, too.
                              Last edited by MAC702; 09-26-2008, 07:17 PM. Reason: grammar

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