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How long a load for a 235AC?

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  • How long a load for a 235AC?

    I need to use my Stickmate 235AC on a project (greenhouse). Problem is, the project is about 80 feet from the 220V 50amp outlet I normally plug it into. What is the most cost-effective way I can get it out there? Leads, or an extension cord? I checked leads at Tractor Supply the other day - holy crap, it's $5 a foot!

    I'll be welding at about 90 amps, by the way, using 3/32" 7018AC, if that makes any difference.

  • #2
    No contest.....extension cord is the way to go. Much more efficient to transport the electrical energy at a higher voltage and lower current. A 10 AWG (American Wire Gauge) cord would give you 2.78% voltage drop for 80 feet at 40 amps.

    You can find a wire calculator here: http://www.calculator.net/voltage-drop-calculator.html

    The above numbers came from the cited link.
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    • #3
      That's a great website. Thanks. I assume that 2.78% volt drop wouldn't have a significant effect on the welder....?

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      • #4
        No, especially with the small electrodes, it will work fine.
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        • #5
          What about a generator? Do you have one or access to one. A 5500 or 6500 watt should be plenty for the job your speaking of. You wouldn't need to spend the money on the cord if you have or could use one. Just a thought. If not the cord will be there in the future for another far away job. Good luck.........
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          • #6
            Originally posted by Fireman View Post
            What about a generator? Do you have one or access to one. A 5500 or 6500 watt should be plenty for the job your speaking of. You wouldn't need to spend the money on the cord if you have or could use one
            That crossed my mind - renting a generator or maybe an engine-powered welder. It would certainly cost less than 100-150 feet of 4AWG wire!

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Ruark View Post
              That crossed my mind - renting a generator or maybe an engine-powered welder. It would certainly cost less than 100-150 feet of 4AWG wire!
              You could probably buy a good used welder generator and save it for later projects around the greenhouse.

              And you shouldn't need 4AWG wire, 6 or 8 would be fine. Only need 230v +/-10% that can supply 47.5 amps max.

              If your running 200 feet plus then 4AWG would be the way to go.

              So, if running 8AWG at 50 amps, 230 volts, 150 feet, copper wire and a single set of conductors:
              Voltage drop: 9.42
              Voltage drop percentage: 4.10%
              Voltage at the end: 220.58
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              • #8
                Can you rent just a power cord?
                --- RJL ----------------------------------------------

                Ordinarily I'm insane, but I have lucid moments when I'm merely stupid.
                -------------------------

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                • #9
                  Advice to buy an engine drive welder or genset is bad advice if the need is as originally stated. Purchasing the required electrons from the power company is vastly more cost-effective than trying to manufacture your own. An extension cord requires no maintenance if taken care of while a gas engine/generator combo represents substantial initial cost, recurring expense and value depreciation.

                  USMCPOP has a good solution.

                  If there are other uses such as welding needs not indicated here, or provisioning of backup power, that is another story.
                  CanoeCruiser
                  Harris dual-stage O/A
                  Lincoln AC/DC buzzbox
                  Hobart IronMan 210
                  Lincoln PowerMig 135
                  Miller 3035 spoolgun
                  Thermal Arc 185
                  Thermadyne Cutmaster 52
                  Angle grinders, vicegrips, the usual suspects
                  Two hands, tired body, not enough time...

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by canoecruiser View Post
                    Advice to buy an engine drive welder or genset is bad advice if the need is as originally stated. Purchasing the required electrons from the power company is vastly more cost-effective than trying to manufacture your own. An extension cord requires no maintenance if taken care of while a gas engine/generator combo represents substantial initial cost, recurring expense and value depreciation.

                    USMCPOP has a good solution.

                    If there are other uses such as welding needs not indicated here, or provisioning of backup power, that is another story.
                    I agree, but if you can shop around, you can usually find these on sale somewhere.

                    http://www.brweldingsupplies.com/wel...n-cord-8-3-25/

                    I have 3 of these (25') which I got on sale at a Canadian equivalent to HF, Princess Auto, for $25 each. A little stiff, but more than what you require now, and great for future use with other applications and new welders.

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                    • #11
                      I got to second those cords, buy 4 of them and that machine will think its at the pole.

                      As a side note I like to see Hobby Welder picking up stuff like this. Its good to learn to read the data, beats a lot of trial and error. My thing isn't technical but estimation, guessing with an acceptable margin of error,,, does it really matter etc and the closer it gets to needing to be exact the more I bet that I am wrong.

                      Here is what I mean by this. You run an estimation at 230V and 47.5 which is a standard, max load at code level,,, etc and you recommended a wire higher than needed,,, all your estimates are safe. I also give myself a margin of error and figure it to lean a little to the worse.

                      The MFG allows us a legal install with 10 at 100 ft with this machine based on rated load as Hobby said,,, there is a bit to the incoming service,,, if its really sturdy, mine is 240+ and a wire the size of your thumb. Now some experience,,, An AC buzzer of that type with that rod runs right around 40, the actual load is even better than the estimate.

                      Even moving to 1/8 rod only drives the input up 3 A or so. But assuming we are going to use the 3/32 the estimate is off or over by 20%, I don't remember the length they allow for minimum wire but for a little bit of fab work, to peck at this a guy could put ends on a 12, the same size as the cord on the machine.

                      If I had to buy wire and ends, really either/or the cords Northweldor listed are the ideal thing.
                      Last edited by Sberry; 09-02-2013, 09:24 AM.
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                      • #12
                        It has been a long while since I cared but as I recall the numbers were even a pinch better on a DC unit, took about 38 and 41.

                        Only reason I mention this is that often we see recommendations that are not as absolute as they have to be, they may be costly to the point the end user never does overcome them. My neighbor is a licensed master long time, has a piece of every wire they ever invented and could have put it in for free but when you look in his garage there is a number 10 cable stapled to the stud to a plug.

                        He knows, he only uses it a little once in a while and will never overload it.

                        Back in the day when I was a sprout and slumming around hooked buzz boxes with a cable to a pole in the backyard way more than once,,, ha Some of them are probably still there, range plugs more often than not.

                        A small genset likely wont work and you don't need a 4 cord.
                        Last edited by Sberry; 09-02-2013, 09:48 AM.
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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Fireman View Post
                          What about a generator? Do you have one or access to one. A 5500 or 6500 watt should be plenty for the job your speaking of. You wouldn't need to spend the money on the cord if you have or could use one. Just a thought. If not the cord will be there in the future for another far away job. Good luck.........
                          Unfortunately a Buzz box needs a genset with about 12,000watts +.
                          Even at Low power settings on the machine the Transformer inside the buzz box demands a lot of start up juice to get the electrode to run properly.

                          It gets confusing since you can run a Buzz box on a House 240v 30amp circuit and it will operate fine at low settings but not so good on a 30amp 240v 7200watt generator.

                          Simply put, the generator just doesn't have the meat to absorb the inrush of current that a Buzzbox puts on the power source.

                          Your Household power meat is the Power Plant- the buzzbox doesn't even register
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                          • #14
                            The years of joy having long extensions cords brings makes it worth having them. Some folks make cord holders for their welding carts for even more convenience.

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