Wiring an arc welder

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Old 12-14-02, 07:35 AM
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Wiring an arc welder

Not content to play around with these pansy 20 amp circuits, I went out and bought me an arc welder last night.

The manual calls for a 50 amp 240 volt circuit. I picked up an outlet, but don't know what guage wire to use. The welder manual says 10 guage if in conduit and suggests 8 guage would be fine if not in a conduit.

I won't be using conduit. What guage wire to use?

And how far must I keep this outlet (on the surface of the wall) from the breaker box in the garage?
 
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Old 12-14-02, 07:48 AM
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Follow the instructions on wire gauge.

Mount the box anywhere you want. There is no mandated separation.
 
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Old 12-14-02, 08:59 AM
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Absolutely use number 8,,, the 10 isnt heavy enough. Those machines pull 40-42 amps when using 1/8th lo-hi on them and even 35 with 6011 0r 6010. We have experimented for years and found they run well on 8,,, I am not sure why they allow the 10,,, I think its because they factor in the duty cycle. If you have to wire it anyway there is no reason to skimp. I actually use number 6 when coming off the panel in pipe, you can use a 10 ground wire if you like. We do use some 8 for extension cords.
 
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Old 12-14-02, 09:55 AM
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I guess I should have clarified: I'm thinking that 8 sounds too small and was wondering whether I should go with 6 gauge.

Since the instructions say 8 and another poster here indicates experiements have shown 8 gauge to be sufficient, maybe I'll go with 8 gauge.

Is there, however, any reason NOT to use 6 gauge (other than cost)?
 
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Old 12-14-02, 10:03 AM
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No reason at all not to use number 6,, and if you are near the panel cost is nill,,, you can use a number 10 for ground,, so,, 2 6's and a 10. But 8 is also fine, especially close to the panel, what I warned against is the reccommend that somehow 10 was good. One reason I used 6 was because I had a couple of rolls. Its just a choice about efficiency and is just a pinch,,,I guess if I was using cable I would use 8 just because it is easier to fit,,, either way is fine and not to lose any sleep.
 
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Old 12-19-02, 08:17 AM
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uh oh...

I bought a 240V 50A "surface mount" outlet, thinking that "surface mount" meant I could, you know, mount it on the surface of the wall.

The outlet looks like this: http://12.238.61.148/outlet.jpg (pic also attached to this post).

Can this be mounted halfway up the wall, or must it be mounted where the floor meets the wall?

If it's only for mounting at floor level, looks like I'm off to home depot to buy a flush mount receptacle and outlet box.
 
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Old 12-20-02, 08:18 AM
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You can mount it where convenient, as long as you protect the wire feeding it.
 
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Old 12-20-02, 08:51 AM
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Great! Thanks. The electrical inspector said the same thing. I broke down and decided to get a permit/inspection on this one (see my other thread on that topic).

I figure for the high amperage/high voltage circuit, a permit is worth the peace of mind.
 
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