Welder Woes

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  #1  
Old 02-23-07, 09:14 AM
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Welder Woes

As I described in another thread, I'm wiring a new outlet for my Lincoln Electric stick welder. The welder is a 50A welder with a 20% duty cycle over 10 minutes.

I didn't do my research and went out and bought 50' of #6/2 cable and a 50A breaker.

I got home and the breaker says it's for #8-#10 wire.

I have since learned that given the duty cycle of the welder I could have used smaller gauge cable. Given the price of copper wire, it was an expensive lesson.

I don't think Home Depot will allow me to return the custom cut cable.

Reading other threads in the forum, it appears that it's allowable for me to use a larger breaker than 50A. Can I salvage my investment and still be safe by going to a larger ampacity breaker that will accept 6 gauge wire?
 
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  #2  
Old 02-23-07, 09:17 AM
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Splice the #6 to a #8 that will be accepted by the breaker.
 
  #3  
Old 02-23-07, 10:36 AM
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*sigh*

Reading comprehension just hasn't been my forte this week.

The breaker says it's suitable for #8 to #2 wire.

I'm golden. Thanks!
 
  #4  
Old 02-23-07, 11:17 AM
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Smile Reply from electrician

Hi
Generaly not legal to put any #8 on a 50amp breaker because wire rated for 40 amps and the breaker is there to protect the wire. This is also why duty cycle dosn't apply since after you move out, someone else may plug something else in that draws constant and melt the wire. The proper way is to use that #6 wire which is good for 60amps and use a 60amp breaker which will accept that wire. Then you can plug you welder in no problem. You can then use a 50 Amp weld plug or make an adapter since you will be drawing less then 60. I'm sure code would be the same in your neck of the wood.

Mike
 
  #5  
Old 02-23-07, 02:29 PM
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A wire isn't rated for one particular amperage. It's the wire and application combination that determines how many amps a wire is good for. That's why those silly tables at the home center are so misleading. It's not that simple. Sure, use the chart for #14, #12 and #10. But above that, it's not the whole story.

Mike, if you know otherwise, please cite the code.
 
  #6  
Old 02-25-07, 02:12 PM
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There are hundreds of thousands of those 20% 50A welders wired with #10 wire and 50A breakers. As mentioned, the caution is that it is never used for anything other than a welder. #6 wire means he can later upgrade to a bigger duty cycle machine with no wiring upgrade. SOMETIMES Home Depot will take the wire back, but it's their policy NOT to.
 
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