Setting up high amp for older TIG

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Old 08-21-09, 04:56 PM
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Setting up high amp for older TIG

Hello,

I am going to be getting a TIG pretty soon, any tig I am looking into getting is an old mammoth (900 lbs) with great duty cycle and high output. This means I need to do some electrical work, I could hire some guy to do it, but I really hate that idea. So I am posting here on DIY.

Here is what page 21 of the user manual of a miller 330 a/bp (http://www.millerwelds.com/om/o340p_mil.pdf) says.

Amps at 200v 110
Amps at 230v 96
Amps at 460v 48
Amps at 575v 38.4

I don't entirely understand what most of this means. I have done a very small amount of electrical work myself, but I didn't really grasp the entire idea. I read a few posts here speaking about 3 gauge thhn or something to that tune.

I don't know for sure but I believe I have a lot of open space in my breaker box, it looks like it's 200 amps, I plan to get it from the main box, run a cable to the garage and make an outlet for the appropriate plug. It sounds like it would make most sense to run a wire at 575v. But I don't really know what that means. I would greatly appreciate some guidance. I would probably need to get a new breaker for my circuit, correct?

Thank you!
 
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Old 08-21-09, 06:29 PM
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If you have single phase residential only 240v is available for this. That means you would need 100a from your box. However if it is not an attached garage and you already have a line to it for lights and plugs you can't run another line. Code only permits one circuit. Therefore you would need to install a subpanel. How large would depend on the loads in the garage in addition to the welder. Even just lights and tools probably a 150a subpanel. If your house load is very light maybe barely doable but more likely not. You might want to consider a separate service drop to the garage.
 
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Old 08-22-09, 06:26 AM
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According to the input conductor and fuse chart, you'll need 2 #2 copper with a #8 ground fused at 175 amps.
 
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Old 08-22-09, 01:35 PM
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with knowing all of this would it make sense to spend a little more
for a newer welder?

i was just thinking. newer should be more efficient, but i know how old things can last longer and work better.

just something to keep in mind.


" Is the juice worth the squeeze?"
 
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Old 08-22-09, 06:51 PM
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Originally Posted by printer-man View Post
with knowing all of this would it make sense to spend a little more
for a newer welder?

i was just thinking. newer should be more efficient, but i know how old things can last longer and work better.

just something to keep in mind.


" Is the juice worth the squeeze?"
Hah, I have to agree with the idea that newer things being more efficient. It is true, I would really save some cash on electricity getting a newer welder, but there are pro's and con's either way.

Is the juice worth the squeeze? Well, this is a drink that I have to make no matter if it is a 50 amp or 100 amp circuit. The garage is an attached garage, it has one outlet with a branch to a light bulb. The outlet is likely to a 20 amp breaker in my basement. What I think I need to do is jack in a 100 amp breaker into the box, then run a wire from the box to the garage and wire in an appropriate plug. These types of welders don't use the typical plug. As I have mentioned, I have next to no experience in this, but I sure as hell love to learn.

I am hoping to have a good sort of guide written for me on what I need to acquire and how to install it, but that likely requires more information, like what my breaker box is like or something like that information.
 
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Old 08-22-09, 07:34 PM
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when running that kind of power you need to know the condition of your source.

is it a newer entrance, and what is it? 200amp?
what are you drawing off of it now?

i`d hate to have you hook up to it and burn it all down.

maybe post some pictures.

wirenut1110 says you need #2 wire copper.(stranded I hope)
that`s real big.

you may need a permit for this as well.
 
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Old 08-22-09, 08:02 PM
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Where you are really going to have trouble is that this is a TIG machine and it has a high frequency unit for starting and/or maintaining the arc when used for TIG welding. These high frequency units are NOT certified for use in residential settings and it is possible that you will create RF (radio frequency) interference that will show up on yours and your neighbors televisions, radios and possibly stereos.

The installation for these welders require the power supply wiring to be run in conduit and that proper grounding methods be used and this can sometimes include using grounding straps across any joints in the conduit. It's been about thirty years since I hooked up a TIG welder (in an industrial setting) and I don't remember all of the ins and outs but I do remember that it took up several pages in the installation manual.

You might try doing a Google search using the model number of your machine to see if perhaps the installation manual is available on line.
 
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Old 08-22-09, 08:26 PM
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That is pretty big sonofgunner welder.

Normally I don't useally see that in resdential usage due the power setting of that unit and typically those unit normally are wired in either single or three phase supply { most useally wired for three phase by default }

And yeah Furd mention few circital items the RF { radio interferanice } can wreck hovac on some system due that welder is high frequicty welder setup they run upward to 400 HZ+.

This size normally useally hardwired with conduit but few welder espcally some industrail location will have pin and sleeve plug for that size and yes they can get that big but the cost will be pretty steep { the last 100 amp three phase pin sleeve plug cost over 250($) } and you will need 100 amp disconnect switch as well.

I have little condersation with 200 amp service I know some of you will say it will be ok but for me IMO not with HF welder it can wreck hovac I know it did happend to one of my resdentail customer with HF welder he manged to trip the 200 amp main breaker once a while during HF welding.
( to slove that issue I set up a diesel generator for that setup so it will not affect the electrical system and the POCO was not happy camper when they got a wind of this due other customers complain with electrical noise show up in their sytem )

It will be nice to see a photo here to verify the info on nameplate and you can upload thru photobucket or others.
( but not tinyURL at all )

Merci,Marc
 
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Old 08-23-09, 01:43 PM
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Hey guys, thanks for all the responses. I just took a quick look at the breaker. The AMP's of all the switches together add up to something pretty high, they go up to over 300, maybe higher, hah. I took a few pictures.



Assuming you can see the second picture, you should be able to see some of the amp ratings on the side. As I said earlier, it looks like I could probably just get a new breaker, install it in a slot, run a cable through my crawl space which is beneath my garage (some wires already run there) and then connect the wires to the appropriate type of plug.

I live in Wisconsin too : ).
 

Last edited by Pinjas; 08-23-09 at 03:30 PM.
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Old 08-23-09, 08:36 PM
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The breaker box you show us on the photo that is 100 amp main breaker do you have other breaker box around in your house ?

The reason why some home have second breaker box right below the main meter socket that useally have bigger breaker but not always the case with it some do have 100 amp and some are at 200 amp main breaker rating.

And with exsting 100 amp service if that is the case if so then what will happend next is if you crank that unit on and run the HF welder anything else on the house I am pretty sure you will have the 100 amp breaker trip no question asked espcaly if you run over 50% rating of the unit.

Off topic what part of wisconsin you are in ?

I am in Northeast Wisconsin area

Merci,Marc
 
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Old 08-24-09, 06:03 AM
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Originally Posted by french277V View Post
The breaker box you show us on the photo that is 100 amp main breaker do you have other breaker box around in your house ?

The reason why some home have second breaker box right below the main meter socket that useally have bigger breaker but not always the case with it some do have 100 amp and some are at 200 amp main breaker rating.

And with exsting 100 amp service if that is the case if so then what will happend next is if you crank that unit on and run the HF welder anything else on the house I am pretty sure you will have the 100 amp breaker trip no question asked espcaly if you run over 50% rating of the unit.

Off topic what part of wisconsin you are in ?

I am in Northeast Wisconsin area

Merci,Marc
Maybe I am misunderstanding the math and logic of this, but how could the main breaker be 100 amps but there be well over 300 amps worth of breakers? That sounds like a really bad idea. 345 amps on the breakers total, shouldn't the main breaker be -much- more?

So I am guessing I either need to swap out the main breaker for something larger and install a 100 amp breaker for the garage TIG outlet or setup the garage's own service? I don't really know what that involves. I know that electricity comes in through a giant wire some place around my home, but I don't know where it is, likely some place underground.

I live in western Wisconsin. About 45 minutes east of a place commonly called the 'twin cities' which is a fancy word for st. paul and Minneapolis Minnesota.
 
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Old 08-24-09, 07:50 AM
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Maybe I am misunderstanding the math and logic of this, but how could the main breaker be 100 amps but there be well over 300 amps worth of breakers?
Actually quite common because circuits don't run at their maximum value. A 20a circuit for a bathroom might not even be used 90% of the time. A 15a lighting circuit might only draw only 5a even when all the lights are on. 15a circuit for a guest bedroom might have no load most of the time. Well you get the idea.
So I am guessing I either need to swap out the main breaker for something larger and install a 100 amp breaker for the garage TIG outlet or setup the garage's own service? I don't really know what that involves. I know that electricity comes in through a giant wire some place around my home, but I don't know where it is, likely some place underground.
That may involve replacing all of the underground cable from the power company transformer which is usually done at your expense. It may involve replacing the meter and meter socket. You could be talking a couple of thousand dollars or more.

You should also consider the fact that because this welder could seriously interfere with your neighbors entertainment equipment you may have civil problems or the electric company might take action against you for using it.
 
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Old 08-24-09, 10:49 AM
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i`ve heard sometimes a power company/city will not allow hook up of commercial equipment/power in a residential area just because
of that reason (frequency, noise, odors) that`s why there is zoneing.
 
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Old 08-24-09, 11:51 AM
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Originally Posted by Pinjas View Post
it looks like I could probably just get a new breaker, install it in a slot, run a cable through my crawl space which is beneath my garage (some wires already run there) and then connect the wires to the appropriate type of plug.
No sorry but that's not a legal installation. The welder circuit must be installed in metal conduit the whole way. It would also require a 175A breaker, which is against code and unsafe to install in a 100A panel. You also must use a 175A fused disconnect as fuses are specified in the manual. To top it all off, it would just trip your main breaker or burn up your service entrance wires anyway.

You're looking at a few thousand bucks worth of service upgrade to even get started with this machine, and that's assuming it's even legal to use on a residential service. It's an industrial machine -- clearly not appropriate for use at a residence.
 
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Old 08-24-09, 06:34 PM
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From what you wrote in the initial post it gives the impression that you have not yet purchased any machine. I strongly urge you to discard this plan as completely unworkable. There are smaller welders and add-on high frequency units that you could use in a residential environment.

I do feel your pain, though. I was once very close to purchasing a used TIG/MIG machine complete with self-contained water cooling system, cables, hoses, regulator and all mounted on a wheeled cart. It was about $800. as I recall and with my discount it would have been about $650. I agonized over that for quite a while before giving up on the idea as completely unworkable in my situation.
 
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Old 08-24-09, 06:39 PM
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Originally Posted by Pinjas View Post
Maybe I am misunderstanding the math and logic of this, but how could the main breaker be 100 amps but there be well over 300 amps worth of breakers? That sounds like a really bad idea. 345 amps on the breakers total, shouldn't the main breaker be -much- more?

So I am guessing I either need to swap out the main breaker for something larger and install a 100 amp breaker for the garage TIG outlet or setup the garage's own service? I don't really know what that involves. I know that electricity comes in through a giant wire some place around my home, but I don't know where it is, likely some place underground.

I live in western Wisconsin. About 45 minutes east of a place commonly called the 'twin cities' which is a fancy word for st. paul and Minneapolis Minnesota.

For the amps of branch breakers that useally don't count for me due I always look for main breaker and if this place is all electric or not.

Speaking of Western Wisconsin I am very famuir with it escpally Metro of Eau Claire I do have a vaction home futher north of Eau Claire area{ I not used for a while due I go back and forth between here and Paris France}

Now Furd did suggest couple good idea if you did not buy a welder yet there are other smaller sized unit that will suit your need.

Merci,Marc
 
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Old 08-24-09, 09:44 PM
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Unusable for a residential service panel like yours.

The supply circuit conductors must have not more than 2 times their ampacity as calculated using the duty cycle table in NEC 630.11(A). The manual is giving you the rated primary current at 60% duty. This should be verified to the nameplate rating of the welder. Assuming it is the same this calculates to an minimum ampacity in accordance with 630.11(A) of 75 amps and will need a #4 copper conductor 75 C terminations in conduit rated 85 amps. NEC 630.12(B) allows not more than 200% of the ampacity of the conductors for the circuit breaker protecting them. Thats 2 x 85 = 170 amps since there is no 170 amp breaker made I must go next size down to 150 amp branch breaker rating.

The welder disconnect is not more than 200% of the rated primary current which is 2 x 96 = 192 amps...next size down is 175 amps for the welder disconnect.

This disconnect is not required if the branch circuit conductors are not protected at over 200% of the welder rated primary current. 200% of rated primary current is 192 amps. Nec 630.12 (A) maximum breaker is 150 amps for the supply conductors.... Welder therefore does not require a disconnect separate from the branch breaker.

However if a fused disconnect is mandated by the manufacturer then duty cycle protection is not available at
the welder and the disconnect is required.

Table 3-2 is a tad odd but none the less is giving reccommended wire size and fuse size for the conductors. IMO these figures are either because the machine is very old before modern wiring insulations or they are sizes based on the maximum the welder will output and not the rated output that the input amps are shown as in the table on pg.21. The NEC does not consider operator manual specifications and base their calculations on access to the ratings on the nameplate of the welder.

If in doubt follow the manufacturers instructions....period.
 

Last edited by Bruto; 08-24-09 at 10:33 PM.
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Old 08-24-09, 10:51 PM
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Originally Posted by furd View Post
From what you wrote in the initial post it gives the impression that you have not yet purchased any machine. I strongly urge you to discard this plan as completely unworkable. There are smaller welders and add-on high frequency units that you could use in a residential environment.

I do feel your pain, though. I was once very close to purchasing a used TIG/MIG machine complete with self-contained water cooling system, cables, hoses, regulator and all mounted on a wheeled cart. It was about $800. as I recall and with my discount it would have been about $650. I agonized over that for quite a while before giving up on the idea as completely unworkable in my situation.
Hah, well I am not sure about it all when it comes to 'high frequency'. It is still something I don't yet understand completely.

Are you recommending getting a TIG that uses square wave or something? Perhaps you could suggest a few TIG's to give me an idea of what you mean. I think I have read that square wave makes it so the high frequency is only used for a moment at the start and after that square wave keeps things going right. I imagine like a smaller lincoln precision TIG or something might be a good bet.

I have seen some one TIG that does the 240v at 50 amps, but it's chinese.
 
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Old 08-24-09, 11:03 PM
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Originally Posted by Bruto View Post
Unusable for a residential service panel like yours.

The supply circuit conductors must have not more than 2 times their ampacity as calculated using the duty cycle table in NEC 630.11(A). The manual is giving you the rated primary current at 60% duty. This should be verified to the nameplate rating of the welder. Assuming it is the same this calculates to an minimum ampacity in accordance with 630.11(A) of 75 amps and will need a #4 copper conductor 75 C terminations in conduit rated 85 amps. NEC 630.12(B) allows not more than 200% of the ampacity of the conductors for the circuit breaker protecting them. Thats 2 x 85 = 170 amps since there is no 170 amp breaker made I must go next size down to 150 amp branch breaker rating.

The welder disconnect is not more than 200% of the rated primary current which is 2 x 96 = 192 amps...next size down is 175 amps for the welder disconnect.

This disconnect is not required if the branch circuit conductors are not protected at over 200% of the welder rated primary current. 200% of rated primary current is 192 amps. Nec 630.12 (A) maximum breaker is 150 amps for the supply conductors.... Welder therefore does not require a disconnect separate from the branch breaker.

However if a fused disconnect is mandated by the manufacturer then duty cycle protection is not available at
the welder and the disconnect is required.

Table 3-2 is a tad odd but none the less is giving reccommended wire size and fuse size for the conductors. IMO these figures are either because the machine is very old before modern wiring insulations or they are sizes based on the maximum the welder will output and not the rated output that the input amps are shown as in the table on pg.21. The NEC does not consider operator manual specifications and base their calculations on access to the ratings on the nameplate of the welder.

If in doubt follow the manufacturers instructions....period.
I have been reading and looking into all this zoning bull and things like that kind of make me want to puke. It isn't like people are trying to use a jack hammer on their next door neighbors door step.

This morning I was woken up by the sound of construction at 6:30 am. The city started that stuff across the street from my place. I can't think of a more disturbing thing to do. However, I have thought this over, I don't really care for most of the rules or suggestions that come from cities or manufacturers. Most of them are in place to CYA (cover your ass). They don't really do much of anything, contrary to what you might believe. I understand much of the logic, I believe.

What I plan to do is run a jack into a 60 amp breaker via a wire from the breaker box in my basement, straight through the crawl space and into the garage, it won't be perfect or pretty, but it'll work and be as safe as anything else that is around.

My house is way out of code, it has been as long as I have lived in it, and I haven't had any problems, for about a year, the freakin ground was disconnected (I had some water pipes redone and the plumber didn't reconnect it). Sometimes I feel these rules are merely theory. I was sure my house should have been imploded and the gods should be burning me with hot taffy.

When my breaker was made, probably sometime in the 80's, they made the whole breaker over 300% of what the main breaker was.

So I guess I will get a square D 50-60 amp breaker, run the line, install the outlet and then find me a TIG that uses 50 amps at 240v. How does that sound? What sort of wire would be most ideal? I imagine using a wire that can accept 100 amps would be just as well as one that can do 50 amps.

Should I definitely get a TIG that does square wave?

Thanks for all the replies.
 
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Old 08-24-09, 11:26 PM
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Notice I said unusable in a service panel like yours....I won't go into the stuff about interference...the breaker that would be required to allow that tig to operate in it's rating range will over rate the bus stabs in that panel of yours and very likely you will have a smoking breaker over time due to the heat loss at the bus stabs due to the amperage it will pull during the time your operating that particular welder.

I fully support anyone wanting to install any welder at premises they own... but I gotta tell you how it is....
 
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Old 08-25-09, 12:02 AM
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Originally Posted by Pinjas View Post
Hah, well I am not sure about it all when it comes to 'high frequency'. It is still something I don't yet understand completely.

Are you recommending getting a TIG that uses square wave or something? Perhaps you could suggest a few TIG's to give me an idea of what you mean. I think I have read that square wave makes it so the high frequency is only used for a moment at the start and after that square wave keeps things going right. I imagine like a smaller lincoln precision TIG or something might be a good bet.

I have seen some one TIG that does the 240v at 50 amps, but it's chinese.
It has been about twenty years since I have taken any serious interest in arc welders and probably close to ten years since I have done any welding at all. I am not familiar with the use of square wave generators as a replacement to or augmentation to high frequency generators when doing TIG welding. The high frequency was/is used to strike the arc without having to touch the tungsten electrode to the work which would contaminate the tungsten. At this late date I don't remember but I think the HF was constant when doing AC welding and only for starting when doing DC welding, perhaps DC welding of a particular polarity.

I will state that if I were in the market for a welding machine I wouldn't for a second consider the cheapo machines sold by Harbor Freight or similar machines. Stick with the name brands, Lincoln, Hobart and Miller are all top of the line manufacturers (I think I recently read that Hobart bought out Lincoln) that make both industrial and small-shop machines. There may be a few more but stay far away from the under $250. machines if you want any kind of TIG capable machine. Quite honestly, unless you are planning on doing a lot of aluminum welding you may be better off without TIG and on those occasions when TIG is necessary to farm it out.
 
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Old 08-25-09, 05:52 AM
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most of the time "codes and zoneing" are in place not so much to protect YOU as much as your neighbors. when you wire something and it`s not right, like pulling high amps from a messed up entrance, then when your house and 4 others burn down on your block your neighbors can sue you.

you should have someone who knows what they`re doing come in and inspect your panel and fix it before you do anything, if it`s that bad.

your not drawing all 300 amps from your panel at one time.
you could turn every light and oven and dryer on and it wouldn`t pop the "main Breaker" the main breaker is the one at the very top of your box that the really big wires go to.

if you get a ac/dc arc welder you can get sodium coated alumnium rods for arc welding aluminum on the DC current.
A/C current pulsates and makes the aluminum rod pop and you can`t run a beed or anything really. D/C is smooth current (constant) and the rod works just like a steel rod for arc welding. i used this before and found out about it from a guy who was a master welder for dana corp. like 30 years ago.
he could weld anything with that AC/DC arc. welder.
 
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Old 08-25-09, 08:56 AM
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Originally Posted by Pinjas View Post
I don't really care for most of the rules or suggestions that come from cities or manufacturers. Most of them are in place to CYA (cover your ass). They don't really do much of anything, contrary to what you might believe. I understand much of the logic, I believe.
In this case the primary problem is that your welder would use up about as much power as 4 or 5 houses with the air conditioning on max. The power company doesn't build that kind of extra capacity into residential systems. If they did our power bills would be outrageous to cover all the extra transformers and wire they would need to install. They can bring that kind of juice into commercial and industrial areas, but those customers pay a lot extra for the premium service that residential customers don't have to pay.

The secondary issue is that in residential areas several houses share the same transformer, again to save money. The high frequency from the TIG unit can corrupt all of the other people's power who share that transformer with you. It can mess up electronics, TV reception, radios, lighting, and other stuff too.

What I plan to do is run a jack into a 60 amp breaker via a wire from the breaker box in my basement
I'd actually wait to install the breaker and wire until you pick a welding machine. You could go ahead and install oversized wire, but you might be wasting money when a smaller wire could be used.

Sometimes I feel these rules are merely theory.
Most of the codes are based on theory, but justified by statistics from house fires. The electrical code is published by the National Fire Prevention Association who collects data from all the fire departments in the USA and uses that to decide on new codes.

When my breaker was made, probably sometime in the 80's, they made the whole breaker over 300% of what the main breaker was.
That is typical and correct.

So I guess I will get a square D 50-60 amp breaker, run the line, install the outlet and then find me a TIG that uses 50 amps at 240v. How does that sound? What sort of wire would be most ideal?
The most flexible cable for that would be #6/2g NM-B to support the widest selection of welders. However depending on the specific machine, you might be able to go as small as #10/2 on the cable to save some $$.
 
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Old 08-25-09, 09:58 AM
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Maybe Pinjas won't be back ??....it is unfortunate that when given information that is intended to help it is taken as being an overreaction and a conspiracy.

So lets get more simple...that panel is a vintage Square d QO panel 20 space 100 amps back fed main. It will not support the load demands of that welder. Simple math... breaker for branch circuit 175 amps as per manual. Service to house panel 100 amps. Input current at rated output 96 amps. The 175 amp breaker is to allow the welder to strike an arc hold the inrush current as the welder comes down to 96 amps input if set on its rated output of 32 volts at 300amps. That's 4 amps less than the service rating to that panel if you can get the main to hold the arc start current. Not likely.

The breaker required to operate this welder will likely not be made as a branch breaker or will not install in the panel and if you could get it in... the bus stab rating on that panel for branch breakers is 70 amps. Meaning the sum of any breakers sharing the bus stab cannot exceed 70 amps.

Go back to my 1st post the welder cannot be used on the panel you have. I never said you couldn't use it under any circumstances. But you have to cover your bases to allow the welder to operate correctly and not have adverse effects on the electrical service to your home and others.

Coordinating with your power company.. and if they approve... a service upgrade will allow you to use the welder. It is a single phase welder so it will work but you gotta have the right electrical service installed and approval of your poco. Ibpooks correctly explained this...

This isn't theory by the way...this is material fact. Like it or not.

Yes you can operate a tig under the conditions of your last post from that panel of yours.
 
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Old 08-25-09, 09:59 AM
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Originally Posted by ibpooks View Post
In this case the primary problem is that your welder would use up about as much power as 4 or 5 houses with the air conditioning on max. The power company doesn't build that kind of extra capacity into residential systems. If they did our power bills would be outrageous to cover all the extra transformers and wire they would need to install. They can bring that kind of juice into commercial and industrial areas, but those customers pay a lot extra for the premium service that residential customers don't have to pay.

The secondary issue is that in residential areas several houses share the same transformer, again to save money. The high frequency from the TIG unit can corrupt all of the other people's power who share that transformer with you. It can mess up electronics, TV reception, radios, lighting, and other stuff too.
Is there a magic work around? A secret? A trick to avoid this sort of problem or idea? Obviously HF devices are used and power plants aren't exploding as of cause of them. I don't know for certain, but I think some square wave TIG's might use high frequency for a moment and then use strictly square wave. Every where I have read, they say AC is essential for welding aluminum.
 
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Old 08-25-09, 10:13 AM
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Originally Posted by Bruto View Post
Maybe Pinjas won't be back ??....it is unfortunate that when given information that is intended to help it is taken as being an overreaction and a conspiracy.

So lets get more simple...that panel is a vintage Square d QO panel 20 space 100 amps back fed main. It will not support the load demands of that welder. Simple math... breaker for branch circuit 175 amps as per manual. Service to house panel 100 amps. Input current at rated output 96 amps. The 175 amp breaker is to allow the welder to strike an arc hold the inrush current as the welder comes down to 96 amps input if set on its rated output of 32 volts at 300amps. That's 4 amps less than the service rating to that panel if you can get the main to hold the arc start current. Not likely.

The breaker required to operate this welder will likely not be made as a branch breaker or will not install in the panel and if you could get it in... the bus stab rating on that panel for branch breakers is 70 amps. Meaning the sum of any breakers sharing the bus stab cannot exceed 70 amps.

Go back to my 1st post the welder cannot be used on the panel you have. I never said you couldn't use it under any circumstances. But you have to cover your bases to allow the welder to operate correctly and not have adverse effects on the electrical service to your home and others.

Coordinating with your power company.. and if they approve... a service upgrade will allow you to use the welder. It is a single phase welder so it will work but you gotta have the right electrical service installed and approval of your poco. Ibpooks correctly explained this...

This isn't theory by the way...this is material fact. Like it or not.

Yes you can operate a tig under the conditions of your last post from that panel of yours.
I shall try and be more diligent about my responses to your well written answers.

I understand that it would probably be most wise to try and follow the codes, upgrade the service to 200 amps, get bigger breakers and have it all done by professionals, but all that costs big bucks. I am on a pretty limited budget. I was looking at some where between 1000-2000 for the TIG welder, less if I could do it, then I need materials, other tools and so on. That's pretty close to breaking the bank for the rest of my cash going towards the prototypes I have designed.

The extra 3000 for the proper setups to my garage isn't really possible for me to afford, and then when some inspector guy comes by, he will probably condemn the house until the rest of the electrical work gets updated. I have a lot of ungrounded outlets, frayed and old looking wires, and much more that is way out of code.

So the entire project would likely cost at least 10,000.

I have been considering getting a gas generator or a gas run TIG. But that idea sounds terrible as the engine is a problem onto itself, old used engines don't sound like something I want to mess with along side an old used TIG. And I can't forget that the gas generator would cost a good chunk of change as well.

Pinching the pennies isn't a fun game to play.
 
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Old 08-25-09, 10:57 AM
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Well I'm glad you and I can now have a conversation based on trust ...

Hey I found your welder on craigslist....1785 bucks even said they would give you 30 day warranty for the used unit. Unfortunately it is not shown today plus you would have had to pick it up. It's been my experience that you live in california and the welder is in new jersey....

Anyway that welder just won't work with your electrical service.

But you certainly can have a tig welder just need to scale down. I haven't looked at the miller site to see what they might have that would work for you.

Do you need that level of welder?

BTW.... I don't know a thing about welding so I will have to turn that over to you...
 
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Old 08-25-09, 11:20 AM
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downsizing the welder to a workable size would be the best thing.

if you are making prototypes then a smaller welder will get you going and later on if you need to mass produce then make the
investment and up-grade all around.
or broker out the production put 65% on and go have fun while someone else does the work.

i`ve always lived by the idea of "do it right or don`t do it at all"
 
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Old 08-25-09, 11:50 AM
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Originally Posted by Pinjas View Post
Is there a magic work around? A secret? A trick to avoid this sort of problem or idea? Obviously HF devices are used and power plants aren't exploding as of cause of them.
Unfortunately the only way to deal with it is a big heavy transformer from the power company with equally heavy supply cables hooking it up. If you look around the neighborhood the transformers are the gray cylinders hanging up on the poles or the 3' green boxes planted in the yards. Compare that to the transformers in commercial zones which weigh several tons and are the size of trucks. The interference problem doesn't hurt the power plant, it interferes with computers, TVs, radios, stuff like that.

Usually in an industrial plant, the power to the machinery and the power to the office and lighting comes from a different transformer to reduce some of that problem.
 
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Old 08-25-09, 12:38 PM
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Originally Posted by Bruto View Post
Well I'm glad you and I can now have a conversation based on trust ... Hey I found your welder on craigslist....1785 bucks even said they would give you 30 day warranty for the used unit. Unfortunately it is not shown today plus you would have had to pick it up. It's been my experience that you live in california and the welder is in new jersey.... Anyway that welder just won't work with your electrical service. But you certainly can have a tig welder just need to scale down. I haven't looked at the miller site to see what they might have that would work for you. BTW.... I don't know a thing about welding so I will have to turn that over to you...
Hah, I don't know how that experience happened, I live in wisconsin, the welders I look for are no further than 9 hours of driving away. @printerman I believe in the idea, "If a job is worth doing, it is worth doing well." and I feel that so long as the electricity gets to the welder and doesn't start a fire in the process, the job is being done well. I am not looking to weld structual beams to each other, 100 amps isn't a tremendous amount of input as it is. When industrial sections setup weld shops, they have several welders going at once, just one welder isn't a tremendous amount of electricity, even at full 100 amps. But what I am trying to figure out is if the high frequency will really be destructive in some way. I likelt won't be needing much more than 200 amps output which seems to need less than 50 amps input at 240v. Hah, I don't know how that experience happened, I live in wisconsin, the welders I look for are no further than 9 hours of driving away.
 
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Old 08-25-09, 12:55 PM
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Originally Posted by ibpooks View Post
The most flexible cable for that would be #6/2g NM-B to support the widest selection of welders. However depending on the specific machine, you might be able to go as small as #10/2 on the cable to save some $$.
I should note, I believe I have a 10/3 cable hooked up to a 50 amp breaker in my basement all setup. It's separated by a turn off switch that has two fuses. My only concern with this is should I run the TIG in my basement and run the risk of suffocation (which can probably be easily avoided by a fan giving a bit of circulation) or if I should run a short extension cord to the garage.

Imageshack - mvi1080 This is a short video of what it looks like.
 
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Old 08-25-09, 01:33 PM
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That is a branch circuit for a clothes dryer. If it is connected to a 50 ampere circuit breaker than it is in violation, even with the 30 ampere fused switch. While under some circumstances #10 conductors may be used with a circuit breaker larger than 30 amperes it is ONLY when the load (a motor or welder most likely) is hard-wired so as to preclude the circuit from being used for any other purpose.

As for having a large welder and just using it at lower outputs to limit the input power...that only works to a limited degree. When the arc is first struck it will take all the power that is available and it only decreases after the arc is struck. What this means is that even if you were to limit your work to the lower settings on the overly large machine it would still cause problems every time you struck the arc.

What little I know about TIG welding and aluminum welding is that it is rare to use more than maybe 100 amps welding current in the TIG process so having a 300 ampere machine is just unnecessary most of the time. Since it is also thoroughly impractical to run that large of a machine in your situation it is (in my opinion) useless to look at the large industrial machines, even if they were to be given to you free.
 
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Old 08-25-09, 01:51 PM
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Originally Posted by furd View Post
That is a branch circuit for a clothes dryer. If it is connected to a 50 ampere circuit breaker than it is in violation, even with the 30 ampere fused switch. While under some circumstances #10 conductors may be used with a circuit breaker larger than 30 amperes it is ONLY when the load (a motor or welder most likely) is hard-wired so as to preclude the circuit from being used for any other purpose.

As for having a large welder and just using it at lower outputs to limit the input power...that only works to a limited degree. When the arc is first struck it will take all the power that is available and it only decreases after the arc is struck. What this means is that even if you were to limit your work to the lower settings on the overly large machine it would still cause problems every time you struck the arc.

What little I know about TIG welding and aluminum welding is that it is rare to use more than maybe 100 amps welding current in the TIG process so having a 300 ampere machine is just unnecessary most of the time. Since it is also thoroughly impractical to run that large of a machine in your situation it is (in my opinion) useless to look at the large industrial machines, even if they were to be given to you free.
Haha, yeah, most everything in this house is 'out of code' from what I have seen, heard and read. But the old walls still stand tall. I don't understand some of what you said. I think what I am hearing is "don't get a large welder because at the start the will heat up the breaker or even trip it" which sounds like something I think I will do. I just don't know what TIG's to look for that will need no more than 50 AMP's. And I still am trying to find the stuff on the high frequency stuff.

I am starting to imagine that the logic is that 100 amp high fruequency units to so much power that the draw would turn out to be too much for the little transformers around peoples houses. Which only compounds the logic to keep it small. 50 amp TIG's, alright so I guess that means research.

Upon further inspection it would seem that the 10/3 is plugged into a 30 amp 2 pole, but just beneath it is a 50 amp plug that seems to be what is giving energy to plugs on the outside of the house. I can't tell for sure, but if that's the case then I can just jack into one of those with an adapter and a short extension cord, theres one real close outside my garage door. Is there a way to test what amprage a plug is able to handle? Sounds like a far-fetched idea.
 
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Old 08-25-09, 02:29 PM
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Is there a way to test what amprage a plug is able to handle? Sounds like a far-fetched idea.
The limiting factor is usually the size of the wire, some nutcase could wire a 50 ampere receptacle to a 100 ampere circuit breaker with #14 wire but the maximum safe current available would still only be 15 amperes. You need to determine what size wire is on that 50 ampere circuit breaker and then you might shudder if it is smaller than #6.

I just did a Google for TIG welder and found this one on the Miller site. I don't know what you have in mind doing but this might be just what you are looking for.

Miller - TIG Welders - Diversion 165
 
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Old 08-25-09, 04:46 PM
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Originally Posted by furd View Post
The limiting factor is usually the size of the wire, some nutcase could wire a 50 ampere receptacle to a 100 ampere circuit breaker with #14 wire but the maximum safe current available would still only be 15 amperes. You need to determine what size wire is on that 50 ampere circuit breaker and then you might shudder if it is smaller than #6. I just did a Google for TIG welder and found this one on the Miller site. I don't know what you have in mind doing but this might be just what you are looking for. Miller - TIG Welders - Diversion 165
It turns out I was wrong. This 50 amp breaker goes to the stove plug only. Which is still good news in my world, because that means I can stuff in some more wire into the breaker, run the cable to the appropriate 50-100 amp plug and be done with it. Of course, I understand I cannot bake a turkey while I weld some aluminum together, but that's no big deal. I have looked into the diversion TIG, it seems alright but it lacks a lot of the features, it doesn't have high frequency, square wave or pulse. It's got a cruddy duty cycle and the price isn't fantastic either.
 
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Old 08-25-09, 05:54 PM
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Which is still good news in my world, because that means I can stuff in some more wire into the breaker, run the cable to the appropriate 50-100 amp plug and be done with it.
Umm, no, it doesn't. Most circuit breakers are listed for only one wire per terminal. It is also doubtful that you could even get another #6 conductor into the terminal.
 
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Old 08-25-09, 07:42 PM
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I can't tell for sure, but if that's the case then I can just jack into one of those with an adapter and a short extension cord, theres one real close outside my garage door. QUOTE]

It turns out I was wrong. This 50 amp breaker goes to the stove plug only. Which is still good news in my world, because that means I can stuff in some more wire into the breaker,

is "Stuff" some wire the same as "jacking" as you`ve mentioned before.
This maybe a regional dialect i`m not
familiar with here in the south. Down Here we have "y`all" and
"busted" and "fix`in to"
 
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Old 08-25-09, 09:25 PM
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Originally Posted by printer-man View Post
I can't tell for sure, but if that's the case then I can just jack into one of those with an adapter and a short extension cord, theres one real close outside my garage door. QUOTE]

It turns out I was wrong. This 50 amp breaker goes to the stove plug only. Which is still good news in my world, because that means I can stuff in some more wire into the breaker,

is "Stuff" some wire the same as "jacking" as you`ve mentioned before.
This maybe a regional dialect i`m not
familiar with here in the south. Down Here we have "y`all" and
"busted" and "fix`in to"
My apologies, both of these terms have similar meanings in this context. I suppose they are regional dialect, makes sense to me when I say it, hah but I was the one who spoke the words. Essentially I am trying to say 'install'. I hope that makes more sense.
 
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