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converting dryer plug to welder? and extension cord? whats the safest way?

converting dryer plug to welder? and extension cord? whats the safest way?

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  #1  
Old 10-02-14, 10:19 AM
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converting dryer plug to welder? and extension cord? whats the safest way?

just so theres no confusion(due to my lack of knowledge on terminology or part names) here is what i want to do.


heres what i have


this is what i need to plug





I purchased a mig welder 151(chicago electric)

the garage is wired with a 10-30 receptacle. my options are as follows. please suggest which you think is safest. or add what you would do instead.
extension will be 30' of 10/3 cable/wire

1. keep the dryer receptacle and buy the following.
10-30 plug.
SOOW 10/3 wires from home depot(will be used as extension cord.) heres the numbers on them
(UL) C(UL) SOOW 3/C 10AWG(5.26mm^2) 105*C VW-1 600V E215210 100281-001
buy a box to put the 6-50 receptacle.

Issue i see with this is that the receptacle is mobile and not wall mounted. not to mention the box is metal and ground is connected to box? will this be a problem?


2. keep the dryer receptacle
hardwire the extension cord directly to the welder. meaning
buy 10-30 plug
SOOW 10/30 wires (connect this directly to welder.)
this seems safer since i wont have a mobile plug in box. my welder will just have a long cable which is fine with me.

3. change out the receptacle on the wall to 6-50.
this seems like the best idea but do i need to change anything else?
I own the home and i know i wont be putting a dryer in the garage plus a 6-50 plug could prove more usefull in case i purchase more high voltage tools.


now this raised a few questions.
1. both have 3 prongs.dryer plug has live , live and neutral. my mig welder has live, live and green (ground)
would i be able to connect the neutral to the ground? or is this a safety issue(I saw that ground to neutral is a no no but does the neutral in dryer plug serve as a ground?)
2. How do i properly convert the wall receptacle to 6-50?
The 6-50 receptacle only have 3 wires on the back. live live and one labeled green. does the green connect to the ground or the neutral bar in sub panel?
if to the neutral then i can just swap out the receptacle and not mess with sub panel connectors. but if ground then i loose the neutral?


I have also attached my subpanel with no ground bar. can I just add a ground bar? the ground wire seems smaller than my neutral. will this cause a problem?

please advise. thank you
 
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  #2  
Old 10-02-14, 11:24 AM
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You need a ground for the welder. Is there a ground wire in the receptacle box?* If so then you would cap the white on both ends and use the black, red and bare. If you want to still use the receptacle for a dryer then you would need to convert to a 4 wire dryer receptacle and change the cord on your dryer. You would then use adapter for the welder.

*There appears to be aground in your bottom picture.
 
  #3  
Old 10-02-14, 12:39 PM
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No ground wire on the receptacle box. on the first pic its the connections coming into the sub panel from the bottom left. just red/black/white.

yes there is a feed ground(bare ware) going into the sub panel. two concerns that i have is that.
1. there is no ground rod installed on this detached garage. do i need one? how many? its about 20' from the house.
2. there is no ground bar.
can I buy a ground bar at home depot and add it on there? basically ground feed to ground bar. then ground bar to welder and ground bar to panel(to ground it all.)

i do not need the dryer receptacle so if i can i would just swap the receptacle to welder 6-50 and move the white wire on the sub panel to grounding bar?(tape white to green ofcourse.)

what do you think? or do i need to pull a bigger wire all the way to the main panel?
 
  #4  
Old 10-02-14, 02:12 PM
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1. there is no ground rod installed on this detached garage. do i need one?
Yes
how many?
Ask your AHJ but usually one.
2. there is no ground bar.
You need to install one if you have an EGC from the main panel. If no Equipment grounding conductor from the main panel and if installation predated code requirement then no ground bar but neutral bar must be bonded. I see conduit. If continuous it can serve as the EGC.
 
  #5  
Old 10-02-14, 04:24 PM
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looks like my pain panel does have EGC (I see a rod that is grounded to the water pipes that goes to the main panel and into the wire.

However why isnt this bonded like it should be? its looks like in my main panel my ground and neutral is separate?

can this be bonded using two wires touching both or it must be using a different bar that bounds both?


and as far as ground on the sub panel I think If im understanding correct heres what ill do.

buy a ground bar with atleast 4 slots.
1. slot connects to feed ground(bare)
2. slot connects to #6 unshielded coper wire that connects to 8' ground rod burried
3. slot connected to metal panel as where it is now.
4. slot for welder or 6-50 ground.

does this sums it up?

I attached a pic of my main panel. surprised to find it isnt bonded?
 
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  #6  
Old 10-02-14, 04:31 PM
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That probably isn't your main panel. Your main panel should be before that one. Perhaps just a main breaker disconnect next to the meter.
 
  #7  
Old 10-02-14, 04:42 PM
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I wish that was the case. I went outside again. this panel is next to the meter and above the meter is those overhang? that connects to the main electricity on the city side. I dont see any other meter beside this and i would think it be a waste to route it further away from the overhang just for it to comeback into this beaker switch?


but confirm it should be bonded correct? just want to make sure before i start making calls for a qoute or so.
 
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Old 10-02-14, 06:45 PM
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However why isnt this bonded like it should be? its looks like in my main panel my ground and neutral is separate?
Strange looking panel. Typically the neutral bus is mounted on non-metallic feet or stand-offs to keep it from contacting the panel box, but what I assume is your neutral bus looks more like a long auxilliary ground bar in the upper right corner of the box. Regardless, if this is your main panel, the neutral bus is bonded to the panel box by means of it being mounted directly on the steel panel back and screwed to it. I do not see the GEC conductor to the ground rod in your picture, can you point it out. It should be on the neutral bus unless you have a main disconnect outside at the meter location.

I have also attached my subpanel with no ground bar. can I just add a ground bar? the ground wire seems smaller than my neutral. will this cause a problem?
My advice on the subpanel is to replace it. This is an older Federal Pacific panel and a known fire hazard.

There is something wrong. The subpanel appears to be fed with orange jacketed 10-3 NM-B cable, but I don't see that cable in the picture of what you claim is the main panel. Where is the subpanel fed from? Where is the other end of the 10-3 NM-B cable?

Is this a detached garage?
 
  #9  
Old 10-02-14, 07:22 PM
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cool thanks for pointing that out.
and is the GEC the ground wire coming from the pge side? if it is the pic doesnt show it but i looked up the panel and saw one more wire(pretty big too) thats mounted on that neutral bar. I edited the pic on what that looks like behind.

is my main panel safe? up to code?


as far as sub panel goes thanks that looks like it is something i would have to replace. thank you.

A question for a sub panel. since i will be upgrading them to newer unit would i be able to reuse the feed or do i need a new romex wire?
I think i would be ok with reusing the rest as its wiring to lights and one dryer plug which i plan to change.

next question is changing the sub panel requires an electrician? and does it usually need a permit?

looks simply enough to change but i dont know any technicalities.
 
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  #10  
Old 10-02-14, 07:48 PM
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Romex can't be used to run to a detached garage because it is not rated for use in wet environments such as direct burial or in conduit that is buried.

Please post a picture that shows your meter and panel and a bit of the surrounding area. Is there a make and model number on the house panel?
 
  #11  
Old 10-02-14, 07:57 PM
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attached the pic of where the panel is located.

I did not see any make or model on the panel. is it a sticker or an engraving? where is it usually located?
 
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  #12  
Old 10-02-14, 08:51 PM
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Okay I understand now. It is a combo meter socket and panel so no insulated neutral bar needed. Usually that type of panel supplies a larger panel in the house. Do you have one? That may be where the garage feed comes from.
 

Last edited by ray2047; 10-02-14 at 09:29 PM.
  #13  
Old 10-02-14, 10:25 PM
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i have another sub panel in the house. however the subpanel in the garage is supplied from this main panel.

The breaker is the top right on the main panel.
 
  #14  
Old 10-02-14, 10:35 PM
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What size is that breaker? Do you have individual wires in metal conduit all the way to the garage? What size wire?
 
  #15  
Old 10-02-14, 11:18 PM
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the breaker is 30amps. same with the one in the garage sub panel.

according to my welder 151 .
related ac input | 230v | Phase 1 | 60 hertz | 21 amps

so a 30amp should be sufficient?

that parts i do not know. how would i check is its metal conduit is used? i know the garage is all metal conduit. but unsure of the other part. how would i check?
 
  #16  
Old 10-03-14, 07:08 AM
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How does the two wires leave the house. Do they leave through conduit? Is there buried conduit the whole way. Is there conduit cumming out of the ground at the garage? Those are the questions to answer your question.

Of course if it is EMT not IMC or RMC conduit it is probably rusted out anyway.

What I would do: 30 amp is too small probably for the garage given the welder, probably no EGC, no GEC, a questionable obsolete sub panel. I'd just abandon the existing service and run a new 4-wire 40 amp service to a new subpanel in the garage. However if you want to try we may be able to get the existing service to work so if you want to try answer my questions above.
 
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Old 10-03-14, 07:29 AM
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is the GEC the ground wire coming from the pge side?
The GEC (Grounding Electrode Conductor) should be a #6 copper wire from the ground rod to the neutral bus. Since we now know this is a meter/panel combo, the neutral MIGHT be grounded with the GEC inside the meter socket.

I did not see any make or model on the panel. is it a sticker or an engraving? where is it usually located?
There usually is a paper label inside the door of the panel or inside the panel. In your case, this panel isn't new, I am guessing it might be 25 or more years old and the paper label could easily be gone or illegible if it is still there. It looks to me like the panel door has a GE logo stamped into it.

i have another sub panel in the house.
Is the house subpanel also a Federal Pacific? If so, it also needs to be replaced as soon as reasonably possible.

next question is changing the sub panel requires an electrician? and does it usually need a permit?
You should contact your local AHJ about this one. The actual work is clearly within the scope of a DIYer, but in some areas, like where I live, it also requires a permit and inspection. My area offers a homeowner the opportunity to take/pass a test and then take out a permit for limited electrical work on their privately owned residence. Changing a service is not something they allow a homeowner to do, but changing a subpanel is something they do allow a homeowner to do.
 
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Old 10-03-14, 12:49 PM
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How does the two wires leave the house. Do they leave through conduit? Is there buried conduit the whole way. Is there conduit cumming out of the ground at the garage? Those are the questions to answer your question.

Of course if it is EMT not IMC or RMC conduit it is probably rusted out anyway.

What I would do: 30 amp is too small probably for the garage given the welder, probably no EGC, no GEC, a questionable obsolete sub panel. I'd just abandon the existing service and run a new 4-wire 40 amp service to a new subpanel in the garage. However if you want to try we may be able to get the existing service to work so if you want to try answer my questions above.

Read more: http://www.doityourself.com/forum/el...#ixzz3F71Agp9A
I am attaching another pic from my sub panel.

heres what it looks like.

from the main panel it goes into the house. it is run under the "crawl space?" under the house and just plain orange covered wires?(romex?) same wire on the sub panel. it then goes underground but they use a white shielded wire(kinda looks like the wires that dryer use) then come up to the garage. goes into this junction box? and the another romex looking wires is used to finishe it up to the sub panel.


so after figuring this out. swapping out for new bigger wire doesnt seem to bad since its only undergound for maybe 12-15 feet and straight shot to the garage from crawl space.


The GEC (Grounding Electrode Conductor) should be a #6 copper wire from the ground rod to the neutral bus. Since we now know this is a meter/panel combo, the neutral MIGHT be grounded with the GEC inside the meter socket.
yes i have that. its faided on pic but i have the rod and its all connected to water lines looking thing.

There usually is a paper label inside the door of the panel or inside the panel.
I looked again and took a picture of what i found. see pic

Is the house subpanel also a Federal Pacific? If so, it also needs to be replaced as soon as reasonably possible.
logo says eaton cutler hammer
 
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  #19  
Old 10-03-14, 01:10 PM
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it then goes underground but they use a white shielded wire(kinda looks like the wires that dryer use)
I don't know of any white shielded wire intended for direct burial. Any writing on it? Is this the cable?

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If you want to just run new cable we can do that and stop trying to figure out what you have. However it does appear you have a grounded service to the garage so if the mystery white cable turns out to be okay you can probably use what you have.
 
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Old 10-03-14, 06:05 PM
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yes that is the cable that was burried. its a bit hard to read the print but this is what i got. if any section needs re verifying or doesnt make sense lmk ill go double check.

E123776 10/3 1/G Type UF-B sun-res 600v (UL) 24/aug/07 01:05 4054 3810 397421
 
  #21  
Old 10-03-14, 06:19 PM
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Strange that is the correct cable but I have always seen gray. Apologies we have went way off base looking for wild geese. What you have will work. Unless you plan to use the receptacle for a dryer just be sure to run a ground to the receptacle and replace the dryer receptacle with one to fit the welder.
 
  #22  
Old 10-03-14, 06:49 PM
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oh ok perfect. this is actually has enlightened me alot about what units i have so thank you very much wild goose chase or not.

ok so just to double check that i understand what i need to do.
To replace my dryer 3 wire receptacle (live, live, neutral)

I can wire my 6-50 receptacle with those same wire. (live, live, neutral-which will now connect to ground on the receptacle.) but since that wire is white ill be taping it green.

I then go to my sub panel. add a ground bar, connect that to both main panel ground and ground rod. this is also where the wire(neutral) from the dryer receptacle will be move to. tape the wire green and good to go?

im planning on just running the ground wire straight down the panel drill a small hole in my garage wall and drive a rod by there. is there any special insulation that i need where the ground wire contact the garage wall? expanding foam? I know it will be bare #6 copper wire.

(ill be checking about the permits required or what not to update my subpanel.)
 
  #23  
Old 10-03-14, 07:14 PM
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but since that wire is white ill be taping it green.
No, by code wires #6 and smaller can't be remarked.
I then go to my sub panel. add a ground bar, connect that to both main panel ground and ground rod
Yes. The neutral bar will be isolated and all grounds moved to the ground bar. GEC to ground rod can be bare or insulated. Use #6 so you won't need to protect it.
 
  #24  
Old 10-04-14, 12:53 PM
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oh ok. ya ill just get new wires for the receptacle. ins only around 5 ft of wires and since i have no inner wall in my garage changing it is pretty easy.

what gauge wire do you recomend? can I use the same SOOW 10/3? or do i need romex b/c its mounted permanently?

and sounds good thank you very much
 
  #25  
Old 10-04-14, 01:01 PM
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You need Romex to the receptacle. SO cord isn't approved for permanent wiring.
 
  #26  
Old 10-04-14, 02:42 PM
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sounds good. thanks again for all the feedback
 
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