View Full Version : extension cord
09-21-2002, 10:29 AM
Any do's or don'ts about using an extension cord with a 220V stick welder? Max length?
09-21-2002, 01:53 PM
fatcpa You can use extension cords; I do it all the time. However you must size the wire and it's length to the voltage and amperage required. Undersizing it is dangerous to the equipment and is also a potential fire hazard. Look in your manual or on the welder for the current draw. What welder do you have? How long an extension do you need? The online manuals at this site or on the miller website are a good source of information.
09-21-2002, 01:59 PM
I have a Hobart LX235 AC and need about 25 foot of extension cord.
09-21-2002, 03:12 PM
I've made cords for a few small machines like yours, what I used was 2-2-4 aluminum service entry cable and plugs and sockets to match the existing plug. All Items are available at any well stocked home center. Be ready to spend the money for quality parts, as 240v power is dangerous. If this cord is to be used on a more or less permanent basis, the better thing to do is get a recepticle hard-wired at the location where the welder is to be used. If your local codes require it , or if you don't have the skills to do this your self, have a qualified electrician do this work.
09-22-2002, 12:17 AM
FATCPA - You can use an # 6 AWG wire for up to 50 amps at 30 feet if you are considering 50 feet use a # 4 AWG. If you are considering ever adding an extension to it definitly use at least a # 4 AWG.
Note: If you are not comfortable wiring up a 220v circuits (it is dangerous and can kill) have a qualified electrician do it for you.
Read the other post; it has very sound advice.
BE SAFE NOT SORRY
09-22-2002, 08:59 AM
Harold and Ed (an others),
Thanks for your answers and I appreciate the safety warnings. I am fairly handy, with carpentry and some welding as hobbies, but I am still (as the name implies) a 54 year old, 380 lb CPA who knows his limits, especially when it comes to electricity.
One more dumb question. When people ask for advice on buying their first welder, most advise that they should buy larger than they think they will need. Almost across the board, the sage advice from the contributors to this site, which by the way, is great, is to buy a 220V welder. The standard comment is that, even if you don't have a dedicated 220 outlet, you can use your dryer power source. My dryer source is a 30 amp breaker and the welder calls for 47.5 amps at its rated capacity (225). Can the 30 amp circuit be used? Will it just provide enough amperage to run the welder at the lower end of its capacity, or is it flat out dangerous to use?
Thanks for your time
09-22-2002, 11:39 AM
Yes you will lose some capabilities at the high end. Provided that the breakers are in good shape it is not a problem. I ran my Sears ac box for for many years that way and never tripped the breakers. (also never used any rods larger than 1/8" and thus never approached the high limits of the machine) If you trip the breakers lower the current and or select a smaller electrod before continuing
09-22-2002, 02:17 PM
On the extension cord - if you decide to make one up, try to use a wire that's called "S O Cord" It's very flexible and has a thicker rubber sheath on it. It will coil up nicely and not be springy and have a mind of it's own. This is especially useful if you have to store it after each use. It's not inexpensive, but it's tough and easy to handle. Just my 2 cents worth. Oh Oh! Hmmm CPA, 2 cents, you're not gonna tell the feds, are you?
And like Harold said, remember the length versus the size of the wire. Allow for the voltage drop if you have to make it long. Bigger if you have to go longer. I used #6 for about 30 feet of extension on my Thunderbolt. Hope this helps you....
09-22-2002, 08:29 PM
I use a #6 solid wire and around 30 to 40 ft, thatís the stiff stuff that has a mind of it's own referred to earlier. It works great but I put a 50 amp plug on the end for the welder (225 amp ac) and an interchangeable plug on the other end. I change between dryer plug and stove plug depending on whatís available by swapping one of the blades out. Every now and then I trip the dryer plug circuit but itís rare. That usually happens after a good bit of welding at 105 amps or higher with a 6013 X 1/8 rod. The cord is harder to roll than the flexible type but after it's rolled a time or two it works well. The best part is that it's cheaper than heavy pre-made type cords.