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View Full Version : Will a 15 amp circuit limit my welding power?



adamsmith007
03-03-2010, 04:49 PM
Hey everyone. I am new to welding and have a question. I have a 110v machine and i run it off my garage outlets that run off a 15 amp breaker. Would my welder perform better off of a 20 amp breaker with 12 gauge wire? I believe 15 amp breakers run off 14 gauge wire while 20 amp breakers need 12 gauge. My welder i believe goes up to 140 amps. Thanks for your help.

Andrew_D
03-03-2010, 05:16 PM
Somewhere on your machine or in your manual it should say what the input is to the welder. Remember though, that you will only be at the max current in when you are at the max current out.

Andrew

MoonRise
03-03-2010, 05:24 PM
Short answer: Yes or maybe.

Long answer: RTFM :D

daman
03-03-2010, 05:43 PM
Yes...... you'll get peak performance with a bigger then recommended wire because you'll experience less voltage drop,always go bigger.

I ran a 6g for my 40A Hobart,,with that and the lengh of run i needed i only have less then a 2 volt drop at plug end,welder sreams!

DSW
03-03-2010, 05:48 PM
If you read your manual, it will most likely tell you that it wants a 20 amp dedicated line. The little 110v machines will be limited on a 15 amp circuit.

adamsmith007
03-03-2010, 06:17 PM
Thanks guys.

Jay O
03-03-2010, 07:24 PM
It sounds like your going to be doing some wiring and if you are might as well put in four circuits. One for lights, 2 for your other tools and one for then welder.

dougspair
03-04-2010, 05:44 PM
...Well, what kind of welder...what's the nameplate input current requirement?

National Electrical Code says...14 gauge can ONLY be used for lighting circuits, 15 amp breaker...
12 gauge is minimum for 15 amp receptacles...20 amp breaker...for 20 amp receptacles...#10 wire,
30 amp breaker...
Max current draw should never be more than about 70-75% of breaker ratings....

dougspair
03-04-2010, 05:50 PM
...after reading it again...a 120 volt welder running at 140 amps...? Doesn't sound right to me....unless it's a 30 amp/120 volt input....still quite a stretch....most all the MIG welders I've seen running more than 80 or so amps (output) are 208/240 volt units...
Exception to that perhaps is the Harbor Fright stuff...I know enough to keep way from it....

DSW
03-04-2010, 06:03 PM
...after reading it again...a 120 volt welder running at 140 amps...? Doesn't sound right to me....unless it's a 30 amp/120 volt input....still quite a stretch....most all the MIG welders I've seen running more than 80 or so amps (output) are 208/240 volt units...
Exception to that perhaps is the Harbor Fright stuff...I know enough to keep way from it....

No 140 amp machines are common. thats the max the little machines will put out.


http://www.hobartwelders.com/products/wirefeed/handler140/

http://www.millerwelds.com/products/mig/millermatic_140_autoset/

http://www.mylincolnelectric.com/Catalog/equipmentdatasheet.aspx?p=42420


If you look at section 3.1 of Millers manual under the 115v units, it lists 15 and 20 amp inputs and rated output on each. If you try to run max at 140, your duty cycle is very low, and usually it's not infrequent to trip the breaker. Thats one reason they recomend a dedicated 20 amp line (section 4.7)

http://www.millerwelds.com/om/o225311c_mil.pdf