200 amp arc welder (newb) why is my breaker always fliping?
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  1. #1

    200 amp arc welder (newb) why is my breaker always fliping?

    ok im new to welding. i just bought a new 200 amp arc welder, i was a welder helper for teamsters a while back so i have a basic understanding of the skill, and with electricity. heres my situation; my welder is hooked up to 110v dedicated line with 15 amp breaker, now, it can be hooked up 220v (has auto conversion) but i dont want to do that unless i have to...( theres goes my saturday! ) ok heres my problem everytime i get my plasma going from scratch technique as soon as it gets going the breaker flips and i cant weld , it happens everytime, sometimes even when im scratching trying to get the arc goin...i guess my question is, do i have to hook this up to 220v? and how much amps should the breaker be? or can i leave it at 110v and get a bigger breaker? maybe 20 amps? any help will be appriciated. oh and by the way all im trying to weld is some mufflers stainless steel and i have 1/16 rods 3/32 and 1/8, how thik would standard muffler piping be? im guessing around 1/16

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    Central West Virginia
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    203

    Re: 200 amp arc welder (newb) why is my breaker always fliping?

    Disclaimer: Get an electrician!!

    First off your welder should have a name plate giving the Amp draw of the machine on 110V & 220V
    once you determine this your breaker needs to be at least the same amps or 5A. higher. Equally if not more important the wire size between breaker & plug in needs to be of size to handle the current going through the breaker.

    Rule of Thumb 20A 110V wire size good to 50' 12 gauge wire. If you go to a 25A breaker you need 10 G wire good to 30A @50'

    Other conditions can apply that reduce the amount of load a specific wire size can handle.

    If wire length is longer go up a size in wire.

    These things ARE NOT designed to run off of an extention cord from your neighbors outside outlet to save the power bill
    IF IT WORKS, DON'T FIX IT

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  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    Augusta, GA
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    209

    Re: 200 amp arc welder (newb) why is my breaker always fliping?

    Any AC electrical device with a transformer will draw a higher current when initially energized due to the lack of a counter electromotive force that works to limit the current once steady state current flow is established. The current in-rush during arc initiation is probably overwhelming the 15 amp breaker, which is underrated for your purpose. Your owner's manual should list the required input current for use with 110 VAC and 220VAC, and you'll note that using 220 VAC reduces the input current.

    The minimum breaker rating for a 130 amp Lincoln SP135+ MIG is 20 amps, but you cannot weld at higher current levels unless you have a 25 amp breaker. I use a 30 amp, 110 VAC for it. A Hobart Stickmate requires 47.5 input amps at rated output of 225 VAC. I use a 50 amp breaker, and the 2.5 amp difference is sufficient to cover the transient arc initiation current spike. Other issues are the wire size between the breaker and the welder power outlet and the breaker box rating. Small wires get hot, which increases resistance and current draw, which then trips the breaker. I use No. 8 AWG for a 20- foot distance between breaker and outlet. Do you have space for a 2-pole 220 VAC breaker and will the insoming service and main input breaker handle the increased load?

    If you are not competent and confident in electrical system modifications, consult with a registered electrician.
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  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
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    Deltaville, VA
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    Re: 200 amp arc welder (newb) why is my breaker always fliping?

    Hello!

    Breaker's tripping cause you exceeded the capacity of the circuit.

    I don't know about your welder, but a Miller 225A Thunderbolt, stick welder, draws 47A at 230v. That would equate to about 94A on a 120v circuit. Even if you reduced that amp draw by 25%, you'd still need about a 70A breaker on a 120v circuit. Not happening.

    Sounds to me like you need to do a little more reading on electricity. Maybe one of those teamsters could help you out.
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  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Brighton, Michigan
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    716

    Re: 200 amp arc welder (newb) why is my breaker always fliping?

    Quote Originally Posted by millman52 View Post
    Disclaimer: Get an electrician!!

    These things ARE NOT designed to run off of an extention cord from your neighbors outside outlet to save the power bill
    LMAO
    Charlie

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