Does ground AWG size matter?
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  1. #1

    Does ground AWG size matter?

    Just wiring my garage for 230 volt welder plug, using 6-50, 230V receptical and 50 ft. 6-2 WG wire and a 50 amp breaker from 200 amp panel box in the house with a 4 wire overhead service wire coming from a main disconnect box on a may pole, after the meter and main service. My question is: Is this the right wire to use? The wire has 2 -6 AWG feeds and 1- 10 AWG bare ground. Seems like the ground should be 6 - AWG also.
    I will be connecting the ground into the ground bar and not the netural bar in the panel box since I beleive that the ground bar is not bonded to the netural bar. I will be running a Power Kraft 295 / 64.7 amp buzz box. Thanks for any reply.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    Murray KY
    Posts
    52

    Re: Does ground AWG size matter?

    How long is your wire run from the breaker box.

    If you need 65 amps for the welder why not do the wiring to meet that spec?

  3. #3

    Re: Does ground AWG size matter?

    50 ft., The welder is an old Mongomery Ward Power Kraft 295 AMP. It states that the pri amp is 64.7, but I don't think I would ever use that amperage since I would not be burning with it or welding thicker metal. I also have a brand new Millermatic 211 mig set -up to use,but only 1 welder will be used at anytime on the same plug.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    Murray KY
    Posts
    52

    Re: Does ground AWG size matter?

    The one at at time works well. I think I will just put in a 60 amp breaker and wire like it was for a kitchen electrical range when I get to that point. 50 foot is a short run for many shops.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    Ceres, California
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    2,571

    Re: Does ground AWG size matter?

    The hot wires and the neutral carry current and must be the same size. The ground wire is some times one size smaller and must not carry current. Its job is to take stray voltage to ground so we do not get shocked from the case. The second job is to be big enough to make sure the circuit breaker trips. When a hot wire shorts to the case, with out melting in two and starting a fire. This is why I never trust a metal conduit as ground. I always pull a wire for ground. I have seen conduit come apart and now you have lost your ground.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    Texas
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    966

    Re: Does ground AWG size matter?

    Quote Originally Posted by HellDyce View Post
    I will be connecting the ground into the ground bar and not the netural bar in the panel box since I beleive that the ground bar is not bonded to the netural bar.
    Correct! Never attach your ground to the neutral bar.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Posts
    9,127

    Re: Does ground AWG size matter?

    Quote Originally Posted by joedirt1966 View Post
    Correct! Never attach your ground to the neutral bar.
    Unless, of course, you happen to be the power company pole and meter install dudes. Show me a meter not grounded to neutral in this area and I'll eat your hat.

    Just recapping an old argument from the past

    I HATE ELECTRICAL STUFF
    "Any day above ground is a good day"

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    Texas
    Posts
    966

    Re: Does ground AWG size matter?

    Quote Originally Posted by farmersamm View Post
    Show me a meter not grounded to neutral in this area and I'll eat your hat.
    Show me someone who connects a welder directly to a live meter and I'll show you an idiot (possibly a dead one).

    P.S. I understand your point about meters but it's not advisable for the original posters intent.
    Attached Images Attached Images  

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    Central Oregon
    Posts
    136

    Re: Does ground AWG size matter?

    Actually the neutral wire does not always have to be the same size as the "hot" or ungrounded size wire, and the ground is sometimes more than one size smaller.
    Millermatic 252
    "Don't worry, he's got a welder, he can fix anything"

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    Jacksonville Fl
    Posts
    64

    Re: Does ground AWG size matter?

    According to my Electrical Reference guide:
    The MINIMUM size equipment grounding conductors for grounding raceway and equipment is:
    30 amp to 60 amps will require a #10 COPPER grounding wire.
    100 Amp # 8 Copper wire
    200 Amp # 6 Copper wire

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Irvine, CA
    Posts
    291

    Re: Does ground AWG size matter?

    IIRC the ground only carries current in the event of a short to ground, hopefully that will cause the breaker to trip. The ground should never need to carry continuous current, so unless it melts in under 3 seconds of being live it will be fine as the breaker will trip.

  12. #12

    Re: Does ground AWG size matter?

    Thank you, for your answers. I now have it installed. I did a little reseach at the meter and disconnect box located on the may pole away from the house. I found that the ground was bonded there inside the disconnect box. That means that the panel box in the house is really a sub panel and it has a seperate ground bar located in there. This is where I grounded the welder circuit.
    I have decided to sell the older dinosaur buzz box and buy a newer AC/DC welder since I found out from another forum member that it may not even turn on with only a 50 amp CB. I can still use my Miller 211 on this circuit until I find a newer stick welder.

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