using a generator for welding?????
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  1. #1

    using a generator for welding?????

    i own a Forney 271 140mp 120 volt welder recommends 30 amp breaker or run on 4,000 watt running peak generator, i have a 20 amp breaker going to the garage outlet and i been looking for used generator I found two of them for sale, one is a coleman progen 5,000 watts and the other is a powermate 6250 watts - 5,000 watts running peak, both generators only have 20 amp breakers running 120v - 20 amps breaker, 120/240v - 20 amp breaker so far i can't find one with 30 amp breaker can anyone please help explain if they do have a 30 amp breaker on generators or am I able to buy and switch breaker on a generator??

  2. #2
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    Re: using a generator for welding?????

    I believe someone else posted this exact question just recently.. can't remember what the answers were but if you search you should find the standard answers if you switch breakers you'll probably end up burning up the genset. Find a genny with more than 5000 (rated) running watts and you'll see 30 amp breakers standard. I usually try to use 6000+ for doing 120v work if possible remember most genny's only give you half the watts when you're only using half the volt ie...120volt

  3. #3
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    Re: using a generator for welding?????

    Ive seen a couole of generators with 30A 120V breakers (using a larger round receptacle), but why use that when you can upgrade the wiring to 10/3 and install a 30A breaker to your garage outlet? It will cost you a heck of a lot more welding using a generator (cost of fuel) vs paying pennies for the kWHr's used from the power company.
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  4. #4
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    Re: using a generator for welding?????

    If you want to go portable.the light weight generators are excellent with a good little inverter mig/stick. I use my Klutch MP140si all the time.. Hot arc, and excellent arc starts. Zero difference from welding from the wall.. It will fit in a small car too. Just enough power to run a small air compressor, and 120 volt plasma cutter..

    The little China 120 volt inverter migs have are arc as good as anything out, and also blow away the old school 120 volt migs in output. It's worth putting a generator package together for them. You will see 170 + amps, and with enough voltage to run C-25/.030 well. Falls down a bit on CO2, just because the volts are not quite enough to run those amps..

    My Japan MQ 6000 has over 40 amps 120 power, and don't be suprised if the Forney could pull over the 30 amps. The little 120 volt inverter have tremendous output, if you feed them enough juice. You won't weld all day with that output, but you sure can get some real solid welds, that the old school stuff could only dream about.. Put some .035 solid wire in the thing, and 40 amps 120 volt input might be pulled out of them. Probably not recommended for machine life though.

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  5. #5
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    Re: using a generator for welding?????

    Quote Originally Posted by Oscar View Post
    Ive seen a couole of generators with 30A 120V breakers (using a larger round receptacle), but why use that when you can upgrade the wiring to 10/3 and install a 30A breaker to your garage outlet? It will cost you a heck of a lot more welding using a generator (cost of fuel) vs paying pennies for the kWHr's used from the power company.
    I concur.


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    Re: using a generator for welding?????




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  7. #7

    Re: using a generator for welding?????

    Thanks for the info my landlord won't allow me to install a 30 amp breaker for the garage I'm renting so that is why I am looking for a used generator with 4,000 watt running peak with 30 amp breaker, that's what Forney 271 140mp Manuel asking for top welding power for welding 1/4 in steel, so found two generators for sale Coleman progen 5000 watts 20 amp breakers, the other is a Powermate 6250 5,000 watt running peak 20 amp breakers, so my question can I change the breakers to 30 amps?

  8. #8
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    Re: using a generator for welding?????

    The breakers on a genset aren't likely to be an Ace Hardware or Home Depot off the shelf item.
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  9. #9
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    Re: using a generator for welding?????

    I've gotten dozens of the pushbutton breakers off ebay for repairs.

  10. #10
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    Re: using a generator for welding?????

    What is the price of a 240v mig welder vs a generator and the sale of your 12pv wekder and fuel and noise?

  11. #11
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    Re: using a generator for welding?????

    Quote Originally Posted by Boomer7575 View Post
    so my question can I change the breakers to 30 amps?
    Dont think so. The wiring is sized too small for 30A loads. You can potentially overheat the wiring and contacts. Find one with a 30A 120V twist lock outlet like in the picture that was posted. That way you get the power you need.
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    Re: using a generator for welding?????

    Quote Originally Posted by Boomer7575 View Post
    Thanks for the info my landlord won't allow me to install a 30 amp breaker for the garage I'm renting so that is why I am looking for a used generator with 4,000 watt running peak with 30 amp breaker, that's what Forney 271 140mp Manuel asking for top welding power for welding 1/4 in steel, so found two generators for sale Coleman progen 5000 watts 20 amp breakers, the other is a Powermate 6250 5,000 watt running peak 20 amp breakers, so my question can I change the breakers to 30 amps?
    If your breaker panel is in the shop where you will be welding you may consider installing a 30 amp 240VAC breaker and come out of your box with a strain relief.

    Send your 10-3 SO cable up through the strain relief and connect to your breaker. Don’t forget to tighten your strain relief firmly against the cord. Buy a nema L6-30 female plug to go on the other end of your new cord.. Now you have a handy drop cord that is safe to use and handy as a pocket on a tee shirt.


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  13. #13
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    Re: using a generator for welding?????

    The cord and plug on the machine is fine. Most 30 amp twist locks can carry no more than a quality 20 amp spec grade device. It is the configuration and that is all.

    Feed a 20 amp spec grade receptacle with 10 gauge and 30 amp and don't worry about the receptacle or the plug on the machine. A good 20 may even carry more load than the 30 twist lock.

    Look at surface area or a 30 twist lock and a 30 amp dryer. You think they can carry the same. That twist lock would melt way before the dryer with same rating. It is a configuration and not what load it is really good for. Look at a 30 amp dryer and and a 50 amp range. Again the dryer is same construction as range and can carry the same but the configuration of the 30 is just different. Plugs and receptacles are all over the board with ratings and what they could really carry safely.

    If you change the cord to twist lock and then you can't plug it in anywhere else if you wanted without making up a adapter patch cord. Complete waste of time to accomplish nothing.

    It is a welder with a really weak duty cycle. If it was a dedicated circuit he could probably put a 30 on 12 gauge safely as the welder only welds so long and it needs a break same break the wiring and receptacle will be taking.

    Check out your kitchen. Yes all 20 amp circuits but not a 20 amp receptacle in site. No relation just noting.
    Last edited by danielplace; 07-10-2019 at 07:23 AM.

  14. #14
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    Re: using a generator for welding?????

    Be careful of those telling you to buy a 240v receptacle.

    As you stated in your post you have a Forney 271 140mp 120 volt welder
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  15. #15
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    Re: using a generator for welding?????

    Quote Originally Posted by Broccoli1 View Post
    Be careful of those telling you to buy a 240v receptacle.

    As you stated in your post you have a Forney 271 140mp 120 volt welder
    Yea for sure don't wire the L6-30R with 120. Both posted here were 250 volt configuration. That would force you to put a 250 volt cord cap or tail on your machine that would be compatible to plug into plugs that would normally have 240(or 208) on them. You gain nothing on that machine cutting off it's plug to install 30 amp twist lock anyhow but if you did it would be a 125 volt type you would want to use. Complete waste of time and money.
    Last edited by danielplace; 07-10-2019 at 03:57 PM.

  16. #16
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    Re: using a generator for welding?????

    the correct connector for 120v 30amps is L5-30R but as Daniel mentioned, no need to switch the receptacle.

    If you are set on using a generator and swapping out the CB and wiring just keep the standard receptacles on the generator.

    You can buy Push To Reset CB on Amazon and they'll deliver yesterday.

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  17. #17
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    Re: using a generator for welding?????

    You need to look at running watts not surge watts like most generators are listed at. You need at least 3600 running watts. Most generators you will need at least a 4500 watts to achieve that. Like this one that Northern Tool sells

    Senci Inverter Generator — 4200 Surge Watts, 3800 Rated Watts, Electric Start, CARB Compliant, Model# SC4200iF

    It would be a good one to get because it has only 3% distortion and would be very clean power. It is a good price for a clean power generator. If noise is a problem it might be a little louder than you want at 66 DB. That still is not too bad though.

    What ever you get make sure its at least 3600 watts run rated and I would go a little larger than that. 5000 watts surge would be better but I think it will be hard to find any gen rated more than 4500 watts surge on 120v.
    Last edited by thegary; 07-11-2019 at 11:10 AM.

  18. #18
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    Re: using a generator for welding?????

    Quote Originally Posted by Broccoli1 View Post
    Be careful of those telling you to buy a 240v receptacle.

    As you stated in your post you have a Forney 271 140mp 120 volt welder
    Broccoli you are exactly right. I failed to read the original post correctly and offered a recommendation that could have been detrimental.


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  19. #19
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    Re: using a generator for welding?????

    This could be a what he was referencing.




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