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Thread: Electrical requirements for new welder

  1. #1
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    Electrical requirements for new welder

    Hi, new to welding here. Looking into purchasing my first welder. My two choices are Miller mulitmatic 215 or ESAB Rebel 215ic. I wanted to know the requirements for the electrical panel. I dont have many open spots in the panel.. I have 200amp service to the house. I wanted to have an outlet put in the garage.

    My question is what size circuit breaker do i need? I see in the documentation it says a NEMA Type 6−50P. Does that mean it needs to be a 50amp breaker? I thought I read somewhere 30amp breaker.
    What wire gauge size would I need? Not sure if I will run the line myself or have an electrician do it, but I do need to know what to ask for.


    Also, any recommendation over the Miller 215 or the Esab Rebel 215? I want to use it for fixing things around the house. Probably some stick welding and repairing a small aluminum boat using a spool gun.

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    Re: Electrical requirements for new welder

    I was going to look but it's slow,, if it lists a 30 breaker the minimum wire is 14 single circuit in pipe. Use 12 or better.

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    Re: Electrical requirements for new welder

    You'll need at least a 30 amp breaker feeding the line you run for the welder... a 50 would be better either one could feed the nema 6-50p outlet but the wire size you run will dictate which breaker. If the run isn't over 20-30 wire feet then the cost won't be much different... actually even at 50-60 feet it wouldn't cost that much more to run #8 vs. #10

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    Re: Electrical requirements for new welder

    8 is 2 sizes, maybe 3 bigger than the machine needs. There isn't anything rely wrong with that but it's not the requirement.

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    Re: Electrical requirements for new welder

    Yeah, and I have had machines burn up from too much drop because a friend told me it was ok to use a smaller extension cord to run my equipment.... if he's only running a couple feet from the main panel then sure... go smaller/cheaper but anything else I would personally stay with larger wire

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    Re: Electrical requirements for new welder

    I have never had it happen. Hundreds of tools, thousands of hours. I don't think the minumums are a great idea including the terminations being light and need special care but,, last one I hook for allowed 48 ft of 14. Using a 12 is a huge leap and well suffecient at that distance. Miller designed it that way and put a good warranty on it, they could have said 12 or even 10 but these standards have been in place for decades and millions of machines.
    Some since they invent the buzz box. Installed by licenced masters back when voltage was 220,,, some will run 208, they not suffering drop on 240 + and they run even better today on wire with better coatings, over 20 volts better service.
    One of the advantages of a new machines IS the lower power requirements. Let's a guy wire it at 30 cents a foot vs 3$.

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    Re: Electrical requirements for new welder

    Guys, thank you for the replies. My main panel is around 50 feet from the garage. I have a subpanel near the garage that used for laundry etc its running on a 60amp breaker. I would need to make some room in the subpanel to squeeze in a 30amp breaker.

    Would I be better off running a 50amp breaker from main panel into the garage? Would this allow a better option if I decided to get a plasma cutter or upgrade welder? From the replies I'm seeing 14ga, 12ga, 10ga, 8ga? Is 12ga or 10ga a happy medium?.

    Would BX wire be ok to use or Romex?

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    Re: Electrical requirements for new welder

    If you plan on getting a plasma then Id say you would be better off running a 100amp drop from the main to the garage if that is an option. Plasma requires an air compressor plus power to run the machine. How many 120 outlets do you have in the garage now and are they all 15amp circuits or do you have any 20amp 120v circuits in the garage. If you are spending the money to run a 50 drop you might at well leave some extra amps for future improvements.
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    Re: Electrical requirements for new welder

    From the sounds of it you need to run a separate sub panel.... most people start laundry then go on to do something else.... like welding plasma etc.... and a 60 isn't big enough to run laundry and weld at the same time... especially not plasma!!!

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    Re: Electrical requirements for new welder

    Depends on the machines. Is the laundry electric dryer? Do you have to weld, dry, make air the same time? 60 will sup port a modest comp and modest plasma. It would weld and dry on 60.
    As for we for the welder, 10 leaves a little room for using a different machine which is unlikely since the 215 will do sticks too. Some of this might depend on wire I had on hand. Use 12 minimum, it's required if it's cable and well good to 50 ft for a 215 Multimatic.
    10 is a bit better, fits the connectors on the recept a little better. Doesn't appear this is going to be a commercial welding shop, bit different for those who aspire to be career welders with lots of machines. Personally run a new wire specifically to a home for new machines. I use 10 if I got buy, use 6 or 8 if it's free but,,,I have 10 machines and that covers the heaviest that I have goes into 50A.
    I have a couple spools of 10, I use it on my 30's too.
    Last edited by Sberry; 11-03-2019 at 11:59 AM.

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    Re: Electrical requirements for new welder

    Ok, maybe I'm jumping the gun here and day dreaming. I'm looking into getting my first welder. I have a handful of project I know I want to do. Who knows I might not be that into welding and I will never want or need a plasma cutter. My main panel is all filled up. I would need to clear up some space on the panel by getting dual breakers. What gauge wire would you need to run a 100amp breaker to a subpanel?.

    If I go with the 50amp breaker 10 or 12 gauge wire?

  12. #12
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    Re: Electrical requirements for new welder

    10 cable is allowed on 50 for welders and is substantially better than 12 for 50. 10 is not allowed for panel to panel,,, only welder. 12 is allowed on 50 but,,,,, only single circuit in pipe. It's rather marginal for machines heavier than the 215,, for it would be legal and work but no real reason for a breaker heavier than 30,, only matters for larger units. Clear as mud?

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    Re: Electrical requirements for new welder

    Sberry, lol.... can you reword that for me?

    10 gauge is good from main panel to outlet for welder?
    10 gauge is not allowed to use from main panel to subpanel?
    I would not use a 50amp breaker only 30amp breaker from main panel to welder outlet?

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    Re: Electrical requirements for new welder

    10 not allowed panel to panel at 50,, at 30 ok. 10 ok from panel to welder up to 50A. 10 is super good at 30 for a welder and or but legal to 50. There is no reason to use a 50 here,,for a 215.

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    Re: Electrical requirements for new welder

    Thanks for the clarification.... Can I use BX or Romex to run the line from the main panel to the welder outlet? One thing I dont like is my main panel is inside the house near the bedrooms and open up the sheet rock . I would have to run the line from the panel up the wall into the attic, across the attic and drop down in the garage.

    Any opinion on the Miller 215 or ESAB rebel 215ic?

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    Re: Electrical requirements for new welder

    That's the pretty normal way to do it, or go under depending on how the garage sets.

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    Re: Electrical requirements for new welder

    Yes, bx or Romex, but,, it must be a size bigger than the minimum listed in the panel.
    Now,, this is a bit of theory but the breaker in this type of circuit is not to protect the wire from thermal, that is from the applied load. In other words,, the machine only draws 20A. etc, the breaker is only for short circuit. You could run 2 machines from 50 on 12 provided they eachanged had their own wire to the breaker or they were tapped to 6 or 8 wire. The combination will not overload the wire.

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    Re: Electrical requirements for new welder

    Houses are wired as an after thought for sure. I was in a garage the other day, had a 100A sub, I breaker in it, drywall ed around it tight as a nun cunny. 19 free spaces, no good way to get at it except below it which I did to install a welder outlet.

  19. #19
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    Re: Electrical requirements for new welder

    Try #18 lamp cord. It's plenty heavy.
    An optimist is usually wrong, and when the unexpected happens is unprepared. A pessimist is usually right, when wrong, is delighted, and well prepared.

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    Re: Electrical requirements for new welder

    Quote Originally Posted by Willie B View Post
    Try #18 lamp cord. It's plenty heavy.
    X100 you could even get away with one size smaller if it has the good hitemp rubber coating

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    Re: Electrical requirements for new welder

    Call an electrician as neither you nor most all here know what they are talking about. 14ga wtf ?
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    Re: Electrical requirements for new welder

    Quote Originally Posted by GiantTechGuy View Post
    Call an electrician as neither you nor most all here know what they are talking about. 14ga wtf ?
    It is actually allowed BUT a lot of parameters have to be met to make it code. Miller always has the MINIMUM wiring listed in the manuals with an * Reference: 2017 National Electrical Code (NEC) (including article 630)

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  23. #23
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    Re: Electrical requirements for new welder

    Quickest and easiest route would be to add a 30amp CB to sub panel and feed a single welder circuit in the geeerage.

    10g wire, a 30amp CB & 6-50 receptacle. That will get you up and welding and within the input specs for the MM215.
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  24. #24
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    Re: Electrical requirements for new welder

    10/30 is a tailor made circuit for this class of machine. It gives these little welders all the help they can get from the wall. I am not sure how much difference it is for inverters. I can tell a bit of difference with a 140 wire feed with 50 ft of 14 vs 12. Got to change the setting just a fuzz.

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    Re: Electrical requirements for new welder

    You mentioned stick welding. Maybe you should get an inverter stick welder and see if you like welding before you commit to a bigger welder. It's a fun process and it's best that you start with it.

    I have no experience with either machine, but the Rebel seem to have an edge with 5 whopping more amps and higher voltage on the MIG side and a 25% duty cycle as apposed to 20% on the Miller. I also heard complaints about the front dial being wobbly and feels cheap on the Esab. Both well reviewed machines, but Miller is a bigger name if that translates to better warranty service and resale value.


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