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Thread: Welder issues - I'm stumped

  1. #1
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    Welder issues - I'm stumped

    I own a Lincoln Electric Weld-Pak 140 (from Home Depot). It's my first welder and I've always had issues with it - mostly cold welds, especially with heavier gauge steel. I used nice a Miller MIG welder in my welding classes which worked amazingly well by comparison. So my buddy let me borrow his Miller 140 which I tested out in his shop with no problems. I take it home and fire it up and get the same result as my Lincoln Electric. I tried multiple AC outlets on different circuits and still couldn't lay down a proper bead. Is the power in my house not outputting enough voltage/amperage to power this thing?

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    Re: Welder issues - I'm stumped

    It's possible.

    Easy to check with a Multi Meter.

    Check the voltage at the receptacle.
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    Re: Welder issues - I'm stumped

    Quote Originally Posted by Broccoli1 View Post
    It's possible.

    Easy to check with a Multi Meter.

    Check the voltage at the receptacle.
    I tested it and it's 120V

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    Re: Welder issues - I'm stumped

    Are you using the same settings, and same material as you did at your friend's place?

    Check the voltage at the receptacle while under load; e.g. while welding. If there is no load on the receptacle, it will read full voltage. You may have a loose connection at the breaker, or ground buss, for that circuit.

    What gauge wire and what amperage breaker is feeding that circuit? It should be a 20A breaker and 12 ga wire. 15A and #14 wire is not good.
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    Re: Welder issues - I'm stumped

    Quote Originally Posted by Broccoli1 View Post
    It's possible.

    Easy to check with a Multi Meter.

    Check the voltage at the receptacle.
    It's actually 118.9

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    Re: Welder issues - I'm stumped

    118.9 under load? Plug in a toaster oven, hair dryer or some such power hog and measure it under a steady load.
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    Re: Welder issues - I'm stumped

    Quote Originally Posted by Will S. View Post
    Are you using the same settings, and same material as you did at your friend's place?

    Check the voltage at the receptacle while under load; e.g. while welding. If there is no load on the receptacle, it will read full voltage. You may have a loose connection at the breaker, or ground buss, for that circuit.

    What gauge wire and what amperage breaker is feeding that circuit? It should be a 20A breaker and 12 ga wire. 15A and #14 wire is not good.
    My circuit breaker is unmarked and very old. I'm sure my issues have something to do with how it's set up. I'm using the exact same settings and on top of that, the welder is a Millermatic, so it's an it more fool proof than my Lincoln. Im afraid I am going to have to call an electrician to sort this out. Thanks for your input.

    I don't think I'm going to be able to hold the multimeter and operate the welder at the same time.

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    Re: Welder issues - I'm stumped

    Quote Originally Posted by Oldendum View Post
    118.9 under load? Plug in a toaster oven, hair dryer or some such power hog and measure it under a steady load.
    No load. I can't hold the meter while I weld unfortunately. I do hear the welder fan slow down when I turn on a 500W light. I trip the breakers often while welding as well.

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    Re: Welder issues - I'm stumped

    You really shouldn't have anything else on that circuit while welding.... the welder needs all the juice it can get.
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    Re: Welder issues - I'm stumped

    You need a 20 amp circuit to run that welder. If your feed line to the outlets is #14 wire, it won't handle 20 amps, 15 amp only. If the feed wire from the panel is #12 wire, buy a 20 amp breaker, install it and don't run anything else on that circuit when you are welding. If you need lighting, run it on an extension cord from an outlet on a different circuit.
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    Re: Welder issues - I'm stumped

    How far is the outlet from the breaker panel? Are you using an extension cord between the outlet and the welder plug?

    (Also, what storeman said.)
    Last edited by Weldordie; 02-02-2017 at 09:53 PM.

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    Re: Welder issues - I'm stumped

    Quote Originally Posted by Weldordie View Post
    How far is the outlet from the breaker panel? Are you using an extension cord between the outlet and the welder plug?

    (Also, what storeman said.)
    Maybe 30-40 feet away. I've tried with everything off. It must be inadequate wiring.

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    Re: Welder issues - I'm stumped

    Quote Originally Posted by Neophyte View Post
    Maybe 30-40 feet away. I've tried with everything off. It must be inadequate wiring.
    And what is the wire gauge of this long extension cord?

    It's easy to get voltage drop on a skinny cord, coupled with insufficient power/voltage from the wall outlet and the welder is choked for power.
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    Re: Welder issues - I'm stumped

    Quote Originally Posted by Neophyte View Post
    I tested it and it's 120V
    You need to test it under a load (i.e. the same conditions as when you're having trouble). Testing an unloaded circuit tells you virtually nothing. I would guess that you have under size wiring for what you're doing or a loose connection or possible a bad splice in the wiring. The next time that you have trouble, go and immediately check your breaker and the outlet and see if they're warm. They shouldn't be but if they are then there is a bad connection to it.

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    Re: Welder issues - I'm stumped

    Your Lincoln weld pack 140 needs to run off a at least a 20 amp circuit and if you have to use an ext/ cord 30 to 40 feet use a 10/3 ext/ cord. I speak from experience, I too had the same problem until I started using a 20 amp circuit. I upgraded to a 180.

    Good luck

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    Re: Welder issues - I'm stumped

    If you don't know electricity, you will really need an electrician to look at it. You can cause a fire if you are overloading the wiring, especially in an older house. The breaker tripping says that you are overloading the circuit. If the panel is in the area that you are welding and you have the space and capacity in the panel, it would be very cheap and easy for an electrician to install a 20a,120v or a 30a, 240v (or both) adjacent to the panel. Then you can get some heavy outdoor 3-wire electrical cord, 8/3 or 10/3 SOOW Portable Cord 600V UL/CSA, and put the appropriate ends on it to make an extension cord. I used 6 gauge and made a 40' extension cord for my 350a, 240v Lincoln and works great. Just let the electrician know you plan so he can size the house wire accordingly.

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    Re: Welder issues - I'm stumped

    Is the breaker tripping?
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    Re: Welder issues - I'm stumped

    On page 10 of your manual it says you need a 20 amp breaker and 12/3 or larger for an extension cord which would also apply to the house wiring. And as many have said, nothing else on that circuit while welding, even with a 20 amp breaker and 12/3 wire.
    Last edited by JD1; 02-03-2017 at 10:21 AM.

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    Re: Welder issues - I'm stumped

    Dedicated circuit as stated. IF you are gonna upgrade wire, I would go with #10 and a 30 amp breaker and definitely no smaller than a extension cord with #10 wire too.

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    Re: Welder issues - I'm stumped

    It turned out the circuit was only 15amps and didn't have the proper gauge wire. I had an electrician run a dedicated 30amp line to a new outlet and the welder is working perfectly. Instead of fixing the original, cold welds, I just ran over them. I also had a 220v outlet installed as well, in case I upgrade my welder. Thanks to all for your input!

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    Re: Welder issues - I'm stumped

    Good call on hiring an electrician.

    How many amps is the 220v receptacle?
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    Re: Welder issues - I'm stumped

    That power upgrade will make a world of difference.

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    Re: Welder issues - I'm stumped

    Amazing how things work with proper "fuel" aint it ?.
    Call the electric dude back and get a few outlets installed for other demanding tools like a compressor, table saw, bandsaw etc.Buy yourself a real extension cord too. Stay out of Depots.

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    Re: Welder issues - I'm stumped

    Quote Originally Posted by John T View Post
    Good call on hiring an electrician.

    How many amps is the 220v receptacle?
    It's on two 30amp breakers

  25. #25
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    Re: Welder issues - I'm stumped

    Quote Originally Posted by Neophyte View Post
    It's on two 30amp breakers
    Huh????

    I sure hope you mean a two pole 30 amp breaker


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