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Thread: 50A circuit question

  1. #26
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    Re: 50A circuit question

    In earlier days split bolts seemed to dominate as the connector used most on high current connections. I wonder if it is only age, but I've seen numerous failures in split bolt connections. I have one to deal with today. The failure begins with a bit of surface oxidation on aluminum or copper conductor. Oxide doesn't conduct well, so voltage is lost in the connection. The lost voltage caused by resistance makes heat. The connection further deteriorates until it gets repaired, or burns off.

    In the days 50 years ago when the power company paid for your service it was common practice to bring 4/0 aluminum from the meter, then splice to two #1 or #2 aluminum to supply two 100 amp breaker panels. This is the most common fail point. The split bolt connections are bulky & it takes a mountain of three types of tape to properly insulate them where pressure against the trough won't compress the hot tape to short circuit. It's something we don't usually do any more.
    An optimist is usually wrong, and when the unexpected happens is unprepared. A pessimist is usually right, when wrong, is delighted, and well prepared.

  2. #27
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    Re: 50A circuit question

    Quote Originally Posted by Willie B View Post
    It's something we don't usually do any more.
    In favor of Polaris connectors? Or is there another good alternative?

  3. #28
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    Re: 50A circuit question

    Quote Originally Posted by FlyFishn View Post
    I'm a little late to the party - but just a thought. If you are going through the process to put in that circuit it might be well worth your effort to add 1 more 6g wire for neutral and run a 14-50 outlet. Then adapt from 14-50 to 6-50 between the outlet and the charger.

    This way you have both voltages available there for future use.

    That is what I did here. My old tombstone (round top) came with a range cord on it - NMEA 10-50. So when I set up my inital power cable (from a dryer outlet - 14-30) I wired to a box with a 10-50 for the welder and also put a 5-20r and L14-30r on there. The 5-20 has both horizontal and vertical neutrals so you can use either 5-15 or 5-20. That's my tool plug (drill, grinder, what ever).

    However, when I got my inverter welder it came with a 6-50 plug on it. At the same time I decided to upgrade to a dedicated circuit - new cable, wall mounted outlet (not the dryer circuit). I kept the same theory of the 4 conductor cable, just with 14-50's, with the addition of one more interconnect - at the end of a 25ft extension cord. If I was running a welder alone then yea - the extra neutral/4th wire is useless. But I really like having everything right there at the welder so I can run my 120v gear off the same box. That makes life a lot easier than running a separate extension cord.

    Make sure what ever you "install" is to code - outlet box back to the breaker. Yea, in my case splitting off the 120v and 30a plugs isn't code (they should have separate breakers), but for my uses I'm OK with that - and everything past the wall outlet isn't "installed" anyway - extension cord and the break out box.

    See post 154 for the cabling, 153 has the cord upgrade on the round top welder.
    https://weldingweb.com/vbb/threads/7...47#post8812147

    As far as splicing cables - I don't think that will work very well on bigger cables. You may look in to terminal blocks and putting ring terminals on your wires. For 6 gauge wire that will be a beefy terminal strip and require a substantial box. You're probably not going to make that kind of splice in a 2 gang wall box, for example.
    That is not so good. SE/romex for extension cord. Drop corner/end of metal on that you might get lit up. Really thin covering on those cables.

    Pulling 15/20 amp 120 outlets off 50 amp 240 feed. Seriously.

    https://weldingweb.com/vbb/threads/7...47#post8812147
    Last edited by danielplace; 05-05-2021 at 11:28 AM.

  4. #29
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    Re: 50A circuit question

    Quote Originally Posted by danielplace View Post
    That is not so good. SE/romex for extension cord. Drop corner/end of metal on that you might get lit up. Really thin covering on those cables.

    Pulling 15/20 amp 120 outlets off 50 amp 240 feed. Seriously.

    https://weldingweb.com/vbb/threads/7...47#post8812147
    But if I had a Nickle for every time a farmer defended his totally unsafe workmanship with "It works don't it?"

    Farmers won't play the safety game. They discuss what works. If you look at statistics, farmers should be ground up in machines 5 times as often as they are. My father used the expression: "God watches over fools & drunks." I believe he does that after watching over farmers.

    I've known many farmers. 99% take pride in doing what they know is dangerous. Most of them brag about the risks they have taken, but got away with it.
    An optimist is usually wrong, and when the unexpected happens is unprepared. A pessimist is usually right, when wrong, is delighted, and well prepared.

  5. #30
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    Re: 50A circuit question

    Quote Originally Posted by jwmelvin View Post
    In favor of Polaris connectors? Or is there another good alternative?
    Polaris is just the "Coca Cola" of those types connectors as I believe they were the first, there are many other manufacturers of that type of connector. Although none are exactly cheap, the original Polaris brand seems to be one of the more expensive ones.
    Miller Challenger 172
    Miller Thunderbolt AC/DC 225/150
    Miller Maxstar 150 STL
    Victor 100C
    Victor Journeyman
    Oxweld OA
    Harris O/A
    Smith O/A little torch

    No, that's not my car.

  6. #31
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    Re: 50A circuit question

    Quote Originally Posted by Willie B View Post
    But if I had a Nickle for every time a farmer defended his totally unsafe workmanship with "It works don't it?"

    Farmers won't play the safety game.
    .
    Cept for Samm, you don't mean Samm right?
    Miller Challenger 172
    Miller Thunderbolt AC/DC 225/150
    Miller Maxstar 150 STL
    Victor 100C
    Victor Journeyman
    Oxweld OA
    Harris O/A
    Smith O/A little torch

    No, that's not my car.

  7. #32
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    Re: 50A circuit question

    Quote Originally Posted by jwmelvin View Post
    In favor of Polaris connectors? Or is there another good alternative?
    I was referring to splicing before the first overcurrent device. Incoming service power is overcurrent protected only on the supply side of a transformer. It takes a great deal of current to trip that. The two 100 amp breaker panels is rarely done these days. If it is, there are two sets of entrance conductors from the meter socket.

    I still use split bolts sometimes. I'm super careful about procedure, and insulation. I'm big on using split PVC conduit to support cables inside a trough, keep them isolated from the hard metal surface of the trough. Split bolts are irregularly shaped, If you don't know what you are doing, they find a way to poke through the tape & short to the trough.
    An optimist is usually wrong, and when the unexpected happens is unprepared. A pessimist is usually right, when wrong, is delighted, and well prepared.

  8. #33
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    Re: 50A circuit question

    Quote Originally Posted by bigb View Post
    Cept for Samm, you don't mean Samm right?
    Good old Sammmm. Probably live to 100.
    An optimist is usually wrong, and when the unexpected happens is unprepared. A pessimist is usually right, when wrong, is delighted, and well prepared.

  9. #34
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    Re: 50A circuit question

    one last question for you guys.
    is there any difference between these 3? trying to find out why theres so much of a price difference.
    https://www.homedepot.com/p/Southwir...0032/204765156
    https://www.lowes.com/pd/Southwire-R...-Roll/50188983
    https://www.grainger.com/product/SOU...g-Cable-55CX35

    thanks again.

  10. #35
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    Re: 50A circuit question

    You just buy book.
    If charging car it looks like they are use 20 amp 240 volt.
    But welding so I would in stall 50 amps and you down grade for 20 amos.

    Dave

    Quote Originally Posted by superwelder View Post
    hi, i believe i have this figured out but wanted to be sure and wasnt able to find any old posts on it.
    i'm installing a charging station in my garage and it requires a 50A circuit.
    i have space for a 50A breaker as this was for future charging station use but now i need to wire it. it would be about 50' to a NEMA 6-50 outlet so i'm thinking 2 runs of #6 and 1 #8 for ground?
    i dont know if the NEC book is open to the public but i wasnt able to find it online.
    thank you

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  12. #36
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    Re: 50A circuit question

    I believe same product. One might not have the lubricant on the jacket. Cable prices have skyrocketed! Last time prices jumped so suddenly was 2001 when they demolished some important buildings killing thousands of Americans. American retailers responded with price gouging never before seen.
    Last edited by Willie B; 05-06-2021 at 06:59 PM.
    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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  14. #37
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    Re: 50A circuit question

    i dont know why i didnt use my full brain before but i checked the model number and all 3 are the same haha.

    willie, do you remember what something like this would have cost back then? just curious.

  15. #38
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    Re: 50A circuit question

    Quote Originally Posted by superwelder View Post
    i dont know why i didnt use my full brain before but i checked the model number and all 3 are the same haha.

    willie, do you remember what something like this would have cost back then? just curious.
    Before computers we used Rolodex. My father never dated prices, only entered newest price. His last entry, I'd guess 1997 was $ .61. I wasn't able to find older than January '05 in my more recent Rolodex. It was just over $1100. per thousand

    I recall 12/2 WG NM-B going from $180. per 1000 to North of $400. overnight. I recall saying it peaked over $500. Most recent restock last winter was $348. per 1000. I have no current price (I try to not buy when it's high) I'd guess well over $500
    Last edited by Willie B; 05-06-2021 at 09:00 PM.
    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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  17. #39
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    Re: 50A circuit question

    thanks for the info. crazy how these prices can change so quickly.

  18. #40
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    Re: 50A circuit question

    Quote Originally Posted by superwelder View Post
    one last question for you guys.
    is there any difference between these 3? trying to find out why theres so much of a price difference.
    https://www.homedepot.com/p/Southwir...0032/204765156
    https://www.lowes.com/pd/Southwire-R...-Roll/50188983
    https://www.grainger.com/product/SOU...g-Cable-55CX35

    thanks again.
    This is similar to what I got, but $9 or so more. I can't find the exact listing but its the same grade/gauge/length.
    https://www.ebay.com/itm/16273971083...4AAOSwCEhelAbw

    Here is an ampacity chart:
    https://www.cerrowire.com/products/r...pacity-charts/

    6g aluminum at an allowed temp limit of 75deg C will hold 50 amps. Same specs with a higher allowed temp limit of 90deg C will hold 55 amps.

    If you are going to pull a continuous load of those amps then maybe bump down a gauge (larger wire). Otherwise, that should work fine. The numbers work for me - I may never pull a continuous load that high, and intermittent loads higher than that shouldn't hurt. Even an air compressor won't draw that - starting load will be very high, but only for a short time, then running load will drop well below (7.5hp = 40a running = 10a under the 50a rating at the 75deg C allowed temp of that wire).

    Last note is the cable is nice to work with. It is stranded. Yeah, it is a bigger cable but being stranded and aluminum it is softer than a copper equivalent (unless you went to SO/SOOW which is very flexible). The only gripe is the aluminum strands can break at the junctions - circuit breaker, connectors - where the wires are screwed down on the cables. So be careful with your connections.
    Last edited by FlyFishn; 05-08-2021 at 11:38 AM.

  19. #41
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    Re: 50A circuit question

    Get the proper materials. Aluminum wire is NOT one of them.


    You really don't ever want to wire a welder in aluminum. Don't wire anything with aluminum.

    Aluminum sucks mostly because of it's expansion rate when heated.

    You tighten it tight, It gets loaded, it gets hot and expands and crushes the wire in the connection while it expands. Then it cools and you are left with a loose connection.

    https://help.leonardo-energy.org/hc/...r-vs-aluminium

  20. #42
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    Re: 50A circuit question

    thank you for the advice Fly, the thought did cross my mind for a second but i would rather stick to something i know. when it comes to electrical i like to use what i know how to use correctly.

  21. #43
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    Re: 50A circuit question

    so a little update. i was able to get the wire from grainger. finally got into the attic and it looks like when the house was built, someone used that 50A breaker and conduit that was supposed to be for the car, on an oven/microwave.
    i would really like to run a dedicated wire for the charger but i dont know how easy that would be now that i dont have the conduit i thought i did. now im wondering if i should install a box and Tee off that existing wire going to the oven. its also 6ga.
    i've never had to connect wires this large before. any opinions on this?
    also, i know that using both would trip the breaker in no time but this is a secondary kitchen which is rarely used, i also have the car programed to charge at 2am.

  22. #44
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    Re: 50A circuit question

    Breaker tripping would be a nuisance. The greater concern, you just mentioned, you don't know how to properly splice. The range & the car should each be on a dedicated circuit. Any heating in a splice will grow worse, maybe to fire stage. 50 amps will provide quite a lot of heat in a bad connection.
    An optimist is usually wrong, and when the unexpected happens is unprepared. A pessimist is usually right, when wrong, is delighted, and well prepared.

  23. #45
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    Re: 50A circuit question


    I like this splice kit. I use on copper along with dielectric grease. Shrink tube is very robust and required high setting on heat gun.

    I donít use aluminum wireÖ..so many people recommend it to save money. Itís not always about money.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

  24. #46
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    Re: 50A circuit question

    Quote Originally Posted by mcspeed View Post

    I like this splice kit. I use on copper along with dielectric grease. Shrink tube is very robust and required high setting on heat gun.

    I don’t use aluminum wire…..so many people recommend it to save money. It’s not always about money.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    Your splice kit is intended for wire breaks underground. 1 in 1 out. Not intended for a T joint. In fact, yours isn't rated for above ground splicing. I like the shrink tube in yours but the barrel splice is notorious for threads stripping long before they are at rated torque.

    Several times your kit has left me scrambling for another fix when the set screws strip.
    An optimist is usually wrong, and when the unexpected happens is unprepared. A pessimist is usually right, when wrong, is delighted, and well prepared.

  25. #47
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    Re: 50A circuit question

    if i were to use a mechanical splice it would be Polaris but at $30ea, i'm going to get my *** back in the attic and see what i can do.

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