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Old 03-05-2004, 09:56 PM
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220 wiring for welder

I currently use a 110 wire feed welder but am building a new garage this spring and want to wire it for a 220 welder. Do I have to bring the two hot wires off of opposite poles (sides) of the main (house) fuse box or can I just put a double breaker on one side of the box (like I do for my 220 compressor at present). I vaguely recall our old 220 buzz box on the farm had to come off both poles - rather than two hots off the same side of the box - something about dual phase or some such thing. Or maybe I was just imagining it all.

Put more simply, how do you guys wire up to the breakers in the fuse box for something like a Millermatic 175.

Dewey

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Old 03-05-2004, 10:03 PM
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When running the power out to your new shop, you need to run all 3 wires out there. The 2 outside ones and the centre one. Basically, to get 220 volts you use the 2 outside wires and for 110 volts you use the centre one and 1 of the outside ones..

You are also going to have a fuse box in the shop.

If you don't really know what you are doing, I would suggest getting an electrician to do this.
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Old 03-06-2004, 03:49 AM
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All houses have 220 coming in. When you wire the welder for 220 you will need to get a breaker for the same. With the 220 wire you will have three wires plus a ground. Red, black, white, ground. You will need a 220 breaker for your box. The red and black will go to this, the ground and neutral (white) goes to the ground and neutral bar at the top of the box. With what you are talking about Cboy is probably the older fuse boxes (which you DO NOT want to use BTW) You had 220 going to the fuse box and to be able to use 110 you had to pull off of one side of the box. Shop around for your box when you go to buy it. All boxes are basically the same but the breakers will vary by quite an amount. Also don't be afraid to buy a box that is larger than you actually need. When I wired my garage I was told by the utility company that all I needed was a 60 amp box. I looked around and found a 100 amp box for a real reasonable price plus the breaker were more reasonable price. I think I paid around $50 for the box and breakers were around $6 apiece. I am the type that likes to put everything on separate circuits. Air compressor on one circuit, garage lights on two separate circuits, wall outlets on two separate circuits, and the other bay of the garage on three separate circuits, and outside lights on two circuits.Plus I have all kinds of room left in the box. I don't know about the code where you are at as they vary from county to county, state to state, but around here I was told that less than 500 feet away I could tie into my existing box at the house and run 8 gage wire. I ran one size larger (6) to be on the safe side. added a smaller breaker (60 amp instead of 100 amp ) and have never had any problems. Of course there are the codes you need to go by. Check at some of your local Lowes Lumber, Home Depot or places like that and you can usually find an Electrical handbook that list the codes for your state or go to the local library with a handful of dimes an copy what you need out of the book. Something I have always hated is turning on some power tool like a table saw, circular saw etc, and have the lights dim when you do. I have none of that problem. Also when the garage is wired plan on putting on outside outlets in convenient locations around the perimeter with the proper covers. They come in handier than what you think, and will get used more than you imagine. I hate extension cords. If you have them laying on the floor for anything it always seems like you have a cart that you have to fight with to roll over the cord. Not good for the cord and not good for your patience. I also like to recommend to people that is building anything new, while the yard is tore up, run electric out to a convenient place away from the structure for a future yard light, maybe that traffic light that you ran across at a swap meet, or for the future old gas pump you may acquire. And it comes in handy if you have a car in the drive and need to plug in a battery charger without dragging 100' of extension cord out. Plus wire in a couple of halogen flood lights up in the eves or soffit for the after hours light shining down the drive if you need it. Better than dragging out a trouble light. Most people will say...Oh I don't need that, but when you have a car up on stands and can't get into the garage, the extra $15 for the light and wire comes in real handy. Just a few suggestions on my part and experience. Hope at least one helps someone out.

Kevin
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Old 03-06-2004, 08:08 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by Kevin45
When you wire the welder for 220 you will need to get a breaker for the same. With the 220 wire you will have three wires plus a ground. Red, black, white, ground. You will need a 220 breaker for your box. The red and black will go to this, the ground and neutral (white) goes to the ground and neutral bar at the top of the box. With what you are talking about Cboy is probably the older fuse boxes (which you DO NOT want to use BTW) You had 220 going to the fuse box and to be able to use 110 you had to pull off of one side of the box.
Kevin
Yes, this was a very old box a very long time ago (like 40 years), but I remember my dad telling me why he had to hook up the welder this certain way by coming off both poles in the box. Anyhow, sounds like with the new boxes the welder 220 is wired exactly the same as the 220 I wired up for my spa, my compressor, my well pump etc. Basically a side-by-side 220 breaker coming off either side of the fuse box.

And a BIG thanks for all those additional tips regarding new garage construction. I have read all the threads ever written in the "Garage" forum - but you managed to add quite a few new and helpful tips.

Dewey
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Old 03-06-2004, 07:34 PM
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If you have an old style fuse box in the house, and are plannng on running the garage from there, I would change that first. When you start installing outlets is when the fun starts. Go around and decide where you need them. Then go back around and put 2 between the ones that you need. There are never enough! My last garage I had them every 4 feet on the walls and ceiling. I ran 100 amp service to the garage from the house. Lowes here, every once in a while, has a sale where you get the breaker box and breakers for a set amount. If you can get a 150 amp box cheaper than a smaller box, buy it. Just change the main breaker to match the size of the wire you run out there.
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Old 03-07-2004, 02:39 PM
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Thanx adtkart,

I put in the main box in my house just three years ago so that part should be fine.

And you are right about the outlets. I have my woodworking shop in the lower level of the house and I put in outlets every 4 feet when I built it - and in certain areas I STILL could use another outlet or two.

Dewey
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Old 03-11-2004, 01:46 PM
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I'm RIGHT THERE now with my shop. I wanted a 50amp circuit so I can use my "buzz" box . I had hooked up to a 30amp circuit (old dryer plug-in) ...but on occasions that wasn't big enough and would trip the breaker. I used 3/#6 cable I got at local scrap yard (WAY cheaper there). Well see how it looks to the inspector, he's coming out tomorrow to sign it off. Lets you know how it turns out. ...Mark
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Old 03-11-2004, 02:55 PM
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11echo,

I'm lucky. Where I live there are no inspections inside the house - all they care about is setback from the lakeshore and having a proper septic system. But I sure don't want to have the garage, or the house, go up in smoke. So I want to do things on the safe side.

So are you running 100 amp service to the garage itself and then have a 50 amp/220 breaker for the welder?
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Old 03-11-2004, 03:54 PM
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NO, What I have is a detached shop on the side of the house. So what I did was tie-in at the existing panel on the house (which is 100amp) ...my tie-in is 50amp with 3/#6 cable, which I ran thru 1 1/2" conduit to my shop. There I'll have a separate panel (that can handle 100amp ) with my 50amp breaker to feed two 50amp outlets. These with be an either/or connection ...I'll be welding from one or the other, but not both at the same time. That plus I have 2/15amp circuits for lights and 2/20amp circuits for 110v outlets in the walls. Even with this I have 6 spaces for future on the shop panel. I pick this shop panel up at Lowes for $35.
...Mark
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Old 03-12-2004, 08:48 AM
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You do not need to run a 3 conductor wire for 240V, only 2 conductor! You need a double pole cricuit breaker for your brand of box. This looks like 2 circuit breakers attached (basically that all it is). Using 2 CB's opposite will do absolutely nothing, you won't read voltage between the 2.

Just connect the white wire to one side of the breaker and outlet and the black to the other side of the breaker and outlet. This is perfectly legal as long as it's a manufactured cable, meaning Romex, BX. But if you run conduit, you must use colored wire other then white, grey or green to both sides of the outlet & breaker.

Welder circuit wiring is generally calculated by size and duty cycle of the welder, not the outlet size. You could have a 50 amp plug with #8 AWG wire (40 amp). But for a small welder either 20 or 30 amp, I'd run the appropriate wire for that size outlet.

As far as running a line to a garage, I'd run 100 amp wiring. Why? it's cheap enough. Garages that are attached to a house, if a panel is installed, it's treated and wired as a sub panel with 4 wires, 2 ungrounde conductors, a grounded conductor (white wire, neutral) and the grounding conductor. If a garage is detached from the house, it gets treated exactly like the service going to your house, only 3 wires, 2 ungrounded and 1 grounded (white). Also you will need a ground rod(s) depending if the local inspector inforces ground rod impeadence reqirements.

I'm a licensed electrician BTW.
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Old 03-12-2004, 01:41 PM
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Thanks Huskinhano, very helpful.

An electrician friend told me this morning the 100 amp service to the garage will require #3 wire. If that is correct, is the #3 ground wire normally too large to fit in the pre-drilled holes of a ground bar (it's a GE box if that is any help). I think I have #6 wire hooked in now for my spa - but as I recall that might have been on the snug side. If #3 won't fit in the ground bar then it seems it could only be fit in the main ground lug from the pole. Would that require having the service turned off while the connection is made? And if that is the case, I think I might consider just running 50 amp service to the garage - and make sure the compressor and the welder are never running at the same time.

Dewey
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Old 03-12-2004, 07:00 PM
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In the planning stages for my new shop, I have to go with 2 gauge.
I have made plans and worked out all the details with the electric company, since I am also running 200 amps 100 feet underground to the new building from the nearest pole.

Instead of ANY guessing I called my electric company, the county zoning/planning office, and local electrical contractors, even though I am a commercial electrician.

Pennsylvania is at the dawn of a new statewide building code, and I had planned all aspects of the shop around this when it was in the planning stages.

My new shop will not be built for another two years for the necessities to be finished, as I am planning on upgrading the property to include proper AND adequate drainage (requiring an area 65X100 raised three feet or more in elevation). The driveway drops from the road 6 feet in its 100 foot length and drainage is currently a problem.
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Old 03-15-2004, 10:33 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by cboy
Thanks Huskinhano, very helpful.

An electrician friend told me this morning the 100 amp service to the garage will require #3 wire. If that is correct, is the #3 ground wire normally too large to fit in the pre-drilled holes of a ground bar (it's a GE box if that is any help). I think I have #6 wire hooked in now for my spa - but as I recall that might have been on the snug side. If #3 won't fit in the ground bar then it seems it could only be fit in the main ground lug from the pole. Would that require having the service turned off while the connection is made? And if that is the case, I think I might consider just running 50 amp service to the garage - and make sure the compressor and the welder are never running at the same time.

Dewey
No, you don't need #3 for 100 amp service. True, on the chart 100 amp does require #3 but this is in general condtions mostly applying to commercial/industrial applications. In residential, it is assumed that you're not running everything at one time, hence a lot of de-rating. As such for 100 amp in residential you need #4 copper or #2 aluminum. Even if you have a 200 amp sevice and run a 100 amp line to your garage. It is not required to run a bigger gauge then what's listed on the wire size for residential services. It should be noted that this is for residential use only. A commercial service would require #3 for 100 amp service

You'd be suprised at how little electric the average house uses. I did a service changefor a co-worker. Her house is about 1,500 sqft. It's an old house that had a 120 volt, 30 amp service! I did this 3 days before Xmas. I ran the whole house on 120v 30 amp line off my 5KW portable generator. She had every thing running too! Lights all on all over the house, tv on, Xmas tree on, outside lights on, everything! In another case, I ran a neighbors whole house on the same size generator connected to the 120/240v, 30 amp outlet. We turned EVERYTHING on in the house, even cranked the heat up. I measured like 14 amps on one line and 18 amps on the other line!

Oh, getting to the wire being too big, the grounding wire needs only to be a #8, that should easily fit on the ground buss. If not just get a lug and bolt it to the sheetmetal box. If the garage is seperate from the house, the panel only needs 3 wires run to it, just like your house. But if it's attached, it needs 4 wires, 2 hot, a neutral and ground. With the 3 wires, there is no grounding wire run. The neutral (called the grouded conductor, not grounding conductor) gets grouded via a grounding rod. That creates the grounding.

Last edited by Huskinhano; 03-15-2004 at 10:38 AM.
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Old 03-15-2004, 04:24 PM
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Old 03-15-2004, 05:07 PM
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Wire for 3 220V plugs. One for your Lincoln buzz box, one for the TIG welder you will eventually buy and one for the plasma cutter that will follow the TIG.

And I heartily second the recommendation of a LOT of 110V plugs, one at least every 6' of wall. Ditto for lots of air line taps, two or three per wall. It's these little details that make a shop a pleasure or a pain to work in.
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