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Old 10-06-2010, 10:10 PM
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Electrical advice needed about welder

I recently purchased a Lincoln 30-180amp welder 230 volt. On the back of the unit it says the unit draws 20 amps but the cord has a 50 amp male plug on the end.

1. Is the 30-180 rating the DC output of the welder?

2. If the unit only pulls 20 amps why did they put a 50amp male plug on the cord?

3. Am I assuming correctly that diameter and length of wire to the receptacle for the welder should be figured on the 20 amp rating?

4. I have a 50 amp receptacle to accept the welder. I have a 20amp compressor that I would like to plug into the same receptacle.

Do they make a 20 to 50 amp adapter for this purpose, or would I be better off changing the plug on the compressor to 50 amps?

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Old 10-06-2010, 10:30 PM
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A 20 amp draw sounds right for a 180 amp welder. Check the size of the wire coming into the plug on the welder . 12 gauge wire is rated for 20 amps . I don't know of any adapters available . If you are going to change a plug why not change the one on the welder to match the compressor . The higher the amp rating the more expensive the plug will be. Oh , I almost forgot . 30 to 180 amp is the range of the welder . You should be able to run anything from 1/16" to 1/8" welding rod with no problem . You probably have a reduced duty cycle at the higher amperages though . These little welders are NOT made for production welding . I have one.
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Old 10-07-2010, 04:37 AM
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I used a home made adapter for years in just this situation.

I is simply a 50 amp lead with plug wired into a four gang box with the 20 amp socket in it.

Brian
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Old 10-07-2010, 09:21 AM
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Yup, Necessity is the mother of invention . I wired up a 110 volt outlet out of my compressor switch box just 'cause that's all there was to go to on that side of my garage. Old concrete garage only had two outlets on the ceiling .

Probably just be easiest to change the plug on the compressor since there is no ready made adapter though .
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Old 10-08-2010, 09:29 AM
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They come with a 50 amp plug for the fact that plug is the normal for industrial plugs,my Lincoln 180 Pro Mig 220v has the same plug but it only draws a 20 amp through the cord too.

I use a 10 gauge 90 foot extension cord on mine plugged into a Dryer outlet with a 20 amp breaker with no problems what so ever,never even gets warm at all and still get alot of heat to the weld.

Just to clarify..is the Lincoln you're speaking of the stick welder?..or a wirefeed?...they have a wirefeed 180 amp(like mine),,and also a "buzz box" 180 amp stick welder..i see you mention DC output,most of the buzz boxes are just AC welders,but they do have an AC/DC but the price jumps considerably for those.
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Old 10-08-2010, 11:21 AM
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You were wise going up a wire size on that extension cord with it being that long . I need to make one or put a longer lead on my welder also . Even with just going 50 ft I'll probably use 10 gauge wire . My welder didn't have a plug on it so I just used a 30 amp RV plug since I had to run a circuit to the garage anyway, I was starting from scratch . Ran 10 gauge underground wire from the house basement and I run both my 5 hp compressor and welder off of a 30 amp circuit . Sometimes (accidentally) both at the same time .
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Old 10-08-2010, 01:29 PM
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I correct myself..i use a "30 amp" dryer outlet

12 gauge is even fine for these machines,i'm an international ironworker and have asked the IBEW electricians several times about this and they all said even a 12 gauge would be more than fine for these machines that only need 20-30 amp draw at max,but a 10 gauge would be much better
We use Plasma-arcs,MIG,Stick,TIG machines all day long on 440v hookups that have 10 gauge cords/cables on them,so i never worry about a 10 gauge on a 220v,i got the cord for free,some dummy cut this cord at work the 1st day it was taking out of the box with a circular saw,so they were throwing it away,it was only cut right at the plug in end,so i bought plugs for both ends suitable for the dryer outlet and the Wirefeed i have and i can go about anywhere outside i need too.
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Old 10-08-2010, 04:07 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SuthnCustoms
I correct myself..i use a "30 amp" dryer outlet

We use Plasma-arcs,MIG,Stick,TIG machines all day long on 440v hookups that have 10 gauge cords/cables on them,so i never worry about a 10 gauge on a 220v,.
Keep in mind also that 440 volt only needs half as much amperage as 220 to do the same job , notwitstanding that is a good snag on a new free cord.

As a maintenance supervisor I had state of WV certified electricians working for me and they told me that 30 amps requires 10 gauge wire , 20 amp 12 gauge , 15 amp 14 gauge . Why some home builders use 15 amp lighting circuits and 20 amp outlet circuits . The 14 gauge wire is cheaper .
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Old 10-11-2010, 08:39 PM
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lincoln manuals

Lincoln has most of the old manuals on line you can download. about 2/3 of the pages are generic safety stuff in several languages. in the back they have recommended wiring charts.
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Old 10-11-2010, 09:41 PM
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is this a new welder? if it is a used welder it may just be plug that someone put on there to match their plug. To make an adapter go to home depot and buy the female outlet that fits your welder and the male plug that fits your outlet at home and a ft of recommended size wire and put the female on one end and the male on the other end, we have several plugs like this that we carry around in our job trailer to fit several different plugs at different facilities. We call them "pigtails"
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Old 10-12-2010, 09:36 PM
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Brand new Welder

This is a brand new MIG 180 Lincoln welder with a 50 amp plug. I was trying to understand why they put a 50 amp plug on a welder that only draws 20 amps?
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Old 10-13-2010, 03:07 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HotRodMan
This is a brand new MIG 180 Lincoln welder with a 50 amp plug. I was trying to understand why they put a 50 amp plug on a welder that only draws 20 amps?
Only because that's the standard type of plug,i have the same exact machine and use it on a 30 amp dryer receptacle at home with no problems whatsoever.
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Old 10-13-2010, 03:22 AM
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Here's my Lincoln 180 right after a fabbed up a cart for it out of scrap steel from an old wieght lifting machine of mine,as you can see i use a makeshift 90' 10 gauge cord with a dryer plug end on it..the cord never gets warm and it still burns right through 1/4" plate,so it gets more than enough amps/heat on a 30 amp breaker.

The Second pic is my Miller Maxstar 200 stick/TIG machine,i run it off the same cord and 30 amp breaker running stick or TIG also with no Ill effects what so ever.

I use both these machines doing some pretty serious heavy duty welding on farm and logging machines/trucks for repairs on the side and building/repairing 4x4 machines/projects and never hit the duty cycles or the cord never gets warm and always have plenty of heat for good penetration.

So in other words,,yes..you'll be fine with a 20-30 amp breaker....
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Old 10-13-2010, 06:41 AM
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I'm an electrician and run into this all the time.. The previous owner changed the cord on the welder to fit the 50 amp plug that was in there shop. However if the cord is original, your reading the wrong numbers off the name plate..

The bad thing with this is the unit is rated for 20 amp protection not 50. That could cause a fire if the unit overloads... You can keep the 50 amp plug but change the breaker to a two pole 20...

The compressor will need it's own 20 amp dedicated line...

***Always read the name tag rating of the unit and NEVER go over that number with the breaker.. If there's a fire, the insurance investigator WILL catch this and what do you think the insurance company is going to say about it..*****

Last edited by pitts64; 10-13-2010 at 07:11 AM.
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Old 10-13-2010, 09:00 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SuthnCustoms
Only because that's the standard type of plug,i have the same exact machine and use it on a 30 amp dryer receptacle at home with no problems whatsoever.
DITTO ...That is the standard plug used on clothes dryers etc. , and is pretty much the standard plug for 220 volt welders . It's what my dad's miller had on it 50+ years ago. Receptacles available at nearly any hardware store along with dryer cords of various lengths .
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