Wiring a Lincoln AC-225C
I am trying to figure out how to wire my welder from the breaker box. The manual for the welder says to run 10 gauge for runs less than a 100'. My breaker box in the basement is about 80 feet from where I would like to put the outlet on the opposite garage wall.
So, anyone familiar with the electric codes ? If I run 80 feet of 10 gauge for the 230Volt welder, do I use a 30 amp dual breaker ? I have an electrician friend who can inspect the wiring, but he knows nothing about welders.
Welder I have >>>
Well, 30a and 10ga isn't even CLOSE!!!
According to the manual, that welder draws 50a for full output, 45a rated whatever that means. If I were you, I'd get the heavier wire than you actually need. According to this wire size calculator thingy, you'd NEED an 8ga COPPER wire for less than 3% voltage drop with 80 feet of wire. You'd DEFINETLY NEED a 50a breaker, anything over 120a output and you'd blow a 30!!! 10ga wire, HELL NO, that's a FIRE HAZZARD! Now I have a 6ga 50' extension cord I made for my welders. I'd use 6ga wire just because it makes the arc easier to start. I have 6ga wired directly into the back of my welder (lincoln 225 tombstone) with a nema 6-50p plug on it. DO NOT go any smaller than 8ga copper wire, and if it's anything over 80' you should have 6ga wire. You'd be good to 140 feet with 6 ga wire, and if you ever got a bigger welder, you'd be set.
Thanks, I was kind of confused on that. I saw the 50A draw and didn't understand why the manual would recommend the lower gauge wire ? That is why I thought needed the 30 Amp breaker. Sheesh 80' of six gauge will cost me a fortune !
I get heavy duty wire from the scrap yard.
Originally Posted by kben77
I bought a bunch of yellow 6ga 4 conductor stranded wire that's made like a really thick extension cord ofr my welder extension cord. I got it complete with strain releifs out of a big box full of wire they had there. I always buy the expensive wire from there, it costs about 20% of what it would new!! I also got a whole 500' spool of 10 ga wire for $20! They sell it @ scrap prices, it's cool, when I need something that would be EXPENSIVE, I go there to see what's in the scrap bins.
Huh, the manual really does say 10ga.
Maybe it's a mistake, I've never heard of anything over 30a being drawn through a 10ga wire. I dunno, I don't think that's to code anyways, not that I really care what's to code and what's not. Then only things I care about are safety and functionality, code comes last. If it's safe, functional, and for my house, I don't necessarily follow code. Most of the time electrical codes make sense, but there are some just plain DUMB things about electrical code that aren't practical or easy to follow. I'll worry about things like that if and when the house gets sold. Most of the electrical stuff for tools is temporary anyways, and the breaker is off when not in use. However, I personally don't feel comfortable drawing 50a through an 80' run of 10ga wire. Probably not smart, safe, or to code. 8 ga wire will work provided you're under 90', and not planning on ever needing more than 50a there. If this is going to be burried, I'd definetly do 6 ga wire just to be able to upgrade in the future. Do it right the first time.
Good tip on the junk yard, I will check it out.
From the manual on page 7:
Using the following instructions, have a qualified electrician connect
a receptacle (NEMA6-50R Type) to the power lines at the fuse
box. Three #10 or larger copper wires are required if conduit is
used. For long cable runs over 100', #8 or larger wire in conduit
will be needed to prevent excessive voltage drops.
Link to a pdf of the manual
Be sure your are in the right owners manual and follow it.
The NEC will allow you to put a welder on #10 based on the duty cycle of the welder. I have the about the same welder on #10 and 50 amp breaker with no problems.
Have you electrician friend look at article 630 in the NEC. Size the wire according to the duty cycle. The breaker can be 200% of the max welder input amps and 200% of the wire ampacity.
The NEC always defaults to the manufactures instructions so follow them and you will be ok.
Remember it's only a 10% duty cycle at max output amps based on 10 minutes.
On edit the manual states in conduit if you use romex or NM you will need a larger wire size.
What happens when somebody plugs something else in???
I dunno, if somebody else sees a 50a breaker on one end, and a nema 6-50R on the other, they're likely to assume it's a properly wiired circuit for the current! I wouldn't want that setup in my house, if somebody plugs in something else that draws a bunch of current (like a kiln, or oven) without a duty cycle, you might get a fire!!! I wouldn'd have that setup in my house just for that reason, even if it was safe, functional, and to code for a welder!!! (I happen to own a kiln for firing ceramics)
You probably won't ever pop a 30A breaker with your little welder. I ran a 250A buzzbox for years (50A max input)
off a 30A dryer circuit via a No. 10 cord, no problems whatever.
So you could get away with 30A of 240V AC power for your tombstone. But like everyone else I recommend you put in a real 50A circuit with 6 ga. wire. Reason is that welding can be addictive, and often you may sell your little welder and buy a bigger one, and then you'll really need the power.
You only have to buy the wire once. Try your local craigslist for awhile, might also post a wanted ad. Might save some money. I belong to a metalworking club (Seattle area) and a great guy on there brought over the tail end of a roll of 6 gauge when I needed it. Networking can pay off.
From the owners manual for Junkyard. I guess Lincoln covered they're tail with this.
These installation instructions apply to the input wiring and
overload protection installed to supply one AC-225C and comply
with the National Electrical Code as it applies to electric
welders. Other equipment should not be connected to this supply
without consulting the input power requirements for that
equipment, the National Electrical Code, and all local codes.
I would not disagree with you about someone plugging something else in. It is perfectly safe for this welder.
On the other hand a range cord will not fit a 6-50R.
Lesson to all of us, including me, don't assume anything is wire correctly.
Edit: My tombstone is on a 30 amp breaker, never tripped.
Hey MetalMagPie it's not that little. As I tell my wife it's how you use not how large it is
Just kidding, I appreciate all the info guys. I will check the local scrap yard and if no luck
I will probably bite the bullit and go with the #6. I might follow JunkYard and install it in the back of the garage and make a big extension cord.
"... NEMA 6-50R Type ..."
Many "buzz boxes" were supplied with a NEMA 10-50P cordset, for which a common "range" receptacle applies ... or would seem to apply.
BUT a NEMA 10 configuration is for 120/240 "grounded through the neutral" appliances, and this does NOT apply to a welder.
If the welder is situated well away from any appliance, then perhaps a 10-50R/P could be used, but a 6-50R/P (240 single-phase) is the correct configuration.
As the duty-cycle of the Lincoln is only 20 percent, you are allowed to use a 50 amp breaker on the #10 AWG branch circuit to the NEMA 6-50R.
But, that branch circuit would be intended for the welder, only.
A true 50 amp branch circuit would require #6 AWG wire.
(My welder branch circuit is a true 50 amp branch circuit, with #6 THHN wire, so I can also use it for loads which actually DO require 50 amps).
OK, I bit the bullet and bought a 100' roll of NM B #6 two wire with a ground.
So, once I run this I should be set for a while. I guess in for a dime in for a dollar.
I couldn't see spending 1/2 the money for #10 and then having to buy something
else later if I upgraded my little welder
Good to hear it.
Originally Posted by kben77
Even with the little welder, it will make the arc easier to start. Too much voltage drop makes the electrode stick when welding @ high current. Plus the arc will be more stable, I noticed this running the welder on a 30a compressor circuit @ a buddy's house. It was kinda funny to see that big fat yellow cord coming out the back going to a plug on a beam in the pole barn with 10 ga going to it! His grandpa asked if it was safe, I didn't know about it being TO CODE to use 10 ga wire at the time. So I told him we're using less than 125a, that's less than half the input current, so it should be ok since it's drawing less than 25a. Honestly theese were all guesses, and I really didnt know for sure if it was safe! NEEDED to weld the trailer back together so I could get my 12x36 lathe. For some reason, the welder just didn't seem to keep as steady an arc as it did here, and the welds weren't as nice. Maybe it's just me, but I thought the fatter wire actually made a difference.
JunkYardj, that's funny you mention that, because the guy who gave me the welder told me that was his problem ! (The electrode was sticking). Hopefully I will get this wired today. I ran the line, but need to hook up the breaker and outlet still.