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  • Miller dialarc 250

    Have a chance to purchase an older dialarc 250 (white face). Told the machine is in good condition and has been used just a few times. The original owner still has the machine. Question do these older machines have any issues regarding reliability. I'm also considering using this machine as a tig welder also any thoughts on this.
    Miller Dialarc HF
    Millermatic 180
    Warner Swasey #3
    Burr King Grinders

  • #2
    We had one of those at he high school, great machine for SMAW. I don't know exactly how old it was but it surrvived many years of immature school kids beating on it and still runs very well. I couldn't comment on how it would work with tig since I haven't tried. The only draw back that I could think of would be that they suck a lot of power, ours would draw over 100 amps at the breaker (measured by a proffesional electrician) when running near full capacity.
    Dynasty 200DX, first generation
    Makita 5" grinder
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    IR SS5L compressor
    Whole bunch of hand/air tools.
    and a wish list a mile long

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    • #3
      I'm just running a 50 amp breaker, I don't think I will ever need full power....
      Miller Dialarc HF
      Millermatic 180
      Warner Swasey #3
      Burr King Grinders

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      • #4
        Its a great machine but because of power issues in home shops I opt for a Hobart Stickmate, right out of the box new for 420 or so and runs from common 50A electric service, these days I am tempted to look at Maxstars too due to the cost of copper. The Max will tig steel and stainless.

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        • #5
          I've got an older version of the Dialarc 250 and got to say that it's a great machine. I use it in my shop all the time, when doing both stick and TIG and haven't had any trouble with it. Very smooth arc and it doesn't seem to draw a lot of power, at least my monthly shop power bill doesn't seem to reflect it.

          Bought mine from a guy I know for $200 and he even threw in 150' of welding cable, with stinger and ground clamp. You might say I got the machine for free.

          Sure wish I could find those kinds of deals more often.
          Bill

          Miller Dialarc 250 AC/DC
          Miller 251
          Thermodynamics Plasma arc
          Benard "Center Fire" wirefeed gun
          Miller alum. spool gun
          Tweco Tig torch
          Victor O/A torches
          B&D Wildcat 9" grinder
          DeWalt 10 amp 4-1/2" grinders
          7"x12" bandsaw

          A shop that's always going to be to small.

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          • #6
            Yes, that was a deal. I agree about it being a fine machine, the only thing makes me leery is running them from home electric service sometimes. We see it all the time, what a deal on a 300 old monster type machine, the Dialarc is lighter and you might be able to skimp on 50A. I paid a hundred for my 300 synch, but I have forklift and 400A service.

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            • #7
              I have a black faced Dialarc HF, rated @300A, I use exclusively for tig, on a 50A breaker.
              AutoArc 230 (MM 210)
              3035 spoolgun
              Spectrum 625
              Dialarc HF w/Coolmate 4

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              • #8
                Still a tough machine, without high priced pc boards

                At a previous job we had one with a built in HF and only used the setup for TIG welding. If you need to buy a HF box, the machine wouldn't be a very good deal. If you just plan on doing stick welding with it then it's a good choice if you don't have to carry it around. I cannot comment on power use because I didn't pay any attention.

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                • #9
                  Dialarc 250

                  I've had a couple experiences with the older Dialarcs and was very pleased with both of them. The first was a couple years ago at the high school I used to go to. We had one in the shop and I used it everyday...the only problem with it was the amperage dial was about 25 amps off (had to set it at about 75 to run at 100) but it would still weld circles around the AC225s we had.

                  We also have one of these machines in the shop that I work in now, I've used it twice and really liked it but one of the other guys uses it everyday...sometimes nonstop welding fittings together for frac tanks and half pits and we have never had a problem with it.

                  I see that someone else mentioned the Hobart Stickmate. I've heard that they are great little machines too, but for another $150 or so why not go for the Miller Thunderbolt XL. I've had mine since December and love it.
                  At Home
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                  1976 AMC Jeep CJ7
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                  1994 Chevrolet Silverado C1500

                  At Work
                  Miller Bobcat 250
                  2 Miller MM251s
                  2 Miller MM252s
                  Miller Dialarc 250 AC/DC

                  Lincoln Idealarc 250 AC/DC
                  Snap-On Flux Core Welding Machine

                  Hypertherm Plasma Cutter
                  Victor Torches

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                  • #10
                    The Tbolt and the Stickmate are the same machine.

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                    • #11
                      I realize that they are both the same machine, but I like the fact that I can take the Miller back to AIRGAS and have it worked on should something go wrong with it. I looked at the Hobart but didn't like the fact that if something went wrong with it and I took it back to Atwoods they would just laugh at me and tell me it's my problem to deal with, not theirs.
                      At Home
                      Miller Thunderbolt XL AC/DC
                      Performance Tools 6" Bench Grinder
                      Craftsman Hand Tools
                      Craftsman Cordless Drills

                      DeWalt Angle Grinder
                      1976 AMC Jeep CJ7
                      1980 Ford F150 Custom
                      1994 Chevrolet Silverado C1500

                      At Work
                      Miller Bobcat 250
                      2 Miller MM251s
                      2 Miller MM252s
                      Miller Dialarc 250 AC/DC

                      Lincoln Idealarc 250 AC/DC
                      Snap-On Flux Core Welding Machine

                      Hypertherm Plasma Cutter
                      Victor Torches

                      2006 Chevrolet Silverado 2500HD 4x4

                      Proud American Ham KE5TJA

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                      • #12
                        Wish I Still Had Mine

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                        • #13
                          I posted a question on the Miller tech section. To my happy surprise I received a call back and had a very informative conversation with a Miller Rep regarding the power draw and other information on different welders. Says alot about Miller service to have a tech call me back instead of just leaving an email........Gear
                          Miller Dialarc HF
                          Millermatic 180
                          Warner Swasey #3
                          Burr King Grinders

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                          • #14
                            A friend of mine has one. Nice machine. But a heavy beast for sure! Probably will last a lifetime.

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                            • #15
                              Dialarc 250 Info

                              I'm no expert at this but for what its worth:

                              I have a newer Dialarc 250 w/o power factor correction. I love this machine! It welds like a dream when using it in the mid-range of its power capabilities. The manual says it needs a 125A breaker on 230V. Several times I've run mine at full duty cycle on a 230V/50A breaker at up to 240 DC weld amps using up to 3/16 rods and have had no issues with the input circuit. The wires in the sub-panel get slightly warm, but nothing else. I suppose if you ran it wide-open it might be too much for a 50A circuit. Just make sure your entire 50A circuit is wired with #8 AWG or larger.

                              BTW: If you do pick one up, think twice about the power factor correction option. It draws a lower current when welding with power factor correction, but it also draws a hefty 23A at idle! (without the PFC it draws only 2.5A at idle). That could make for expensive power bills if you have a lot of idle time. You can tell if the machine has the power factor correction by the model number. Miller can help you out with that.
                              Last edited by nedster; 05-09-2008, 09:27 PM. Reason: Duplicate Post
                              Lincoln AC/DC Buzz Box (where it all began)
                              DialArc 250
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