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What size breaker do i need?

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  • What size breaker do i need?

    I am not too smooth on electrics, etc. My question is what size breaker would i need for a Lincoln Weldpak 5000HD. I am getting the garage wired for it this week and need to know what specifications need to be ensured for me to use it. The welder itself is 130AMP. If someone could help me out with this, that would be great! Let me know if i need to post any more info on the situation in order to figure it out!
    Thanks in advance!
    Sorry, i forgot to mention that i am trying to sell it and looking to upgrade to something around a 200AMP range in the near future! The reason i am getting it wired now is because 220VOLT power is getting moved to near the garage for another purpose so i figured i might as well get it in for my welder at the same time!
    Last edited by Sammy; 07-04-2010, 07:00 PM.

  • #2
    I have put 50 amp wherever I was putting my mig welders and have not had any problems yet. That will handle a 200 amp machine and can be used for other items as well. I have a lot of equipment plugged into mine but since I can only use them one at a time it works great for me.

    Ken

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    • #3
      Find out what the current draw of the 200 amp unit you will be buying is and let the electricians know. If you will be adding equipment that will draw more than the 200 amp machine in the future use that current draw for the electricians info. They will base the wire size and circut breaker on whatever current draw you give them. If it's not big enough, you will have them back out in the future to run a whole new circut as you add equipment. I prefer a circut to handle the largest draw I plan to use, but with a fused disconnect at the machine end. This allows me to install fuses that are rated for what ever machine I am using at the time.
      Sometimes there's no second chances.

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      • #4
        Okay, makes sense! Thanks for the advice guys. I will check out what my max setup is going to draw and let the electrician know.

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        • #5
          Anything that comes with a factory 50A plug can run from a number 8 and 50A breaker.

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          • #6
            If you're having an electrician do your shop I would tell him you wanted the "largest" 220 volt circuit he can put in. He should know what he can do...and if he doesn't, probably need a different electrician.

            I've never really seen the purpose of minimum sizing the breaker to the machine. You plug in a lamp that draws less than 1 amp into a 15 or 20 volt circuit all the time. The breaker is for the circuit wiring, not the machine or it's wiring.

            Welders have different specs when it comes to the shop wiring because of duty cycle. Code allows for a "lighter" circuit. But I wouldn't ever use that data except for a welder that was to be hard wired in.

            Al

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            • #7
              Originally posted by SmokinPRanch View Post
              If you're having an electrician do your shop I would tell him you wanted the "largest" 220 volt circuit he can put in.

              Go as big as you can. As you are already finding out by upgrading your welder, never know what the future might hold in store.

              X2

              I'm glad I ran a 100amp service to my garage. I wish I did a 150amp for future upgrades LOL.

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              • #8
                If you're having an electrician do your shop I would tell him you wanted the "largest" 220 volt circuit he can put in. He should know what he can do...and if he doesn't, probably need a different electrician.
                Up to a point. Common welder circuits are 50A, this is for machines that come pre wired with a 50A plug. Many of them are not designed to be plugged in to heavier circuits, their cords and some components may be a factor, really, short circuit potential, etc. Machines larger call for specialized circuits, one huge advantage of a Stickmate over a Dialarc,,,,, hahahahahaha

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                • #9
                  More

                  Sammy,

                  If I was you I would see about getting a 100 amp sub panel installed.
                  In a garage situation you would almost never be doing two things at once.
                  Where-as in a small shop situation you might have more than one person welding at one time.
                  With the 100 amp sub panel you could have more than one plug and breaker.
                  That way you could have a plug for your 200 mig, plasma, air compressor and one for your tig. You would never have to change plugs.
                  Put each plug on a 50 amp breaker with a Nema 6-50 plug (pretty much standard for single phase).
                  That way you'll have 100 amps for the plasma and air compressor running at one time.
                  A sub panel with four breakers and a gutter box with four plugs under the sub panel would be easy to install and way better than one plug.
                  Or you could run some conduit to different parts of the garage and put each machine in a corner.
                  I have plugs all over my shop but the corner I work in does not have enough plugs.
                  I'm always changing plugs.
                  I too have an electrician coming and I am going to put in a 100 amp 3 phase panel with a few plugs around the area.
                  Remember you can never have to many plugs.
                  Good Luck,
                  Bob
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                  • #10
                    The final word on how it's done will probably be the electrician's as he supposed to follow code. I'm not up on what Canadian codes are, I know they differ from the U.S. sometimes. I'm sure they can fix Sammy up with something that will work though.
                    Sometimes there's no second chances.

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                    • #11
                      Thanks for the great info guys. I will let the electrician know the scoop! I am just getting the garage wired, so i figure i won't be using 2 things at once, anytime soon. Right now i just have a mig as far as 220 volt machines/tools go!

                      Thanks again!

                      Sam

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                      • #12
                        Circuit size

                        Talk to your electrician and get the largest service you can afford for the sub-panel in your shop. Circuit breakers are sized to protect the wiring of your structure, not the utilization equipment. If the cord and plug from the welder is rated at 50A, then the receptacle will have to have a minimum of 50A rating. The circuit itself can be larger. The circuit breaker is rated to protect the wiring to the plug not what is plugged in to the receptacle.

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                        • #13
                          The biggest commonly available 230V plug seems to be the 50Amp one that comes with many MIG welders. The common name for the plug is NEMA 6-50. The breaker should be no larger than 50 Amps protecting this outlet.

                          Lowes actually carries the outlet so you can basically pick up everything you need to wire it easily at Lowes. I could never find this at Home Depot.

                          I ran two of those circuits into my shop and converted my air compressor and Dialarc to use them. They are dedicated circuits and have never tripped (even when I had my Dial Arc plugged in.). I've run Millermatic 251s, 350P, Dynasty 350, and Dialarc HF off these circuits with zero issues - oh, and Craftsman 5hp compressor (old school 5 hp). BTW, the reason the compressor is on a separate circuit is because sometime you set things on fire (like the interior of a car) and need to blow it out quick. For the Dialarc the water cooler was on a separate 110V circuit.

                          To be sure, the owners manual should recommend the circuit protection you need.

                          Either way, your $2000 welder will gladly give up its life to protect that $30 circuit breaker.
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                          • #14
                            The breaker should be no larger than 50 Amps protecting this outlet.
                            It is done all the time, but again, these are special circuits dedicated to the machine. For general use circuits where different machines may use it they should be no greater than 50A. You can rate a recept like a wire to some extent, a 50A recept will run more, even 100A for 30% or so duty cycle. Its rated 50A @ 100%.

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                            • #15
                              I am also going through a garage rewiring project and need to confirm one detail on wiring the outlet box (grounding in Canada). Wire to the outlet is 6 gauge, 3 wire (Red, Black, White, bare copper). The main and sub panels all have white wiring as neutral with all white wires terminating in the white wire bus bar. Panels and all other outlet boxes have the bare copper as ground.

                              I get that both blade type outlet connections are hot wires from the 50 amp breaker. The round grounding prong (center) connection is the debate. Does this get wired to the white neutral or the bare copper?

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