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  • Miller Dynasty Wiring Woes

    Ok, hereīs the deal. I live in Central Brazil and recently got a Dynasty 200 DX brought from the US. Brazil is weird in that part of the country, main power voltage is 110 but where i live it is 220volts. Also, there are at least 3 different kinds of outlets found. Most houses and places do not have grounding as well. So, at my house, i have 220 volt, 2 prong outlets only. I have wired a third grounding wire in my garage so that my welder can be grounded there. I plan to only use the Dynasty with 220volts grounded. However, i also own a Maxstar 150STL that i plan to use in different places. What everybody does around here with equipment is simply cut out the ground prong on the plug or use an adapter that makes the 3 prongs into 2, isolating out the ground. I Shudder at the thought of this but if the Maxstar is to be portable and weld anywhere outside my garage, i donīt really see any other choices. How dangerous is this to do on the Maxstar 150? or even the Dynasty 200 if i ever have to take it somewhere else where there is no grounded plugs?

  • #2
    This sounds crazy but it would work. Make up a adapter from 3 prong to 2 prong. Take some wire hook to the ground prong on one end and on the other end put a piece of copper rod. Just take the rod outside and stick it in the ground. It would be more work setting up at the jobsite but it would make it safer. Carry a gallon of water with you that will help getting the rod into the ground when its dry and help with grounding the rod.

    Steve
    Dont force it, use a BIGGER hammer.

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    • #3
      Driving a ground rod at the work sight will NOT do anything for you unless your machine is struck my Lightening or a High Power/Voltage line drops down on it but if that happens you'll probably die of a heart attack anyway and need new shorts.

      The word "Ground" throws people off and think that Earth is the Ground.

      Electricity has to travel back to the source to trip the CB during a fault it is called a circuit for a reason
      Ed Conley
      http://www.screamingbroccoli.net/
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      • #4
        You are some what protected just by the fact that you are not touching the Case of the Welder while using it, so if a Short occurs where the case of the machine is energized you most likely will not get shocked until you go to move the machine and pick it up and grab the case not the handle- the welder has a plastic handle so that offers another layer of "protection"

        Hand tools like a drill are more dangerous since you are holding the tool while it is energized so a fault to the tool's case will zap ya if there is not a Grounded 3 prong Plug.

        But hand tools that only have the 2 prong Polarized plugs are usually double insulated so they have 2 layers of insulation between the Hot wire and the Tool's casing/housing.
        Ed Conley
        http://www.screamingbroccoli.net/
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        • #5
          Ground

          I agree generally with what Steve said.

          Not sure if you have any metal pipes in the ground, for water or gas, but if you do, those would be considered ground. (Not saying that would be code in the USA today, but has been accepted in the past.) Any metal that is in the ground or embedded in concrete should also be at ground potential, but there may be more resistance in the ground than one would prefer. Concrete is fairly conductive, so a metal anchor or rebar embedded in concrete would be a kind of ground, but I cannot vouch for the quality of the ground.

          An 8 foot ground rod is standard practice, but the exact resistance of ground may vary due to soil conditions. Yes, water can help to reduce ground resistance. I understand intellectually how to measure ground resistance, but I have never done it.

          A lot of people think that ground is ground, but that is not the case.

          I am not enthused about pulling the ground pin on a plug. You can make an adapter with a long ground wire with an alligator clip, and just attach it to whatever you can find that should be grounded.

          The whole idea of ground is to take away stray currents if there is an equipment malfunction or short. Welders, including inverter welders, are generally isolated from the house power by transformers, so should be safe if everything works right. If the short is minor, ground works pretty well. If the short is major, it should trip the breaker. In between shorts may still leave the equipment chassis somewhat hot.

          Richard
          Syncrowave 200, Millermatic 211, Victor torch, Propane forge....

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          • #6
            hey can you please tell me what website you ordered your welder from thank you jason

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            • #7
              where i got my welder

              Hey,
              I got my welding equipment from cyberweld.com
              However, i ordered it in the USA when i was there and brought it here to brazil on the plane. Unfortunately, i don't know any suppliers that ship equipment like this internationally.

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              • #8
                It would be a good thing if you could run down a decent sized generator to use this machine on.
                Not exactly ideal but much safer and could possibly save the grief of repairing the welder.
                First time you have to pay for a major repair for something like a board or worse it will seem like a much better alternative.
                Another thing to think about.....when "grounding" to a water pipe, it may be possible to get a shock if you touch the pipe. If wet this can be much worse.
                Kinda sucks how other countries do wiring at times.
                Better say your prayers every job you use your machine on there. That way if nothing happens you can give the Good Lord the credit HE deserves for watching over you!!

                www.facebook.com/outbackaluminumwelding
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                • #9
                  Is the electricity in Brazil 50 or 60 cycle power?
                  If it's 60 cycle you should be OK, but if it is 50 cycle you will likely need a different welder. When you try to run most 60 cycle equipment on 50 cycle power it will usually burn up. Since you bought the welder in the USA it is likely a 60 cycle unit unless you special ordered one for use on 50 cycle.

                  Charley
                  ______________________________
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                  Too many hand tools

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                  • #10
                    50 or 60 OK

                    The Dynasty will work fine on 50Hz.
                    The Dynasty with it's inverter engine is not as frequency sensitive as a standard transformer type machine.

                    A-

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by CharleyL View Post
                      Is the electricity in Brazil 50 or 60 cycle power?
                      If it's 60 cycle you should be OK, but if it is 50 cycle you will likely need a different welder. When you try to run most 60 cycle equipment on 50 cycle power it will usually burn up. Since you bought the welder in the USA it is likely a 60 cycle unit unless you special ordered one for use on 50 cycle.

                      Charley
                      http://www.millerwelds.com/pdf/spec_sheets/AD4-8.pdf
                      Ed Conley
                      http://www.screamingbroccoli.net/
                      MM252
                      MM211
                      Passport Plus w/Spool Gun
                      TA185
                      Miller 125c Plasma 120v
                      O/A set
                      SO 2020 Bender
                      You can call me Bacchus

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                      • #12
                        Pig tails

                        I would never touch a plug on something with a warranty. Instead, I make extension cord pig tails about 3' long. I would make a standard 110 plug with 3 prongs into a 2 prong with BOTH ground going to the same ground plug. This way electricity is still returning to the source.

                        Electricity runs in a closed circuit. It is made from a station, sent through lines, to your machine, and back. Generating stations usually have a big piece of copper jammed into the ground mainly for there own plant grounding, but it is also used as an OH CRAP ground at their substations. Grounding to a water pipe would work, but it is a last case scenario since you can be shocked pretty good, and if the electricity doesn't find the immediate path back to the station, it can jump back at you. I would instead rewire the plug (on the wall) and split (pigtail) the ground wire to connect both grounding poles to the plug on the wall.

                        I agree with FusionKing though. I would get a generator if possible since that is a much safer bet. Losing a few dollars on gas is better then losing everything on a gamble.

                        P.S. I'm not an electrician and I have been thrown on my but before from electricity and I respect it greatly.

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                        • #13
                          Broccoli is correct

                          Broccoli has it right. the equipment ground conductor in the circuit is there to provide a low impedance path back to the source to facilitate the operation of overcurrent devices. Sticking a metal rod or pipe in the ground will not protect the operator from ground faults.

                          As far as using metal pipes is concerned, unless the metal water pipe is bonded to the grounding electrode system it will be as useless as an isolated metal rod. In the USA the water pipe is used as a supplemental grounding electrode and is bonded to the system ground. In Brazil, who knows? You definitely do not want to use a gas pipe as a grounding electrode. Gas and electrical fault currents do not mix well.

                          If there is no equipment ground in the electrical system that is feeding your welder then there is not much you can do about it. You cannot create a system ground in the premises wiring by simply putting rods or pipes into the earth. Match the cord cap on the machine to the system that is feeding it or make up an adapter.
                          Last edited by emlupi; 05-15-2011, 07:48 AM.

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                          • #14
                            About the frequency, power here in Brazil is 60 cycle. I do believe the Dynasty's manual lists input as 50/60 hz though but thats not an issue i guess since i have 60hz.
                            Anyway, about the grounding. At my house, power arrives from the street utility pole via two wires that are routed to another smaller utility pole that is inside my yard. This is a 25 or so ft galvanized metal pole where the light meter is located and main circuit breaker. from there two wires go on through the pole and then underground to the house and secondary circuit breakers and outlets/lamps etc.
                            What i did is put an outlet directly on this secondary metal utility pole from the meter and main circuit breaker which is rated at 40amps 220v and wired the ground receptacle plug directly to the metal pole itself, whose end is buried in the ground and anchored in cement.
                            Now, i have not welded with this arrangement yet (at least not with the dynasty)
                            but originally installed it there to run a borrowed electric lawnmower and other things.
                            My question is, should i wire in an additional circuit breaker of lower amperage (20amps?) to this outlet or leave it as is? 40 amps at 22v seems pretty high and would melt wires and stuff before the breaker trips, or am i wrong?
                            about the generator, it would be a great solution (even though gas is 8$ us per gallon here) but they are really expensive and hard to come by, but i will keep a lookout for one).

                            i am trying my best to do all this the best and safest way but its tough when the system here is so accustomed to shodiness and lack of safety. I have seen metal fabrication shops where they plug in their big old ac stick welders directly to the main city utility pole wires by strapping metal hooks to the end of an extension chord, climbing up a ladder to the wires and drapping the hooks to the main wires! This so their big old machine won't trip their circuit breakers and so they bypass the light meter and don't have to pay for the electricity usage! And of course, lots weld with no mask or gloves at all.

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                            • #15
                              Sounds like you are in a tough spot

                              I did a little looking around as to the voltage systems in Brazil. As you mentioned, there is 110 in most of the country and some parts, as where you are, are 220 volts. This is a single phase, two wire, ungrounded system from what I can gather. The only way for you to really "ground" your wiring system would be to create a grounded secondary, separately derived system via transformer. This would obviously come to some expense and a generator would probably be a better choice in that case. Otherwise, you will just have to run the welding machine ungrounded on the system you have existing.

                              As to your receptacle installation on the pole, what you have done is essentially made a feeder tap from the main disconnect at your service entrance. These tap conductors should be protected at the current rating of the wiring and receptacle. If the rating of the receptacle circuit is less than the 40 amp main breaker, then a fuse or breaker of the proper amp rating should be installed to protect it.

                              Even though you have connected a wire to the metal pole, you have not really "grounded" your electrical system. All you have done is make a connection to earth which, as mentioned earlier by Broccoli, will provide a path to ground in the event of lightning strike or contact with high voltage cables.

                              All I can say is be careful and observe all the posted safety precautions associated with electric arc welding provided by the manufacturer.

                              Good luck

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