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  • Amperage Dialarc

    Can anyone tell me the idle amperage (amperage when the machine is running but not welding) on a Miller Dialarc 250 AC/DC with power factor corection (PFC) when connected to a 230 VAC power supply? I've ran this maching for many years on only a 40 amp breaker (for 3/32" amd 1/8" 7018 rods only) but last weekend it blew the breaker for the first time when it was idleing. Maybe the breaker is getting weak? Appreciate your comments. Thanks

  • #2
    Originally posted by Niles View Post
    Can anyone tell me the idle amperage (amperage when the machine is running but not welding) on a Miller Dialarc 250 AC/DC with power factor corection (PFC) when connected to a 230 VAC power supply? I've ran this maching for many years on only a 40 amp breaker (for 3/32" amd 1/8" 7018 rods only) but last weekend it blew the breaker for the first time when it was idleing. Maybe the breaker is getting weak? Appreciate your comments. Thanks
    Serial Number..?? for correct manual

    I am seeing about 25amps draw at idle for 230vac... no data on PFC difference..

    See section 3-2 in the manual

    http://www.millerwelds.com/om/o321q_mil.pdf
    .

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    • #3
      25 at idle!?
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      • #4
        Originally posted by elvis View Post
        25 at idle!?
        24.8 Idle Amps @ 230 VAC....

        Remember this is a Magnetic Amplifier/Transformer machine...

        and they are power hungry... even at idle...
        Last edited by H80N; 04-07-2014, 08:59 AM.
        .

        *******************************************
        The more you know, The better you know, How little you know

        “The bitterness of poor quality remains long after the sweetness of low price is forgotten”

        Buy the best tools you can afford.. Learn to use them to the best of your ability.. and take care of them...

        My Blue Stuff:
        Dynasty 350DX Tigrunner
        Dynasty 200DX
        Millermatic 350P w/25ft Alumapro & 30A
        Millermatic 200

        TONS of Non-Blue Equip, plus CNC Mill, Lathes & a Plasmacam w/ PowerMax-1000

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        • #5
          PFC will not change the standing amp draw. It's only effective to eliminate spikes when welding. The electric company sees these spikes as useage and bills accordingly. No spikes = lower bills.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by 1997CST View Post
            PFC will not change the standing amp draw. It's only effective to eliminate spikes when welding. The electric company sees these spikes as useage and bills accordingly. No spikes = lower bills.
            The literature does not seem to support your hypothesis entirely. From the Dialarc manual of 2004 OM-321 The 250P at idle draws 24.8 amps and the 250 without PFC draws 4.4 amps at idle both on 230v. That looks to me like if you have a 250P you should shut it off when you are not welding. My understanding is that the PFC is really an advantage if you are on commercial power(where you get dinged for being off optimum(1) by more than 10%) and using the machine heavily or if you are using it heavily on residential power where you get billed for the apparent usage rather than the real usage. Someone on the Welding Web forum added a circuit to an ideal arc to disconnect the PFC at idle and only re-engage it when he was welding might be worth a look.---Meltedmetal

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Meltedmetal View Post
              The literature does not seem to support your hypothesis entirely. From the Dialarc manual of 2004 OM-321 The 250P at idle draws 24.8 amps and the 250 without PFC draws 4.4 amps at idle both on 230v. That looks to me like if you have a 250P you should shut it off when you are not welding. My understanding is that the PFC is really an advantage if you are on commercial power(where you get dinged for being off optimum(1) by more than 10%) and using the machine heavily or if you are using it heavily on residential power where you get billed for the apparent usage rather than the real usage. Someone on the Welding Web forum added a circuit to an ideal arc to disconnect the PFC at idle and only re-engage it when he was welding might be worth a look.---Meltedmetal
              As pfc in a Dialarc runs not from incoming line but from its own coil influenced by or influencing the rest of the transformer, I'm not clear if it is variable in power. If in fact it is full on whenever the welder is on, it might do too much at idle or light load.
              In inductive loads such as a welder, Voltage and Amperage are out of sync. (timing is off). Capacitors are electrical trampolines bouncing back a charge they received in the previous half cycle. Properly sized, they improve the reading from utility meters, at least at full load. Smaller cable is needed, less is lost to voltage loss in service, feeder, and circuit conductors. It may be these machines are over corrected at idle.
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              • #8
                If you are tripping breakers under conditions you never did before, I'd suggest getting an electrician to check. could be anywhere between high voltage utility line and welder. A bad connection might cause your symptoms. The place I would check first is behind your breaker. The most common failure is there. Some brands of breaker panels are worse than others.
                Dynasty 280DX
                Bobcat 250
                MM252
                Spool gun
                Twentieth Century 295
                Twentieth Century 295 AC
                Marquette spot welder
                Smith torches

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Willie B View Post
                  As pfc in a Dialarc runs not from incoming line but from its own coil influenced by or influencing the rest of the transformer, I'm not clear if it is variable in power. If in fact it is full on whenever the welder is on, it might do too much at idle or light load.
                  In inductive loads such as a welder, Voltage and Amperage are out of sync. (timing is off). Capacitors are electrical trampolines bouncing back a charge they received in the previous half cycle. Properly sized, they improve the reading from utility meters, at least at full load. Smaller cable is needed, less is lost to voltage loss in service, feeder, and circuit conductors. It may be these machines are over corrected at idle.
                  Great info from both of you. I was only remembering what I had learned about PFC. Commercial gets dinged for the spikes no matter how much you are using or how long the spike is. I'm not sure how that works for residential. Thanks for the info.

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                  • #10
                    My knowledge of electric rates is limited to one power company. Here we have "time of day metering" (a KWH costs more at time of peak load) otherwise a power factor of .9 means 10 percent of the power the utility meter reads is wasted.The same is true of 1.1 or capacitive load. You can overdo it.
                    This does not hold true for industrial customers. They pay a penalty when power factor is off.
                    Dynasty 280DX
                    Bobcat 250
                    MM252
                    Spool gun
                    Twentieth Century 295
                    Twentieth Century 295 AC
                    Marquette spot welder
                    Smith torches

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                    • #11
                      Dialarc Switch

                      [QUOTE=Willie B;319607]If you are tripping breakers under conditions you never did before, I'd suggest getting an electrician to check. could be anywhere between high voltage utility line and welder. A bad connection might cause your symptoms. The place I would check first is behind your breaker. The most common failure is there. Some brands of breaker panels are worse than others.

                      [Thanks Willie, I'll check my electrical connections on the switch. That may be a good place to start troubleshooting the problem as I had just barely touched the switch to turn it off when the breaker blew. Perhaps there is a loose connection and I jiggled it when I touched it? I bought the machine new in 1983 but never used it very much. I babied it but it has been moved quite a few time (military relocations) so may be it got shaken a few times by movers. Cheers]

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Willie B View Post
                        My knowledge of electric rates is limited to one power company. Here we have "time of day metering" (a KWH costs more at time of peak load) otherwise a power factor of .9 means 10 percent of the power the utility meter reads is wasted.The same is true of 1.1 or capacitive load. You can overdo it.
                        This does not hold true for industrial customers. They pay a penalty when power factor is off.
                        The power company rules are about the same here except that residential customers can choose whether or not to go on the dual rate energy or pay a steady rate that falls I think between, but above center of, the low off-peak rate and the higher peak rate of dual energy. Customers make their choice based on how they want to live their lives. If you can run your heavy loads in off peak hours you can save money by selecting the dual rate but if you schedule is such that it is a real pain to run everything at off-peak hours you just pay more and live with it. If you are a commercial /industrial customer and not gigantic(where they cut you a real sweet deal on electricity) you just pay....and pay....and pay some more.
                        I have another related question but I think I will stop highjacking Niles' thread and start another one as I think it will pull the discussion away from his topic.---Meltedmetal

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                        • #13
                          i have the same machine with the power factor, my shop is run by a 100 amp sub panel. i have 2 50 amp recepticles, many 20 amp plugs then the dialarc is hard wired to a 60 amp breaker. i do all of my own electrical, but i am no electrician, so i need to rely on the manuals for the proper wire size for my particular situation. this has been in place for 4 years now, and never blew a breaker/ this welder draws little while welding, it gobbles up the juice while at idle, it will use so little electricity that it is not any issue, dont worry about usage. welding shops use very little electricity, the big draw comes from grinders, mills, ect. not the weldor, unless you have something from the 50,s,60,s 70,s and ways a ton. one thing about the dialarc is that in low range it has a lower duty cycle than high range, so if you are in the 130 amp range with 7018, and need to do alot of welding, go to high range

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