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soil as a ground connection.

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  • soil as a ground connection.

    just a little question for you folks, i have a welder generator at home and i have to weld 150' away from it. i have cables big enough but only 2 lenghts of 100'. would it be possible to use both lenghts on the whip and use 2 long steel stakes driven in the gound to use the grpund as the "work" connection ?
    anybody tried that ??
    also i dont want to buy another 200' of cables.

  • #2
    I think your chooch factor will be zero.

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    • #3
      It will really upset the nighcawlers.... but think you will have too much voltage drop to weld.......

      https://www.youtube.com/results?sear...r+worm+shocker

      Last edited by H80N; 10-06-2016, 09:31 PM.
      .

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      • #4
        Agree-just do not think it will work. You could call up all your friends and ask them all to bring their jumper cables. :-) But they have to have the good heavy duty ones, not the cheapies.

        Seriously, if I were doing it, I would make the work connection by buying some #4 rebar and welding the ends together-lay it on the ground, perhaps inside PVC conduit, and connect a cable to each end. Way cheaper than 200' of cable, and seems it should conduct OK. Then cut it apart and sell it on Craigslist, unless you have some concrete work ahead where you could use it. Keep the kids away from it, as with any welding project or equipment, and probably not recommended for a rainy day. Still way less $ than 200' of welding cable. Just connect the first length to the existing work lead at the welder, and using your long stinger lead, weld as you go, until you reach the job, and finish with a really sturdy jumper cable. Might find it cheaper at a steel supply place than HD or Lowes. Wouldn't have to glue the conduit, and you could sell that, too, when you're done. Perhaps there's a problem with this approach I haven't thought of; someone else may have another idea.

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        • #5
          Can you find someone/somewhere to rent the extra cable for your project? And if it is a welder/generator why can't you move it closer to the job? Or building on Aeronica41's idea, got any copper pipe?

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          • #6
            The conductivity of earth is far too low to carry welding levels of current.

            Electrical code in many areas require service entrance grounds on new construction to achieve a ground conductivity down to 25 ohms or less, which can be difficult to do even using multiple ground rods, buried rods, etc depending on soil conductivity.
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            • #7
              There is always a way to adapt and make it happen. I neighbor of mine tried to extend his ground to weld on a trailer (if you call "welding" what he did, scary to think of all the poorly repaired/assembled trailers running around). Anyway, he used some 16ga trailer wire. He might have been able to get away with it if he used about 40 of them twisted together. As soon as he struck the arc it turned that wire into ash.

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              • #8
                I have used 20' lengths of 1/4 x 2 for the ground...Bob
                Bob Wright

                Spool Gun conversion. How To Do It. Below.
                http://www.millerwelds.com/resources...php?albumid=48

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                • #9
                  I like the rebar idea the best but any metal should do the trick. If you have another project that requires that amount of material your set. About getting a proper ground for new construction, a job I was on for LA city schools required 2-1" copper rods per electrical panel pounded into the ground 10' but one area of the site we had to go 30' deep before it ohm'ed out right. The engineer said it had the do with the conductivity of the under grade material.
                  Last edited by Oldgrandad; 10-07-2016, 04:27 PM.

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                  • #10
                    oof- this makes my head hurt.

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                    • #11
                      Oh cmon Broc, anything is possible these days. All you have to do is have some hope.

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                      • #12
                        the rebar thing will work for me, a friend got plenty of rusty ones in his yard. i might borrow some. thanks for the advice.

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                        • #13
                          Ought to work. Grind the rust off the ends and have at it!

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                          • #14
                            Funny, I was going to suggest 2 100' long ground rods with their ends clamped together.

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                            • #15
                              Back in the 1990's I did a lot of work in the steel mills in Gary, IN. My theory was that EVERYTHING was grounded because of all the iron soaked into the ground over all the years. One day, we had the truck parked in front of one building where we were welding. Across the 'street', about 100' away, was another building. We had to move to the other building to do a few minor welds. Just for kicks, I took the stinger over with me, and left the ground attached to the first building. Sure enough, I got plenty of arc! I still laugh about this!

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