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Main Electrical at my house question

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  • Main Electrical at my house question

    I am new rookie to all of Miller Welds Guys. I run my own Garage’s shop (at home) to build custom cars. I had Lincoln Pro-Mig 135 for several years.
    The big reason I really need to have Aluminum weld because I work on custom cars at my own garage.

    I been have thinking to buy MillerMatic DV12 w/ Spoolmate(#951067) or 212 w/ Spoolmate (#951068).

    I concern about my home beside my garage. My house built in 1960's and has old style main (200 amps,?) electrical w/12 plugs and 2 boxed (30 amps) cartridges at wall beside my house in outdoor. Since the MillerMatic 212 require have 230 V/30-210 amps (160 Amps at 24.5 VDC, 60% duty cycle). I am NOT familiar with electrical things.


    I have Dryer (Straight Blade Device) outlet n garage. It is 220 Volts/30 amps. And, I never use it. Can I change it to be 220 Volts for welder outlet? Will it work?

    I really enjoy read this forum...

  • #2
    have a new service installed like right now by a licensed electrician
    you have many probs that i can see just from that pic
    also have him check out the inside of the house because 220 lines should be run with 3 wire not 2 wire

    Comment


    • #3
      Agreed

      I have to agree,,if you all ready have 200 amp service,,yours look like a typ 60 amp they put in the 60's,,It Just ooks scary!!!!!!Be safe!!!!!!!!and if you go sell your house,you wil recoup the money!!!!!!!!!Good Luck,Jack

      Comment


      • #4
        You might consider getting a powered welder such as the bobcat or trailblazer and using its power outlets for the millermatic. Weigh the cost differences...




        Originally posted by Ls2cam View Post
        I am new rookie to all of Miller Welds Guys. I run my own Garage’s shop (at home) to build custom cars. I had Lincoln Pro-Mig 135 for several years.
        The big reason I really need to have Aluminum weld because I work on custom cars at my own garage.

        I been have thinking to buy MillerMatic DV12 w/ Spoolmate(#951067) or 212 w/ Spoolmate (#951068).

        I concern about my home beside my garage. My house built in 1960's and has old style main (200 amps,?) electrical w/12 plugs and 2 boxed (30 amps) cartridges at wall beside my house in outdoor. Since the MillerMatic 212 require have 230 V/30-210 amps (160 Amps at 24.5 VDC, 60% duty cycle). I am NOT familiar with electrical things.


        I have Dryer (Straight Blade Device) outlet n garage. It is 220 Volts/30 amps. And, I never use it. Can I change it to be 220 Volts for welder outlet? Will it work?

        I really enjoy read this forum...

        Comment


        • #5


          I have Dryer (Straight Blade Device) outlet n garage. It is 220 Volts/30 amps. And, I never use it. Can I change it to be 220 Volts for welder outlet? Will it work?

          I really enjoy read this forum...

          Yes, the drier outlet will work, but that old fused panel scares the *%#* out of me. I'd make a move on that right away.

          Comment


          • #6
            Wow, thats some setup. I havent seen one of those is a month of sundays.
            I would take the advice given above and put it to use.
            That is by no mean a 200Amp service. More like a 70 or even 60A.
            I could be wrong though i dont think that i am.

            A new 32 space seimens panel with a 100A main and enough breakers of all sizes to run you exisiting load should not cost more that aout 500 dollars and a days wages to install the panel. Now is the time to find yourself en electrician buddy...

            another thing to consider.... is the wire in that panel made of aluminum or copper. during the sixties, Aluminum was all the rage until they found out that it wasnt such a smart choice. Nowadays Aluminum is used to feed very large services where wire size is above #2 or so.

            Can you guess which of the above is better to have? If the wire is made of AL, give serious consideration before applying a welding load to the circuit.
            Aluminum wire tends to "loosen the screws" that is holding it in place. For some reason unbenounced to me, It deos not have resiliance and once you torque down on it, thats it. It will lossen up with time.This can cause exessive heat to build up and then fire.Ive seen this happen on heating circuits. It seems to be more pronounced on 240 volt circiuts. So check that out if you do have AL wire.

            if you change your panel, use copper wire of the correct size to feed the welder .

            do you have any current draw ratings for your possible set up?
            Last edited by SignWave; 12-06-2007, 10:45 AM.

            Comment


            • #7
              Get It Fixed

              Hey wow that box is scary. I would seriously take these guys advice on getting a new box and breaker setup installed one, for your safety and two to make the welder work. Also by law a house has to be run on a breaker service anymore.

              Comment


              • #8
                holy time to upgrade, with the age of the stuff in there thats a fire waiting to happen

                Comment


                • #9
                  New service price breakdown based on my experiences:

                  You can buy a Square D 200A panel with some breakers to get you started for $120. Additional breakers are 3-12 depending on size for the smaller stuff and a 60A is around $20 (but you'd need another run of wire to be able to upgrade to a bigger welder like that, the current 10ga won't handle more than the 30A that's already on it).

                  You'll need a new drop from the mast and that'll run you about 300 or so in copper depending how long a run it is (3 cables). My 13' drop of 2/0 was 300. The utility co will provide the lines to the house.

                  Then you're looking at probably upgrading your ground rod and running 6ga or 8ga (I forget what mine is) to that which is pretty cheap copper.

                  And then you're talking about paying a sparky for 5-7hrs to make it all happen. So that's roughly 500-700 in labor. Plus a permit fee which will likely be around 100. Mine was 82.

                  My parents paid an electrician to upgrade their service and that's where the 5-7hr estimate comes from. They had a little different version of that box you have in their house.

                  I recently added a new panel, meter socket (which will cost between 60-200 bucks), and relocated the service entrance which meant a new mast for my house, which is where I'm basing my prices on. I'll be updating the house panel sometime in the future.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    I just did one similiar to this myself, you do have a 60A service there. Upgrade that thing to a 200A. The lead coming into your meter should be up to par but check with your local electric supplier to make sure.

                    It is not a hard job to do as long as you know what you are doing. It will need inspected when you are done to satisfy the insurance company. Make sure the panel box you buy has more than enough slots for what you will need, in other words, if you need 10 slots, buy a box with 14 or more.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      My house had 100A service, and that's what I fed it off the new panel. The leads coming from the mast weren't big enough for 200A service. It was 2ga AL. Bare minimum for 100A.

                      I'd be prepared to replace the whole works from the mains to the panel. Do it, and write it off on your taxes. Like Jack said, when it comes time to sell, that improvement will pay off again.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Just an FYI, if I remember correctly, my electrician said that our local power company provides 200A meter bases for free if you are using them on their system. Granted, there's a lot of other parts, but a few dollars here and there never hurts. If anyone goes to upgrade their system check with the local power company and see if they have any percs to take advantage of. Also gives you a little step up on an electrical contractor if you think you are getting hosed with the invoice.

                        SSS

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Fishy Jim View Post
                          New service price breakdown based on my experiences:

                          You can buy a Square D 200A panel with some breakers to get you started for $120. Additional breakers are 3-12 depending on size for the smaller stuff and a 60A is around $20 (but you'd need another run of wire to be able to upgrade to a bigger welder like that, the current 10ga won't handle more than the 30A that's already on it).

                          You'll need a new drop from the mast and that'll run you about 300 or so in copper depending how long a run it is (3 cables). My 13' drop of 2/0 was 300. The utility co will provide the lines to the house.

                          Then you're looking at probably upgrading your ground rod and running 6ga or 8ga (I forget what mine is) to that which is pretty cheap copper.

                          And then you're talking about paying a sparky for 5-7hrs to make it all happen. So that's roughly 500-700 in labor. Plus a permit fee which will likely be around 100. Mine was 82.

                          My parents paid an electrician to upgrade their service and that's where the 5-7hr estimate comes from. They had a little different version of that box you have in their house.

                          I recently added a new panel, meter socket (which will cost between 60-200 bucks), and relocated the service entrance which meant a new mast for my house, which is where I'm basing my prices on. I'll be updating the house panel sometime in the future.

                          with the prices of copper what they are today... (those greedy bastar....s)
                          a 200A system complete from the weather head to the panel is about 1600.00 CND. figure on a 12foot mast for a two story house.

                          I dont know what US electrical codes say, but in Canada, everything has to be mounted on the outside of the building now. It is no longer permissible to run inside a wall cavity.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            I haven't actually run the numbers other than adding up my 24K in receipts for the whole project - but I figure I'm right around 1200 in wire alone. With 23 circuits in the shop alone, I think that's about right.

                            Meter socket was mandated by the power co. as a "HD bypass box." The little prick in scheduling didn't even know what it was, other than thats what I had to provide. I asked him what model number was accepted and he couldn't tell me... 4 or 5 prongs? No clue! Well, that was an extra hundred in the hole for nothing - could've got one for 60 bucks if it didn't need the 5th prong. New digital meter they gave me still only has 4 prongs. The new socket does have lots of room to work in - like I'll ever have to run wires though it again. Conduit is mandatory between the two boxes here. I had to have the socket and main panel inspected before the mains could be connected to my new service. Well, the inspector was running late and my lineman hooked me up anyway. No problems, the inspector arrived prior to him leaving and got it all signed off. I ended up running my house on a temp line run along the house for a couple months as I built the rest of the shop. I had to relocate the lines to make room to raise the trusses. The original wires were 2' above my walls.

                            The other thing to watch for is meter height above grade. I put mine up so my panel was about the right height to be directly in front of me on the wall, but I still had to mount it upside down (mains on the bottom) because the meter had to be no higher than 6'. Mines 6'5 and the tech who set up the new meter mentioned he had co-workers who would refuse to service it (not my fault their original meter croaked from the lineman pulling it off under load). So be careful of what you do differently on the outside. I didn't think anyone would notice another 6", but I was wrong.

                            I asked the guy if he needed a bench to stand on. He declined.

                            As for the mast height - it has to be 13' above any deck or landscaping here. I put mine 3' above the roof because of a large oak tree the lines pass through. I didn't want any growth issues, and we ended up trimming a lot of branches when the lines were relocated as it was. Mid span at the far end of the shop is roughly 15' above grade, but I have 23" of drop over the 35' foundation. Before we put the level on it to erect the forms, all of us thought my back yard was flat. So flat it needed another 5 yards of concrete over the bid.

                            Oh, and jack - here's the pot I piss in:

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              A lot of times the connections and corrosion are more of a problem than the old panel. I know of lots of them still in service especially where all the major appliances are gas and there is no air conditioning. A bud of mine runs his house and garage from a 60, he has city gas and the panel is still in great shape. I did a remodel a while back where instead of upgrading service we changed out the water heater, the 60 was plenty then.

                              Comment

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