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Thread: A safe pigtail?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
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    Default A safe pigtail?

    Alright, a question for those with experience with welder plugs!

    I just bought a maxstar 150 sth, but it is older with the 20 amp male plug on it, however it still has autoline (115/230volt). (I don't want to cut off the 20 amp plug if possible).

    Question 1. For low amp work (i.e. less than 70amps output) I made a pigtail that goes like this... the pigtail is the sum of parts between the brackets.
    = 20amp 115v male welder plug >( 20amp female socket>3/12awg 4'cable>15amp male plug)> 15 amp 115v female socket in wall. IS THIS SAFE for low amperage work? Many other posts seem to show it is okay, I just want to confirm.

    Question 2. Can I make a pigtail from my 20amp (3 prong plug) to a 4 prong 230 volt (e.g. 14-30 or 14-50) modern dryer or stove style plug?
    I've read that you can, and that you just don't connect the neutral (L shaped prong) on the plug. Am I correct, is this safe? Can the 20 amp plug handle 220-250 volts, especially the fact (I think) that both prongs are hot?

    If any experts at miller want to chime in on this, I would love to hear it.
    Side note... I phoned a technician at Miller and he said ( unless I missunderstood) that you shouldn't make a pigtail that allows a connection to more than 20 amps input power as this could fry the machine). This seems odd since the machine can draw as many as 28 amps on 115 volts and the saleperson at my welding shop said a welder will only draw the amperage it needs. If this last paragraph seems like nonsense please disregard and only answer the first 2 questions.

    Thank you very much in advance to those who will help me on my way to melt some metal!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    alabama
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    Default

    I have the same machine,I ordered a new cord for it a few months ago due to the old one was in bad shape.This time I just took a pair of pliers and twisted the prong to fit a 15 amp circuit .Now it can be pluged into a 15 or 20 amp without an adapter. As for the 220just make an adapter as long or as short as you need.115 volt 20 amp plug on one end and 220 on the other to fit your dryer plug.You only need 3 wires.
    Last edited by fabricator; 02-27-2010 at 04:28 AM.
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  3. #3
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by YvesVT View Post

    Question 2. Can I make a pigtail from my 20amp (3 prong plug) to a 4 prong 230 volt (e.g. 14-30 or 14-50) modern dryer or stove style plug?
    I've read that you can, and that you just don't connect the neutral (L shaped prong) on the plug. Am I correct, is this safe? Can the 20 amp plug handle 220-250 volts, especially the fact (I think) that both prongs are hot?

    the NEMA 5-20 will handle 240v with no problem. yes it's safe, though make sure you don't plug ANYTHING else into it..
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  4. #4
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    Default

    Yes, I try to avoid making adapters that allow that to happen but if you want a 120 plug on the machine there is probably no way around it. Make a big label for the adapt.

  5. #5
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    Jun 2006
    Location
    Maine
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Sberry View Post
    Yes, I try to avoid making adapters that allow that to happen but if you want a 120 plug on the machine there is probably no way around it. Make a big label for the adapt.
    yep, because the op wants to retain the 5-20 on the maxstar it's pretty much unavoidable... if it was mine, i think I'd cut off the 5-20 and replace it with a twist lock and make two adapters.... that way another tool doesn't get vaporized accidently...
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  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
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    Default clarification

    Quote Originally Posted by bretsk2500 View Post
    yep, because the op wants to retain the 5-20 on the maxstar it's pretty much unavoidable... if it was mine, i think I'd cut off the 5-20 and replace it with a twist lock and make two adapters.... that way another tool doesn't get vaporized accidently...
    Thanks for the replies,

    I was just wanting to clarify,

    when making an adapter using the 20 amp plug to a 4 prong 230 volt one,
    which cables must I connect to which.
    I'm pretty certain green goes to ground and and that the ground on the 20 amp plug should be connected to the ground on the 230 volt prong.
    But what about the prong that is rotated 90 degrees, should that one be connected to black or white, (i.e. are there any polarity issues of which I should be aware).

    Secondly, I read that I should just not connect the L shaped prong on the 230 ( which I think is for the red wire) Am I right?

    thanks again, this is an amazing forum, I last night and already got a bunch of answers! (It really helps me as a beginner.)
    Last edited by YvesVT; 02-27-2010 at 08:58 AM. Reason: forgot a word

  7. #7
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    Default

    on your adapter... hook the green screws together with green wire... that is your ground... hook the gold screw in the 5-20 to either of the gold screws on the 14-30/50 with black wire... that's hot #1... hook the silver terminal of the 5-20 to the OTHER gold screw on the 14-30/50 using a red wire... that's hot #2. if your cord only has black/white/green, re-code the white with a red marker on both ends. the silver screw (terminal W), aka the l shaped one on a 14-30, is NOT used...
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  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
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    Default Thank you

    Thanks Brestk 2500, that seems to explain it very well!

  9. #9
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    Dec 2007
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    Los Angeles
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    Default

    I would put a 240v Plug on the machine and then make an adapter to go from 120v receptacles to the 240v plug on the Machine.

    Less chance of screwing things up- the other adapter you wanna make will allow a 120v tool to be plugged in to 240v= Smoke
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  10. #10
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    Default thank for the reminder!

    Quote Originally Posted by Broccoli1 View Post
    I would put a 240v Plug on the machine and then make an adapter to go from 120v receptacles to the 240v plug on the Machine.

    Less chance of screwing things up- the other adapter you wanna make will allow a 120v tool to be plugged in to 240v= Smoke
    Yes, as others have mentionned, there is the risk that someone could unwittingly use the extension with another tool and fry it! But I'm the only one using it (I'll make sure to put warning labels on it though) and it will likely only get plugged in the stove or dryer outlet on special occasions! I might change it in the future though, thanks for the messages that keep my mind on safety.

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