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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    Sweetwater, TX
    Posts
    201

    Default Got a free welder -- Hope it works

    I visited my father this weekend and he gave me what looks to be an AIRCO Easy Arc AC/DC 250 Stick Welder for my shop. He can't remember if the welder works or not so hopefully it won't take to much to fix it if something is wrong.

    It looks like the one in this picture:
    https://www.proxibid.com/asp/LotDeta...7&lid=14639596

    Except the outside body of the welder is red and not blue. I'll have to take some pictures of it when I'm back home and post them on here.

    This welder has to be from the 70s or 80s because I first learned to stick weld with this exact welder about 23 years ago. I've never heard of Airco before, were they made by another company back then?

    Is there any info available for this welder online like wiring diagrams or anything that might help if I need to fix it?

    Also, what size breaker should I run this ancient welder with? Somebody put an aftermarket plug and cord on the welder but it does say single phase on the front plate.

    I will take some pictures of it when I get home since I am not 100% on the Airco model, but I know the AC/DC switch and the placement of the power ON/OFF and the current control knob look identical to those in the above picture.
    Last edited by clint738; 03-25-2013 at 08:49 AM.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Andover, Ohio
    Posts
    82

    Default

    Nice score.

  3. #3

    Default

    I like those old welders. You will probably need a 50 amp breaker to run it at full power. When you post the picture, try to include a picture of the power plug that is on it and any other information available such as duty cycle.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Posts
    264

    Default

    Check the nameplate to see the input Amps.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    Sweetwater, TX
    Posts
    201

    Default

    Now I'm almost certain it is this welder.

    I found another picture of one online and this one is still red and reading the faceplate on this one, I recalled looking at some of these same specs on the welder.
    http://weldingweb.com/showthread.php?t=170521

    It says it is rated AC/DC 250Amps 30% duty cycle.

    It looks like it pulls 100Amps with a 230V input. I assume that is for max rated power, but I am not for sure? I will never probably weld with it ever over 200Amps. So I'm not sure if it will work well with a 100Amp breaker since that is what it is rated for? The fact that there are surge current with transformers usually means breakers are higher than the rated current, unless a time delay circuit breaker is used.

    That will push my shop electrical panel over the rating of the main breaker 125Amps if I add a new 100A 230V plug along with the other breakers in the box.

    I could get by without tripping the main breaker with running the welder on a new 100A breaker and having the shop lights on and then running grinders when I'm not welding (can't be two places at once). But I'm not sure what code allows you to have in the electrical panel, like can the sum of all the breakers in the box exceed the rating of the main breaker for the panel if everything will not be used at max rating at the same time?

    For instance I have a dedicated 50A breaker that was being used with a Dynasty 350 by the previous owner, but I will have to upgrade this to a 60A or 70A breaker for my Millermatic 252. So I am already having to increase the breakers in the panel.

    I will never be welding with the Mig and Stick at the same time since I can't be too places at once.

    What does it usually take to have a utility company upgrade a box for 200A capability? The wire from the digital utility meter to the main breaker says -2 on it some I'm not sure if that means it is #2 or if it is 2 aught (00). I've never messed with wire this big to know for sure what they used, but it is MUCH bigger than my #1 stick welding leads.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Posts
    264

    Default

    I have a 100A main breaker in my sub-panel. I have one each 30, 50 and 70 Amp breakers for air compressor and welders. There are also a buttload of 15 and 20 Amp breakers for lights and outlets. Far more than the main breaker/panel can support at one time. You can probably get useful output on a 60 or 70 Amp breaker.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    Houston, TX
    Posts
    889

    Default

    You may be OK with a 50/60 amp breaker. That machine was most likely made by Miller. My first arc welder was an Airco 225.

  8. #8

    Default

    As I stated in an earlier post, that welder should work quite well on a 50 amp circuit, #6 AWG, with a 50 or 60 amp breaker. The NEC code has a multiplier of .55 for the 30% duty cycle. .55X100 A input = 55 amps. It would actually be a little less than that because your supply voltage is probably closer to 240 than 230. And remember this is at max output at max duty cycle. You should be fine on a 50 amp circuit with a 50 or 60 amp breaker. Using the 60 amp breaker also meets code because of the 30% duty cycle. Just don't use the 60 amp breaker with other devices on that circuit.

    If you have concerns, see NEC code Sections 630.11 and 630.12
    Last edited by davido30093; 03-25-2013 at 05:23 PM.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    Sweetwater, TX
    Posts
    201

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by davido30093 View Post
    As I stated in an earlier post, that welder should work quite well on a 50 amp circuit, #6 AWG, with a 50 or 60 amp breaker. The NEC code has a multiplier of .55 for the 30% duty cycle. .55X100 A input = 55 amps. It would actually be a little less than that because your supply voltage is probably closer to 240 than 230. And remember this is at max output at max duty cycle. You should be fine on a 50 amp circuit with a 50 or 60 amp breaker. Using the 60 amp breaker also meets code because of the 30% duty cycle. Just don't use the 60 amp breaker with other devices on that circuit.

    If you have concerns, see NEC code Sections 630.11 and 630.12
    Thanks! I'll try it on the dedicated 50A 240V circuit I already have in place and then put in a dedicated 60A 240V circuit for my MM 252.

    I'll have to see if it works first of course.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    Sweetwater, TX
    Posts
    201

    Default

    OK took some pictures of the dinosaur I brought home. This is the first welder I ever learned to strike an arc with when I was 7 yrs old. So I know it has to be pretty old.

    It is an Airco Easy Arc AC/DC 250
    https://www.dropbox.com/sh/yoidubb9ai7k9z2/O-UCm0J0AB

    Also took some pictures of my new Millermatic 252 I picked up Friday. Just have to get a bottle for it so I can try it out.
    https://www.dropbox.com/sh/hun2v9war3hlnna/IRH4f5XLNS

    While I was visiting home, I took a few pictures of the beast stick welder I use to use every summer in the shop, I didn't realize it was 3-phase until now. I wonder how the old Easy Arc will compare to it.
    https://www.dropbox.com/sh/h4mm475x8cgspgf/TOhYZrc8bC

    All these years I've been away, I always thought it was a Miller since it was blue, but looking at it now it is an IdealArc Lincoln.

    There was also the an IdealArc 250 there we always used (looks like the cracker boxes with the rounded top corners on it, but MUCH bigger). I was not working and looked like someone had pulled the cover on it to check it out. It also was another beast of a welder but the IdealArc shown above was always a better machine, probably because it was a bigger welder.

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