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  1. #11

    Default Re: How much electrical power does a welder need?

    Ed, while it is always nice to have additional capacity on an electrical service, I certainly do with a 200amp 3 phase service to the shop, and 100 amps to the house, I'm standing by my original comment regarding a 60 amp service to a garage shop.
    A couple years ago, when I got a new Amprobe with digital recording capability, I decided to play/learn with it before going out to a jobsite and looking like a fool. My house averages 3 amps on one leg of the service and fluctuated between 2 and 4 amps on the other side for a month. My initial thought was that I had something hooked up wrong, so I hung a pair of amprobes ahead of the current probes, and found the new digital was right on the money.
    The biggest current consumers in any residential situation are split phase motors, such as sump pumps and furnace blowers, followed by well pumps and microwave ovens. After a lot of meter reading, I was able to learn most of the power in my house is consumed by those convenient little transformer supplys that serve such items as answering machines and such, along with a FAX machine. Those are the things that run up the total kilowatt hours.
    Welders are an interesting load picture, but not huge current consumers. My Lincoln rotarys exibit a load spike as the arc is drawn, and then settle down to much lower current consumption. Transformer welders exibit the same current picture. The cooling fan in my P&H 400 amp TIG machine burns more current than is normally used in the actual welding.
    The average garage shop welder is going to run at around 90 to 125 amps out most of the time, and an offhand calculation tells me that will rarely be more than a 20 amp draw on the input. Average shop compressors, nameplate horsepower 7.5 (realisticly 2hp) will usually draw less than 10 amps under normal running conditions, possibly spiking as much as 35 amps on startup. A 9" handheld grinder will rarely draw 10 amps, and a bench grinder is likely to run at less than 6 amps.
    Initial startup spikes of inrush current shouldn't be a consideration in service sizing unless everything in the shop will be coming on at the same instant. This discussion isn't about peak shaving or load shedding, it's about a reasonable cost effective service size for a small home shop.
    Nameplate amperage ratings while convenient rarely represent true amperage draw any more, since manufacturers have been overrating horsepower for sales. I learned a long time ago that amprobes are a lot more honest than nameplates.
    While it is always nice to have a cushion when it comes to power, a cost/benefit analisys has to be done too. There is no point to overbuilding a service.

  2. #12

    Join Date
    Apr 2002
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    874
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    Monroe,Washington
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    New holland TC29-9x3 Woods 1012 FEL, Woods, 7500 Backhoe / Kubota L345DT 4WD, Kub FEL, Kub Backhoe

    Default Re: How much electrical power does a welder need?

    Ed:

    I have a 1/2 finished hoomper-flazet sitting out behind the shop. Its only a medium sized one. I ran out of kajoodles to finish it, and haven't been able to find anymore in my neck of the woods. [img]/w3tcompact/icons/laugh.gif[/img]

  3. #13
    Platinum Member
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    Jan 2002
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    South West Pa/Greene county
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    Long/Landtrac360DTC

    Default Re: How much electrical power does a welder need?

    Franz, I agree with what you are saying. In my situation however, it is not uncommon to have myself, my brother, and my wife's cousin all working at the same time. Right now I work out of a small shed out back of the house. It is fed by a 110v 20a circuit. When we are working on a project, we have to "take turns" operating different equiptment. When I finally get my garage built, I want us to be able run whatever we want at the same time without having to reset the breaker if we do it in the wrong combination. Will this cost more ? Yes, but to me it is worth the initial expense to have this convience. In the interim, I plan on running a 100a sub out to the shed so I can get the buzz box, and maybe some other stuff. Right now I am using a 110v MIG/wire weldor and going to another friends house to weld the larger stuff with his stick weldor. I find myself doing this often enough now that I have a tractor, that I want to get a stick weldor of my own.

    That's why I sugested the 100a service. Its kind of like the saying about tractors, "You never here people complaining about having more horsepower than they need to do a job"


  4. #14
    Platinum Member
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    Jan 2002
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    856
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    South West Pa/Greene county
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    Long/Landtrac360DTC

    Default Re: How much electrical power does a welder need?

    <font color=blue>I ran out of kajoodles to finish it, and haven't been able to find anymore in my neck of the woods.</font color=blue>[img]/w3tcompact/icons/laugh.gif[/img]

    If you can find some rahootchadingys, cut off the whoyaas, and bend the defrabulators around, they should make a decent substitute for the kajoodles.[img]/w3tcompact/icons/wink.gif[/img][img]/w3tcompact/icons/laugh.gif[/img]

  5. #15

    Join Date
    Apr 2002
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    874
    Location
    Monroe,Washington
    Tractor
    New holland TC29-9x3 Woods 1012 FEL, Woods, 7500 Backhoe / Kubota L345DT 4WD, Kub FEL, Kub Backhoe

    Default Re: How much electrical power does a welder need?

    Great I've got a cantainer o them thangs stored right under yhe barrel of monkeys.

  6. #16
    Super Member
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    May 2002
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    5,830
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    Wylie, Texas
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    JCB165HF

    Default Re: How much electrical power does a welder need?

    Ya'll are just being silly. And probably making fun of my use of "whodunnits and incredible edibles". But that's okay. I understand. But I am taking notes........there might be a test later........[img]/w3tcompact/icons/laugh.gif[/img]

    The city inspector would probably have to hospitalized if he ever visited the shop. I've rented the place for ten years, I know, and I don't want to talk about it.

    Sixty amp for the welder circuit. But piggy backed to the welder plug is a twenty five foot extension cord, eight three, with another welder plug on the end of it. That feeds power to the plasma, little mig, spa blower that feeds the sand blaster hood, and Little Giant power hammer.

    Actually there's two extension cords piggy backed in behind the welder plug. The other is lighter for fifteen amp two twenty service to the high freq box for tigging and the punch press.

    I can get away with this because I work by myself and I can usually only do two or three things at once.

  7. #17
    Platinum Member dourobob's Avatar
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    Mar 2002
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    Just West of Buckhorn, Ontario, Canada
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    Wheel Horse 522xi

    Default Re: How much electrical power does a welder need?

    Thanks to all of you - just another confirmation of the wealth of shared knowledge and experience on this board. I am feeeling pretty fine about a 6/3 line with a 60 amp breaker for the shop - like wroughtn_harv I can only do two or three thingas at once but unlike him, I don't really know what I am doing yet [img]/w3tcompact/icons/laugh.gif[/img]. My buddy who has volunteered to teach me has his work cut out for him.

    Bob

  8. #18

    Join Date
    Aug 2001
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    542
    Location
    Campbellville, Ontario
    Tractor
    Kubota L3010, BX2200

    Default Re: How much electrical power does a welder need?

    Not wanting to enrich electricians unfairly, and being as I am in the process of getting power to my Qonset hut (major use: welder) I figured I would add my 2 cents.
    Were I live (Ontario) it is completely legal and 100% kosher to do your own electrical work if you get a permit. The Electrical Safety Authourity inspects it and everything. So I have completely wired my house and am now working on the first of 2 outbuildings.
    The cost of 'adding amperage' is relatively minor when you consider the total cost. True, cable is more expensive, but I spent CDN $300 running #3 (good for 100 AMP) to the garage, vs. the $200 #6 would have cost. The conduit, panel, etc., etc., and the trenching work (which I would have paid to do because I got to use my 3010 &amp; backhoe) were all the same. So my little hut is set to 100 AMP, which is more than I will ever need.
    My house is 200AMP, even though I could have got by with 100AMP. I think 100AMP is code minimum here anyway. Why didn't I run 200AMP to my hut? Because each strand of 200AMP cable is the size of a garden hose, and real brutal to work with.
    Mind you, when I put electricity into the woodworking shop 200AMPs it will be, not that I'll like ever need it.
    So, the electricians shouldn't charge that much more for more juice. If they do, look at DIY. Just get it inspected.

  9. #19

    Default Re: How much electrical power does a welder need?

    DOUROBOB
    HI IM A NEW MEMBER TO THIS WEB SIGHT AND I WES READING YOUR POST AND THOUGHT I WOULD CHIM IN
    IM KIND OF A JACK-OF-ALL TRAIDS TYPE OF GUY (MASTER OF NONE) PUT KNOW A THING OR TWO ABOUT ELECTRICTY
    YOUR 6/3 CABLE WOULD BE MORE THEN ENOUGHT TO RUN YOUR BUSS BOX.
    HOW EVER THE THING THAT HASEN'T BEEN MENTION
    IS THAT YOUR CURENT RATINGS ARE DIFERENT WHEN YOU GO UNDER GROUND VERSE ABOVE GROUND
    EXSAMPLE #6 ALUMINUM WIRE ABOVE GROUND IS RATED
    FOR 60AMPS @140 DEG F AND THE SAME WIRE BELOW GROUND IS ONLY 40AMPS
    HOW EVER THE SAME SIZE COPPER WIRE WOULD BE 80 AMPS ABOVE &amp; 55 BELOW
    I WOULD RECOMEND (4)#2 COPPER RAN THROUGH A 2" PVC CONDUIT WOULD GIVE YOU ABOUT 95 AMP SERVICE AT THE BARN PROBLY BE MORE THEN YOU EVER NEED FOR A GOOD HOME SHOP AND YOU WOULDN'T HAVE TO LISTINE TO WIFE COMPLAIN THAT THE LIGHTS IN THE HOUSE ARE GOING DIM EVERY TIME YOU START WELDING.

    WELDING TIP'S START OFF WITH 1/8" 6011 ROD BIT MESSY BUT GOOD STARTER ROD STAY AWAY FROM 6013 PAIN IN THE *@! TRY TO USE 7018 NICE ROD WHEN YOU GET THE HANG OF IT
    WELL GOT TO GO
    HOP THIS HELPS SOME

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