Instructables

Will my metal welder work ok?

I'm totally new to metal welding but am going to give it a try.

My oven/range has a power outlet that reads on it: 125/250V, 50Amps. It has four prongs, three vertically oriented flat ones aligned as a triangle with the center one lower than the other two, and a fourth one top center that's round. My breaker box shows a 50Amp breaker for it. The welder says it's a MIG 170, 240V AC, 20Amps,single phase, 60Hz (Harbor Freight).

I think the power I have is actually 220V but I'm not sure. If I do only have 220V will the welder only draw as much voltage as is asked by it - that is, if I only crank it up, say 3/4 of the way, will it draw less than its rated 240V? Or is that 240V just a maximum rating and it should run ok with 220V? It would seem odd that they would sell a welder that won't work for the power their customers would have by default without modifications.

Also, where can I get a double socket for that outlet with one having an extension so I don't have to pull out my oven every time I need to weld something?

Thank you.

Bretina

iceng8 months ago
Welding in your kitchen ...... WOW !!!

That is something new
onrust iceng7 months ago
Not for me. Neither is getting a cleaning deposit. So would suggest letting your welds cool and moving your project BEFORE using slag hammer and wire brush. Not a kitchen friendly idea
onrust onrust7 months ago
Honestly, this is a move I have done. You likely will burn your counter top and mess up the stove top. Not to mention, the risk of fire is super huge..... I'm a bachelor and not very domesticated.
Is your stove close to a window? set the welder as close as you can and run your stinger OUTSIDE......OR....What is on the other side of the wall? Punch a hole in the wall and plug it in from the other side....hopefully outside! Also...a bathroom is a bad idea. Slag and a grinder dust will instantly stain a toilet with rust from the water line down. It did look cool
Bretina (author) 8 months ago
That's good news. Thank you! I was worried I might have to return it.

Whatever I do with the outlet/breaker, it has to be without modifying how it now is, since I live in a rental apartment. So I think something like a "Y" connector into the socket should do it. The power cord from the range feels really thick, like 8 gauge, which is what the label on the range says. So I think the "Y" connector should be 8 gauge too. But, the prong pattern is hard to find. I'm not seeing it at Home Depot. Do you know of an electric supply site that may carry what I need?
iceng Bretina8 months ago
Make an adapter receptacle to plug short cord to connect the welder to the stove receptacle.

I doubt you will be cooking while you weld ... sending burning bits of molten metal all over the linoleum or wood floor !
onrust iceng7 months ago
I have to remind myself I have flip flops on....... wait, I need to remember to remind myself.
I would advise against splicing but a breakout box might be your next best bet. This is a very crude drawing but the concept is there. If I were to do this for myself I would use a breaker box and 2 separate breakers to insure that you don't overload that circuit.
JunctionBox.jpg
Hmm can you take a pic and I'll look it up? I was in the same boat when I installed mine and is why I ended up putting in a breaker and running an outside line.
Bretina (author) 8 months ago
I hope you guys had a great holiday! :-)

Any chance someone could answer my last question?
Bretina (author) 8 months ago
Thanks for the webcam offer but I don't have one set up, plus the solution to this can't be shared, which I want to do to help others out too.

Guided by your help, I did some more digging and found a diagram I think shows what I need to do. I set it up so the following links will take you to the descriptive pictures since uploading them hear doesn't work for me for some reason.

1- Shows the type of 3 wire male plug I now have on the welder:
1- http://imageshack.us/a/img560/1401/rk56.jpg

2- Shows the type of 4 wire outlet I now have on my wall for my range:
2- http://imageshack.us/a/img440/4072/ynt0.jpg

3- Shows the type of 4 wire plug which fits into the 4 wire outlet which my range has:
3- http://imageshack.us/a/img21/2058/qj3d.jpg

4- Shows the 3 wire outlet/receptacle I'm going to attach to the end of a separate 4 wire range power cord:
4- http://imageshack.us/a/img36/9877/8nzd.JPG

5- Shows the separate 4 wire range power chord I'm getting and its wires:
5- http://imageshack.us/a/img34/1680/hb4.JPG

6- Shows the proposed wiring diagram for connecting the 4 wire range power cord to the 3 wire outlet/receptacle. If I can locate an inexpensive cord receptacle instead of the outlet/receptacle I'll connect that instead but I think the wiring should be the same:
6- http://imageshack.us/a/img850/466/udg0.jpg

Please let me know what you guys think. Is this the correct wiring I need to do?
Bretina (author) 8 months ago
Ok. Let's try this again ... Well, it got to the upload URL but it got hung up. Maybe the server is overloaded.

Anyway, I looked into this some more and the Y splitters are REALLY pricey. I couldn't find the right fit anyway. I think the best next option is a direct extension first. Then make a double outlet to connect to the wall outlet via a box. A quick search for "50 amp Range cord" will show the male plug type which fits my outlet. 6' is about $15 which includes the male plug. The welder has a (6-50p) 3 prong male plug so I'd need a female which is about $20, but what I found is mountable - I can't find a plug to splice into the cord yet but I guess I can still splice the mountable one into it if I have to. If that's what I need, I could use some guidance of the correct wiring to make it.
We could start a google hangout when we can both get on and you're prepared to wire. Using a webcam I could watch and provide guidance. Do you have a multimeter?
Bretina (author) 8 months ago
Thanks for the idea. How to I attach/insert an image, The "Add Images" button doesn't do anything and copy/paste doesn't work either.

I wouldn't use the welder and bake a cake at the same time.The simplest still would be a Y splitter to the outlet. I would have to undo any electrical work when I move out one day and I'd have enough to do just filling in nail holes, etc.
You click "Add Images", "Select Files", a file browser should show up, select your image, click "Upload Files", click "Your Library" then click "Add File" below the image you want.

Haha no cake!?

I'm not sure if there is a Y splitter you can get for that style plug and is why I suggested building a breakout box to be the splitter. That way it just plugs into the existing outlet and you can just leave the stove plugged into the breakout box and plug in the welder.

MrRedBeard8 months ago
Yes it will work but... The 2 socket outlet will be for industrial uses. If you're willing to install a 2 socket outlet why not just install a dedicated 50 amp breaker for the welder? Unless you don't have room in your breaker box I wouldn't do it. I ran an outdoor rated 25' wire from my 50amp breaker to my carport with the female end directly connected so it was like an extension cord.

I ran an outdoor 10 gauge from my breaker box to my carport in order to use the welder.