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Unread 03-06-2012, 08:37 AM   #52
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Originally Posted by CarolinaQue View Post
The circuit breaker is there to keep the panel from getting over loaded. It's not going to keep the outlet from getting over loaded...which is a likely place for a fire to start, or some where in the wiring between the outlet and breaker due to to much resistance. It takes about 10 minutes to wire in a new dedicated circuit and outlet.
Not exactly. The circuit breaker is there to protect the wire.
In theory it will trip before a wire gets hot enough to melt and short circuit.

NEC requires a 12 awg wire to be protected at 20A and a 14 awg wire to be protected at 15A.

14 awg wire will run 20 amps fine, but will get warm.

It is voltage drop that will get ya.

Running a welder on 14 awg wire over a long distance will lower the voltage (due to the resistance), which increases the current draw (amps) of the welder.
I imagine if you were to put a voltmeter on the circuit in question while you welding, you would probably see a significant voltage drop (10-15 volts) from the panel to the welder. So even if you are leaving panel at 120V, you may only be seeing 105 volts at the welder.

Which of course raises the amps the welder is pulling, and tripping the breaker.
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