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Q-talk *ON TOPIC ONLY* QUALITY ON TOPIC discussion of Backyard BBQ, grilling, Equipment and just outdoor cookin' in general, hints, tips, tricks & techniques, success, failures... but stay on topic. And watch for that hijacking.


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Unread 03-05-2012, 09:37 PM   #46
CarolinaQue
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Are you purposely trying to start an electrical fire? What size breaker is feeding your welder outlet? A 20 Amp breaker and outlet should be running 12 ga wire...and 20 Amp may be a little light for the welder you're running?
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Unread 03-05-2012, 09:53 PM   #47
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Preachin to the choir here. Unfortunately, it is what it is and you gotta work with what ya got... The breaker is there to break, though and it's definitely doing it's job.. There won't be any fires, just a lot of starting and stopping. We might rewire the outlet since there's a lot of welding left to do.
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Unread 03-05-2012, 10:31 PM   #48
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Maybe drop yourself a better circuit out of the panel if its available, even if its just temporary. We just got done wiring a remodel that was spurred by a fire caused by an overloaded circuit. Are you plugging into a drop cord? If so go straight to the outlet. My 120V welder works fine on a 20 amp circuit but will trip if I'm welding 1/4" material (hot) continuously. Good luck, it's looking awesome!
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Unread 03-06-2012, 04:35 AM   #49
CarolinaQue
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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.
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Unread 03-06-2012, 07:53 AM   #50
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We will probably rewire with 12ga. Right now it's wired with 14. We are welding 1/4" steel which is adding to the dilemma. We're just using what we have. We do have some 12ga wire so we'll probably be making the upgrade this weekend. Wont be able to do much beyond that without spending more time and money. No fires yet and we've welded several feet. With thicker wire we should do a bit better.
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Unread 03-06-2012, 08:08 AM   #51
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Just make sure your outlet is rated for the circuit breaker size and wire gauge. Need to also make sure if you need 12-2 or 12-3 wire.
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Unread 03-06-2012, 08:37 AM   #52
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Quote:
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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Unread 03-06-2012, 08:48 AM   #53
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Your build is looking great!
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Unread 03-06-2012, 08:59 AM   #54
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SirPorkaLot View Post
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.

Either way...I would look at how many Amps the welder is rated to draw and make sure that the outlet it was plugged into had a dedicated breaker rated for those Amps. And I don't think I would run less than a 20 Amp breaker for a buzz box welder. But that may be just me being paranoid from seeing what the out come can be because of running a lower amp breaker and outlet.

It causes concern to hear that a breaker is tripping often when welding is occuring and nothing is changing to keep it from hapenning. It's telling you that some thing in the electrical system can't handle what you're doing and things can get real ugly real fast if some thing doesn't change. I'd had to see some one get hurt when it's avoidable is all.
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Unread 03-06-2012, 09:57 AM   #55
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Just to set everyone's mind at ease, we are aware of the complications and the outlet is only 1.5ft away from the garage door opening...There is also a big red fire extinguisher sitting right by us at all times. Anything we could/would need to choke an electrical fire is within arms reach. We know what the optimal setup is and what we are currently using. The breaker can trip 100 times in a day and you probably won't see one fire..or a spark.. The wire cools within 30-60 seconds, then its back to business.

The only thing that will get hurt is a back from bending over much longer than is normally required...or somebody catching on fire from sparks while cutting/grinding steel . Honestly, an electrical fire is a much smaller concern than worrying about increasing our weld time 10 fold.

Aside from safety concerns, we are happy with our current progress. Things are taking shape and moving right along. So far there's only been 4 days of actual work put into this build. Hopefully we can finish in another 4-6 full days.
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Unread 03-06-2012, 10:03 AM   #56
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Is your fire box going to side on the lower platform?
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Unread 03-06-2012, 10:06 AM   #57
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CarolinaQue View Post
Is your fire box going to side on the lower platform?
Yessir. Didn't want to hang it off the back, and the trailer is looong so we decided to scoot everything forward.
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Unread 03-06-2012, 10:13 AM   #58
CarolinaQue
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Looking forward to seeing it completed. Are you making it walk up from the ground, or are you going to step up onto the trailer?
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Unread 03-06-2012, 03:18 PM   #59
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Quote:
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Looking forward to seeing it completed. Are you making it walk up from the ground, or are you going to step up onto the trailer?
Are you referring to how we will load the fb onto the trailer? If so, we'll have about 4 guys lift it and set it on the tail end of the trailer.
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Unread 03-06-2012, 04:51 PM   #60
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ThatsWhatSheSaidBBQ View Post
Are you referring to how we will load the fb onto the trailer? If so, we'll have about 4 guys lift it and set it on the tail end of the trailer.
I think he was asking if you were planning it so that you could cook/operate it from standing on the ground or if you were going to be standing on the trailer to cook. That's what I got from it anyway.

Project is looking great so far. Wish I could find enough time to knock a good chunk out of mine, but its been slowgoing on my build due to time constraints and such.
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