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Author: Subject: Welding on a 13amp supply
Padstar

posted on 12/9/12 at 06:54 AM Reply With Quote
Welding on a 13amp supply

How have you all carried out you welding of the chassis. I have enrole on a welding course to refresh my skills learnt at school and have been looking at mig welders to buy to enable me to weld my chassis. I hadn't thought about power supply until this point. From what I can see anything up to 100amp welders will suit a standard 13 amp socket. As I will be using the landlords supply to my garages I have to assume this is my maximum available.

My understanding is that 100amps on a welder will not give me the weld penetration good enough for a chasis build and need nearer to 150amps. Have any of you fitted a larger unit with a decent 13amp plug and been successful? Or have they just blown the fuses. If so how have you got round this. I guess I am not the only person who doesn't have access to a 30amp supply - or am I?

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T66

posted on 12/9/12 at 07:10 AM Reply With Quote
I ran a Clarke 120A mig on a 13amp plug, and used it to restore a Land Rover with a rotten chassis. Penetration wasnt a problem on the heavier chassis parts.


I dont think I ever popped a fuse.



My next job was a SIP 150A on a Lada - so not really heavy sections, but this welder was run on an extension (fully extended) to my detached garage. I rarely used high end settings, so again only occasionally popped the trip on the extension.





"One day I will grow up, But only for the day"

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FuryRebuild

posted on 12/9/12 at 07:15 AM Reply With Quote
You may also want to understand what breaker you have - there are two classes (B and C) and I can't remember which is which. One is designed to allow a large surge current (just like a welder starting up) and another is the usual twitchy domestic breaker designed to trip faster on a smaller current.

I have migged on 13A but on the thicker stuff I couldn't guarantee penetration. On my current TIG setup I have a 45A supply through the special breaker and it's fine. An electricial can do the fitting for you - maybe if you offer to pay your landlord for the work he will just OK it - after all you're adding value to his property.

Enrolling on a welding course is EXACTLY the right thing to do. You will learn very quickly what a good weld looks like, how to prep the surfaces and what matters when prepping each kind of joint.

Have you set a budget for your welder yet? There's lots of discussion here, and it's definitely worth looking at mig-welding.co.uk; that's another very friendly forum, and they have great tutorial videos there. You can watch the good examples again and again to be confident you're doing it well.

Cheers
Mark





When all you have is a hammer, everything around you is a nail.

www.furyrebuild.co.uk

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Slimy38

posted on 12/9/12 at 07:18 AM Reply With Quote
My 150 amp welder came with a 13 amp plug, but with an advisory that prolonged use at full power is too much for 13 amps. I chopped the plug off and it's running off a 30 amp supply. Having said that, I've welded 2mm box section and despite being set to only half power it still gave me full penetration.

This is just my personal opinion, but I'd be ok running a 150 amp welder off a 13 amp plug, as long as I wasn't welding at full power or for too long. You'll just have to be careful when it comes to things like diff and engine mounting plates.

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plentywahalla

posted on 12/9/12 at 07:21 AM Reply With Quote
I run a 180 amp mig and a 140 amp inverter tig/arc welder, both on a domestic 13 amp supply. I only have a problem when running something else such as a compressor or workshop heater off the same ring main.

Having said that, I only run at those currents when welding heavy guage plate, you will blow holes in 16swg tube at 150 amps.





Rules are for the guidance of wise men ... and the obedience of fools. (anon)

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cliftyhanger

posted on 12/9/12 at 07:21 AM Reply With Quote
My 150A clarke mig runs off a 13A plug. I don't use full power much, but have done on a few occasions. No problems.....
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twybrow

posted on 12/9/12 at 07:36 AM Reply With Quote
quote:
Originally posted by cliftyhanger
My 150A clarke mig runs off a 13A plug. I don't use full power much, but have done on a few occasions. No problems.....


Ditto - I run my 150A MIG on a 13A plug, and have never blown a fuse or tripped the breaker... The Mrs does complain that the lights all dim in the house if I weld at full power, but I can live with that!

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dhutch

posted on 12/9/12 at 08:04 AM Reply With Quote
Ive got a ESAB caddy mig C160i which welds very nicely of a 13amp plug (inc a decent extension lead) and would I expect do everything you would need on one of our cars, and a lot more, if you could get away without full penatration and do a good root prep.


Daniel

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motorcycle_mayhem

posted on 12/9/12 at 12:54 PM Reply With Quote
My Migatronics 5000MX (140A) gives no problems with a 13A plug, welding Land Rover chassis at full tilt. I have a SIP Autoplus 100 (an old high quality machine) that is happy to handle 16g chassis section.
The lights in the house will dim, the TV will complain a bit, but no other issues. Limitation on the domestic supply is the PME earth loop impedance, if you're in a modern housing complex, probably no issues at all. If you're on the end of a LT supply in a rural situation, there may be a less than an optimal feed.

I have an old, high quality, fan cooled 250A SIP ARC. That has a 13A plug on it, but will blow a 13A fuse. I won't say what the solution to that problem was, the safety nannies on here won't like it.

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cliftyhanger

posted on 12/9/12 at 01:07 PM Reply With Quote
^^^
A matey works with forklift truck maintenance.
their solution was to replace the fuse with a bolt. The welder passes the testing each year no problems, it just gets plugged into the PAT tester thingy which gives it the OK. The electrician doesn't bother to check the fuse rating......

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Davey D

posted on 12/9/12 at 01:09 PM Reply With Quote
I run a lincoln 250A mig welder, but im running it on a 32A supply, which it still manages to trip out :-/ im sure it needs looking at, as it seems to be the motor for the wire that trips it out. The motor comes in with quite a thump, and it will often trip out from just pulling the trigger to let some wire out, then when it has tripped out once it will trip 3 or 4 more times before its ok for a while again. My 200A AC/DC tig plant never has any problems though, so i tend to use that a lot more
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FuryRebuild

posted on 12/9/12 at 01:27 PM Reply With Quote
DaveyD

It might be which type of breaker you're on. IIRC, houses are on a B breaker, but cars need to be on a C, which has a slower trip time and as such is designed to allow the original surge through before the welder settles down.

I'm not an electrician, just remembering what mine told me when he wired the garage

Mark





When all you have is a hammer, everything around you is a nail.

www.furyrebuild.co.uk

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Not Anumber

posted on 12/9/12 at 03:08 PM Reply With Quote
My tip from experience is to mkae sure that you only use decent thick extension cables with a MIG welder. Using the thin extension cable made of old lighting flex that happens to be the nearest to hand will severely limit the penetration of weld.
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hughpinder

posted on 12/9/12 at 03:42 PM Reply With Quote
Most of the chassis is 1.5 or 3mm steel, both need less than 120A. I can't think offhand what needs more than 3mm steel on the chassis (parts of the rear uprights do). My welder runs ok on 150A on a 13A supply for reasonable runs (I think it sometimes trips on that setting on really hot days when continuously welding tractor pars from 5mm steel), but often trips it at 185A. I always think you get better penetration from a stick welder, and I know one guy that makes gates (big wrought iron gates like to shopping centres from 20mm bar/10mm plate etc) which sometimes feature thick stuff. He recons to weld everythink with 90A in a stick welder and 2.5 -3.2mm rods (several passes on >10mm plate obviously). I've seen some of his work thats been in place for >20 years - no problems with the welds).
I wouldn't worry about the 13A supply. If its only the rear uprights, I'd take them to a pro who will only charge a small fee to weld them for you, if you aren't confident, or get them first and take them with you on your course, as most places that teach welding have 3 phase supplies and more amps available than you'll ever need.

www.millerweld.com has some good guides. They recommend 1A/0.001" as a guide for MIG welding (=125A for 1/8"/3.2mm).
Best of luck with the welding
Regards
Hugh

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