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  • Garage sub panel questions

    I'm interested in learning how I'd figure the amperage needed to power my welder. I have an Aerowave that I'd like to bring home and run out in the garage but I'm clueless on figuring the service needed in the garage.

    Looking at the user-manual, Page 9, I would need 51 amps to run the machine at 60% duty cycle. Am I reading this right? I didn't think I'd be able to run a 60amp service to the garage and the welder would be happy with it.

    Anyhow can someone please clear this up for me? I've got a good distance to run from my main panel to the garage and the price of 6/3 vs. 4/3 cable is pretty big.

  • #2
    Why run only enough to power the welder. I had to turn my lights off for years when my garage was underpowered to just weld. Last year I ran 100A out to the garage. Now I have a 60A welding circuit as well as a 30A (both 240V) for my compressor. Then I added light circuits etc. No brown outs anymore.
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    • #3
      Best is to pipe it and run single conductors for 100A service. But is that machine a single/3 phase, one or the other?

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      • #4
        The aerowave is a different type of welder and is very expensive to repair.
        Handle with care. 51 amps is the rating for 200 volt line. 44 amps is the rating for 230 volts.Tech manual says #8 wire up to 108 feet. That is #8 in conduit,
        #6 in copper cable and # 4 in aluminum cable. these ratings are based on a 200 amp 28 volt 60% duty cycle. This will only power one plug not a sub panel. To install a sub panel you must follow local building codes.
        If you need more power for other tools. Then a 100 amps sub panel should be able to drive a small shop. You will need to pull this power from a larger size panel. A plug will need only 3 wires. A sub panel will need 4 wires.
        One of the best way to find out what you need is to have a local electrician
        come out and bid on the job. Have them walk you through it. Protect your insurance get the work inspected.
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        • #5
          Originally posted by Coburn_Performance View Post
          Why run only enough to power the welder. I had to turn my lights off for years when my garage was underpowered to just weld. Last year I ran 100A out to the garage. Now I have a 60A welding circuit as well as a 30A (both 240V) for my compressor. Then I added light circuits etc. No brown outs anymore.
          Well I wasn't suggesting that I'd like to run "just enough" power to the welder. I was trying to say that I wasn't sure if my basic understanding of the user-manual was correct. My major problem is the main is about 130ft away from the garage(yes, the garage is attached). So, with that in mind.. I dont want to drag 130+ feet of wire through the house without some info first.

          I'm not opposed to calling an electrician. If anything, I might be a little uneasy about inviting a stranger into my home. Anyway, I'm looking not for an easy way out - just looking to fully understand how much power the Aerowave will draw. I'll be able to go from there in terms aggregated power needs.

          On second thought. The pole is close enough to spit on from the garage. I'll give the power company a call and see what a 2nd drop-line will cost me. So far I'm looking at about $1k in 4/3 and panel cost. I'm under the impression that they might even run the drop for free.
          Last edited by hwnd; 04-18-2010, 10:25 PM.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by hwnd View Post
            I'm under the impression that they might even run the drop for free.
            That must be nice.... the power company here won't do **** for free.....
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            • #7
              Get a copy of the NEC or look up duty cycle and welders in the NEC because you are allowed to run undersized wire based on the duty cycle of the machine.

              That said, wiring to the sub panel must be full capacity wire.

              I get my amps worked out, location of sub panel, total power required, total power available i.e. what is the main service panel rated for you may have to up grade that as well. Once all that is figured out you're going to be running some big wire (For a house) The copper is going to be the expensive part.

              Two hots, one ground = 600 feet of wire give or take you're looking at $2K in materials give or take.
              All prices are off the top of my head and your results may vary
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              • #8
                This is a reason they invent alum wire.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by bretsk2500 View Post
                  That must be nice.... the power company here won't do **** for free.....
                  In Illinois, I got a FREE line from the pole when we upgraded from 60 amp service to 200 amp. But that was my main feed. If I had them run a second line my guess is I'd be charged.
                  Also, this was several years ago. Times being what they are, the free service may no longer apply.

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                  • #10
                    Power co is responsible for the service connection from the pole to your mast where your leads come up from the meter here. You also get to provide the meter socket and all the wire to and from it. They provide the meter.
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                    • #11
                      The power company will supply you with as many drop as the building code would allow. FOR FREE. As they get to send a new bill to each new meter. They have a vested interest
                      Miller Syncrowave 200 W/Radiator 1A & water cooled torch
                      Millermatic 252 on the wish list
                      Bridgeport Mill W/ 2 axis CNC control
                      South bend lathe 10LX40
                      K.O. Lee surface grinder 6X18
                      Over 20 years as a Machinist Toolmaker
                      A TWO CAR garage full of tools and a fridge full of beer
                      Auto shades are for rookies
                      www.KLStottlemyer.com

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                      • #12
                        weigh your options for getting more power to your shop

                        If you put a second drop in you will be paying for anything extra as kcstott says.
                        In Ontario we pay a Delivery fee, Regulatory fee and a Debt Retirement fee on our bill and don't forget the government still has to stick it to us too with GST, soon to be HST (and more to come BullScatTax ). In our case we would be doubling that with a second drop . Don't know how the electric company sticks it to you in your area, but study you options, try to save yourself some money.
                        But more power in the garage is nice to have .
                        And if you upgrade your panel to 200A you will have to pay for everything from the mast down to your panel to upgrade to 200A. No matter what you do it will cost you .
                        Although you could probably run 100A plus to your garage if you upgrade. But as everyone says, it will cost, unless you manage to find/buy stuff for a cheaper cost from Cregs-list or FleaBay.
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                        • #13
                          SDG&E Sticks us the same way
                          There's how much you use.
                          How much they want you to use
                          If you go over how much the want you to use
                          Getting it there
                          And about six other charges for stuff I think they just think up names for.

                          I recently upgraded my dads place to 200AMP and with the city permit it was right at $1000 USD But the garage is attached and only required a thirty foot run of wire. New panel and sub are located 12 inches from each other to make life easier.
                          Miller Syncrowave 200 W/Radiator 1A & water cooled torch
                          Millermatic 252 on the wish list
                          Bridgeport Mill W/ 2 axis CNC control
                          South bend lathe 10LX40
                          K.O. Lee surface grinder 6X18
                          Over 20 years as a Machinist Toolmaker
                          A TWO CAR garage full of tools and a fridge full of beer
                          Auto shades are for rookies
                          www.KLStottlemyer.com

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Fishy Jim View Post
                            Power co is responsible for the service connection from the pole to your mast where your leads come up from the meter here. You also get to provide the meter socket and all the wire to and from it. They provide the meter.
                            Central Maine Power is responsible for the drop here only AFTER you buy the wire from the pole to your house. You're also responsible for everything except the meter below the weatherhead. My cousin just built his house and it cost him $15,000 to get power the 1000' from the road to the meter.
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                            • #15
                              SDG&E pays for everything off the pole to the weather head including the meter. You supply meter box and weather head. Not a bad deal.

                              But you must consider most drops in Southern Cal are less then 100' from the pole so it's not to expensive on their part.
                              Miller Syncrowave 200 W/Radiator 1A & water cooled torch
                              Millermatic 252 on the wish list
                              Bridgeport Mill W/ 2 axis CNC control
                              South bend lathe 10LX40
                              K.O. Lee surface grinder 6X18
                              Over 20 years as a Machinist Toolmaker
                              A TWO CAR garage full of tools and a fridge full of beer
                              Auto shades are for rookies
                              www.KLStottlemyer.com

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