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  • Welder and electrical hookup advice..

    Hi, newbie on the forum here. Been lurking a little and have found some great information. So now I have a question.

    I have the opportunity to buy a used Millermatic 250 from a friend for a good price. The question I have is what kind of line do I need to run this beast? I only have a 200amp circuit in my house.

    I currently have an old Miller Cricket 70amp MIG that I have used for the last 10 years on various projects, and am to the point where I need some serious welding power for some fabrication on my Jeep. The 250 is probably overkill for what I need, but I think I can get it cheaper than a new 210. The only thing that is holding me up is whether or not I have the juice to power it with. I don't want to have to upgrade my electrical service just to run the welder. If that is the case, I'd rather just get a 210 or 175. (Miller, of course)

    Thanks, your help is greatly appreciated.
    Mike Frank

  • #2
    How you doing?

    Let's see.You will need a 50 amp breaker and most likely 230 volt capacity installed.If not installed I suggest you let an electrician install the necessary wiring.The millermatic 250 is an older model because what they call it now is a millermatic 251.I do not know what you mean by 200 amp circuit but to run the welder like I said you will need a 50 ocv/230 volt circuit breaker and a 230 volt 50 amp outlet installed.

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    • #3
      200 amp service may or may not limit the ability to add on. Check with an electrician as bluepower suggested. Even for the 135 & 175 you will need to run a dedicated circuit.

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      • #4
        mjfrank,

        My biggest concern stems from personal experience. I ran a single phase welder that had an amp draw of 45 amps at rated duty cycle. The MM250 you speak of is in the same neighborhood on current draw. The machine ran just fine, but every time I started to weld the sudden demand placed on my 200 amp main service caused all the lights in the house to dim. I ran a 50 amp breaker with 6-3 wiring according to my electrician. He also suggested moving the welder breaker to the first slot in the service panel. I did and it mostly solved the problem. You may not have the same problems, but I wanted to share my experience.

        As for shying away and going with the MM210 you are changing amp draw to 27 amps at rated duty cycle. Admittedly the 250 is a great machine. Do check with your electrician on this situation.

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        • #5
          I think when i told him let an electrician help...i think he got the message whatever that was you said i don't know....i am reading the genuine miller 2003 catalog and for 230 volt wiring you need a 50 amp breaker so what else would he need?I have 3 millermatics in my shop that run off of 230 volts and a 50 amp breaker so that should answer his question about what he should do because i already told him talk to an electrician but not today because it's sunday but on monday he should....answering 2 times is ***

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          • #6
            bluepower,

            I sincerely apologize for reiterating your initial comment about consulting an electrician. I am not trying to steal you "thunder". All I want him to understand is that depending on his residential main service configuration that he may need a separate service due to the rather hefty demand placed on the system during the arc start. Also by not remarking about consulting an licensed electrician, one may open the door for a legal suit on the part of the poster no matter how good his/her intentions may be. Basically I am covering my financial well being as well as trying to help mjfrank solve his problems.

            As for what you did not understand I'll try to help. By placing the 50 amp breaker in the number 1 position in the main service panel the electrical current surge on initial arc start is drawn directly against the incoming supply from the local utility. If the 50 amp breaker is placed toward the end of the other breakers in the service panel, then that initial current surge in effect passes through all these previous breakers possibly causing the dimming effect I described earlier.

            It sounds like you have an excellent setup to power your shop equipment. As for reading the catalog and letting him know what type electrical service is needed is great. However, real life circumstances sometimes requires additional wiring as was my case. After 20 combined years in the welding and electrical business, I feel like this advice is correct to the best of my knowledge and experience. If I have led anyone astray here, please feel free to correct me. I am not oppossed to constructive criticism. It seems to me this open forum is a website to share experiences and opinions to help beginners and professionals alike.
            Please do not take offense to my post. None is, was, or ever shall be intentional.

            Thank you for your valued opinion and if I can ever help you with anything now or in the future please let me know.

            Thanks again for you concern.

            HAWK

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            • #7
              oh so now you are an electrician?.I been in the welding business for 37 years this year and I do all my wiring for my electric welders.I even repair them and my engine drive welders i do all the work on the engines and the welding components myself.but thanks for your inquiry.Also thank you for your opinionated answer!

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              • #8
                bluepower,

                I am not a licensed electrician, but have worked with one for many years. I respect your 37 years of welding experience and your abilites to wire and repair both electric and engine driven welders. Have a nice day.

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                • #9
                  Thank you and you have a miserable one!

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                  • #10
                    A message to Bluepower.
                    CALM DOWN!
                    Since you're a junior member here you do not need to get tosed out on your ear.
                    Welding is hot and it's the coolest job you'll ever have.

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                    • #11
                      weldteacher....I could teach you a few things....1.Don't even bother 2.How to spell

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by bluepower
                        oh so now you are an electrician?.I been in the welding business for 37 years this year and I do all my wiring for my electric welders.I even repair them and my engine drive welders i do all the work on the engines and the welding components myself.but thanks for your inquiry.Also thank you for your opinionated answer!
                        Thirty seven years experience, and you had to ask for help with this problem:

                        I want to replace the cables to a number 2 cable for both ground and holder..I took apart the welder in the shop and I see how easy it is to take off the old cable with the little lugs.The problem is my lugs are too big for the new cable to be replaced inside with #2's so I am just using the 4 it came with and cable connectors from lenco to add number 2 extensions.I just can't find a lug that will fit the #2 cable and that will also fit the screw inside of the welder.Any clues?

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                        • #13
                          Cope,why don't back off.I never owned a thunderbolt in my life.Why would real adults that are welders hang around forums like this?I come around to a answer a few desperate questions for people.You seem like you spend more time on the forums than what you do weld.I got it in my head you are just a kid reading a few magazines and coming back to the computer to type what you saw.Just my opinion but you can go ahead and say different.How dare you question my ability and my knowledge.

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by bluepower
                            Cope,why don't back off.I never owned a thunderbolt in my life.Why would real adults that are welders hang around forums like this?I come around to a answer a few desperate questions for people.You seem like you spend more time on the forums than what you do weld.I got it in my head you are just a kid reading a few magazines and coming back to the computer to type what you saw.Just my opinion but you can go ahead and say different.How dare you question my ability and my knowledge.
                            If you've never owned a Thunderbolt in your life, why did you post that question on this forum under the name bluepower and at Hobart under the name superarc? Exact wording in both posts. I'm not questioning your knowledge and or ability, although I have my suspicions, but it seems strange that you would question anyone else's ability when you had to post such a question yourself.

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                            • #15
                              Wooo, man I'm off to a great start in this forum, first post and I started a flame war!

                              Anyway, I did get some good info, so thanks for the help.

                              I would definately not attempt the main wiring by myself, and will be contracting a licensed electrician to do most of the work. HAWK, it sounds like you used a similar electrical setup as I have, so hopefully it will work for me too.

                              Sorry if the description of my service was a little vague, to clarify, I have a 200amp main service panel in my home, off of that, the builder ran a 100amp sub-panel that most of my house wiring is connected to. I am planning to have an electrician run a second sub-panel from the main panel to my garage, and hook all the garage wiring to that. Based on your recommended breaker size, I'll see if they can make the second panel 100amp too. (again, I have no clue of electrical code.)

                              In addition, I doubt I will run the 250 at it's rated current very much, if ever. I think the rated current is 200 amps, and most of the stuff I do is only 1/4" and 3/8" mild steel. So hopefully that will minimize the dimming-lights effect. (that must play **** with your computer. )

                              So anyways, thanks for help, I'll try not to stir it up too much around here.

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