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Welding on an aluminum ladder

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  • E350
    replied
    Originally posted by Auto_Tech View Post

    Thanks to Griff for answering about the boots.

    You're safer working off the main panel. Issues arise "downstream" when (a) people fail to install a second ground rod where needed --- if a ground rod does not have resistance to ground of 25 ohms or less, it's USELESS and will fry you at some point. That's why I have a second (and third ground rod) ------additional optional ground rods may be connected anywhere along the equipment-grounding conductor but never to the grounded neutral.

    and (b) where people tie improperly connect equipment-grounding conductors to the system neutral. Grounded neutral conductors get connected to normally noncurrent-carrying metal parts of equipment, raceways, and enclosures only through the main bonding jumper (or, in the case of a separately derived system, through a system bonding jumper). These connections get made at the service disconnect, not downstream. It's a major safety issue to install a main bonding jumper in a box used as a subpanel fed by a 4-wire feeder (but there are tons of them out there waiting to electrocute people).

    You should connect grounded neutral and equipment-grounding conductors at the service disconnect, then separate them FOREVER.

    Again, I can't tell you the number of places I've seen where wiring is HORRIBLE -- just waiting to kill unsuspecting workers.

    You know Auto_Tech: Now that you explain it, I guess my receptacle actually goes to a subpanel in my shop. The service disconnect is actually just on the other side on exterior of the same wall. So, I guess that means that my 220v MM350P and Thunderbolt XL are connected to the grounded-neutral bus bar in the subpanel.

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  • Auto_Tech
    replied
    Originally posted by E350 View Post

    What are EH boots?

    And can you elaborate on the second sentence above? I am welding off a 220v receptacle from the main panel where grounds and neutrals are on the same bus bar in the panel.
    Thanks to Griff for answering about the boots.

    You're safer working off the main panel. Issues arise "downstream" when (a) people fail to install a second ground rod where needed --- if a ground rod does not have resistance to ground of 25 ohms or less, it's USELESS and will fry you at some point. That's why I have a second (and third ground rod) ------additional optional ground rods may be connected anywhere along the equipment-grounding conductor but never to the grounded neutral.

    and (b) where people tie improperly connect equipment-grounding conductors to the system neutral. Grounded neutral conductors get connected to normally noncurrent-carrying metal parts of equipment, raceways, and enclosures only through the main bonding jumper (or, in the case of a separately derived system, through a system bonding jumper). These connections get made at the service disconnect, not downstream. It's a major safety issue to install a main bonding jumper in a box used as a subpanel fed by a 4-wire feeder (but there are tons of them out there waiting to electrocute people).

    You should connect grounded neutral and equipment-grounding conductors at the service disconnect, then separate them FOREVER.

    Again, I can't tell you the number of places I've seen where wiring is HORRIBLE -- just waiting to kill unsuspecting workers.


    Leave a comment:


  • griff01
    replied
    Originally posted by E350 View Post

    What are EH boots?

    And can you elaborate on the second sentence above? I am welding off a 220v receptacle from the main panel where grounds and neutrals are on the same bus bar in the panel.
    "EH" refers to "Electrical Hazard".

    HTH
    Griff

    Leave a comment:


  • E350
    replied
    Originally posted by Auto_Tech View Post
    I have three ground rods in my facility, have GFCI breakers and still wear my EH boots religiously.

    I'd also check to see if you're working off a main panel (where they often tie the grounds to the neutrals) or a "downstream" subpanel where separate neutrals and grounds are req'd by the NEC. Makes a diff from a welding safety point of view.
    What are EH boots?

    And can you elaborate on the second sentence above? I am welding off a 220v receptacle from the main panel where grounds and neutrals are on the same bus bar in the panel.

    Leave a comment:


  • Olivero
    replied
    You should be fine, just keep the ground closer to the weld than your ladder. Offer the fastest route from A to B and don't make it go through C (which is you). If you are welding all over the place it might do it, but I still think the ground clamp provides a faster route to ground as long as its connected to a conductive surface than anything but water. Only time I ever get shocked is when I forget to connect it or I am sweating and put my wet, 100% conductive arm on the piece or table I am welding on. Stay dry and you will be fine.

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  • Auto_Tech
    replied
    My take is if you're providing a more convenient, expedient path to ground and there exists a ground potential diff between your ground clamp and your convenient, expedient path to ground, the current flow might like your path over the ground clamp path. I have three ground rods in my facility, have GFCI breakers and still wear my EH boots religiously. Don't ask how I know about the more convenient, expedient paths to ground --- not pretty.

    I'd also check to see if you're working off a main panel (where they often tie the grounds to the neutrals) or a "downstream" subpanel where separate neutrals and grounds are req'd by the NEC. Makes a diff from a welding safety point of view.

    One of the problems I see later with welding in our homes is the Nat'l Elec Code and local governments are starting to mandate ARC Fault breakers in homes ---- these create a mess if you're trying to do any sort of home welding in the garage, workshop ---- they hate thunderstorms and welders ---- trip constantly.
    Last edited by Auto_Tech; 09-14-2016, 03:37 PM.

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  • ryanjones2150
    replied
    Are you MIG or tig welding? The only issue I see is if you're all sweaty and lean against the ladder that's touching the work surface, the HF from tig welding might give you a wake up call.

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  • Oldgrandad
    replied
    You don't get shocked when you touch a metal welding table while you weld. You'll be fine. Just don't hold the ground clamp when your welding.

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  • christiankeith90
    replied
    Thanks for the help so far guys, I may get a fiberglass or wooden ladder just to be sure.

    Leave a comment:


  • aametalmaster
    replied
    I stood on an aluminum ladder that was in the Ohio River while welding on the side of a barge in the rain. But changing electrodes really shocked to say the least. Had a 2x4 with a notch cut in it to hold the rod while i put it in the stinger...Bob

    Leave a comment:


  • Aeronca41
    replied
    IMHO, Should not be an issue if the work cable is properly connected to the trailer. Current path is between the gun/torch and the work cable. Engine driven or plug in welder? If plug in, I suppose there could be an issue if there was a fault inside the welder and the equipment grounding conductor ( green or bare wire) in the cord is not properly connected at either the welder or the outlet/power distribution box. Always good to check those safety grounds periodically.

    Interested to to hear what others think.

    Leave a comment:


  • christiankeith90
    started a topic Welding on an aluminum ladder

    Welding on an aluminum ladder

    Would it be safe to weld aluminum trailers while standing on an aluminum ladder, as far as not getting shocked? Couldn't the ladder be a ground? Thanks
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