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Ground Fault with Plasma Cutter

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  • Ground Fault with Plasma Cutter

    I have a Miller Spectrum 375 X-Treme plasma cutter.

    I bought it used. When I plug it into a 120V GFCI circuit and pull the trigger, I get a split second of spark, then the GFCI trips. Running it on a non-GFCI circuit works fine.

    This means either the hot or neutral is making its return to the GFCI circuit via the ground, correct?

    Is this a normal thing or is this a serious problem worth investigating?

    Thanks for reading




  • #2
    Have you tried it on other GFCI equipped outlets? I think GFCI's are pretty much garbage. I mean they're useful but they're not particularly well made. If I was to guess, I'd guess it's either a bad GFCI or that there's some surge current when you use the spectrum the GFCI doesn't like.

    I have GFCI's in my house that pop for no reason. I mean everything is fine, you walk away and when you walk back with no changes, the unit has popped.

    Are you using the stock plug or has someone swapped the plug end? I wonder if they swapped ground and neutral for instance.

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    • #3
      I did not check other GFCI. I know what you mean about overly sensitive GFCIs. This GFCI circuit only ever tripped when I had a crappy old freezer plugged into it. Freezer is gone, (six years ago,) and it hasn't tripped since. It is the stock plug oriented correctly.

      Maybe I should open the top and look for unusual things.

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      • #4
        A GFCI has a place. So unless you're using this plasma cutter in the shower, use a different outlet.

        Comment


        • #5
          I had a 4-wire 240V 50A feed put in my garage at the time the house was built. The original idea for this was to possibly charge an electric car if we had ever bought one. It was going to be much cheaper to do before all the drywall/insulation was installed so I did it.

          Up until this point, I had only dropped a 240V 20A outlet from this supply to run a compressor.

          This situation, and the fact that the Spectrum 375 can make use of a 240V supply, led me to install a sub-panel with a 50A outlet for anything that might use a 6-50P outlet like my MM211 or the cutter.

          This allowed me to also install 120V 20A (non-GFCI) outlets for things like the cutter and an idea I had for a dedicated charging shelf for powertool batteries.

          The plasma cutter works fine on either 240V or 120V from these outlets.

          Never did get an electric car.
          Attached Files

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          • #6
            Not sure why you'd want to.....

            Comment


            • #7
              I want an electric pickup

              www.facebook.com/outbackaluminumwelding
              Miller Dynasty 700...OH YEA BABY!!
              MM 350P...PULSE SPRAYIN' MONSTER
              Miller Dynasty 280 with AC independent expansion card
              Miller Dynasty 200 DX "Blue Lightning"

              Miller Bobcat 225 NT (what I began my present Biz with!)
              Miller 30-A Spoolgun
              Miller WC-115-A
              Miller Spectrum 300
              Miller 225 Thunderbolt (my first machine bought new 1980)
              Miller Digital Elite Titanium 9400

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              • #8
                Right now EV's are at least $10K more than the same sized gas car. They have horrible resale value too because the state of the art is still moving. I expect to some day have an EV but I'm going to wait till the tech plateaus like PC's and phones have. At that point, when the price is closer to gas powered car pricing and next years model won't be head and shoulders better than this years, I'll probably buy in. I don't drive many miles in a day so it would be perfect for my lifestyle.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by MasterKwan View Post
                  ... I'm going to wait till the tech plateaus like PC's and phones have. ...
                  When was the last time someone bought a 2-year old used PC or phone?

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by MAC702 View Post

                    When was the last time someone bought a 2-year old used PC or phone?
                    Actually it has become quite commonplace now. Not a great deal of difference in the middle tier offerings IMO.

                    www.facebook.com/outbackaluminumwelding
                    Miller Dynasty 700...OH YEA BABY!!
                    MM 350P...PULSE SPRAYIN' MONSTER
                    Miller Dynasty 280 with AC independent expansion card
                    Miller Dynasty 200 DX "Blue Lightning"

                    Miller Bobcat 225 NT (what I began my present Biz with!)
                    Miller 30-A Spoolgun
                    Miller WC-115-A
                    Miller Spectrum 300
                    Miller 225 Thunderbolt (my first machine bought new 1980)
                    Miller Digital Elite Titanium 9400

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by MAC702 View Post

                      When was the last time someone bought a 2-year old used PC or phone?
                      At one point I was upgrading PC's every year. Now I can go 5 years and can't really tell a difference in performance between the old PC and the new. It's the same with phones. At one point the next years model was head and shoulders better than the old. Now that's not the case. Without some sea change in tech, performance has plateaued out.

                      My buddy has a BMW i3. $55K new back in 2014. Now you can buy one with low miles (most EV's are low miles) for between $17 and $20K. Luckily he leased it so he's not going to eat the depreciation. Only Tesla's have decent resale because of the cult of Musk.

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