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I have a Hobart 140 welder. The outlet it plugs into is a 14 gauge wire on a 15 amp breaker. As you can guess, I have blown the breaker a few times. I know the breaker needs to be changed to a 20 amp, but what about the wiring? I am thinking about changing it to 12 gauge, but one guy said it would not hurt to go to 10 gauge. Any thoughts?
 

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If the outlet is fed by #14 wire, then you can NOT upgrade the breaker to a 20A. You must upgrade the wire to #12 also. The only advantage #10 would give is less voltage drop if it's a really long run from the panel.
 

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Kennyd is right (as always).

If you're going to put in new wire, think about putting in "the last wire you'll ever need for welding" which might be a 8-3 with ground? (welders chime in) Then you can go 240 40A at some point in the future. Just wire up a 20 amp 120 for now.

Unless the run is longer that 100' (SWAG) then going to a #10 won't get you much. Only "exception" to that is if your 120V is normally a bit low (say 115 or less), in which case the #10 would be good since you're starting out a little low to begin with. I have the opposite problem here, I normally run about 125 volts all the time.

Pete
 

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If you're going to put in new wire, think about putting in "the last wire you'll ever need for welding" which might be a 8-3 with ground? (welders chime in) Then you can go 240 40A at some point in the future.
The "standard" welder outlet is wired with #8 wire, a 50 amp breaker, and a NEMA 6-50R ("R" is for receptacle). Most 220v welders come equipped with a 6-50P ("P" is for plug)

The wire size can be de-rated slightly based on the duty cycle of the welder, that is why #8 can be used rather than #6 for 50 amps. Some even say you can use #10 wire but that is cutting it to close for my comfort level.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks, Its only a 20 foot run from the breaker. This old barn is not fun to work in. I thought some were being way overkill.
 

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Oh. A few more post and we could of had buss bar running around your shop. :lol:

At 20 feet, wire cost is irrelevant it comes down to your time. Glad it's an easy fix.

Pete
 

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FG:

Go with Kenny and Pete's advice. As I recall, I went with #8 when #10 would do; but I had a ~50' run and the cost differential between #8 and #10 wasn't enough to justify being cheap.
 

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The "standard" welder outlet is wired with #8 wire, a 50 amp breaker, and a NEMA 6-50R ("R" is for receptacle). Most 220v welders come equipped with a 6-50P ("P" is for plug)

The wire size can be de-rated slightly based on the duty cycle of the welder, that is why #8 can be used rather than #6 for 50 amps. Some even say you can use #10 wire but that is cutting it to close for my comfort level.
I'm no electrician...BUT...While I agree that the 6-50R is the correct Plug, I'd say 8ga wire is not for 50A...50A = 6 Ga wire...

I wired my garage with a NEMA 14-50R, gives me a neutral to get 110v 50A :mocking: I made a 3' Cord with a box which has a 6-50R and a 5-20R
Why did I do that? Couple reasons...
-In the cut off pile at Lowes they had 60' of 6-3 Wire on clearance for 30 bucks..might as well use all the conductors at that point.
-My shiny new (at the time) Dewalt Chop saw would CONSTANTLY trip the breaker, googling it showed it was common on that model saw and people had to wire 30A to run the saw...
-My Welder outlet doubles as a generator hookup..Yes i know the dangers of not having an interlock.

As for derating the wire based on duty cycle, I was taught that yes you can do that, only if its hardwired in. IF a recepticle is in, you should wire the "hard side" to match the breaker. Whats to prevent someone from coming in and hooking up a huge honkin 220v 50A heater to that outlet when your not around?
 
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