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Discussion Starter #1
It's been 30+ years since I've done any welding, but I tried my hand at it again yesterday. A few years ago I bought a buddy's Hobart Handler 140. I know it works since he'd done some welding with it for me while I watched. I finally got around to buying a gas bottle, welding mask, gloves, cart, etc so I thought I was ready to rock-n-roll!

I got set up, plugged it in, turned on the gas and thought I was ready to go to town on a couple pieces of scrap metal. I squeezed the trigger, the wire fed and I got an "arc". But I got NO penetration in the steel. The material just kind of puddled on the surfaces of the pieces but nothing held together. When I first tried it, the arc was kind of "popping" but turning down the feed stopped that and I got it to be more steady. I also tried different voltage settings on the machine, but still no penetration.

I'm wondering if I'm not getting enough power to my outlet for this. I have a detached garage that sits about 50 feet from the house. The previous owner (that built the garage) ran a piece of 10-3 Romex ** from a 240V breaker in my main panel out to a panel in the garage. I was plugged into an outlet at the far end of the garage from the breaker, so figure in another 90' of 12-2 from the panel to the outlet.

I had cleaned up the steel with the wire brush on my bench grinder, so I'm pretty sure I was getting good contact.

Should I try plugging the welder into the generator? I have a 7500 watt Generac that has a couple of 120V-20A outlets on it.

Any advice from you experienced welders would be appreciated. And, no - I don't want this to turn into a "you should have bought a 240V welder instead of a 120V welder" thread! :laugh:





** NOTE: I'm pretty sure it was 10-3. I'd have to go out to the garage to double check. The PO used a 50 amp breaker in the panel. When I had my generator wired into the panel, the electrician said the breaker was too big for the wire and replaced that breaker with a 30 amp. The panel in the house is on the closest end of the house to the garage. The outlet wire in the garage runs along the perimeter in the garage, so 25' up each side and back and 40' along the rear of the garage - total of a 90' run.
 

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If I remember correctly the polarity is different for solid wire with gas and flux core wire without gas...

I have a Miller 140 which I think is compatible to your machine. Inside the cover should be the setup instructions.
 

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Only way to know your not getting voltage drop and the correct amps at the plug is to test it, do you have a multimeter?

As 56fordguy noted, make sure your welder polarity is set for the wire and gas (if any) your using-do you have the manual?

Also check for gas flow, proper feed and heat settings for the material your using and not trying to overdo it with the material vs. the capabilities of the 140. Is the wire in good shape or rusty?

I would try the welder on a house circuit if possible, not a generator. Some Millers like their bobcats are welder generators, Lincoln and Hobart probably have their own models as well, but those are purpose built machines. Guess I don't have any evidence or date to cite, but I have seen s welder being plugged into a generator and not been impressed with the results and heard it's very hard on both from industrial welders and electricians. At work our specs don't allow that type of combo, dedicated welder/gennys (stick) only for field work, though I couldn't tell you why.
 

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It would help to know how thick of metal you are welding on. A 140 welder isn't going to yield much, if any penetration on metal thicker than 1/8". Anything more will require beveling and triple-pass or more for full penetration. If you are not getting any penetration, most likely your voltage is too low for the material. Also, what gas mixture are you using? It should be 75%AR / 25%CO2. 100%AR will also yield poor penetration

This link would be good to review: Miller - Troubleshooting MIG Before and After You Weld

10/3 is right for a 30amp breaker. I recently bought a Lincoln 210MP so I am in the process of wiring up a both a 50 amp, 220V and 4-30amp, 110V plugins in the garage. The 210MP supports 110V and 220V but at 110V input, it will not provide enough penetration for the 1/4" and up steel I will be welding.
 

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Keep the project out of the wind/breeze. Gas will be dispersed too quickly if welding with wind blowing the gas away.
 

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I suspect, as noted already that the polarity is set incorrectly. Was you friend using flux-core wire (no gas) when he used the HH140 Mark?
 

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Typical MIG polarity with a shielding gas uses the - for the ground clamp and the gun is +. When this is reversed, you won't get a good weld, it'll spatter and get almost zero penetration.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
YOU GUYS ARE GREAT!! :good2: :thumbup1gif: :usa

The material I was trying to weld was about 1/8".

The gas is 75% Argon and 25% CO2.

The wire is .030 MIG Solid Wire.
20150806_180541_WireSize.jpg

You guys that said I was properly grounded (hmmm, my parents still say that about me.. and I'm old and gray! :laugh:) win the big prize!! Here's the wiring diagram that's inside the case:
20150806_180709_WiringDiagram.jpg
Sorry, it's a little blurry.

But here's how it's wired now:
20150806_180739_WiringActual.jpg

So, I think I'm wired backwards.

I'll swap them around in the morning and give this another shot.

THANKS for all the help! I'll give y'all an update tomorrow after I get back out to the garage.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
So, I think I'm wired backwards.
Yup, you are :good2:
LOL, Kenny! If I were really wired backwards, I'd probably be driving an orange tractor instead of a green one! :laugh:



I swapped the polarity leads today and give it another shot. Seems to be working much better now. I still have a lot of work to do to get some acceptable welds, but it is at least penetrating and sticking now.

THANKS again for all the help!!
 
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