Length of electrode holder leads

  1. MetalMonkey Member

    Messages:
    434
    Location:
    UK
    I suspect this might be largely down to individual preference but I'm curious to know what length of leads you find most useful.

    My stock leads are about 3m each for the holder and return and I've run into a couple of occasions where I've had to balance the welder precariously on something to give me sufficient slack on the cables.

    I'm thinking of making up a couple of DINSE extensions I can plug in when I need a bit more reach. Obviously I don't want to make them longer than necessary due to volt drop and cost. I also don't want to make them too uncontrollable either.

    The standard leads are 25mm2 on a 200A machine. I'm thinking perhaps 35mm2 H01N2 cable for the extensions, but not sure on the length.

    Anybody done this and what did you use?
     
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  2. James1979 Forum Supporter

    Messages:
    1,590
    Location:
    Orkney
    I think connectors will be the best for you.
    I have I think 50 ish m for the diesel welder stinger but it’s in two halves with dinse connectors. It makes it easy to swap about but I’ve never done it to be honest. If I’m not welding balls out all day I connect the stinger from my small inverter arc set. That means the last 3/4 metres are lighter. If you don’t need the heavy cable it’s easier on your arms.

    The earth is shorter, about 20m, but I can normally get the set within 20m of what I’m welding somehow.
     
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  3. hotponyshoes Member

    Messages:
    3,379
    Location:
    Somerset. Uk
    I have a 3m arc lead. Don't do a lot of mma but that's a handy size to coil up on the welder trolley hook to keep it out of the way.
    That's 35mm on a 220a max machine.
    I have got a 3m earth lead as well (35mm) and again that hangs on the trolley as well.
    I have then got a few extensions that live in the drawer. 2 at 4-5m or so and one probably nearer 10m.
    They are all 35mm as well.

    I rarely use the long one and have never needed to join them all togeather either.
    I mostly use the welders on tig or mig so the torch is normally the limit.
    If somebody turns up and needs a bit sticking on a digger or tractor and i cant get it in the unit I have a small mma only inverter and it's easier to get that out and run a mains extension lead than longer arc leads.

    Plus 35mm welding cable is a lot more per meter (as you need 2 runs) than 4mm mains cable.
     
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  4. Memmeddu

    Memmeddu Member

    Messages:
    2,945
    Location:
    Italia Sardegna
    8+8 on both my welders
     
  5. metalmelt Member

    Messages:
    590
    Location:
    UK
    I have 2 X 25m and several lengths of 10M sections of 50 and 70 mm cable.
     
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  6. Jim Davey

    Jim Davey R H Davey Welding Supplies Ltd

    Messages:
    5,532
    Location:
    Southampton
    My personal preference is 3mtr for bench work, about 4-5mtr for anything like mobile welding with a portable inverter and 8-10mtr for engine driven welding plant with the option of extension leads in 10 or 20 metre increments usually.
    That’s what I’ve gone with on most of my fleet as I find lead sets that are too short a big inconvenience.
     
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  7. zzr1200

    zzr1200 Working at 650 ft on open steel work

    Messages:
    4,031
    Location:
    Glapwell, Chesterfield, Derbyshire.
    My small inverter is fitted with small Dinze plugs, I prefer 25mm cable about 5m long with another 5 or 6 metre extension leads, earth leads about 5 metre.
     
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  8. denlow60

    denlow60 Member

    Messages:
    67
    both

    How many meters of cable do you want to add for the extension.
    you can calculate this
     
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  9. MetalMonkey Member

    Messages:
    434
    Location:
    UK
    That was really my question - what is the most usable sort of length?
    No point in adding on 20m leads if nobody ever uses them.

    From the feedback I'd say its looking like 3-5m might be sensible starting point as an add on to the existing 3m leads for most of the things I'm likely to encounter.
    I have some long 32A extension leads so I can get the machine where i need it, it is more for the convenience of getting around the object being welded without getting snagged up with a short lead.
     
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  10. hotponyshoes Member

    Messages:
    3,379
    Location:
    Somerset. Uk
    10m is plenty in my workshop.
    Any longer and it starts getting difficult to coil and store.

    It's the cable that's expensive not the connectors so I would rather have 2x10m than one 20 anyway.
     
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  11. denlow60

    denlow60 Member

    Messages:
    67
    both
    If you want to weld 170 Amps maximum with a length of 10 + 3 m / 25mm2 cable on the electrode side.
    then you only have a 2 volt loss in your cable and with this you can weld very well.
     
  12. Feet 'n Inches

    Feet 'n Inches Out of the rat-race at last

    Messages:
    363
    Location:
    Devon, GB
    On my Oxford oil-cooled, 25ft each for the earth and holder so if I need to work outside, I can wheel the welder to the edge of a small concrete apron outside my workshop and stretch that distance farther. The Clarke has 3 metre leads plus I have a loooooong extension lead that easily reaches my front gates.
     
  13. Mark 2

    Mark 2 Forum Supporter

    Messages:
    488
    Location:
    London UK
    I forsee this being a 6 page thread.
     
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  14. metalmelt Member

    Messages:
    590
    Location:
    UK
    It comes down to individual choice and usage really, if your machine is fixed in a location then you need sufficient lead length to your furthest welding position; if your machine is moveable then you can move your machine closer to this furthest position and use shorter cables.

    I have a large barn and an old Transarc on a fixed base which is centrally mounted and I need 10M just to get to each end of the barn, I also have a concrete hardstanding outside which I stand the lorries on so another 10M extension is needed to get round them easily if needed; I also have the option of using one 25M length if needed instead of 2 X 10m.
     
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