Useless at electrical

  1. Lovetherust Member

    Messages:
    32
    Location:
    Notts england
    Hi, long time watcher...minimal input-er, but in hope someone can lay down in laymans terms an education to my electrical woes?, so today ive been slapping about with an old 160( cant remember name) and some 3.2mm rods, i know it top end of its limit as it gone through 3 13amp fuses. After reading up on here that the best coarse of action is to up the amperage, thinking a diesel genny, as then i can take it around, my quiry is this, ive seen gennies saying 110v 32amp, but my welder has been using the house 240 supply, do i just change the plug to a 110v and go with that or am i missing something?? Also thinking of getting an oxford oil cooled as when i do weld, its for good stretches of time, how does that fit in with choosing the right generator? I can do alot of things but understand volts and amps just blows my mind! Any help is truely welcome
     
  2. metalmelt Member

    Messages:
    595
    Location:
    UK
    Old welder and 13 amp plugs never work successfully at that current, I often see the fuses fitted with 20 amp fuse wire and this is for a reason (and dangerous).

    Forget the genny as a genny of 110V at 32 amps is another way of saying a genny of 240V at 16 amps.

    In simple terms it is expensive buying a genny and it would be much easier and cheaper to wire the workshop correctly and fit a commando plug of at least 16 amps or preferably 32 amps, at 16 amps you should easily run your 160 amp machine, but the 32 amp set up would run most single phase Oxfords including the heavier duty ones.

    Hopefully someone such as brightspark will be along and offer more advice.
     
    James1979 likes this.
  3. frank horton

    frank horton V twins are great but 4"s rule.........

    Messages:
    2,230
    Location:
    Soon 2 B Crete
    lovetherust,
    I have a 160amp buzz box quite old and heavy (copper wound) and on occaision have to run it on a Diesel genny...cant remeber the genny's size as its in a crate.....but running a 3.2 rod will by the end of the rod will slow the genny right down.....it's a very old genny and NO electronics...
    this buzz box will happily work from a 13amp plug and not blow fuses.....but it does get a slight rest between rods....
    it also has a fan that runs full time....even after finishing welding I let the welder run for 5 or so mins to cool down.....
    just to add for info...
    I also run a 225amp oil filled Oxford.....which norm runs on 3phase but have no 440v yet, so on single phase.....
    it's on the end of a 50m flexi 4mm cable, it's wired to the board thru a 40amp RCD/MCB....using a H/D plug
    (LeGrand.FR) thats gotta be more than 16amp....it'll run 3.2 rods all day.....on 3phase it'll eat 4mm rods but not so keen on that diet when on single phase....
     
  4. qwakers Member

    Messages:
    591
    Location:
    cornwall, united kingdom
    to address the elephant in the room.

    most generators are duel voltage 110 and 240v, however, if the generator only outputs 110v, NO you cant run a 240v welder on it.
     
  5. frank horton

    frank horton V twins are great but 4"s rule.........

    Messages:
    2,230
    Location:
    Soon 2 B Crete
    I like Elephants.....lol...
     
    metalmelt, mike os and Lovetherust like this.
  6. Lovetherust Member

    Messages:
    32
    Location:
    Notts england
    I didnt think so, it just boggles me that it says 32amp off 110v
     
  7. Lovetherust Member

    Messages:
    32
    Location:
    Notts england
    My old man has a proper rig that eats 4mm for breakfast,dinner,and tea, when needed, but lives miles away so looking for an oil cooled that will run on single phase but can cope with 3.2 well, which shouldnt be a big deal to find??(i hope! Unless ive got my info wrong?) Think il get a sparky in to set me up a 32amp outlet, do you put an 32amp plug onto a 240v?
     
  8. Jim Davey

    Jim Davey R H Davey Welding Supplies Ltd

    Messages:
    5,535
    Location:
    Southampton
    Send us a picture of the data plate on your 160 amp welder. That will state exactly what the supply requirements of the machine are.
    If you do get a sparky in, a few 16 and 32 amp 230v sockets dotted around the shop/yard can be very handy.
     
    metalmelt likes this.
  9. Morrisman

    Morrisman Forum Supporter

    Messages:
    2,720
    Location:
    Staffordshire, England
    My old 160 amp cheapie Screwfix stick welder got to the stage it would not properly burn 3.2mm rods, so I swapped to 2.5 and everything was good. Unless you really need 3.2 for whatever you are welding you could consider doing that too.
     
    Last edited: Sep 21, 2020
    metalmelt likes this.
  10. brightspark

    brightspark Member

    Messages:
    31,750
    Location:
    yarm stockton on tees
    the 180amp oilcooled should be wired on a 30 amp supply using 4.0mm cable .it needs to be wired on to a 30 amp c type breaker as using a b type just turning the welder on will trip with the inrush current of the tranny :(mine does it most times so must change it
     
    metalmelt likes this.
  11. skotl

    skotl Forum Supporter

    Messages:
    7,378
    Location:
    Edinburgh, UK
    Few things to consider that might help you figure this out:

    1. Electrical devices consume power (the input from the mains) and translate that to output power (heat, for an electric fire or cooker, a spark for a welder!)
    2. Power is calculated as Volts x Current, so your 13A supply is capable of supplying 230 x 13 = 2.99 thousand watts (or ~3KW)
    3. Rather confusingly, welders output a lower voltage than what they are supplied - so the 230V input from the plug ends up being around 30V coming out of the welder
    4. This is why the welder can "magically" output 100A from a 13A supply - it's actually taking the 3KW in and outputting 30V x 100A == 3KW
    5. (none of these figures are exact, and there is also an efficiency factor to take into account - 3KW in will mean less than that is output)
    6. So why can you sometimes get 130A or 160A out of the welder on a 13A plug? Because there's some variability in all of this - a fuse won't trip exactly when it's input exceeds 13A
    7. Also, and to slightly confuse things, there is also "inrush load/current" where starting a device like a motor or a welder can suddenly consume many more amps than what it takes to run it after the initial start. This inrush can be 3, 4 or 5 times the rated load which is where talk of different types of circuit breaker come in (C Types are happy with a greater inrush current than B Types)
    Finally, back to your generator - if supplies 110V at 32A, which is 3.5KW, so not much more than you can get out of your 13A plug on the wall right now.
    Crucially, when a generator's output is specified the older / cheaper ones will not be happy at exceeding that, so the inrush (perhaps as high as 10-15KW) will stall them at best, blow them up at worst.
     
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