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Old 01-25-2012, 08:30 PM   #2416
Poolside
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Quote:
Originally Posted by P B G View Post

Welder needs
Load Load Ground

Dryer Needs
Load Load Neutral

About the only thing you should NOT NOT NOT do is share grounds/neutrals inappropriately.
If the welder requires Load Load Ground, it will operate just fine with Load Load Neutral. [flamesuit on]


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Old 01-25-2012, 08:35 PM   #2417
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Originally Posted by Poolside View Post
If the welder requires Load Load Ground, it will operate just fine with Load Load Neutral. [flamesuit on]

Jim are you sure I'm not going to burn the house if I follow your logic
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Old 01-25-2012, 08:58 PM   #2418
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ricardo Kuhn View Post
Jim are you sure I'm not going to burn the house if I follow your logic
You won't burn down your house....

He's referring to the fact that the Neutral Conductor terminates in the main panel to the neutral block, which is in turn GROUNDED.

The critical aspect here is that Neutrals and Grounds vary in one regard, a Neutral is "hot" whenever anything plugged into the circuit is on. So you have a black (load) wire to a light bulb, and a white wire back to the wall. If there is a complete circuit (bulb is on) then the white wire will still shock you. In the normal day to day a green wire or the metal conduit should never shock you.

How this could in theory be a problem is that if you had something else on the dryer circuit, lets say an air conditioning unit or maybe an air compressor. Who knows what, and it is running. That neutral plug on the wall could technically be "hot". Now you plug your rigged up jumper wire for your welder into it, and the ground prong is plugged into a source of charge. So long as the shortest path to ground is through the wall you're still OK. But what now if you are sort of on the way to ground, and you connect that HEAVY gauge power cable with heavy ground wire directly to your metal work bench. Well, you could divert some of that charge to the nearest ground, which could just happen to be you.

If it were an actual ground it would not have the potential to have a charge, unless something is shorted out somewhere really badly.
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Old 01-25-2012, 09:11 PM   #2419
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Originally Posted by Ricardo Kuhn View Post

Jim are you sure I'm not going to burn the house if I follow your logic
I wouldn't do anything that would risk your life, Ricky. Neutral and Ground are connected together inside the breaker panel. And both wires are connected to the Earth. Yes the actual dirt beneath your feet.

The dryer might/would need Neutral because it has something running from 120V inside. Maybe the drum motor runs off of 120V, and if so it needs a Load and Neutral wire. The dryer heating element is 240V and uses both Load wires. The element does not connect to the Neutral.

If the welder needs Load Load Ground, then everything inside the welder uses 240V, and does not need the Neutral wire. The metal housing of the welder is connected to the ground lead on the welder power cord, and if there is a short circuit to the welding housing the Ground wire conducts the current to ground. But since neutral also conducts to ground, then it accomplishes the same thing.

It makes sense to think of Neutral as a ground wire. It returns current to the 'neutral' battery post. On your bike, the 'neutral' battery post is the negative post. In our AC electrical grid system, the 'neutral' battery post is the Earth itself. Inside your electrical panel, both the Neutral wires and the Ground wires are connected to the same place. They are bonded together.

A real fire risk is from hot weld spatter, or wiring not sized correctly for the load. On the weld spatter note, keep a fire extinguisher near you when welding, and also a spray bottle full of water.


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Old 01-25-2012, 09:20 PM   #2420
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Hey P B G, yes that could happen under the situations you mention. What do you think about Ricky putting another receptacle right next to the dryer receptacle? Mount a box with a 6-50 receptacle inside it and wire it Load Load Ground.

I'm thinking a 6-50 extension cord is going to be more of a 'standard' thing to get, and should be cheaper. And wall receptacles are cheap enough.


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Old 01-25-2012, 09:35 PM   #2421
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Works for me.

As I mentioned before I'm doing this wrong for my dryer as we speak.

I have my welding outlet as a box directly connected to my main breaker panel, I have a jumper hooked up to run my dryer off my welding outlet.

Only the way my welding outlet is wired there is a heavy insulated wire from the ground terminal to the ground block.

So I am directly grounding my neutral into my ground, if this outlet were on the other side of the shop this would be a big no no as I would be sending current through exposed ground path. But it all happens in the Box so it works safely.

In reality the welder's ground clamp has a terminal on the welder, from that terminal there is a path to the ground outlet on your wall. Make sure that lug has a path to ground, and just ignore the neutral terminal on the outlet. Shit find any metal junction box in your welding area, attach a jumper cable lead to that and ground your welder.
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Old 01-25-2012, 09:46 PM   #2422
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Originally Posted by P B G View Post
Works for me.

I have a jumper hooked up to run my dryer off my welding outlet.
Yea that's what I was thinking only the other way round. Run the welder receptacle off the dryer receptacle.

Put the welder receptacle right next to the dryer receptacle. And make the short connection between the Load wires between the two receptacles. If there's a dryer, then there's probably a washer nearby, and a nice water pipe to use for ground.


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Old 01-25-2012, 09:49 PM   #2423
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Good stuff Nitro Acres and Poolside, thank you. Very good stuff to ponder and plan with.
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Old 01-26-2012, 02:55 PM   #2424
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P B G, Jim you guys need to remember I have no clue about electricity (and/or electronics)

I will love to have a "Shopping list" (I think I have most of the items already) I just need the gauge and type of wire and also a simple how-to so I can do the work with out "Thinking" ergo making mistakes

In any case a million thanks for all the help
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Old 01-26-2012, 03:08 PM   #2425
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Quasi-related question to all this electrical wiring business - can one run current backwards through a breaker?

Here's my use case: I would drop an additional outlet on my dryer line for the don't-yet-have welder, and don't-yet-have generator. When the apocalypse hits, I do the ghetto-transfer-switch thing:
  • flip the main breakers (to isolate the house from the grid)
  • shut off any other non-essential breakers
  • shut off breaker to my "dryer" circuit
  • connect and fire up generator
  • turn on "dryer" circuit to connect to remaining load on house
Will this make the breaker sad? (Will it even work?) Or would it be better to put my generator tap on separately, attaching to the mains bus bars after the input breaker? The chicken way costs me some extra hassle, cable, and an outlet - I know, it's really not that much - but the thread of discussion got me thinking about it and now I'm curious.
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Old 01-26-2012, 06:12 PM   #2426
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Nod, this subject is covered.

The main issue for legality sakes with "backfeeding" or plugging a generator into an outlet is that in all likelihood you won't be using a generator in a worst case scenario because frankly if your generator is gas, it will be bad gas, and the thing won't run, and it will be made in china anyhow.

So lets be honest, your ghetto jumper wire backflow works, but if you forget to flip something just the once, and you shock and kill a lineman your ass is grass, so just do yourself a favor and buy the kit that interlocks a small subpanel to your main board and skip the ghetto ass jumper method.


Back to Ricardo.

Big wire never hurts, the bigger the less taxes/cooler the wire will be. And that way it will never limit your welding or trip breakers due to restrictive flow.

Use wire nuts, get good connections, use electrical tape, and for god sakes turn the damn power off first.
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Old 01-26-2012, 08:06 PM   #2427
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Originally Posted by P B G View Post
The main issue for legality sakes with "backfeeding" or plugging a generator into an outlet is that in all likelihood you won't be using a generator in a worst case scenario because frankly if your generator is gas, it will be bad gas, and the thing won't run, and it will be made in china anyhow.

So lets be honest, your ghetto jumper wire backflow works, but if you forget to flip something just the once, and you shock and kill a lineman your ass is grass, so just do yourself a favor and buy the kit that interlocks a small subpanel to your main board and skip the ghetto ass jumper method.
Okay, I am amused that you concluded (not unfairly) that if I was too cheap to buy a transfer switch, that I was too cheap to buy a decent generator, buy good gas, and store both properly. (I at least have the gas covered - if only because I had a boatload of grocery store kickback points from a holiday buying spree that gave us $1/gallon off each fillup. Got to get the full 35 gallons I'm allotted donchaknow.)

I am rightly and suitably chastised, because I did not consider anybody past my panel - and while I do complex and order-specific tasks for a living, generally there's nobody's life at stake. Just can't help myself trying to MacGuyver it sometimes.

Got a pointer to any transfer kit you would consider worthy? (At the end of the day, it's just a high-current triple-pole double-throw break-before-make switch in a heavy metal box, right? Say that three times fast.)

To try and drag this back into the same zipcode as welding - I have seen browsing through catalogs various self-powered welders (intended say for mounting on maintenance trucks to run standalone). I'm sure some have had convenience outlets for running power tools/lights/etc. Lord help me but every expensive toy has got to be some kind of Swiss Army knife for me (got a GS after all, didn't I?). Is there any practically smallish implementation of these welders that could pinch hit in a backup generator role, or are they just stupidly large and expensive beyond all sense for a hobbbyist/hacker type application?

It would save me the price of the extra outlet on my dryer circuit.
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Old 01-26-2012, 08:36 PM   #2428
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At the end of the day, it's just a high-current triple-pole double-throw break-before-make switch in a heavy metal box, right?
Yes, that's about it. Except that it's automatically operated. You could make your own with relays, MacGyver.

Quote:
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Is there any practically smallish implementation of these welders that could pinch hit in a backup generator role, or are they just stupidly large and expensive beyond all sense for a hobbbyist/hacker type application?
Yea they aren't cheap. But many of them put out a good amount of line power, some make 3 phase. Hey, how about a cheap Asian-made diesel-powered generator?


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Old 01-26-2012, 10:53 PM   #2429
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Poolside View Post


Yea they aren't cheap. But many of them put out a good amount of line power, some make 3 phase. Hey, how about a cheap Asian-made diesel-powered generator?

One of my dreams in life is to live off the grid, mostly solar, but with a big diesel powered generator/welder to weld and to run the big shop equipment.

Someday.
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Old 01-27-2012, 03:37 PM   #2430
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nod View Post

To try and drag this back into the same zipcode as welding - I have seen browsing through catalogs various self-powered welders (intended say for mounting on maintenance trucks to run standalone). I'm sure some have had convenience outlets for running power tools/lights/etc. Lord help me but every expensive toy has got to be some kind of Swiss Army knife for me (got a GS after all, didn't I?). Is there any practically smallish implementation of these welders that could pinch hit in a backup generator role, or are they just stupidly large and expensive beyond all sense for a hobbbyist/hacker type application?

It would save me the price of the extra outlet on my dryer circuit.
Check out Miller Bobcat series. 10kw single phase or 11kw 3 phase generator plus onboard stick welder. Accessories add mig and tig capabilities. Around $3500 new for base unit. A "big" unit like what you're imagining can easily run $15-20k.
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