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zeb596
06-16-2007, 06:02 PM
Hello,

I just purchased a new Lincoln MIG welder which has a 230v, 3-prong connection.. I bought the welder thinking I would be able to use my existing outlet for my dryer. Problem is, my dryer has the newer style 4-prong outlet. I was thinking I could buy a new 4-prong dryer cord and attach the needed 3-prong receptacle on the other end. From the research I have done, it looks like this may be possible by not using the neutral wire on the receptacle side since the welders do not utilize the neutral wire. Is this correct? Has anyone done something like this or have any suggestions to making this work short of installing a new outlet?

If my plan would work, does it matter which side I connect the black and red wires on the receptacle?

Thanks,

Jason :confused:

in2steam
06-21-2007, 12:19 AM
It (the welder)does not have a neutral now, so yes its possible, you are in a better postion then me I have the old style 230-30 amp angled prong which has no ground(two hots and a neutral). Just make sure your ground is on the proper lug.

chris

DareBee
06-21-2007, 08:15 AM
The 3 prong plug is standard for single phase welders.
Yes you can connect to a 4 prong plug and eliminate the neutral. The only reason your stove has a neutral is so it can split the 220 into 110 to run the light bulbs and clock, etc.

teksaport
03-18-2008, 03:40 AM
It (the welder)does not have a neutral now, so yes its possible, you are in a better postion then me I have the old style 230-30 amp angled prong which has no ground(two hots and a neutral). Just make sure your ground is on the proper lug.

chris

Chris, you mentioned you had the older prong cord. I just bought a really old arc welder with this 3 prong cable. Can you tell me what you did to get it working? I'm needing a 4 prong setup, but I'm really unsure how to change it around.

Thanks
John

mc-motorsports
03-18-2008, 06:15 AM
Chris, you mentioned you had the older prong cord. I just bought a really old arc welder with this 3 prong cable. Can you tell me what you did to get it working? I'm needing a 4 prong setup, but I'm really unsure how to change it around.

Thanks
John

Just change the outlet to a 50a 3 prong. As mentioned, the 4 prong uses the two hots which make up the 220 and the neutral when used with one of the hots gets you 110v. Use a VOM and measure voltage between the wires. You should have two blacks and a white, possibly a black, a red and a white. The two blacks or a black and a red would be 220. White and either of the other two would be your 110, but check using a VOM.

in2steam
03-18-2008, 09:47 AM
Just change the outlet to a 50a 3 prong. As mentioned, the 4 prong uses the two hots which make up the 220 and the neutral when used with one of the hots gets you 110v. Use a VOM and measure voltage between the wires. You should have two blacks and a white, possibly a black, a red and a white. The two blacks or a black and a red would be 220. White and either of the other two would be your 110, but check using a VOM.

NO NO NO

Changing your outlet esp in a house to a 50 recp, is a major no no unless you go through the trouble or rewiring the service to that outlet and replace the breaker for the proper rating. In most cases these days that is work an electrican must do, even if you are the home owner. It is far easier, cheaper and for the most part safer to change the plug end or create an adaptor cord (two differnt style plugs) as I have done. Again you need to make sure the gauge of wire is correct and hooked up correctly.

Also there are multiple types of 3 and 4 prong ends , up to and including 3 phase, so you need to make sure you get the right one. Even I, who works in maintenance had to take the plug end with me to the store to make sure I get the right one as there are alot. As mentioned you can use the 4 prong outlet style with the 3 prong straight types if they fit, but most welders I work with don't, as the amperage rating is higher rating. Some of the newest houses are running those but I would say the majority are not. I have an even older style were the prongs are set at 30 degress from straight.

If you are unsure of what too do, find an electrican explain what you need to do and they will tell what is legal for your local area and the NEC. There is an danger also to running the neutral as a ground mainly if there is a short circuit, the saying I know what I am doing goes along way here, if you don't then don't try this.
chris

teksaport
03-18-2008, 01:10 PM
NO NO NO

Changing your outlet esp in a house to a 50 recp, is a major no no unless you go through the trouble or rewiring the service to that outlet and replace the breaker for the proper rating. In most cases these days that is work an electrican must do, even if you are the home owner. It is far easier, cheaper and for the most part safer to change the plug end or create an adaptor cord (two differnt style plugs) as I have done. Again you need to make sure the gauge of wire is correct and hooked up correctly.

Also there are multiple types of 3 and 4 prong ends , up to and including 3 phase, so you need to make sure you get the right one. Even I, who works in maintenance had to take the plug end with me to the store to make sure I get the right one as there are alot. As mentioned you can use the 4 prong outlet style with the 3 prong straight types if they fit, but most welders I work with don't, as the amperage rating is higher rating. Some of the newest houses are running those but I would say the majority are not. I have an even older style were the prongs are set at 30 degress from straight.

If you are unsure of what too do, find an electrican explain what you need to do and they will tell what is legal for your local area and the NEC. There is an danger also to running the neutral as a ground mainly if there is a short circuit, the saying I know what I am doing goes along way here, if you don't then don't try this.
chris

Thanks Chris, that's a good saying and I'm not comfortable with 220 (110/120 no problem), so I think I'll leave the outlet alone for now. I was hoping to run my new/(older) welder from my generator (6500 watt) from it's 4 prong modern outlet (30amp, but that should be ok as I won't be running the welder at full tilt).
But my welder has a very old 3 prong which is like yours with the angled prongs (and I'm finding very little on the net for this old plug style). I was informed that this plug end has 2 hots and a neutral. So if I removed the cable and attached a 4 prong cable, but attached the 4th (ground) to the welder body (for ground - presuming a good ground), would that do the trick?

Thanks
John

in2steam
03-18-2008, 04:01 PM
John,
Quite frankly if you are not comfortable with 110 then you are not comfortable with 220. They are just as dangerous, and in several ways lower votlages are worse. But enough of my high horse, my simple solution was to go over to friends house and use his welder mainly because the winter here was so harsh that I just started to see my driveway early this weekend. My landlord asked that i weld outside, and who am I to argue its his house. This was of course after I went out and bought the plugs and cording. You can find the female plug at any home depot, you will need a 4x4(deep) box if they don't have a self contained end, mine was, the male plug was a little harder to find but once I found it I was set, I think I ended up going to Lowes, but i don't remember anymore, they still are around you just have too look I spent around $60 if memory serves. Your third prong(on welder), and I will not say that this is a 100% for sure, is for the ground not neutral, you should look inside the welder and see how the wires terminate, the ground wire will screw to the body shortly after the cord comes inside. Hooking to the neutral in all likely hood will do nothing(as most are grounded anyway), but could be a problem if there is a short on one hot leg only. The other problem is that if you ground your machine to the neutral run the chance of getting zapped from feedback through the chassis.

On older equipment it was very commmon to see all black wires, or all red, or all green, or all blue, or any mix, the green ground standard is normally true but don't assume. There should also be a plate on the inside showing the wiring diagram ther almost always is. The fourth prong(on new style) is for the ground, you can ground to the conduit of your outlet if its run to the box and if that box is grounded. If not then I don't recommend it, alot of houses built since 1960 have just nomex(unless you can get at the nomex ground) or partial(conduit ends above a certain point), so be sure. Most electrical items don't need a ground, untill of course they short out, the nice thing about 220 vs 110 is that the circuit is double break, the bad thing is that its got nowhere to go should the ground fault happen while you are hold the electrode. I personally would not trust an older piece of equipment in such a setup you run alot more risk of problems. My miller is only a couple years old and has about 5 minutes on it.
Also old welders(this depends upon the style also) and generators don't get along real well, the inrush will most likely trip your circuit breaker at 6500 watts.


chris

teksaport
03-18-2008, 05:24 PM
John,
Quite frankly if you are not comfortable with 110 then you are not comfortable with 220. They are just as dangerous, and in several ways lower votlages are worse. But enough of my high horse, my simple solution was to go over to friends house and use his welder mainly because the winter here was so harsh that I just started to see my driveway early this weekend. My landlord asked that i weld outside, and who am I to argue its his house. This was of course after I went out and bought the plugs and cording. You can find the female plug at any home depot, you will need a 4x4(deep) box if they don't have a self contained end, mine was, the male plug was a little harder to find but once I found it I was set, I think I ended up going to Lowes, but i don't remember anymore, they still are around you just have too look I spent around $60 if memory serves. Your third prong(on welder), and I will not say that this is a 100% for sure, is for the ground not neutral, you should look inside the welder and see how the wires terminate, the ground wire will screw to the body shortly after the cord comes inside. Hooking to the neutral in all likely hood will do nothing(as most are grounded anyway), but could be a problem if there is a short on one hot leg only. The other problem is that if you ground your machine to the neutral run the chance of getting zapped from feedback through the chassis.

On older equipment it was very commmon to see all black wires, or all red, or all green, or all blue, or any mix, the green ground standard is normally true but don't assume. There should also be a plate on the inside showing the wiring diagram ther almost always is. The fourth prong(on new style) is for the ground, you can ground to the conduit of your outlet if its run to the box and if that box is grounded. If not then I don't recommend it, alot of houses built since 1960 have just nomex(unless you can get at the nomex ground) or partial(conduit ends above a certain point), so be sure. Most electrical items don't need a ground, untill of course they short out, the nice thing about 220 vs 110 is that the circuit is double break, the bad thing is that its got nowhere to go should the ground fault happen while you are hold the electrode. I personally would not trust an older piece of equipment in such a setup you run alot more risk of problems. My miller is only a couple years old and has about 5 minutes on it.
Also old welders(this depends upon the style also) and generators don't get along real well, the inrush will most likely trip your circuit breaker at 6500 watts.


chris

Chris, I'm sorry but I might have mislead you. I am very comfortable with 110/120 AC. I have a good comprehension for AC and DC power, but not 220. And I thank you for responding and helping me out and for your suggestions. I will do as you suggest and open the case and see if there is any diagram. That should answer and help me decide. If indeed the 3rd prong is a ground, then I will simply take a 4prong wire and simply not hook up the neutral wire to anything, would this be ok? If the 3rd prong is a neutral and not a ground, would be be ok to still use a 4 prong cable and either connect the ground to the neutral as in a dryer, or split them out so that the ground is on the metal case and the neutral is attached to where it is now, or might be now (depending on if that 3rd prong is neutral or ground). Would that be ok?

Thanks again,
John

in2steam
03-18-2008, 06:13 PM
John,
Thats my standard disclaimer,
~thou shall not touch something without understanding it and what it can do fully~
Simply put, not every setup but a majority....
220vac in a house(not industrial), is 2 110 VAC lines(legs), they are cumlative together, if you take one line and go to the neutral(or a ground for that matter) it makes 110VAC the terms 110-120 is used loosely most people refer to them as 120vac. It is the A and B or A and C or the C and B of a 3 phase setup, any two for the most part. In a Y wound transformer the neutral is the center tap and provides 0 volts. Hence the double break circuit breaker on a 220 line they are both hot, to only trip one would be hazaradus to say the least as you would still have one hot leg.

~though shall not use a single break on 220VAC always double~

Not hooking the neutral if it is so wired without will not harm anything on that welder if there is not one. If there is a neutral then you will need it, but I would pretty much think its the first choice. Neutral is part of the 110VAC system, and is not entended to be a second ground although they are often the same potential 0 and connection at some point in the system.
Since most all welders are transformers they can achieve 110volts or what ever votlage required internally anyway so I find unlikely that there is a neutral, unless its got some sort of motor in it.

~seperate but equal~

I am not keen on hooking grounds to neutrals, outside of the circuit boxes or services as that is the end of line and the circuit protection is there. So if you don't have a ground, don't connect it to the neutral, and if you want to you can add the ground by grounding the chassis of the welder, using the 4 the wire and 4th prong and hopefully the rest of the system is grounded past your plug.

~though shall not provide mutliple grounds to the same piece of equipement~

In the case of your third pin on the welder is a ground leave it blank, as you will be moving that one to the fourth pin on the other end. The neutral can "float" in the cable unterminated or only use a 3 conductor cable.

In the case of your third pin on the welder is a neutral, either a: add a ground to the fourth cable and pin via drilling a ground screw to the chassis, or B: don't hook it up as was before which worked for all these years albiet not the safest approach.

Chris

teksaport
03-18-2008, 08:04 PM
John,
Thats my standard disclaimer,
~thou shall not touch something without understanding it and what it can do fully~
Simply put, not every setup but a majority....
220vac in a house(not industrial), is 2 110 VAC lines(legs), they are cumlative together, if you take one line and go to the neutral(or a ground for that matter) it makes 110VAC the terms 110-120 is used loosely most people refer to them as 120vac. It is the A and B or A and C or the C and B of a 3 phase setup, any two for the most part. In a Y wound transformer the neutral is the center tap and provides 0 volts. Hence the double break circuit breaker on a 220 line they are both hot, to only trip one would be hazaradus to say the least as you would still have one hot leg.

~though shall not use a single break on 220VAC always double~

Not hooking the neutral if it is so wired without will not harm anything on that welder if there is not one. If there is a neutral then you will need it, but I would pretty much think its the first choice. Neutral is part of the 110VAC system, and is not entended to be a second ground although they are often the same potential 0 and connection at some point in the system.
Since most all welders are transformers they can achieve 110volts or what ever votlage required internally anyway so I find unlikely that there is a neutral, unless its got some sort of motor in it.

~seperate but equal~

I am not keen on hooking grounds to neutrals, outside of the circuit boxes or services as that is the end of line and the circuit protection is there. So if you don't have a ground, don't connect it to the neutral, and if you want to you can add the ground by grounding the chassis of the welder, using the 4 the wire and 4th prong and hopefully the rest of the system is grounded past your plug.

~though shall not provide mutliple grounds to the same piece of equipement~

In the case of your third pin on the welder is a ground leave it blank, as you will be moving that one to the fourth pin on the other end. The neutral can "float" in the cable unterminated or only use a 3 conductor cable.

In the case of your third pin on the welder is a neutral, either a: add a ground to the fourth cable and pin via drilling a ground screw to the chassis, or B: don't hook it up as was before which worked for all these years albiet not the safest approach.

Chris

Well, finally I opened the case and wa-la, you are correct, (2) hots and (1) ground. The two hots (white and black) are going to the power switch, and then over to the outer and inner taps on one of the windings, and the green is attached to the inside of the metal case. So if I would have looked first, that was pretty obvious. There is a second winding and both taps are going out to the stick holding cable and the ground clamp. That really helps solve the problem for me. Thanks for all of your information. I hope/believe I have what I need now to proceed.

And I have learned quite a bit of 220 (non-commercial - single phase). It really is much easier than I remembered when I was first learning it. The 3 phase, 180 degree's out of phase or whatever is still a bit hard on my brain, but I don't need to know that yet and so maybe that's why I don't get it. But the 220 made up of 2 (110/115/120) is really easy as I get 110v. And I guess that is slightly wrong as the voltage coming from the power company is really like 7200v or something transformed down to 240v (I think single phase), and then split out to 110v not the other way around of (2) 110v combined into 220v. So anyway, it's all good as I now think I can get it up and running.

Thanks again for the help,
John

mc-motorsports
03-19-2008, 02:40 AM
I stand corrected, that was dumb to say "just change the outlet", the gauge wire needs to be verified or upgraded, and I'm sure your going to pull the breaker before you do any work, so changing it isn't a problem.

Don't neutral ground a welder. Earth ground it. I've seen guys do it on MIG welders, you CANNOT neutral ground a TIG welder, the HF won't work, plus it's just not a good idea.

in2steam
03-19-2008, 09:04 AM
I stand corrected, that was dumb to say "just change the outlet", the gauge wire needs to be verified or upgraded, and I'm sure your going to pull the breaker before you do any work, so changing it isn't a problem.

Don't neutral ground a welder. Earth ground it. I've seen guys do it on MIG welders, you CANNOT neutral ground a TIG welder, the HF won't work, plus it's just not a good idea.

Understandable, i do that stuff all the time too.

in2steam
03-19-2008, 09:23 AM
And I have learned quite a bit of 220 (non-commercial - single phase). It really is much easier than I remembered when I was first learning it. The 3 phase, 180 degree's out of phase or whatever is still a bit hard on my brain, but I don't need to know that yet and so maybe that's why I don't get it. But the 220 made up of 2 (110/115/120) is really easy as I get 110v. And I guess that is slightly wrong as the voltage coming from the power company is really like 7200v or something transformed down to 240v (I think single phase), and then split out to 110v not the other way around of (2) 110v combined into 220v. So anyway, it's all good as I now think I can get it up and running.

Thanks again for the help,
John

No problem what make is this thing anyway?

3 phase and single phase are 120 degrees out of sync across each phase, and requires only 3 power wires.
2 phase (which is no longer used ) was 90 out sync and required at least 4 wires.
You were correct on your first assumtion of how the power is delivered, it comes to your house at a high voltage at least 4350VAC most power compaines run 3 phase to there poles, unless you live out in the sticks were its not practical. At the pole its dropped down to 220 VAC residential(those big gray tubs on each block if you live in the city), 240VAC is for comerical (3 phase and woudl have 3 transformers or one real big one) unless you have a feeder service then you transform it to what you need. The big differnece between the 220, and 110 is that you are taking only half of the power in a single cycle when you bond to a neutral. When you go to another hot its now 220 and on another part of a cycle 120 degrees electrically, for ease of explantion most books show it 180s apart. If you draw a line down the middle of a sine wave and look at each peak the differnce between the top and the middle is 120 volts, and the middle and the bottom is 120 volts, but when you go from top to bottom it is 220 volts. And of course this is all in RMS not true peaks, true peaks your voltage is like 280 if I remember correctly.
Happy beads
Chris

teksaport
03-19-2008, 03:30 PM
No problem what make is this thing anyway?

3 phase and single phase are 120 degrees out of sync across each phase, and requires only 3 power wires.
2 phase (which is no longer used ) was 90 out sync and required at least 4 wires.
You were correct on your first assumtion of how the power is delivered, it comes to your house at a high voltage at least 4350VAC most power compaines run 3 phase to there poles, unless you live out in the sticks were its not practical. At the pole its dropped down to 220 VAC residential(those big gray tubs on each block if you live in the city), 240VAC is for comerical (3 phase and woudl have 3 transformers or one real big one) unless you have a feeder service then you transform it to what you need. The big differnece between the 220, and 110 is that you are taking only half of the power in a single cycle when you bond to a neutral. When you go to another hot its now 220 and on another part of a cycle 120 degrees electrically, for ease of explantion most books show it 180s apart. If you draw a line down the middle of a sine wave and look at each peak the differnce between the top and the middle is 120 volts, and the middle and the bottom is 120 volts, but when you go from top to bottom it is 220 volts. And of course this is all in RMS not true peaks, true peaks your voltage is like 280 if I remember correctly.
Happy beads
Chris


Chris, this is an old craftsman model. I don't have it with me to tell you the actual model number, but the guy I bought it from (although he was wrong on the wiring), said it was approx 15 years old.

Thanks
John

DougRodrigues
06-22-2010, 02:57 AM
If the neutrals are gounded to the service box, and the box is grounded to earth, what difference does it make to ground the outlet's ground wire to the neutral that's mounted on the box itself? On my 230 volt outlet in the garage, I've got the 50 foot ground wire running back to the service box via the conduit, AND connected to a ground rod at the outlet end to guarantee a good ground. What could possibly be wrong with that? The three wire 50 amp outlet is designed for two hots and a ground. If there were a fourth wire...the neutral, what difference is there if that neutral was grounded?

in2steam
06-22-2010, 12:39 PM
Well a number of things,

First we were talking about a 3 prong 30 amp 2 hots and a neutral, ground was a provided by the conduit if needed. These are the types used by your run of the mill dryer in the US which run 110 and 220. Pretty much everyone now uses a 4 pin plug for 220 VAC since most devices require 110 VAC also. And I am pretty sure thats code also in many areas. A 50 amp 3 prong stove outlet is another animal, which should have the proper wire gage and breakers installed if used.

Second you assume that only the area you are working on can lead to ground, but you can have voltage come through that way in the "opposite" direction from something else. Thus providing an alternate ground path, this in of itself is not really a bad thing unless you have for some crazy reason all the current running through that particular second ground leg. For this reason you should maintain only one ground of proper wire gage.

Third assumption that the neutral is another ground, its intention is to complete a 110VAC circuit, not to act as a ground although yes they are almost always at the same potential in a house. Some neutrals can float and don't always have a 0 potential, this is typically in a 3 phase system, I believe the code writers decided that it is safer for an electrician to not assume that all neutrals are 0 and ground at the same time. Have you ever grabbed a neutral and got zapped? I have, some one wired a device incorrectly, so internally it was reversed, it had a motor and a heater and it would pass a great deal of amperage through the line to the other side because the motor would actually generate enough emf to make the heater work neutral to ground as the circuit.

This is not an assumption but its more then likely not legal, you should only have one ground rod. Also now there are GFCI's that are required and this could mess with them in the future installations from what I understand. These have changed drastically in recent times esp the last year or two.

PS you may want to check date stamps as this post is several years old now.

Best regards,
Chris