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110v welder?


Justin Keller

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Since I don't have a 220 plug in my garage (and probably won't put one in any time soon), I'm wondering if it's worth looking into 110v welders.
I don't have a very big budget, any recommendations for decent brands/models that won't cost me an arm and a leg?
Most of my limited experience is with DC arc welding, would you recommend that I pick up a mig welder instead? Would one work better than the other on 110v?

Justin

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My dad has a Hobart handler 140, my brother has been putting service bays in a chain of oil change shops back together with it. He runs into duty cycle, but has learned to work with that. My brother has burned a lot of flux core in the past couple of years on this "side job" with this machine.

Hobart is part of Miller.

Phil

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I have a Lincoln 110. I use the heck out of it and it has it's place with the other welders. It is portable, and 110v can be found almost anywhere where 220 is not. I don't use mine with argon gas so I can use it outside in most any conditions. I like Lincoln and Miller welders.

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I have a Lincoln 140 for onsite work. I do use gas shield and use cardboard or my body to break the wind when needed. I have used the hobart miller and offbrand machines. I'd take Miller as on par with Lincoln, hobart becomes my third choice and doing without over an off brand unless I could get one for $50.

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Watch craigslist for a used one, they often do not see much use and I have found that the older lincoln machines are far better than the new ones they sell, look for an older lncoln SP 100 or SP135, some have the gas solenoid installed (just look at the back of the machine if there is a copper fitting sticking out it has it) I use my SP 100 for lots of small jobs using innershield wire, got a job repairing a water tank and it paid for its self that day.
If I was going to buy a new machine I would most likely get a miller, they are a bit heavier than the older Lincolns but the quality is better than the new Lincolns

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You don't have a 220 plug but you do have a hefty amperage 110 circuit to the garage? Or will you be having to run a 110 circuit that will handle welder amps? (and if so I'd suggest biting the bullet and running 220!)

Any decent good sized welder will probably *not* work on a 15 or 20 amp regular circuit.

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If you have princess auto where you are, I think you do. I got a 110V powerfist flux/mig welder last year. Its done just fine for me no problems. I know a couple of people that have them aswell and have no complaints. Plus there real cheap and have I think a 5 year warranty. I think mine was $150. Haven't bothered converting to gas yet, flux has been doing just fine. Hope this helps.

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Thomas the 110v machines that I have seen are rated for 20 amp. I regularly run mine on a 15 amp but it requires some finesse to keep from tripping the breaker. This is a necessity on a job site where many times there is a couple of 15 amp or 20 amp circuits and a lot extension cords all over the place. No 220 available.

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Since I don't have a 220 plug in my garage (and probably won't put one in any time soon), I'm wondering if it's worth looking into 110v welders.
I don't have a very big budget, any recommendations for decent brands/models that won't cost me an arm and a leg?
Most of my limited experience is with DC arc welding, would you recommend that I pick up a mig welder instead? Would one work better than the other on 110v?

Justin

If you want to stay away from expanding your wiring and and want to be able to effectively join thicker pieces of metal then rather than look at a 110 welder(which is a light duty machine at best),I would be looking at buying a good used set of torches.
The torches will allow you to heat for bending, weld,braze,solder and cut.They will also allow you to weld or braze thicker material than a 110 unit will.
If money is tight then you`ll find you`ll get more for your dollar using torches rather than a 110 unit IMO.
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I just checked, my garage breakers are indeed 15 amp and all of the 110 welders that I've seen are a 20 amp input.

Is it possible to just replace the 15 amp breaker and outlets with 20 amp? Or do I have to run a different gauge of wire as well? If so, then like Thomas said I might as well just pay to have the 220 run.

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Breakers are designed to protect not only the equipment on the circuit, but also the wiring.
Most newer homes are run with 14/2. A 110v welder on a 50 amp circuit should have at a minimum, 12/2.
Is your dryer elect., and if so, is it the garage?
Where is the main box? On a exterior garage wall?

A new, (correct), circuit is a lot cheaper than a fire repair.


MOD NOTE: these figures are not correct please see a real electrician for wire needed. 12/2 is only rated for up to 20 amps not 50.

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How far is the run? The wire to pull a 50A 110V/220V circuit is about $300 for running 100 ft of wire. You may find a better price shopping around, this price is from a big box. I am trying to find a way to run my circuit with less, but may have to strip the walls in my garage to do so.

That is #6 3 conductor with ground. If your wire is over 100ft you need to go up to #4.

You will save money by pulling the rough circuit per the electrician, and the electrician just does the ends.

Phil

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As has been mentioned you need to know what gauge wire is run for that circuit to know if you could up amp it. Note that welders usually have a dedicated circuit, meaning nothing else is on it as all load counts against the max amps!

Another thing to be on the look out for is a circuit run for a window mount airconditioner. They are often a higher amp rating and dedicated.

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I would just like to suggest that if you do buy a 110V MIG welder, is that you stay with a name brand and purchase it from your local welding supplier and not a home center or buy from a catalog. You will find it will be easier to get your consumables and sevice with the machine if something should go wrong. I know with Lincoln their units you puchase from your supplier and what you get in a home center are not the same on the inside even they say Lincoln on the outside. They use more plastic parts and aluminum wiring. The same goes for Miller and Hobart. It will cost a little more up front but it is worth it. If price is a issue, which for most of us it is still stay with a name brand and you should be happy. :D

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if you're trying to save money and not run a new circuit or sub panel, i would look into a dvi from miller. These machines come with a plug for both 110 and 220. That way if you do upgrade later you have a decent 220 machine. They automatically switch to the power they are plugged into. I have a mig and tig welder, both millers. I love them and have never had an issue with them. I bit the bullet and upgraded my home to a 200 amp panel and ran a 100 amp sub panel to the shop with a dedicated line for my welders. If you have room in your breaker box, you might be able to run a dedicated line for your welder. I would advise sticking with the name brand welders though. I am a union ironworker, and i rarely see new lincolns anymore, but tons of millers. I think that speaks for itself.

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I just checked, my garage breakers are indeed 15 amp and all of the 110 welders that I've seen are a 20 amp input.

Is it possible to just replace the 15 amp breaker and outlets with 20 amp? Or do I have to run a different gauge of wire as well? If so, then like Thomas said I might as well just pay to have the 220 run.



The 110 v welders will run fine on a 15 amp circuit, 20 amp is better but 15 amp will work I assure you we do it all the time with 100 feet of extension cord as well
and ironstein is correct you do see more new millers in the field, they are better quality machines, although the older lincolns are lighter and they will take alot of abuse and I prefer them to all others myself, when you have to pull that machine up four levels of scaffolding first thing in the morning an extra 7 lbs makes a big difference
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  • 1 month later...

Since I don't have a 220 plug in my garage (and probably won't put one in any time soon), I'm wondering if it's worth looking into 110v welders.
I don't have a very big budget, any recommendations for decent brands/models that won't cost me an arm and a leg?
Most of my limited experience is with DC arc welding, would you recommend that I pick up a mig welder instead? Would one work better than the other on 110v?

Justin


Its easy to add a 220V plug to your garage. Just purchase a double breaker that will snap in place in the existing panel. I added one in my garage in less than an hour and the cost was minimal.

If you are stuck on the 110 volt then try a Campbell Hausfeld WG2060. It is inexpensive, versatile, and runs on a 20 amp 115 volt circuit.

Scott
Fab Manager
Welders360
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You can always turn a 220 machine down but, it's hard to turn a 110 machine up if the machine is not hot enough to do so. There will be times you need a bigger welder. I've learned over the years to get what I want and not anything else. If I'm not happy with the thoughts of buying it I'll not be happy with it when I get it home.

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