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Welder Questions


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Steve can correct me on this, but as I understand it, the amp ratings of the power cord, plug, receptacle, wiring, and breaker all indicate whether or not they can handle the maximum amp load put out by your machine. Those ratings can be larger than what the machine needs, but they cannot be smaller without causing problems. Think of water flowing through a pipe: you can fit a small amount of water in a big pipe, but you can't fit a large amount through a small pipe.

I looked up your welder (the Amico 160, right?), and while I didn't see a manufacturer's website, the Home Depot listing gives its input as 20 amps at 115 volts and 30 amps at 230 volts. That means that if you are running the higher voltage, you must have at least 30 amp ratings on every part of your system. It looks like the existing power cord has a NEMA 6-50 plug rather than a NEMA 6-30, but I suspect that that is to match the wiring in most welding shops (because most 220/230 volt welders draw substantially more than 30 amps, and you wouldn't waste money on undersized circuits). It also builds in a safety margin in that part of the system, so that if anything burns out, it's not going to be the plug.

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JHCC, that amp rating on the Home Depot website had me a little confused. Wouldn't the machine draw more amps running on the lower voltage than the higher voltage for a given load? If volts*amps = watts, wouldn't doubling the voltage half the amps, it the output watts stay constant?

TP: That alone seems like a good reason to not change anything on it. 

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