Arc welder and house lights/appliances

Hello all!

Finally considering an arc welder. I still must decide between buying/building either a transformer type or one based in a truck alternator. Pricewise, buy/build the transformer (copper wire, iron laminate, etc) seems similar to build the alternator type (motor, alternator, battery, etc). There is another consideration: The effect of the load on the house appliances . When repair guys have been at the house the lights have flickered noticeably, even wiring their transformer directly to the breaker panel. I have voltage regulators at the computers, the tv and cable box but the flicker seems a bad thing to do to the house in a regular basis. If I did my math right the load for a 2HP motor would be about 8 amps, less than input amperage required for an useful transformer. Please correct if wrong. So do you guys with tranformer welders do something to alleviate the problem of simply live with it?

BTW, right now my OA rig is near empty, but since I cannot spare $$ from food and bills until year's end or so I will build a water resistor. Long ago I got from Lindsay's the booklet that explains how to do it and the materials are around the house, so the cost would be zero. Note that I have a

3-phase 208V 50amps outlet (yes I checked that), so any suggestion for improvement is welcome.
Reply to
Camilo Ramos
Loading thread data ...

Suspect the main circuit breaker and associated wiring.

Try to find out how many other houses are powered from the same pole transformer as your house. Borrow a welder or other heavy power user and confirm the flicker at your house. Try it at other connected houses. A flicker at your house with a load at a different house indicates a voltage drop problem at the pole transformer.

--Winston

Reply to
Winston

A transformer type home shop welder should not draw much current when not in use, (open circuit) They are usually an adjustable loose coupled style. Closing the coupling allows for more maximum current to flow. As they are also a drop down about 7/8:1 voltage type, The primary current is about 1/8 the secondary or welding current. Welding at 80 amps should only draw about

10 to 12 amps in a 240 v. single phase primary.

If you are experiencing major flickering or dimming of your household lighting, You should consult your power company. They should be able to positively identify the problem. If it is in your home wiring, they will advise you to consult an electrician. I would suspect a loose or deteriorated neutral service connection. Specifically if your lightbulbs seem to be short lived.

I do not understand why repairmen would apply the use of their own transformer ?

You have three phase power in your home ?

Electrically producing your own Oxygen from water will also produce twice the amount of Hydrogen gas. You would also need to compress the gasses somewhat for use in a torch. Some serious hazards to consider.

Reply to
Chipper Wood

Yes. This was semirural when the condominium was built some 25 years ago.

No I'm not planning electrolysis but a water resistor as current limiting device for arc welding

Reply to
Camilo Ramos

Is the intent to draw less wall power?

The easy answer is to weld at less amperage. Reducing the imput current won't help any; all you will get is an underpowered welder.

Reply to
Rich Jones

Have you considered running off of your vehicle ? I know a number of people that have multiple alternators under the hood and do great welding from them. One person in particular can bring a screaming V-8 to its knees while welding. Sounds like amplified finger nails on a chalk board.

Reply to
Sunworshipper

Are all or a lot of your lights flickering? Any lights that are on dimmers are very susceptable to minor voltage variations which translate into obvious flickering by the lamp. This is due to the dimmer circuit and not serious voltage fluctuations in your house. If non-dimmer circuit lights are flickering then you may have a problem.

I have a 240V/225A Miller buzz-box and typically weld at 140A or less. It is connected back to the main breaker panel. My wife says we don't have any flickering problems in the house when I weld.

Billh

Reply to
billh

Not exactly. The intent is to keep the arc from drawing more current than the house wiring can take. Thus the max available amps are limited by the breaker rating, in my case 50 amps. Obviously this is an atrociously innefficient way to get an arc for welding but its the only one that can be had for $0, which is the amount I can spend for now.

Reply to
Camilo Ramos

And a bad weld.

Reply to
SteveB

If I understand correctly, you are going to use the 208V volts as welding potential through a water resistor to limit the current so you don't pop the breaker. If so, what you are likely to do is kill yourself since the stinger will have the full voltage applied to it when not welding. I believe the open-circuit voltage of buzz-boxes is not supposed to be higher than around

80V and for good reason. Suggest you wait until you can afford a safer setup - good coffin probably costs more than a used buzz-box. billh
Reply to
billh

Not a very safe way to weld as open circuit voltage between electrode and work would be at line voltage. Not to mention electrode/resistor to ground also at line voltage. Save up and buy a used 'Buzz box' for about $50 usd. or so. Much safer and adjustable.

Chipper Wood useoursatyahoodotcom

----- Original Message ----- From: "Camilo Ramos" Newsgroups: rec.crafts.metalworking,sci.engr.joining.welding Sent: Tuesday, July 13, 2004 2:05 PM Subject: Re: Arc welder and house lights/appliances

Reply to
Chipper Wood

Or buy a cheapy Chinese MIG. They typically use less amperage.

Gunner

"The entire population of Great Britain has been declared insane by their government. It is believed that should any one of them come in possession of a firearm, he will immediately start to foam at the mouth and begin kiling children at the nearest school. The proof of their insanity is that they actually believe this." -- someone in misc.survivalism

Reply to
Gunner

"Chipper Wood" wrote: (clip) Electrically producing your own Oxygen from water will also produce twice the amount of Hydrogen gas. You would also need to compress the gasses somewhat for use in a torch. Some serious hazards to consider. (clip) ^^^^^^^^^^ I have a book on welding which describes a setup for oxy-hydrogen welding based on this exact technique. The water is broken down to a mixture of hydrogen and oxygen by electric current. This flows to a torch, where it burns, and the only combustion product is water vapor. The flame is supposed to be very clean, and what is neat--you only need water and an electrical outlet, so the cost of operation would be almost zero.

I have never seen one, but I would like to have one, I think. I am guessing that you would control the flame by turning the current up or down.

Reply to
Leo Lichtman

Better use a GFI plug to be safe, lol.

Reply to
Lance

Goes without saying.

This is an awful conplicated (and maybe dangerous) way to avoid turning down the knob.

Reply to
Rich Jones

Well from my reading of old posts it was a method used on ocasion on the first half of the XX century, the Golden Age of Unsafe Practices :). It appears also in an issue of Scientific American of 1966, with several 1000 watt nichrome elements as resistors. Its author also points out the high open voltage but he connected his design to 110 V.

Reply to
Camilo Ramos

I'm a carless person (looking down in shame :) ) . My other plan is to power an scrouged alternator with a motor. I have seen several plans for this.

Reply to
Camilo Ramos

Sorta gives a new meaning to the term "tombstone welder"

Reply to
Jim Stewart

Have you considered using regular car batteries???

I have used 2 or 3 hooked up in series (depending on thickness of steel & rod etc.) Although dangerous, it can be used in the bush using jumper cables, vice grips to hold the rod and all you need is a small welders lens and an asortment of rods.

Check it out

formatting link

Reply to
Derek

You had me going early this morning , I kept thinking careless as I was getting ready and then it hit me car less ! I kept getting visions of you burning down the vehicle or thinking it would mess up the other electrical things from carelessly wiring it up. Well from what I've seen make sure you get a big enough engine to weld what you want. That's why I jumped on a free 500 ci caddy motor , but the way gas is going up I don't know... I might trade it for something a little smaller. Time will tell.

Reply to
Sunworshipper

PolyTech Forum website is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here. All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.