20amp or 15 amp breaker with 110 mig

Someone here once posted that if you use a 20amp breaker for the
circuit that your 110 mig is on, it'll weld a lot better. I'm
confused as to the reason for this. If I'm not tripping the 15 amp
breaker when using my mig, how is a 20 amp gate going to help this?
It doesn't pass any more current unless I draw more than the 15 amps,
in which case I should be tripping the 15 amp breaker.
Anyone??
Reply to
Jamie Arnold (W)
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You are absolutely correct. The only situation where it might be better is if you have a long run of #14 wire protected with a 15A breaker and replace it with #12 wire protected by either a 15A or 20A breaker. Note that a 15A breaker in good shape doesn't pop at 15.1A. In fact you can probably draw 20-30A from it for a considerable time before it will open. Billh
Reply to
billh
If you are going to replace that 15 amp breaker with a 20amp breaker, then you need to replace the plug with a 20smp plug also. Go to the store and ask for a NEMA 5-20R. It'll look just like a regular 110v 15amp plug, but it'll have a horizonal 'T' on one of the plug ins. This way it'll take either a 15amp plug or a 20amp plug.
you don't want to have a 15amp plug breaker. It's a fire hazzard as if the plug can't handle it, it might get hot and the breaker won't trip until 20amps is hit.
of course you'll need to make sure that's 12gauge wire running to that plug also, which it most likely is unless the electrical contractor got cheap.
oh... you'll need to replace all plugs on that circuit with 20amp plugs, not just the one you use your welder on. If you have more than one plug on that circuit.
-mike
on a 20amp
Reply to
Michael Sutton
That's what I thought. I asked a buddy who is a master electrician and he said the same thing. Guess I'll just stick with the 15amp breaker and use the 220 circuit with the Tig when i need more amps.
Thanks
J
Reply to
James Arnold
There is no NEC requirement for using 20A receptacles on 20 amp circuits. 20 amp receptacles are called for based on the current draw of what you're plugging into that receptacle.
Reply to
ATP
It won't work any better with a 20 amp breaker. It may work a little better with 12 gauge wire and less voltage drop. In any case, 14 gauge wiring and 15 amp circuits are not really appropriate for plugging appliances into- they are meant for lamps and radios, not toasters or welding machines.
Reply to
ATP
My garage is wired with 12 ga wire on all the outlets. The outlets are 15amp receptacles.
Thanks
J
Reply to
James Arnold
I wouldn't lose any sleep over that. Why are they on a 15 amp breaker?
Reply to
ATP
Dunno...that's the way it was built. The homeowner built the garage and breezeway about 4 years after they built the house.
J
Reply to
James Arnold
Right. The main reason for a 20 amp circuit (not just the breaker), is if you need to weld at greater than 90 amps (welding current). In other words, a 120 or 135 "amp" 120 volt welder isn't really capable of that much welding current unless fed from a 20 amp circuit. As long as you don't try to use more than 90 amps, a 15 amp circuit is fine.
It is all about power (which is heat in the weld zone). 120 * 15 = 1800 watts. 120 * 20 = 2400 watts. Your welder can't output more heat than the watts it draws. In fact since it isn't 100% efficient, it can't output as much power as it draws. So if you can do your weld with less than 1800 watts, you don't need the heavier circuit. But if you need more heat, you need the heavier circuit to supply the power to produce it.
Gary
Reply to
Gary Coffman

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