How to get 110 VAC 30-40Amps or 220VAC anywhere.

Here's how to get either 110VAC 30AMPS or a 220VAC circuit from 2
110VAC extension cords. (no O-scope required)
Take two beefy 12Ga extension cords and plug them into 2 receptacles
in different rooms. Each cord can safely carry the current that it was
designed to carry.
The other ends go into a large electrical box.
In the box there are two beefy 110Volt 20aMP receptacles and a 220Volt
receptacle.
The 'weak' link is the 20 Amp receptacle that is under rated for 30-40
Amps. However, the welder is just a few feet away and I do not
consider it unsafe.
In a 3 hole receptacle there is a wide slot on the left, neutral A
small slot on the right, hot A round hole beneath, ground.
Using a multimeter on the 250 VAC range, measure the voltage between
the 2 hots.
If it measures 220, you connect each hot to 2 opposite terminals of the
220 receptacle and the neutral and the ground to the third terminal.
You have a 220 VAC circuit. Plug your 220VAC welder in there.
If the multimeter measures 0 you have tapped the same side of the
circuit breaker box. Flip one extension cord circuit breaker off.
Measure both 110 receptacles. If both are 0, you must find another 110
receptacle from a different breaker..
If only one circuit went off when you flipped the breaker, you have it.
Just connect both receptacles in parallel and you can draw 2x Amps from
your extension box. Plug you high draw 110 welder in.
The technique might be useful in reverse when connecting a generator to
your home in an emergency if the generator is far from a 220 circuit.
(I used the clothes dryer receptacle last year after hurricane Jeanne.)
Here's a commercial (pricey) box.
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In addition, Miller has directions on how to parallel 2 welders to
combine their output currents.
What is not obvious is why it isn't obvious to everyone.
BoyntonStu
Reply to
BoyntonStu
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| What is not obvious is why it isn't obvious to everyone. | | | BoyntonStu
Sigh.... I'm not a professional electrician, but I can tell you right now that trying to parallel two 110V 15A circuits to get 30A simply won't work the way you'd like. In fact, I'd venture to say its downright dangerous. Each of the legs of the 110V circuits still has a 15A breaker, therefore the limit of the entire circuit is still 15A. Secondly, since you have no neutral, one breaker will inevitably trip first, leaving the other leg quite hot and therefore deadly to you. You need to have both legs of a 220V circuit coming from paired breakers, meaning that when one trips the other goes with it, ensuring that both legs are killed. I've seen stuff like this done, but it's highly suspicious. I'm not up on UL listings, but the way this thing was described it does _not_ have a UL listing, so if you burn your house down, the insurance company won't be too willing to cough up a check. This device supposedly has a safety that prevents an output if either is gone, but whatever you whip will likely not have that.
Spring for a long extension cord of the right gauge, or be prepared to be an entry for the Darwin awards.
Reply to
carl mciver
"Sigh.... I'm not a professional electrician, but I can tell you right
now that trying to parallel two 110V 15A circuits to get 30A simply won't work the way you'd like"
Let's do a little 'thought' experiment.
Take 2 15 Amp toasters and 2 15 amp extension cords.
Place them side by side.
Will they both work at 15 amps if both breakers are 15 amps? Obviously yes.
Let's assume that you have tested the phases and that both circuits are the same phase. (zero volts between hots). (You could also make sure that both breakers are paired)
What will happen if the 2 extension cords are paralelled by connecting them to a 110 VAC receptacle pair? Nothing.
We then plug each toaster into a receptacle and turn them on. Each extenssion cord is now carrying 15 amps. Each breaker is passing 15 amps.
Each toaster is consuming 15 Amps.
We have just made a 30 amp circuit.
Boyntonstu
We have Evolved by using out brains.
Reply to
BoyntonStu
Nope. I don't work that way. You still have 2 15 amp circuits and if they are on different legs of the 220 incoming then you have a single 15 amp 220 volt circuit with an illegal breaker arrangement. Some people are too smart for their own good :) Glenn
Reply to
Glenn
You still have 2 15 amp circuits and if they are on different legs of the 220 incoming then you have a single 15 amp 220 volt circuit with an illegal breaker arrangement.
First, read my suggestion about checking for 220.
Yes, you are correct, the 220 current would be the circuit breaker limit usually 15 or 20 Amps.
There is a UL approved 220 box on the market that works with 2 extension cords.
I will list the URL as soon as I locate it.
As for the 30-40 amp 110 VAC box, I never said that it is legal.
Legality is not my issue.
The question is, "Is it safe, for the limited use that I intend to use it?"
"Some people are too smart for their own good :) "
I agree.
BoyntonStu
Reply to
BoyntonStu
Legality may not be your issue but the foundation of legality in the electrical codes is safety and that should be your issue. Just because it works doesn't mean it's the way to do it. While I won't argue that some of the electrical code could be construed as nit-picking other parts aren't. In your setup what happens if one of the neutral fails? Then the 30-40A all goes down one neutral wire. Probably wouldn't notice it in your extension cord but what happens inside your well-insulated house wall - hint: it's called overload heating.
In the 240V setup, if the equipment is plugged in and the switch is on and one of the plugs is removed from the wall then you have 120V on the exposed male pin of the plug with respect to ground. Dumb situation. Sure, you'll say why would you remove a plug but it's those dumb things that do indeed happen in a lapse of attention that the rules try to protect against.
Billh
Reply to
billh
How does having the welder a few feet away from the under-rated plug make it any safer than having the welder 50 feet away?
How do you parallel the two 110v circuits? To me, paralleling means ya hook the two separate hots together and the two separate neutrals, then tie those to common outputs. If ya tie the 2 hots together you will create a dead short between the 2 hot legs and blow some breakers.
Nate
Reply to
Nate Weber
Just further proof of Glenn's statement:
110v*15A=1650watts
So two 15Amp circuits will provide 1650watts+1650watts=3300watts
3300watts/220V=15Amps
-CAL
Reply to
NotHome
Here's a few URL's on point. "How do you parallel the two 110v circuits? To me, paralleling means ya hook the two separate hots together and the two separate neutrals, then
tie those to common outputs.
I agree. That is what I meant by paralelling. As I first indicated:
"Just connect both receptacles in parallel and you can draw 2x Amps from your extension box. Plug you high draw 110 welder in. "
If ya tie the 2 hots together you will create a dead short between the 2 hot legs and blow some breakers.
What does thiis mean? Remember, we already measured zero voltage 'tween the 2 hots.
Visit:
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Paralleling 2 welders
. And:
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Using 2-110VAC extesnion cords to make a 220VAC Receptacle.
BoyntonStu
Reply to
BoyntonStu
Ok. Now I see what you are attempting to accomplish. You can indeed parallel 2 120V circuits and get 30 amps at 120V. I thought you were trying to get 220 to run a welder. You do need to be sure your 2 circuits are on 2 different breakers. I am not sure why anyone would want a 30 amp 120V outlet though. Soo much easier and safer to pop a new breaker in the box and install the proper outlet where you want it. The only tough part is fishing the wire about. If you want to run an inherently unsafe electrical setup go for it. Just don't kill any inocents. Glenn
Reply to
Glenn
Here's why necessity was the mother of invention.
I purchased a Merlin 150 AC welder. The case says 110VAC 33.4 Amps.
As far as 110 VAC welders go, this unit is all copper, etc.
My goal is to be able to go anywhere, find 2 outlets and to weld where I need to set up with a lighweight effective 110VAC welder.
I built an adaptor today, and I just came in to cool off. It works like a charm. It cost about $7.00 in parts from HD.
I used a 20 Amp dual receptalce with the hot connecting the 2 halves broken.
A SPST switch connects the 2 receptacles and thus parallels the 2 100VAC extension inputs.
After I plug both in, I check the voltage between the 2 hots. If it is zero, I throw the switch.
I uses 2 neon receptacle checkers to monitor both extesnsion cords.
This techniques is very obvious after you try it but it is very unobvious prior to thinking it through.
No special 'home run' dedicated wiring required and as safe as the extension ratings.
Going back to the 220. Yes you can do it as well!
Did you visit
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?
Thanks for your kind attempt to keep me safe.
Some day, I might post the training in electrical theory and 'practice what you preach' that a Physics professor taught us.
To say the least, it was ALMOST shocking but actually VERY SAFE!
BoyntonStu
Going back to 110VAC 30AMP WELDING.
Reply to
BoyntonStu
...cut...
You saw this in regard to 220v Welders right? Either way kudos for trying. Just be safe
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"Welders - Some of the newer models that use capacitors to store electricity may have current demands within the limits of the Quick 220 Power Tap. Most older welders require too many amperes, except for smallest jobs. Call for more information."
Reply to
NotHome
You are correct, that unit is restricted.
However, my $7.00 unit will pass any current the extension cords will carry, and certiainly more than the Quick220 .
Notice their tiny 220VAC receptacles?
BoyntonStu
Reply to
BoyntonStu
| Ok. Now I see what you are attempting to accomplish. You can indeed | parallel 2 120V circuits and get 30 amps at 120V. I thought you were trying | to get 220 to run a welder.
Simply not going to happen. You can get 220V by using the two opposing 220V legs, but since each leg is current limited to 15 amps via a 15A breaker on each leg, and since the current flow is from leg to leg (in a 220V circuit, as opposed to leg to neutral in a 110V circuit) you are still limited to 15A. It's a series circuit, not parallel. You still have the 15A "weak link" (intentional) in the current flow. Just so happens that if one breaker blows the other won't because they aren't attached (such as the link between the levers on your range or dryer breaker,) thus possibly raising the entire device to 220V of whatever leg is still on. If you haven't made proper use of the neutral and/or ground wires, you could possibly become the path to ground, and then you are in deep shit. As a former industrial electrician, I've been bitten by all ranges of voltages and not a single one of them is pleasant, many way less than others, so I always kept one hand in my back pocket to prevent the current from flowing across my body when inside live equipment. I don't think you'll be in that position when/if your contraption fails, so you ought to make sure your life insurance is paid up and you have a beneficiary that will at least have the courtesy of showing up to your funeral. Seeing as how you are using unlicensed and highly unsafe electrical equipment in the process, they might wind up not getting anything, but still having to pay for your funeral. Please, be safe and just do the right thing. Go find a licensed electrician to put in a proper 220V circuit for you, where you need it. If you make it a Saturday job, and offer a case of beer, you might be even able to help, which will help your understanding of this stuff immensely. And get it cheap in the process. Nothing is so cheap that it's worth your life.
Reply to
carl mciver
You are correct.
If I wanted 220VAC the current would be limited to the smallest of the 2 circuit breakers that are in series.
220VAC at 15 or 20 Amps is not small potatoes.
I am using the parallel arrangement of a pair of 110 VAC lines.
In my case 2-20Amp circuits. The welder that used to kick its single 20 Amp breaker, is now cooking on about 35 Amps, no sweat.
Now for danger. Many could point out all the reasons why we should not weld, should not use the items that we weld, and in general not use tools to make things that we ride on, sit on, or walk beneath. Those folks do not weld.
There comes a time when our judgement and our skills create things that could endanger us.
I appreciate your cautionary stance, but without knowing another person's skill level, one cannot judge.
"As a former industrial electrician, I've been bitten by all ranges of voltages and not a single one of them is pleasant, many way less than others, so I always kept one hand in my back pocket to prevent the current from flowing across my body when inside live equipment. "
That is what I do when in contact with any electrical wiring until I determine that it is cold.
In college we used to check fuses using 2 fingers while standing on an insulated platform, one hand in the back pocket!
Boyntonstu
Reply to
BoyntonStu
This could work but I would not dream of trying it. There is just too much that can go wrong. There is a commercially made box available for doing something similar to what you are doing. It was designed for connecting a 220 camper to a 110 hook up.These are not UL approved.. I used one in my camper a few times. The second time I got chewed out by park operators I quit using it.
Reply to
Jimmie
Some of us dream and live our dreams.
Others don't even dream.
YMMV.
BoyntonStu
PS Try it, you might like it.
Reply to
BoyntonStu
As far as using two 15 amp breakers in "parallel" for 30 amps, ignoring the code aspect of the issue, it only partially works - and partially depends on the resistance/ voltage drop of each leg that is being paralleled. If one leg has significantly lower resistance (shorter run, wired with 12 ga, no loose connections etc. etc.) then that one will provide the majority of the load ... until the breaker pops and tries to shift all the load to the other one. Instead of 15+15 = 30, what you see is more like 25 + 5 = 30. This is the same problem you see in high power switching circuits using transistors. The solution in that case is usually to include a series resistor with each transistor that has more resistance than the typical resistance of the transistor. This helps provide "load sharing". If you parallel 2 identical source configurations (same length wire, same gauge wire, good tight connections), then the 15+15 is probably close to what you will see. I don't remember the last time I saw a "clean" wiring job in a house that did not some something screwy about it somewhere.
mikey
Reply to
Mike Fields
Mikey,
You are correct.
I wanted something that would 'work'.
Using a single 20 Amp breaker, the arc would not start and the breaker would flip.
Using 2 - 20 Amp breakers, the arc start easily, the breaker never flips, and the duty cycle is 100% as far as I have been able to determine.
I can burn rod after rod without having to wait for a cooldown. Cutting a 4" square hole in the welder back panel and placing a cooling fan there has made all the difference.
It is very nice having a 110 VAC portable welder that weighs about 30 lb. that welds everything that I need.
The Merlin 150 is all copper windings and not like the 'hobby' welders that newbies are always cursing.
Best of all, it cost me $10.50!
Boyntonstu
Reply to
BoyntonStu
The point I was trying to make is that the results are not easily predictable -- it may work fine for you in one location, but not another. Someone else with significant drops in one leg will not be able to get it to work at all. (and we won't even discuss a house that has aluminum wire except to say DON'T !!!)
mikey
Reply to
Mike Fields

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