Inverter welder rocks the house

I've got a tiny Lincoln Invertec V100-S welder as a backup unit for my house, and I am having problems with it.
The documentation says it requires a 20 Amp 110V circuit, and it has a 100
Amp output maximum at 15% duty cycle, or 100A/24V/15%, 85A/23.5V/20% and 70A/23V/20%.
The 100A output requires an input current of 32A on a 30 Amp branch circuit; 85A output requires 25A input on a 20 Amp circuit, and 70A output requires 20A input (no note on the circuit).
I'm trying to use an 1/8th inch E6011 on DC+ with the dial on the little unit set at 70A.
I know the 6011 should be run a little hotter than this, but every time I try getting up higher, it trips one of the 20 Amp breakers in my house.
Here's the problem: Set at 70 Amps, the arc flares on, sputters nearly out, then cycles back to on. An entire cycle takes maybe 2 seconds with me having just about as much "go time" as I have "sputter time." My wife reports that the inside of the house also seems to be experiencing a Brown Out at about the same frequency.
Is this Invertec machine bad?
Do I desperately need to use smaller rods?
Is the house wired that bad? (it was built in 1955)
Any suggestions on which way to approach this problem?
Regards, Joe
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jp2express wrote:

My guess is you're dropping voltage somewhere between the panel and the welder. This could be in a loose wirenut connection in a J-box, for example. Before you freak out I'd try the welder on several different outlets.
And you can certainly go to 3/32" rod.
GWE
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On Thu, 14 Jun 2007 07:52:43 -0700, Grant Erwin

Stick a volt meter in the outlet and have someone watch it while you strike an arc. Digital works ok..but a meter with a needle is far far better for this. If it drops below about 90 volts...time for some rewiring.
Gunner
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Hell, I'd just stick my Extech meter probes in the outlet and press "Hold" on it while he was welding. Thanks, Ernie! That thing's been a godsend at work.
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You have some serious issues with your house wiring. There is a connection somewhere in the house that has a high resistance. When you put the welder load on it, it will be getting HOT as in FIRE. Your welder load is both heavy and highly variable (arc on/arc off) so it really brings out the symptoms. The welder sputtering is just telling you that it is trying to run on a way under voltage.
To troubleshoot this problem you can put a voltmeter on the mains as well as the various branch circuits and see which circuits are drooping. I'd start with the circuit that the welder is on, see how far the voltage drops. Open up the main panel and look for some blackened wires.
I don't think I'd try running the welder until you have cleared this up, and I don't think I'd waste much time troubleshooting or getting an electrican out to do the troubleshooting. If a 20 amp load drops the voltage enough to noticeably dim the lights, you have a 500 watt heater inside your main panel or inside the wall somewhere.
jp2express wrote:

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Good advice! Thanks!
I just moved into the house about 3 weeks ago, so it could very well have some wiring issues.
"RoyJ" wrote:

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Can I offer some encouragement to not waste any time getting to the bottom of it? As in not wanting to burn the place down?
jp2express wrote:

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I've already got a call in to the electricians.
While they are doing that, I might get a 220V plug and a 30A 110V plug in the garage! How sweet would that be?
Thanks for the note, Roy!
"RoyJ" wrote:

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"jp2express" wrote: (clip) I just moved into the house about 3 weeks ago, so it could very well have some wiring issues. ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^ Don't rule out the possibility that the problem is out on the power pole. We fought a problem with our microwave causing dimming of the lights. I ran dedicated wiring and a dedicated bare copper ground line--nothing helped. My genius son finally figured out that it was a power company problem. The man went up the pole and fixed the problem, and came back and told us that our neighbors would soon be complaining also. All the transformer terminals were corroded.
The gieaway symptom was that while the lights on one side of the house were dimming, the lights on the other side were actually getting brighter.
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Wow! That's interesting! I'll certainly mention that when the electrician arrives.
"Leo Lichtman" wrote:

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Dont forget to show him the problem the welder is causing
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Electrician came out to the house and found that it only has 75 Amp service. We are working on getting that bumped to 200 Amp with the electric company.
Thanks!
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I'd agree that it could be a power co problem, mast feed problem, bad ground, floating neutral, etc. Not sure I'd want to diagnois the problem from a distance. The OP called an electrican which is the right thing to do if you hven't got the necessary knowledge of how bad things can go in older wiring.
Leo Lichtman wrote:

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On Thu, 14 Jun 2007 10:16:38 -0500, "jp2express"

Roy gave VERY good advice.
Gunner, industrial maint tech.

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