Have you been wondering whether you can plug your welder into your household outlet? Let me help you answer that question. Yes!
Want to find out how to do so and all the tactics related to it? Keep reading, friend!
What is a Regular Outlet?
A regular outlet is a 15-amp outlet that you will normally see in any household and workplace. It can come as duplex receptacles. It is recommended to plug in small appliances and lamps.
The 15-amp outlets can be two-pronged or three-pronged. The two-pronged outlet has two vertical slots and an ungrounded one. On the other hand, the three-pronged outlet contains a ground pin with extra-long slots to prevent electric shocks caused by unsteady wiring.
However, it is not uncommon to find homes that use a 20-amp outlet to operate heavy appliances. This outlet has a different shape and forms a T-shape sideways. It is the most suitable for the dishwasher, washing machine, and space heaters.
Typically, the voltage in a 15-amp outlet is 120 volts. You can find this type of outlet anywhere in the market, and it is also quite cheap.
On the contrary, the 20-amp outlet can be either 125 volts or 250 volts. To differentiate between this one and the 15-amp outlet, notice the tiny horizontal slot beside the vertical ground slot. The 250-volt outlets are suitable for use with air compressors, air conditioners, and hobby shop equipment.
Yes, you can plug a welder into a regular 120-volt outlet. You would not need more than that to run the welding machine. Let a professional electrician install a plug between the welder and the outlet. This way the outlet can handle a welder that usually needs 220 volts to operate.
Depending on the type of welder you are using, you can plug it into any outlet between 115 volts and 120 volts. The Millermatic 141 MIG welder is a perfect choice for home projects that is safe to run at 120 volts.
A 220-volt welder can do with a 50-amp breaker and possibly a heavy-duty outlet that contains 3 prongs. The 50-amp circuit breaker requires a 6-gauge wire, so make sure that is happening.
You would not need a neutral with the welder, just in case you are wondering. You only need it in a single-phase system. Since most regular outlets are 3 phased, the load is balanced, so you do not require a neutral.
Additionally, if you are only thinking about using the circuit, replace the plug with a .6-50 and lodge a replaceable that is 6-50R.
Furthermore, if your welder works at 30 amp and 40 amps input, then you will need a different set of support systems. For example, you need a 40-amp breaker and an 8-gauge wire.
Proper wiring is extremely important when it comes to using equipment, such as the welder. Poor wiring can cause accidents and may be unable to operate the machinery. The quality of the wiring determines everything at the end of the day.
So, here is a step-by-step guide to installing a welder outlet the right way.
What You Need
- Cable ripper
- Adhesive insulation tape
- Wire stripper
- Outlet cover
- Safety glasses
- Electrician’s knife or box cutter
- Rubber gloves
- Rubber shoes
- NEMA 6-50P 3-prong 240-volt 50-amp outlet
- Flush mount gang box
- Two-pole or three-pole circuit breaker
- AVG gauge
- The proper length of wiring
Steps To Follow
- Step 1
Safety first before everything else. Put on your safety glasses, rubber gloves, and rubber shoes before getting down to this project. Make sure the main power supply to the breaker box is turned off to prevent accidents.
- Step 2
You need to figure out the length of the cable you will need to install the outlet. If the cable is too small, it may overheat and eventually melt the insulation, causing a short circuit.
Check out this table to understand how much wire you need for the designated amperage of the welder –
|Maximum Amperage Draw||AWG Wire Gauge|
A 6-gauge wiring is enough for a 220-volt welder. In the United States, the 220-volt welders normally use 3-prong plugs. You may want to check the requirements of the country that you are living in.
Two of the prongs support 110 volts each, whereas the third one stays neutral. You MUST connect these three wires the right way, or else things may turn out really bad!
- Step 3
Know this general rule: a 220-volt welder of 40 to 50 amps needs a 50-amp circuit breaker. On the other hand, a 110-volt welder of 20 to 30 amps needs a 30-amp circuit breaker.
Take off the breaker box panel and expose the circuit breaker. Examine the terminals by pulling off the circuit breaker from the slot. Strip off the sheath of the 3-wire cable with the cable ripper to uncover the three inner wires.
Word of Caution: Do not touch the large black cables that are connected to the main circuit breaker unless you want to die!
- Step 4
Dismantle the insulation of the white neutral wire and two of the hot wires by ½ inch. Now, hasten the cable into a cable clamp so that inside the box there is only an inch of outer sheathing and a foot of inner wire.
Choose a new terminal for your white neutral wires. Then, install the black and red hot wires into the two terminals located inside the box. Make sure the terminal screws are tight.
- Step 5
Insert the circuit breaker into any slot inside the breaker box along with the hot wires. The other wires should be pointing in the same direction. Now, split the circuit breaker into place.
All the hot wires must be placed away from the hot bus bar. Cover up the box’s panel, and screw back any screws.
- Step 6
Thread the 3-wire cable through the wall or any electrical conduit that is mounted on the outer side of the wall. The faceplate and plug receptacle of the 50-amp NEMA 6-50P outlet must be mounted in front of the box.
Install the box either in the wall or in an external box by screwing the gang box into the stud. Also, cut out a rectangular wallboard for the cover of the outlet. Insert the cable into the main input and output hole.
Take off 6 to 8 inches from the outer sheath of the cable, and ½ inch of insulation from each of the wires. Afterward, connect the two hot wires into the right and left terminals of the 6-50P plug. Finally, do not let the wires touch each other inside the receptacle box.
- Step 7
The last step is to check whether the job is perfectly done or not. Turn on the main power supply. Plugin the welder and weld a small piece of metal.
There is nothing wrong with running a welder at home as long as you have the outlet to support it. The machine can run on the household voltage power that is anywhere between 115 and 120 volts.
The good news is that you do not need any permission or license from authorized bodies to weld at home. So, feel free to run the equipment whenever you are in the mood!
It is absolutely okay to weld in your garage. The only thing you should focus on is your safety and creativity.
The outlet requirements to operate a welder in the garage is 115 to 120 volts for a 15-amp outlet. Just do not use a welder that the 15-amp outlet can not support, especially the heavy-duty industrial ones.
So, I hope you are satisfied to know that you can plug in your welder into a regular household. Now, you do not have to borrow someone’s work space to get your welding work done. Just remember to use a welder that your household outlet can support.