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Thread: whats the advantage of 115 or 220 volt for welding

  1. #1
    airsmith282 Guest

    Default whats the advantage of 115 or 220 volt for welding

    I understand amps and you need a fair amount for anything praticial to me 90 amps is 90 amps so whats the advantage of 115 and 220 volts .. my craftsman welder wants 30 amps on 115 volt and 20 ams on 220 volt for a circut, i have pretty wicket fan under then craftsman and so i can weld now till the breker blows but what will 220 volt offer me at the same amps that a 115 volt welder is running at same amps ..both my lincon amd my craftsman are AC out put welders as well so keeping it fair and whats the DC advantage of any.. both are stick welders

    iam going to be getting a mig 140 eventually as i want and need a mig , i tried my buddies 180 and man i was impressed so the 140 should also do just fine for my needs...

  2. #2
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    First you have to look at the total amount of power the welder draws (watts) and the higher the voltage the lower the current (amps) it will require. That means for a given watt rating (input power) you can have higher voltage and lower amperage or lower voltage with higher amperage but the welder can not draw both high voltage and higher amperage at the same time. The output from the welder may be the same but the duty cycle would be lower with the lower voltage and with a 220 volt input the potential output could be higher due to the lower input current requirement.

  3. #3
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    90 amps is not 90 amps, maybe. What you need to do is think in terms of power, not amps. power is amps times volts. So a 30 amp 115 volt machine will deliver 3450 watts of power to the primary of the transformer. A 20a 220v will do 4400 watts. So at the same delivered power the current through the primary will be less and the machine a bit more efficient. Voltage travels much better than amps.
    lg
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    Duty cycle is the big thing with welders. I'll bet those 90A, 110V AC welders are probably 15% duty cycle (if that) at full power. Even I can weld more than 1-1/2 minutes out of every 10. For any given welder the duty cycle goes down as the welding amps goes up.

    When you do buy, stick to name brand (Lincoln, Miller, even ESAB) and you can't go wrong.

  5. #5
    airsmith282 Guest

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    iam totaly a lincon fan all the way my 70 amp stick welder is lincon and was also the first one i bought and i love it as well as the craftsman one that i have .. but 90 amp is better then 70 amp any day of the week..
    Last edited by airsmith282; 03-05-2009 at 06:52 PM.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by airsmith282
    iam going to be getting a mig 140 eventually as i want and need a mig , i tried my buddies 180 and man i was impressed so the 140 should also do just fine for my needs...
    You will be better off to buy yourself a 180 rather than the 140 machine. It is only a few dollars more and well worth the difference.
    I once bought myself a Millermatic 130 (my first mig welder) and liked the fact that it ran on 115V. Thought it would be just what I needed.
    Well, that was a mistake! The next mig I bought was a Millermatic 251.
    Now, I have all that I need! It will weld from 22ga up to 3/8 inch with a single pass. A duty cycle that you would not believe too.
    Buying too small of a machine is a mistake a lot of people make with the purchase of a welder. This is no way 'to save money.'....... pg

  7. #7
    airsmith282 Guest

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    Quote Originally Posted by piniongear
    You will be better off to buy yourself a 180 rather than the 140 machine. It is only a few dollars more and well worth the difference.
    I once bought myself a Millermatic 130 (my first mig welder) and liked the fact that it ran on 115V. Thought it would be just what I needed.
    Well, that was a mistake! The next mig I bought was a Millermatic 251.
    Now, I have all that I need! It will weld from 22ga up to 3/8 inch with a single pass. A duty cycle that you would not believe too.
    Buying too small of a machine is a mistake a lot of people make with the purchase of a welder. This is no way 'to save money.'....... pg
    and are you going to pay for the 220 volt hook up to my shop then ,, look its not about saving money, beside the 140 can goto 5/16 same as the 180 and i have tried the 180 at the second heat setting so to get the same results i might have to turn it to the C setting big deal ,, there is alot of people using the 140 for making trailers and other big stuff and it handles it just fine,, right now iam using a 90 amp old craftsman stick welder on the 120 volt setup and it eats the midium size rods up nice and penatrates very well, my 70 amp lincon has a hard time with the medium rods but wokrs great on the 1/16 so same volts but the craftsman has 20 amps more and uses the larger rods rather well,, mig welding does not use as much amps as stick does so the 140 should do fine,, bigger is not alays better and if you cant use the bigger you use what you can to get he same job done.. i also dont belive in spending money i dont have, for the cost difference on the 140 to the 180 i can get the 4 jaw chuck and mounting plate for my lathe so i get to have 2 toys this way and get all my work done i need to do..

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    and are you going to pay for the 220 volt hook up to my shop then ,, look its not about saving money, beside the 140 can goto 5/16 same as the 180 and i have tried the 180 at the second heat setting so to get the same results i might have to turn it to the C setting big deal ,, there is alot of people using the 140 for making trailers and other big stuff and it handles it just fine,, right now iam using a 90 amp old craftsman stick welder on the 120 volt setup and it eats the midium size rods up nice and penatrates very well,

    Pay for your 220V hook up?
    Look here........ Once upon a time I had no 220V supply to my garage or shop. Finally I had enough of this handicap, and it is a great handicap to have.
    I decided to do something about it. I bought myself a book (Modern Residential Wiring by Harvey N. Holzman) and taught myself a few things about running wires.
    The task was to run a 220V line from the back of the 2 story house we lived in at the time to the garage which was in the front of the house.
    I ran the wires from the garage up to the attic, across the house, down the back wall and into the box.
    The power to the house from the pole was never shut off of course. I simply cut off power to the house with the switch, connected the 2 #6 wires I had just run to 2 breakers and cut the power back on.

    Now I had power to run my little Miller AC/DC Thunderbolt cracker box welder. I also had power to run my Rockwell Unisaw table saw.
    We bought another house later, and this house had 220V 3 phase power coming in from the pole to run the central air.

    Back to the book again..........
    I taught myself enough about three phase to run lines to the shop and garage and hook it up, all with no help from anyone except that book. You don't need an electrician to do this kind of stuff.

    Now the 220V 3ph power runs a Quincy compressor, a Bridgeport mill, and my South Bend lathe.
    The Millermatic 251 and the Millermatic 180 Synchrowave Tig machine are running on 220V single phase.

    So, as I said...... having no 220V is a real handicap that you can easily fix yourself at minimum expense, if you just take the time to look into doing it.
    As one who was 'afraid' of electricity at one time, all I can say is that if I did it anyone can do it.
    Funny you mention building a trailer with a 140 machine. Building a trailer with my 115V Millermatic 130 was exactly what made me realize that the machine was just too small for that kind of work and the result was a new Millermatic 251, which left me never needing to buy a mig welder again........... pg

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    I don't think you want to weld 5/16" in a single pass with a 140 amp 120 volt machine, at least not anything critical.
    I have a Lincoln powermig 215 and it has an amperage range from 30-250 amps and Lincoln rates it at 5/16" with hard wire and 1/2" with flux core in a single pass.
    One advantage not mentioned is that on most better quality 220 volt machines is the quality and smoothness of the arc. I have used cheap 220v machines and the difference in arc characteristics is night and day between them and a good Miller or Lincoln.

    I know it isn't easy to belly up to the bar and pay for what you want all the time, and in the end you are the one that has to pay for it, not us.
    But if you are serious about quality welding it will be cheaper and more satisfying if you get a good 220v machine first, even if you have to wait a year to save the additional moola.

    I've noticed whenever someone asks the same question as you have that everyone always recommends a better quality 220v machine, I am starting to see a trend...I wonder why?
    Only you can say how much you will use or be able to justify a more capable machine...no sense spending big coin if all you are doing is welding 1/16-1/8 material once a month.

  10. #10
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    One advantage not mentioned is that on most better quality 220 volt machines is the quality and smoothness of the arc.

    You are correct Willy.
    That little Millermatic 130, today called a 140, that I once had used, just piled up a very high bead on the metal.
    The 220V machine lays the wire into the metal with good solid penetration. The difference is much greater than night and day........ pg

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