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Wiring in a 250V/50A welding outlet. . .where the wires go???

Discussion in 'Shop - Fabrication' started by atomicjoe23, Sep 2, 2009.

  1. atomicjoe23

    atomicjoe23 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2008
    Location:
    Silverdale, WA
    Guys I'm no electrical genius. . .I'm familiar with your standard 110-125V household wiring and I know the electrical safety rules but I've never messed with the high-voltage stuff before.

    That being said I got all the stuff to install a 250V/50A breaker & outlet for my Millermatic 211 so that I stop tripping the stupid, tiny 15A breaker that my outdoor receptacle uses. Here's what I got (I checked the Miller manual to make sure I got the right stuff first): a double pole 50A breaker, a 50A welding receptacle/socket, 25 ft. of 10/3 (with the bare copper wire) outdoor wire, a deep-well outdoor receptacle box, an outdoor face plate with the swing up cover, and PVC conduit and the associated fittings and mounting clamps necessary to hold it in place.

    Here's what I understand about high voltage outlets, please correct me if I'm wrong. . .the black and red wires both are "hot" and carry 120V each and therefore it doesn't matter which one goes in which side of both the double pole breaker and the socket. When hooked up correctly and you test your outlet with a multimeter, if you place one lead each in the "hot" slots you should get 240V, if you place one lead in a "hot" slot and one in the "ground" you should get 120V, and when you leave the ground lead in and switch to the other "hot" slot you should still get 120V. . .I believe all of that is correct.

    Here's my question. . .where do the white and copper wires go? I know that inside the breaker box the white wire goes to the community ground bar, but where does it go in the receptacle box? I believe it should go in the lower central ground connection of the receptacle/socket. . .is that correct? I have no idea what to do with the bare copper wire. . .does it attach to the receptacle box ground screw? What about inside the breaker box.

    I was gonna have an electrician come out and do this for me, but after I got the estimate back they can forget about that! I'm not paying an electricain over $500 to put a single outle 5 ft. away from my breaker box. I priced out the parts first. . .and I got everything for ~$75. . .they want to charge me $100 for parts (which they should be able to get cheaper than I can since they are buying in bulk) and over $400 in labor. . .this is after the guy that came out said the job should only take 1/2 hr. No way am I gonna pay that much for that little amount of work. . .so I just wanna make sure I put the wires in the right spots before I start the job.

    Thanks!
     
  2. RojoOjoRacin

    RojoOjoRacin Active Member

    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2007
    Location:
    Henderson Nevada
    Unless your plug has a neutral(white) you don't need to hook it up... The bare wire is the ground, it'll hook up to the spot in the box with all the grounds connected to it... The box that the receptacle came in & it'll tell you where the 2 hot wires (black & red) & the ground(bare copper) go...
     
  3. john92223

    john92223 Member

    Joined:
    May 25, 2009
    Location:
    Calimesa,Ca.
    I have wired a few 220 outlets and have yet to blow something up or burn it down. You are right in that the white common goes to the central ground connection. As far as the bare copper it gets grounded to the receptical box with a screw. In the breaker box I hook up the bare copper to the community ground bar.
     
  4. atomicjoe23

    atomicjoe23 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2008
    Location:
    Silverdale, WA
    OK. . .gotcha. . .that's what I thought, the white wire goes to the central ground terminal of the receptacle and the bare copper wire goes to the green screw in the back of the receptacle box.

    The box that the receptacle itself came in only says this: "Connect hot line (black wire) to the red terminal and the neutral (white) wire to the silver terminal. This device must be properly grounded. Connect green or bare wire to green terminal."

    OK. . .the part about the bare wire going to the green terminal makes sense, but the black and red wire part do not because the terminals on the receptacle are all the same color. . .there is no color coding and the only labeling is the cenral ground port is labeled "GR" for ground. So does it really matter which wire goes in which terminal if they aren't labeled or color coded. Like I said I'm used to 110 which seems to be a little more straight forward. . .plus this is my first go at 220 and I don't like messing with electricity to boot. . .stupid electric fences when I was kid and I haven't liked it ever since!!!

    What about the breaker? It isn't labeled for black or red. . .does it matter which wire goes in which side?

    I know this isn't rocket science. . .what I don't want to happen is to screw up my welder the first time I plugged it in because I hooked the red and black wires up backwards (if that indeed would mess my welder up)!
     
  5. atomicjoe23

    atomicjoe23 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2008
    Location:
    Silverdale, WA
    How about this. . .since there is a short and a tall terminal for the receptacle. . .which color wire coincides for which terminal? That may be the easiest way to make sure that I don't get anything backwards.

    I'm hoping to hop on this project first thing in the morning because my body hammer/dolly set is supposed to show up tomorrow and I'm ready to weld up the repairs I'm gonna make and get started on boxing the frame rails of my current project ('49 Jeep Willy's P/U truck. . .not a desert racer this time, but still cool!).

    Thanks for the help guys!
     
  6. john92223

    john92223 Member

    Joined:
    May 25, 2009
    Location:
    Calimesa,Ca.
    Correct the bare copper goes to the green screw. As far as the black and red wires it does not matter which side they go on. Same with the breaker.
     
  7. Chase 2

    Chase 2 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2005
    Location:
    Simi Valley, CA
    Here:

    installing a 220v receptacle

    pics and colors and everything you need to burn your house down LOL! The first link is the best one.
     
  8. atomicjoe23

    atomicjoe23 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2008
    Location:
    Silverdale, WA
    Thanks. . .that's the impression I got when I was reading up on this, but no one was completely clear on it, so I wanted to make sure.

    Thanks again for the quick and speedy help!
     
  9. atomicjoe23

    atomicjoe23 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2008
    Location:
    Silverdale, WA
    Thanks for the link Chase2. . .I looked on WikiAsk and eHow; they were the ones that weren't entirely clear about which wire went where and neither were my home repair books.
     
  10. johnowhite

    johnowhite Member

    Joined:
    May 16, 2005
    Location:
    Camarillo, CA
    Here's the deal....

    Plug - wire the plug before the panel - if not - make sure the breakers are off and test the wires

    If there are three prongs, center is white, then the other two are black and red. If you have a tester, set it to test AC over 200v - the outer two should show 220V +- 10.

    Either outer prong to the center prong should show 110V.

    The bare wire gets wired to the metal box where the plug is.

    Panel connections - be careful you can get bit here - if this is a sub-panel turn off the feeder breaker

    White wire gets wired to the common bar (lots of white wires)
    Bare wire goes to the ground bar - (bunch of other bare ground wires)
    Black wire goes to one side of the 220V circuit Breaker, it should be the only wire under the clamp (bolt)
    Red wire goes to the other side
    The 220v circuit breaker should have a bar connecting the two sides so if one side flips, they both flip.

    (It's possible, but not safe, to hook up 2-110V circuit breakers and get 220V. One could flip, giving the plug a dead 110V side and a LIVE 110V side. You DO NOT want to do that.)

    WIRE TOO SMALL for 50A

    Also 10/3 is too small for a 50A circuit. I'd go with 6/3 but NO LESS than 8/3. 10 stops at 30 amps.
     
    Last edited: Sep 3, 2009
  11. atomicjoe23

    atomicjoe23 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2008
    Location:
    Silverdale, WA
    Thanks Johnowhite!

    Definitely knew to start at the plug. . .way easier that way too, only thing I have to do then is snap the pre-wired breaker into the slot!

    The 10/3 is what is called for by the Miller manual. . .the welder only draws 30A, but I'm guessing they say to use a 50A so that you don't trip the breaker when maxxing the welder out. . .but I'm no electrical genius.

    Had to run back to the hardware store and grab some 3/4" PVC because the 1/2" PVC is too small to run the 10/3 through it for an extended run. . .small lengths it works, but once you get over 5 ft. there is too much friction and it gets next to impossible. Stupid hardware store only had one stick of 5 ft. 3/4" PVC so I had to buy some of the flexible blue stuff (ugly!!!). They had 10 ft. lengths, but I was in the car so I couldn't fit that in. . .I just won't cement the PVC up right now and I'll grab some more gray rigid 3/4" PVC the next time I'm in town and replace the blue stuff and cement it up then. . .there's no way I'm leaving that ugly blue stuff installed, at least the rigid grey stuff blends in with the siding on the outside of the house, especially when I have it tucked in nice and tight at the top/bottom junction of two pieces of siding.
     
  12. atomicjoe23

    atomicjoe23 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2008
    Location:
    Silverdale, WA
    Thanks Johnowhite!

    Definitely knew to start at the plug. . .way easier that way too, only thing I have to do then is snap the pre-wired breaker into the slot!

    The 10/3 is what is called for by the Miller manual. . .the welder only draws 30A, but I'm guessing they say to use a 50A so that you don't trip the breaker when maxxing the welder out. . .but I'm no electrical genius.

    Had to run back to the hardware store and grab some 3/4" PVC because the 1/2" PVC is too small to run the 10/3 through it for an extended run. . .small lengths it works, but once you get over 5 ft. there is too much friction and it gets next to impossible. Stupid hardware store only had one stick of 5 ft. 3/4" PVC so I had to buy some of the flexible blue stuff (ugly!!!). They had 10 ft. lengths, but I was in the car so I couldn't fit that in. . .I just won't cement the PVC up right now and I'll grab some more gray rigid 3/4" PVC the next time I'm in town and replace the blue stuff and cement it up then. . .there's no way I'm leaving that ugly blue stuff installed, at least the rigid grey stuff blends in with the siding on the outside of the house, especially when I have it tucked in nice and tight at the top/bottom junction of two pieces of siding.
     
  13. atomicjoe23

    atomicjoe23 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2008
    Location:
    Silverdale, WA
    Oh yeah and after I looked inside my breaker box there is only one common bar. . .there are both white and bare wires going to it. . .so my plan is to hook both the bare and the white wire to the ground bar.

    Chime in if this is problem. . .probably doesn't accomplish anything other than keeping the bare copper wire from just hanging out.
     
  14. Chase 2

    Chase 2 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2005
    Location:
    Simi Valley, CA
    No electrician here but I think I remember something about large gauge romex, heavy loads, and conduit having problems with disapating (sp?) heat. I went through all of this when re-building my house and I re-did all my wiring and upgraded my service panel.

    Think of the white aka "neutral" as the ground coming from your power supplier. The bare wire is your local ground. Coming off your local pole mounted transformer are three wires two are hot and one is the neutral. Panels are set up so that each of the hot wires coming in from the pole powers one of the two bars that your breakers clip onto. One of the hot lines powers one side of your di-pole breaker and the other hot powers the other side of the breaker. In other words a single pole breaker only clips into one side and a di-pole clips into both bars.

    Going from your ground/neutral bar there should be a bare wire going to a cold water ground or to a ground stake or a ufer ground run in your foundation/footer. It never hurts to be well grounded.
     
    Last edited: Sep 3, 2009
  15. atomicjoe23

    atomicjoe23 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2008
    Location:
    Silverdale, WA
    Thanks guys. . .waiting for a good opportunity to shut all the power off to the house to finish up. I've got the wire and conduit all routed, and the receptacle and box are wired up and in place. . .all I have to do is hook up inside the breaker box.

    The GF pulled a muscle yesterday so she didn't go to work and is currently relaxing on the couch. . .once she takes another muscle relaxer she'll be off to LaLa land again and I kill the power and finish the job up, be ready to start welding on the project first thing tomorrow.
     
  16. atomicjoe23

    atomicjoe23 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2008
    Location:
    Silverdale, WA
    I got it all wired up. . .I had to take the breaker I had bought back because I had the wrong style, but other than that turned out to be no problem and cost me about 15% of what an electrician would have charged me!!!

    I tested the receptacle today. . .and all the voltages read correctly. YEA!!!!

    I'm getting a 50A extension cord tomorrow so I can reach the Willy's frame with the welder and I'll be field testing it tomorrow. . .should be posting some of the results up in the Pretty Welds thread assuming I get the welder dialed in the way I want. I'm used to using a Millermatic 252, but my new toy at home is a Millermatic 211. I've used it twice for some very minor repair work, but it wasn't enough time to really get my settings dialed in. . .my 252 settings didn't translate over to the 211 with the same results so I am gonna have to play with it a little.
     

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