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Electric Circuit for an Arc Welder


By Dave Rongey - Summary:

How to Wire an Arc Welder with a Dedicated Circuit and the Wiring Requirements: I’m just a little confused on hooking up the circuit because I don’t fully understand the Neutral wire


Arc Welder Electric Circuit Requirements

Electrical Question: I’m attempting to hook up this 220 line in my Garage for a new Arc welder I purchased.

  • I’m just a little confused on hooking up the circuit because I don’t fully understand the Neutral wire.
  • It was my understanding that you just need two “hot” wires and the ground wire to make a 220 functional.
  • I was also confused because the breaker box on the side of my house has no bar for neutral wires… only one for ground.

If you can clarify for me it would be very helpful.

Thank you!

This electrical question came from: Brad, from Orem, Utah.

Dave’s Reply:
Thanks for your electrical question Brad.

How to Wire an Arc Welder with a Dedicated Circuit

Application: Electric Circuit for a 220 Volt Welder.
Skill Level: Intermediate to Advanced – Best installed by a Licensed Electrical Contractor or Certified Electrician.
Tools Required: Basic Electricians Pouch Hand Tools and a Voltage Tester.
Estimated Time: Depends on personal level experience, ability to work with tools and the available access to the welder circuit and electrical connection box.
Precaution: Identify the welder circuit, turn it OFF and Tag it with a Note before working with the 220 volt welder cord wiring.
Notice: When installing an additional 220 volt oven circuit the work should be done according to local and national electrical codes with a permit and be inspected.

Arc Welder Circuit

  • A typical arc welder requires a 220 volt circuit and does not require a dedicated neutral wire but does require a ground wire as always.
  • The size or amperage of the circuit will depend on the size and specifications of the exact arc welder that you are providing a circuit for.
  • If the panel that you are referring to is the main electrical service panel then the neutral and the ground wires are connected at the same terminal strip or bus.
  • Please consult the specifications in the owners manual that came with your arc welder for the required circuit size.

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FAQs Frequently Asked Questions and Comments

4 Responses to “Electric Circuit for an Arc Welder”
  1. Werner says:

    Can I hook up an arc welder to a 220 volt 30 amp 4 wire circuit breaker that was used for a cloth dryer, and do I have to run a ground wire to the arc welder. This is a 3 prong.

    • Dave Rongey says:

      Hi Werner,
      Because all arc welders are not the same, and each one has their own specific circuit requirements I would refer you to the nameplate of the welder or consult the owners manual which will explain the circuit voltage and amperage requirements. If the welder specifications match the dryer circuit that is no longer used then the circuit can be used with the proper wiring configurations. As for the ground wire, yes, absolutely – every AC electrical circuit requires a ground wire.
      I hope this helps,
      Dave

  2. Tom says:

    Dave,
    In your answer to Brad regarding the hook-up of a 220v arc welder, you stated that it “does not require a dedicated ground wire.” Don’t you really mean a dedicated neutral wire. A 220 v circuit should have 2 hots and an equipment grounding wire, shouldn’t it, like an A/C compressor?

    • Dave Rongey says:

      Tom, you are absolutely correct!
      Sure glad you caught that one, and I have made the correction.
      Of all the wires included with a circuit, the ground wire is by far the most important.
      Thank you Tom for your response. Often I am answering several questions late at night trying to get caught up, that must have been a very late night to make that oversight.
      Dave


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