: Welder + Dryer circuit

02-19-2009, 01:19 PM
My laundry room is just inside from my garage, so I have relatively easy access to a 240v circuit for a garage welder. I’d need an extension cord to make things more extendable, but not a very long one – 25’ max. But from what I’ve read, most/all welders use a different plug than the dryer, so in order to use that circuit, I'd have to

- build an extension cord with a conversion plug on one side or the other, or
- extend that circuit and add another receptacle that takes the welder plug

Or I could add a new 40A circuit to the breaker, run wire to the garage (other side of the house: 50' or more), and add a 240V outlet in the garage with its dedicated circuit.

So for those of you with home welding setups, what have you done? Seems like no matter which option I go with, I’ll need some sort of extension cord to help me move around the garage, so maybe given that reality I should just build a new extension cord with a conversion on one end and call it good? Gimme your ideas, experiences, suggestions….

02-19-2009, 02:34 PM
Id run the wire to the garage and have a permanent plug out there. It would be a bitch to unplug the dryer every time.

Also, youd have the door leading to the garage slightly adjar (extension), that would let the welding fumes into your house no? (im assuming its an attached garage).

I have a plug in my detached garage that ive had to move due to it being placed in a poor location. Its now in a better spot but its also in the farthest corner of the garage away from the door which is a bitch. Im going to make up an extension cord that will reach out the door so i can mess around outside. Just waiting for some wire to fall into my lap lol.

Good luck.


02-19-2009, 02:40 PM
I just have an extension cord that does the conversion. Have to move the stove every time I need to use the welder, which is kinda a pain for small jobs. If I had it to over, I would figure out some way to have a male and a female plug on the stove end, and then have the extension cord come out.

Obviously the best would be to hard wire it, but IIRC the cable will have to either be inside the wall or in conduit on the outside and that would make it a bit more expensive and troublesome to install. I'm renting the HOW, so no way was I gonna do that. You will need 2 open slots in your breaker box.

If you want to hardwire it, I could give you a hand - did all that stuff as a side job in college.

02-19-2009, 02:54 PM
I also have the extension cord. McGuckin has EVERYTHING you need for either one. If you want to wire the garage (also what I'd recommend), they have a great selection of plugs to for wall mount, as well as extension cords.

02-20-2009, 06:45 AM
I'm running a 50' extension cord from the kitchen out to the garage. Made the ext myself by walking up/down the isles at home depot. Wasn't hard at all, and I think I saved money vs buying a pre-made one.

It is kind of a pain, but not too bad since I onlly hook it up about once a month or so. I've gotten to the point where if I know I'm going to weld more than one day in a row, I just leave the stove pulled out/unplugged.

i'd love to run a dedicated circuit in the garage for the welder, but it would cost a bit since my current panel is full.

02-20-2009, 08:06 AM
Thanks for the insight. It would probably cost me a similar amount to build an extension as it would to add a circuit, and the latter option would be better overall.

Fortunately I have an open, unfinished basement, so running wire across the house isn't as bad as it could be. I traced the wiring for the existing dryer outlet, and it basically runs along the top of the basement foundation along the wall footers. So if I followed that same path, then the only challenge would be getting it down into the basement from the panel, and then tracing back up the wall of the garage.

I'm not that excited about working inside the panel, but I'll be sure to wear my rubber gloves...:)

02-20-2009, 08:14 AM
I am by no means an expert.. me and electrical just don't mix well, but I do remember reading about voltage drops over long extension cords... something you might want to research before figuring out how to run the drop.

02-20-2009, 09:46 AM
Yea - my hands are tied a bit. The panel is on one end of the house, and the garage at the other, so don't think I can avoid a long run of wire. The laundry room with 240 volt dryer outlet is adjacent to the garage, but its on a (dedicated) 30 amp circuit from the main panel that also runs the length of the basement.

So it seems my options are:
- up to 25' 10g extension cord with adapter to fit dryer plug
- run a new 40 amp circuit with 8/3 romex through the basement (~65' feet give or take) to a new outlet in the garage.

If I use the second option, I think I could keep it all indoors (no conduit required), and use the wall between the laundry room and the garage to install the outlet.

But damn those heavy gauge wires are $$....

02-20-2009, 09:53 AM
8ga will cover up to 100 feet, longer than that you will want to run 6ga.

keep in mind those are minimums

02-21-2009, 10:09 AM
So obviously you need two open slots on the panel...but there are other details.

Use a breaker that matches the input amperage for your welder. In other words, if it's 30A, get a 30A breaker, not a 50A...if your 30A welder suddenly starts drawing 40A, something is very wrong, and a 50A breaker won't stop it.

Advice from the guy who wired my garage for 220v was to run stranded line, thick enough to run a 50A welder. You might never get a 50A machine, but then who knows...you might find a sweet deal on a big machine, and then you'll have no more than a breaker to change vs running new wire. Electrician will know the gauge you'll need, I don't...but personally I think it's worth taking his advice on stranded vs solid, and running heavier gauge wire than currently necessary, with the correct fuse. YMMV, he had some scrap 6/3 or something, and it was maybe a 10' run from the box to the new outlet, so the upgrade cost me nothing.

In addition to the wire run through the house, consider the req'd length and gauge of your extension from the plug.

It's money, but personally I'd run the biggest damn stranded wire through the house I could afford, way overkill, so I didn't ever have to worry about the gauge of the extension cord in the garage.

Sucks you're so far from the panel, tho. I'm really glad I don't have to run a fat cord through the door to the house anymore, keeping fumes out of the house is IMHO the biggest long-term benefit of getting a plug in the garage.

Is your ceiling finished down there?

03-02-2009, 03:58 PM
Thanks for all the advice. Ended up running the 8/3 wire on a new 40 amp dedicated circuit to the garage. Got full power and my own outlet. I even ran my first flux core weld yesterday on a 3" crack on my Budbuilt. Worst weld I've ever seen....

03-02-2009, 04:31 PM
you cracked your budbuilts:eek:

03-02-2009, 07:07 PM
you cracked your budbuilts:eek:


Fluxcore welds hot as hell takes some getting used to. For 3/16" though, you shouldn't have needed flux core with a 220V welder...

03-03-2009, 07:45 AM
I'm sure that's true - I just wanted to fire it up and burn something :welder:

The BB trans skid cracked last year, and I had a friend weld it back up, and now one side has cracked again. It's on the outer lip where it bends upward behind the transfer case.

03-03-2009, 10:58 AM
Time to get off topic.

I'm going to build my own skids. What is the measurement of the sides? I just need to know the dimension from the skid up. (1"?) The rest I can figure out.

03-03-2009, 11:19 AM
I'm sure that's true - I just wanted to fire it up and burn something :welder:

The BB trans skid cracked last year, and I had a friend weld it back up, and now one side has cracked again. It's on the outer lip where it bends upward behind the transfer case.

Impressive.. I've bent mine pretty good, but no cracks i've found yet.

Time to get off topic.

I'm going to build my own skids. What is the measurement of the sides? I just need to know the dimension from the skid up. (1"?) The rest I can figure out.

I have the bud builts too.. 1" is pretty close (3/16" thick). if you need exact measurements I can grab them later.

03-03-2009, 05:08 PM
I'd say closer to 2" on mine, but I'm sure anything around 1-2" will work.

03-03-2009, 11:05 PM
Remember that the skids have that upright notched in sections to allow them to tuck up.

Also if you dont have a way to ben 3/16" steel, 1x1 tubing down the edges would likely be comparable, if not stronger in strenght.