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Discussion Starter #1
So I got a 220v mig from work. Pretty basic, Harbor Freight comparable one. Cost me nothing so I have no money into this thus far.

I have no 220V plugs in my garage. I'm trying to find the cheapest and safest route to take to use this mig.

Do they make any type of transformer that lets you pull from two 110V sockets and then plug the 220V plug into that? In my mind, this seems to work but I've never heard of one before but I don't delve in to electrical stuff.

If not, then any guess how much it would cost me to run a new socket and wiring into my garage? Its maybe 100ft from the side of the house where the power is fed to the house from the pole and maybe 45 ft from the main breaker in the house. I'm not sure which an electrician has to tap for the 220V socket.
 

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Houses are typically wired with two 110 volt legs so you can maybe find a a wall socket on each leg and get your 220 that way. The only problem comes with the breakers as each would have a seperate breaker while 220 circuits use two ganged breakers, i.e. if one trips it trips the other so the circuit dies completly.

The cleanest way is to just pull a 220 from the main panel to the garage. Unless you're gonna get rid of the welder that's the way to go.
Due to the current consumption that welders typically pull, a transformer that could supply the load would cost you more than just pulling a good 220 circuit and it would waste engergy too. It would also likely overload the 110 circuit you used for to supply it so it would be tripping the breaker all the time.

I wish they'd wire homes with three phase power like they do industrial and some farm buildings as that's the most efficent.

So I got a 220v mig from work. Pretty basic, Harbor Freight comparable one. Cost me nothing so I have no money into this thus far.

I have no 220V plugs in my garage. I'm trying to find the cheapest and safest route to take to use this mig.

Do they make any type of transformer that lets you pull from two 110V sockets and then plug the 220V plug into that? In my mind, this seems to work but I've never heard of one before but I don't delve in to electrical stuff.

If not, then any guess how much it would cost me to run a new socket and wiring into my garage? Its maybe 100ft from the side of the house where the power is fed to the house from the pole and maybe 45 ft from the main breaker in the house. I'm not sure which an electrician has to tap for the 220V socket.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks for answering man. I know little about 220V except that it is different from 110V. What would I need to buy in order to run it? Just proper gauge wiring, the plugs, and then breakers for them? What if I want to run it on its own subpanel?
 

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Houses are typically wired with two 110 volt legs so you can maybe find a a wall socket on each leg and get your 220 that way. The only problem comes with the breakers as each would have a seperate breaker while 220 circuits use two ganged breakers, i.e. if one trips it trips the other so the circuit dies completly.

The cleanest way is to just pull a 220 from the main panel to the garage. Unless you're gonna get rid of the welder that's the way to go.
Due to the current consumption that welders typically pull, a transformer that could supply the load would cost you more than just pulling a good 220 circuit and it would waste engergy too. It would also likely overload the 110 circuit you used for to supply it so it would be tripping the breaker all the time.

I wish they'd wire homes with three phase power like they do industrial and some farm buildings as that's the most efficent.
The easier way is to just run the neutral from a direct circuit as a power. Tape the white neutral wire in black tape to denote it as such. Easy peazy, you've got 220V in 5 minutes.
From my understanding, I'm not an electrician, but this is actually an acceptable way of doing it and I've seen it done by professional electricians.

OP, find an outlet or light that has a breaker of it's own (only one light or outlet is shut off by one breaker), open the breaker panel and join the white wire to where the black wire is screwed in (the power). To denote that white wire as being HOT and now black wrap the cable in black electrical tape at both the breaker box and the outlet. Two wires now feed the outlet which gives 220V, the third wire is the ground which you don't change other than attaching it to the new plug.

Or do as Dick described and use two single breakers and join them. My way you may or may not have to change the breaker for Amperage to meet the need, which will be limited by the gauge of the wire you have existing. If the wire gauge doesn't meet the Amps/breaker you need you'd have to do it one of the two ways Dick describes.

Warning: Be sure to flip the main breaker before opening and messing around behind the breaker panel. Don't touch it if you don't know what you're doing. Also get an audible wire tester (basically a pen that you get near a cable and it beeps if the cable still carries power), to keep from frying yourself. 220V can kill you, don't mess with it unless you're certain.

Google search 'neutral as power for 220V' or something for a better description.
 

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Wiring it from the breaker is best. No 220 from the dryer plug?

Or, look up the "magic Y" . I think that's the name. my dad's boat runs 220. Shoreside plug ins are only 110. This thing plugs into 2 110v outlets and makes 220v. Not cheap though.
 

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That would be called a load center and you should still have a breaker in the main panel to supply that so you really wouldn't be picking up anything for just one circuit unless you add other breakers in the load center which could be a mix of 110 and 220 circuits. Remember you size the wire for the expected loads and the breakers for the wire gauge.
 

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That's just a way of shit rigging the wiring, it isn't going to make 220 from a 110 circuit and it's not to NEC.
If you don't know what the fuck you're doing with this stuff then get someone who does before you burn your house down, electrocute yourself or worse someone else.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Okay, my plan is to go buy an appropriate amount after measuring of 6/2 wiring and install it in a subpanel in my house that only has one other thing fed to it. Is it fine to run the wiring up through the ceiling to the attic, along the ceiling joists?
 

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That's just a way of shit rigging the wiring, it isn't going to make 220 from a 110 circuit and it's not to NEC.
If you don't know what the fuck you're doing with this stuff then get someone who does before you burn your house down, electrocute yourself or worse someone else.
Is this directed at my magic Y comment? The thing does make proper 220. My dad would not risk a 1,000,000 sailboat.

What is NEC?
 

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Discussion Starter #11
National Electrical Code - Don't much but I do know that one after reading so many "install 220V oulet for welder" threads.
 

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As far as I know it is. Just be sure to staple it down and make everything nice and secure. Fishing the wire down though a hole drilled in the top plate then running it down a wall cavity to the outlet is easy meat.
You can use a fish tape or just drop a string with a nut on the end down into the wall cavity then fish it out the opening for the outlet in the wall Then use that to pull the wiring on up into the attic or reverse things by pulling the wire down though the wall to the outlet opening. Whichever is easier and means pulling less wire.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Well as luck would have it, my boss had his construction guy in the office this morning to do something and I got to pick his brain a bit. We were mostly talking about a 25 x 25 shop I want to build in my yard in the spring and how to build it up to code, etc and how the footers should run and stuff like that. I got to ask him about the mig wiring and he said I had it perfect. 6/2 run from the sub to the 20 or 30 amp outlet in the garage.

I'm so stoked about my shop. Nothing huge, just a 25 x 25 slab and a wood frame cover in metal siding and a shingle roof. Talking to him go me super pumped to start at least the excavation on the slab.
 

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There's nothing quite like having real shop space. I got so tired of the garage drill. Move the cars out, move all the tools into place, then do a little work then reverse by putting away all the tools, clean up the garage and put the cars back in every damn day. What a PITA and it took away from the time used to get something accomplished.
Now I have a wood shop, a mechanic shop area attached to the garage and a shed I can set up for welding and metal fab if I want. Life couldn't be any better. It's nice being able to drop everything at the end of the day then pick right back up where I left off the next day.
I bought this house in part because of the shop space. It was high up on my shopping list of had to haves for a house. No shop, no chance.
He who dies with the most tools wins.

Well as luck would have it, my boss had his construction guy in the office this morning to do something and I got to pick his brain a bit. We were mostly talking about a 25 x 25 shop I want to build in my yard in the spring and how to build it up to code, etc and how the footers should run and stuff like that. I got to ask him about the mig wiring and he said I had it perfect. 6/2 run from the sub to the 20 or 30 amp outlet in the garage.

I'm so stoked about my shop. Nothing huge, just a 25 x 25 slab and a wood frame cover in metal siding and a shingle roof. Talking to him go me super pumped to start at least the excavation on the slab.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
There's nothing quite like having real shop space. I got so tired of the garage drill. Move the cars out, move all the tools into place, then do a little work then reverse by putting away all the tools, clean up the garage and put the cars back in every damn day. What a PITA and it took away from the time used to get something accomplished.
Now I have a wood shop, a mechanic shop area attached to the garage and a shed I can set up for welding and metal fab if I want. Life couldn't be any better. It's nice being able to drop everything at the end of the day then pick right back up where I left off the next day.
I bought this house in part because of the shop space. It was high up on my shopping list of had to haves for a house. No shop, no chance.
He who dies with the most tools wins.
I just now saw this. I totally agree with you on all points. We bought our home because of location and the side garage. Turns out the thing is wide, but not as deep as I had thought. I can't get a car into it to shut the garage door.

Now here we are trying to build a shop. I'm excited about the prospect. I've been trying to find the cheapest 2 x 6 around and really, the truss are a lot more expensive than I thought, though I've never had to buy them before. Also, holy shit two and one gauge wiring is crazy expensive. Even if I go aluminum, its still 1.90-3.00 per foot and I figure I'll need about two hundred feet all in all. Man the cost on these things adds up quick.

Any pointers or helpful tips for me on the shop? Things you wish you had taken into account before it was done?
 

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Just be sure you actually need 6 gauge wire and that something smaller won't do. There is data all over the web that will help you correctly size your circuits to the expected load.
If your local sources run on the high priced side as mine do, many suppliers sell wire on the web too.

Personally I don't really care for aluminum wire. They tried using that stuff a couple of decades ago for home wiring and it created a lot of trouble as in fires. It's tricky and fussey to properly terminate aluminum wire and it's brittle so prone to breakage. I'm an old school copper wire fan.

Don't forget you size the wire gauge to the load and the breaker for the wire gauge. A fuse or circuit breaker is there for fire protection and to prevent the wiring from heating up from too much current.

I just now saw this. I totally agree with you on all points. We bought our home because of location and the side garage. Turns out the thing is wide, but not as deep as I had thought. I can't get a car into it to shut the garage door.

Now here we are trying to build a shop. I'm excited about the prospect. I've been trying to find the cheapest 2 x 6 around and really, the truss are a lot more expensive than I thought, though I've never had to buy them before. Also, holy shit two and one gauge wiring is crazy expensive. Even if I go aluminum, its still 1.90-3.00 per foot and I figure I'll need about two hundred feet all in all. Man the cost on these things adds up quick.

Any pointers or helpful tips for me on the shop? Things you wish you had taken into account before it was done?
 

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The easier way is to just run the neutral from a direct circuit as a power. Tape the white neutral wire in black tape to denote it as such. Easy peazy, you've got 220V in 5 minutes.
From my understanding, I'm not an electrician, but this is actually an acceptable way of doing it and I've seen it done by professional electricians.
OP, find an outlet or light that has a breaker of it's own (only one light or outlet is shut off by one breaker), open the breaker panel and join the white wire to where the black wire is screwed in (the power). To denote that white wire as being HOT and now black wrap the cable in black electrical tape at both the breaker box and the outlet. Two wires now feed the outlet which gives 220V, the third wire is the ground which you don't change other than attaching it to the new plug.

Or do as Dick described and use two single breakers and join them. My way you may or may not have to change the breaker for Amperage to meet the need, which will be limited by the gauge of the wire you have existing. If the wire gauge doesn't meet the Amps/breaker you need you'd have to do it one of the two ways Dick describes.

Warning: Be sure to flip the main breaker before opening and messing around behind the breaker panel. Don't touch it if you don't know what you're doing. Also get an audible wire tester (basically a pen that you get near a cable and it beeps if the cable still carries power), to keep from frying yourself. 220V can kill you, don't mess with it unless you're certain.

Google search 'neutral as power for 220V' or something for a better description.
As he pointed out.... this needs to be a dedicated circuit with no other branches or devices attached.

Dicks' initial post is also a likely possibility. In many garages, they run 2-110v circuits to minimize washer/ dryer issues, and to possibly future an electric dryer on said line. As Dick pointed out, you must be cognizant of which breakers you are working with, as if you trip one leg..... one leg very well may stay 'hot' and can get you in real trouble.

You must know the required amp load for the machine, as likely it will want/ need 30-40A of power input. If this is the case, you are still out of luck, as nearly all residential electrical outlet circuits will be 15A or 20A. And.... doubling 110's to make 220 does NOT double amperage. A machine running on low amps overheats internal circuitry, and fires equipment, as well as trip breakers and can overload electrical lines, which yes.... can cause some nasty damage to the wiring and sometimes burn down a house.

Best bet is to get a friend to help who KNOWS electrical well.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Well, my shop materials purchasing started yesterday with a great deal of Craigslist on 7/16 osb for sheathing.

I got 70 4x8 sheets from a local Halloween store that was closing down. got them for a buck a piece. All are in mint condition. I loaded them up on my truck and trailer and headed home. Turned a corner about two miles from my house and the ratchet strap holding them from sliding sideways snapped on the trailer. I lost maybe twenty off the side. I was at an awkward spot on the road and couldn't back my trailer the fifty or sixty feet back to them to load back up so I pulled them into a small pile off the road, drove home, unloaded what I had and was back in maybe twenty minutes. In that time, some fucker pulled over and stole the twenty sheets. I was soooooo pissed off. I searched the nearby parking lots hoping I would find them in the back of a truck but never saw them again. We had to be in Nashville about an hour away in an hour so I didn't have time to keep looking. My wife was more pissed than I was. Still, I figured up 45-50 sheets for sheathing so I should still have enough. Its more just the principle.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
So true. I got them unloaded tonight into my garage and I had 57 so he didn't take as many as I thought.
 
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