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Old 01-30-2021, 08:06 AM   #1
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Welders... extension cord wire gauge

I have a Hobart Handler 140 MIG welder 115v and wanted to run a 100ft extension cord. The outlet is 20 amps. Any tips? Also, is it a bad idea to, on top of the extension cord, plug the welder into a 5 outlet adapter? And if the adapter is 15 amps that defeats the initial 20amp outlet right? Seems obvious but I'm an amateur and just want to make sure. Would a 12 gauge extension cord be enough or should it be 10? Some

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Old 01-30-2021, 08:51 AM   #2
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Originally Posted by adic27 View Post
I have a Hobart Handler 140 MIG welder 115v and wanted to run a 100ft extension cord. The outlet is 20 amps. Any tips? Also, is it a bad idea to, on top of the extension cord, plug the welder into a 5 outlet adapter? And if the adapter is 15 amps that defeats the initial 20amp outlet right? Seems obvious but I'm an amateur and just want to make sure. Would a 12 gauge extension cord be enough or should it be 10? Some

Thanks
I've used a regular 100ft extension cord to weld with my Hobart 140.
That was just to weld thin stuff on a bus. Wasn't using a lot of power.
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Old 01-30-2021, 09:00 AM   #3
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I might get beat up a bit by the more label-conscience sticklers (who are, actually, right...) but I think you'll be fine with that. There are lots of variables here, as the actual current draw will depend upon your welder settings. The two issues here are the voltage drop at the welder end of the cord...meaning you start with 120V at the receptacle but will have some lower voltage at the welder under load. Will the welder work okay? In my experience, yes. That cord is at the smaller end of the range for a 15A cord 100 feet long. The other issue is heat within the extension cord, under load. Out in the open air, on the ground, I don't see an issue. Just don't coil the cord up inside an enclosed container filled with old oily rags..which you're not going to do.

I've run bigger welders on much smaller, and lots longer, wire runs in other countries and had no issues with welder performance or melted wire.
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Old 01-30-2021, 09:14 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by EastCoastCB View Post
I've used a regular 100ft extension cord to weld with my Hobart 140.
That was just to weld thin stuff on a bus. Wasn't using a lot of power.
Thanks. I'll give it a go
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Old 01-30-2021, 09:24 AM   #5
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I might get beat up a bit by the more label-conscience sticklers (who are, actually, right...) but I think you'll be fine with that. There are lots of variables here, as the actual current draw will depend upon your welder settings. The two issues here are the voltage drop at the welder end of the cord...meaning you start with 120V at the receptacle but will have some lower voltage at the welder under load. Will the welder work okay? In my experience, yes. That cord is at the smaller end of the range for a 15A cord 100 feet long. The other issue is heat within the extension cord, under load. Out in the open air, on the ground, I don't see an issue. Just don't coil the cord up inside an enclosed container filled with old oily rags..which you're not going to do.

I've run bigger welders on much smaller, and lots longer, wire runs in other countries and had no issues with welder performance or melted wire.
Thanks for this info! Yea I'm going to run the cord along the wall in a rv/boat storage unit. The wall is metal of course. Plus I'll keep an eye on the cord and feel how hot it gets. I'm gonna be patching up holes in the ground from when I removed the seats. Roof raise and entry stair repair later. And who knows what else
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Old 01-30-2021, 09:55 AM   #6
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I had to weld a fence that was 50ft back from the house power, and just ran a plain 12awg extension cord with the two wires hacked into the breaker box for 220v, no ground. It will work, will not give you full power at all. Not safe, do it own risk, have phone ready for 911 call...
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