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Old 11-25-2009, 11:05 AM   #1
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Sub-Panel and 220v questions


I'm preparing to purchase a Lincoln Stick Welder (model K1170). I'll be using it in my garage, which is detached from my house and sits about twenty feet away.

Current electrical situation for the garage is a single circuit running from a subpanel in my house out to the garage. It splits off in a junction box to power two outside lights, the single indoor garage light, and the garage door opener. The idiots who wired the d*** thing put everything on one circuit which means if the light is off I can't open my garage door. I've got one outlet in the garage, which is very frustrating for using multiple tools. It is all on a 20amp breaker.

What I want to do is:
- Install a sub panel in the garage
- Run a 220v circuit from the new panel for the welder
- And then put in a couple of circuits for the garage lighting (which I'll increase to several fluorescent fixtures), outlets, garage door, etc.

My questions are:
- What gauge wire do I need to run from the panel in my house to the subpanel in the garage (consider the applications that will be used out there)? The actual wire distance between the two will be between 40 - 60 feet. Straight shot is only 25 feet or so, but I have to run up into my attic, blah blah blah.
- Also, what size breaker in the house panel for the sub panel?
- What gauge wire do I need to use for the 220v outlet? And what breaker size? The welder I'm getting, as mentioned is the classic Lincoln Stick welder. Specs on it are at:

Thanks so much!

Oh, and any idea approximate cost?
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Old 11-25-2009, 11:48 AM   #2
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You need to add up the loads you will be using in the garage
Then decide on the size sub-panel
A 50-60a is a pretty standard size for a sub using #6 wire, 2 hots, white & green ground
2 grounding rods at detached garage, neutrals & grounds on seperate bus
Neutral bus not bonded to the case (green screw removed)

DIY costs estimated:
Under $100 for a 100 main breaker sub panel
50-60 breaker - $30-40 = costs vary by area
Wire - depends upon size - could be $1 foot for #6 * 60' X4 approx = $240

I've picked up a 100 panel for maybe $60, 60a breaker I think was $30 last I saw - here

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Old 11-25-2009, 06:42 PM   #3
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Here's a good deal on a panel probably appropriate for your need. The panel, main breaker, ground, plus four 20a breakers for lighting and outlets circuits - all for just $54.00.

Feed this subpanel from a 60 amp breaker in your main panel and connect it via #6 wire. Do a search on subpanel here and you will find a wealth of information.

That stick welder draws a lot power - looks like a 50 amp just for it. You might want to up the main panel breaker and wire to the full 100 capacity of the subpanel.

On another note - are you an experienced welder or just getting into welding? Mig is a lot easier to learn and typically the way to go now rather than a stick unit, depending on your usage. The stick 'tombstone' welders are often readily available used via Craigslist.
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Old 11-26-2009, 12:35 AM   #4
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This question comes up once a week. Use the search feature.
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Old 11-27-2009, 06:30 PM   #5
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Thanks for the info. Due to budgetary issues I'm going to run just a 220 circuit out to my garage using #6 wire. I'll eventually set up a sub panel out there, but can't swing it now.

Semi experienced welder. I've used stick and mig in the past. Never owned my own rig, and although I've waffled back and forth on which to get I've settled on stick. Cost is one issue for a new unit. There are used units on craigslist but none are close enough for me to drive in a reasonable time. Lowes has a new Lincoln for $269. I know stick is more difficult, but I'm okay with an adjustment period...
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