View Full Version : Should I look for a different welder?

05-10-2013, 10:41 AM
I bought a used Lincoln AC 225 stick welder for $220 Canadian. It is in great shape and I was all excited to get using it. I had an electrician come out to see about installing a 220 outlet. He explained to me that this welder is a 100% duty cycle machine and therefore requires pretty substantial wiring. To get it going is going to cost $400 or more depending on where an outlet is installed. I will need to weld outside. I'm wondering if I should sell this welder and look for one that will be less costly to get going? Or is this welder going to be so nice once it is useable that the cost is worth it? Will it be suitable for the relatively thin metal that the plans call for? Here is a link to the welder: http://www.canadiantire.ca/AST/browse/6/Tools/WeldingSoldering/Welders/PRD~0588035P/Lincoln+Electric+AC-225+Stick+Welder.jsp?locale=en

05-10-2013, 11:18 AM
I'd try to take it somewhere with the appropriate electrical connection (Note that you may be able to plug it into your clothes dryer outlet, but would need a really heavy dute extension cord) and make sure that it works properly before dropping any change on the electrical connections.

Also if you pay this, I'd get them to run a second dedicated 120 line for other tools so that they are not on your main circuit which allows you to use more tools simultaneously like an air compressor, or a heater...


05-10-2013, 12:59 PM
how can an ARC Welder BE 100% duty when the sticks will only last for so long?

also for it to be 100% duty it would cost LOT more then you paid and be to heavy for you to lift alone
it would be a ac/dc capable and have lots of bells and whistles and sockets to plug your cables into not
just coming out of the machine
this is a homeowner/hobbyist class machine and they only have a 20% duty rating
industrial class 250 amp welder.. http://www.lincolnelectric.com/en-us/Equipment/Pages/product.aspx?product=K1053-8%28LincolnElectric%29

05-10-2013, 01:44 PM
I would look for a different electrician !!

I agree with ibedayank, and, if you follow the link to the Canadian Tire page for this welder,

the dutycycle there is noted to be 20 % !!

05-10-2013, 04:30 PM
71077108I see on the front of the welder it says "constant current AC welder" which I think is what the electrician took to mean 100% duty cycle. However on the label it also says 20%. The electrician came highly recommended. Maybe he doesn't like smaller jobs. The page from the manual explains more. It seems to me that it would need a 50 amp circuit, is that correct?

05-10-2013, 04:38 PM
50amp for FULL use of the welder at 225 amps yes....
for Bicycle tubing you will NEVER use 225 amps
read the link I posted on the same amp amp catagory welder and then tell me if the one that you bought is compareable!!
Then ask yourself is a $289 welder is in the class in parts and constrution

05-10-2013, 04:57 PM
Check another electrician. Remind this new guy that you will NOT be using the welder at full rated output etc. You should be able to use it on a 40A circuit, which would require only an 8awg wire for runs less than 100ft, 6awg for over 101ft.


05-10-2013, 05:07 PM
50amp for FULL use of the welder at 225 amps yes....
for Bicycle tubing you will NEVER use 225 amps
read the link I posted on the same amp amp catagory welder and then tell me if the one that you bought is compareable!!
Then ask yourself is a $289 welder is in the class in parts and constrution How do I find the link you mention?

05-10-2013, 06:04 PM
you mean this????????????????????????
industrial class 250 amp welder..


you $300 welder... that $3000 welder...
what one is built better

05-10-2013, 06:55 PM
Yes I see what you mean! That would be overkill but I'm sure it would be very nice. :)

05-10-2013, 07:55 PM
The AC-225 you have pictured has the following input rating- 220V- 63 AMPS// 230v-50 amps.
Do not run the setting over 100 amps if you plug it in to the Dryer socket as most dryers only go to 20 to 25 amps. And the wiring is not going to be rated for more than that. In other word don't just plug a larger breaker in to dryer breaker. Or don't put a larger fuse in the fuse box if you blow it.
http://www.lincolnelectric.com/assets/global/Products/K1170/e230.pdf manual for the AC-225 welder.
I agree you should maybe either get another electricain or have him read the manual which I just gave you the link from Lincoln site.
Also you will want a larger amperage service regardless of what welder you get to run full amperage.
Duty cycle is based off ten minutes- Run 2 minutes let it cool 8 minutes. But that usual is when you run 100% of rated amperage. I believe the duty cycle is inverse of the power used. So if your only using 20% of full range amperage (45 amps) you can weld swap a rod and continue all day long. Thus it is 100% duty cycle when running at 20% power (45 AMP) and 20% duty cycle when running (225 AMPS), Hope that helps.

05-10-2013, 09:44 PM
Thank you darnthedog. That is very helpful. I will talk to the electrician again. The pdf is much clearer than the manual that came with the welder.

05-11-2013, 10:50 AM
Actually it sounds like you have a good electrician who knows his stuff but maybe didn't communicate what he meant in detail...

A licensed electrician has to stand behind his work for what he knows as the requirements of the line he is running, which a responsible electrician would do based on the 100% duty cycle of the welder.

What you need to do is show him him the chart in the manual that shows the duty cycle AMP/Wire requirements and let him know what you think will be the maximum thickness material you will be welding which is typically .065 for trikes/bikes which requires ~65amps, but I'd plan for .120 to .187 at a 50% duty cycle for the car projects your friends will come up with once they know that you have this class of welder ;)

Note that you shouldn't expect his quote to change that much because at the end of the day this welder requires a 220 circuit and the cost between the circuit breaker and the 230 wire just aren't that different.

For reference your quote is similar to what I have gotten down here in the US from an independent electrician for running a 220 circuit. Fortunately I don't need it because my inverter welder can run on 120 or 220 and I don't need the extra duty cycle for anything I plan to do.

You might want to look into actually getting an inverter for similar cost... although even that doesn't buy you much if you still have to have a circuit run because half the cost is the labor.


05-11-2013, 01:58 PM
Hi Tradetek. When you say an inverter, do you mean an inverter welder? If so what do you think of this one? http://www.everlastwelders.ca/powerarc-140st.php Or this one? http://www.everlastwelders.ca/powerarc-160sth.php I agree that the electrician is doing what he has to. I'm just wondering if I should sell the Lincoln and go for something newer and more portable?

05-11-2013, 02:43 PM
I am not pushing but if your going to go for a different machine I'd go for the http://www.everlastwelders.ca/tig-welders/powertig-185-micro.php
if your going that far. With that machine you will be able to play with Aluminum in the future as it has AC and DC welding capabilies. And steel loves DC more so than AC. But I don't want you to jump the gun and purchase till you know you like the hobby as that is an expensive upgrade. And yes those are all 3 inverter welders.
Inverters use semiconductor electronics verse a step down transformer to create the output power. The AC-225 is a simple transformer technology as old as ARC welding. And they last forever mostly. Where as the inverters are like Television with lots of chips and such. For the laymen we say its full of boxes of smoke. And when the smoke comes out they don't work anymore. Thus there is a repair factor to consider if they break.
So for the mean time as a new welder- Stick with the AC-225 as you have a lot of options in materials and such to work with. And you can experiement till your happy. If you decide you are going to really like this hobby then consider another welder. And while most of our stuff is .065 sized, there are parts on say a Warrior or Streetfox that require building up a weld on .1875 to .065 and even .5" material for Wheel Tabs and such. So you may need the extra amps to get that material to attach as you will need a bit more heat then. And while 120V welding sounds fine for now. I sort of wished I'd had a 220v machine to weld those part on my warrior to get a little more heat. Anyway I would still consider the 220v outlet a good investment for future welders. Hope that helps.

05-11-2013, 03:03 PM
That is very helpful. Thank you :)

05-11-2013, 03:04 PM
I have been hearing good things about the Everlast brand, and if I had it to do over again, I'd probably buy an Everlast vs. Lincoln that I have right now because you get a lot more bang for your buck with the Everlast TIG capable welders.

The key thing to know is that each of these machines while the 140 and 160 support "Stick" welding, the 185 does NOT.

Personally, with my money I'd go with either the 140 or 160 because I don't plan to ever do Aluminum, although if push comes to shove you can actually do Aluminum with DC, it just isn't as clean because the purpose of the AC for aluminum is that it cleans the impurities out of the Heat Affected Zone (HAZ) while DC does not.

Between the 140 and 160, I'd recommend going for the 160 because the 140 does NOT support the use of a pedal or finger Amp Control (Amptrol) . Also the 160 in TIG mode controls the flow of Argon gas through the machine which allows you to automatically control pre and post gas coverage automatically versus manually at the torch and one of my biggest issues on failed welds is forgetting to open the manual gas valve on my torch.

So my recommendation would be the 160 if you can afford it, but the 140 is a good choice if you can't justify the cost difference. Both machines come with all the pieces that you need to do SMAW and GTAW, but the 160 has additional advanced features that will make GTAW significantly easier when you are ready to TIG (assuming you don't start there the way I did).

Let us know if you have any other questions. Several of us use TIG, and a lot more of us use MIG. Brad (and I'm sure several others that I haven't heard from) use SMAW, so all the plans are developed using Stick.


05-11-2013, 03:28 PM
Correction the 2013 the Powertig 185Micro now comes as a stick capable machine. I got one and had to reject it due to shipping damage. But I have since read that the 2013 models also have the Stick capability. It has a switch that turns off the gas solenoid.

See: http://www.everlastgenerators.com/PowerTig-185-Micro-3910-pd.html
-NEW FEATURE! 150 amp Stick welder.
-NEW FEATURE! Lift TIG start in addition to HF start.

05-11-2013, 03:53 PM
It seemed odd to me that the 185 didn't support SMAW according to the Canadian site, so I went and looked at it's specs on the USA site and according to the specs the 185 Micro DOES support SMAW, so I don't know if it is a Canadian difference or if the Canadian info is old or just wrong.

Assuming that the US info is correct then the 185 would be a good choice, but personally I'd still go with the 160STH because I don't think that the extra $400 is worth it just to get the ability to do aluminum, but I'd use the difference to get a Plasma Cutter :)


05-11-2013, 06:03 PM
I looked into getting that Lincoln stick welder and ran into the same power supply problem you did. One of my coworkers suggested I get a Hobart Handler flux core wire feed arc welder. They are easier to use and run off of a normal wall outlet. I have the Hobart 125. If you have a bit extra money the Hobart 140 is more versatile.

Ive been very happy with my purchase. If you go this route, start with the .035" diameter wire, which I like more than the .030" that comes with the unit.

05-12-2013, 12:23 AM
yep buying a welder that they change the design every couple years so you can not get replacement parts is such a great idea
neverlast and longivity are in this class

where you can still get parts for a 50 year old Lincoln and Miller