Can I run my welding machine off a 13 amp plug at home?
This is a frequent question we get asked.
There are a few welding machines that will run off a 13 amp supply (normal 3 pin domestic plugs), however most will need 16 amp higher.
Generally, your welder needs to be less than 130 amp output to use 13 amp supply. It will also come with a fitted 13 amp plug.
If it doesn’t have a fitted 13 amp plug, it will require a bigger input.
If there is a serial/name plate, this is a good place to start. Any decent electrician would look here to find the information.
On the plate, there will be a voltage input rating and a current rating. Along with a frequency and maybe even a power rating. There will definitely be a 3~ or 1~ (phases) marking also, especially on industrial machines.
This is invaluable information, and should be considered when installing or plugging in any welding equipment.
Regarding the household 13 amp plug.
Most ring mains are fused/tripped at 32A for the whole ring.
Generally, anything under 3kw will plug into a normal 13A 3 pin household socket.
This can be worked out like 3000w / 240v = 12.5Amp
However, I am not advising this with welding machines unless it will be a low duty cycle (ie not welding all the time; like for a repair on something that will take 5 mins of welding). All above depends on the current/wattage on the welding machine name plate.
If you are welding all the time (up to the welding machine duty cycle, this is another brill topic I will cover later) on a 240v supply, it is a good idea to have a properly rated spur or outlet. This should be fitted by a qualified electrician, with correct gauge cable, and backed up with the correct fusing / trip.
Hopefully this has answered your question?
If you still are unsure, be safe and avoid unnecessary risks by contacting your local welding distributor or qualified electrician and pay for a site visit.
Good luck and keep safe
If you like these tips why not subscribe to our Blog for more tips from Mark Reaney Technical Director – Service Engineer – Nerd!!!