Welder Cord

I feel like they could have made this better.
 Posted September 20, 2018
Welder Cord https://caleb-vincent.io/post/2018-09-20-welder-cord/

Welder yells “only 20 amp outlet!”
Yet works with a 15 amp socket.
New cable of 12/3
With a 5-20P,
And now I probably won’t melt it.

The welder cleary warns that it requires a 20amp outlet, however instead of using a 20 amp plug, they used a standard 15 amp (NEMA 5-15 specifically). To make things worse, they also used 16AWG cord (SJT 14/3)—which is only rated for 13 amps. The thin cord gauge is maybe why it’s only 6ft long, or maybe they’re just really cheap… ¿por que no los dos?.

I replaced the cord with a 15ft 12AWG (SJOOW 12/3, rated for 25 amp), and a 20 amp plug (NEMA 5-20).

Idealy this would allow it to perform better in the high current mode. Not having to use an extension cord just to reach the outlet should help some, no matter what.

Realistically, this probably won’t actually change things. Having a look inside the welder shows that main wire connecting the power switch to the control board is also 16AWG…
So, either this thing is horribly under-built, or the 20 amp rating is just for show… and it’s horribly under-built.
Alternatively, it was designed so that the 16 gauge was acting as a current limiter, and I’m in for a wild ride… probably not.

Final Note: technically, the old cord was rated for a higher temperature—105°C vs 90°C.