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Having successfully won a hard fought ebay auction a couple of months ago, I became the proud new owner of a practically new Clarke spot welder (CSW6T).

 

Now I'm wanting to use the thing I heavily suspect that it needs to run off 16 amps. It doesn't actually say it's 16 amp on the device, but the ABB connector which it came with does. A Google states that I shouldn't put a 13 amp plug on it (although doesn't state how many amps the thing is and I have no idea what '50/60 Hz' means (I know what 'Hz' stands for)

 

I know little about mysterious electricity, but my thinking is to get power into my girlfriend's garage (where I'm working) from her third floor flat is via a 16 amp extension lead chucked over the balcony, which is connected indoors to a wired in 16 amp torpedo connector from the (old style) fuse board.

 

Will this work over a 25 metre fused 16 amp extension lead, and is it easy to wire a 16 amp torpedo connector into a fuseboard? Answers please ...

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You’re gonna die.

 

Thank you for that oh so sage and constructive critique, really helpful.

I'm well aware that I'm going to die, just the same as anything else that's ever lived.

One of the things on my bucket list before the inevitable though, is to complete the restoration of the car body shell I'm currently (no pun) wanting to spot-weld together ... not a consultation on this forum with with Doris Stokes/Charles Darwin. :rolleyes:

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I have used a similar machine (be it on thin metal) with no problem on 13a fused plug.

 

Its the inrush (surge) that will be the issue rather than the load, so long as the fuse is appropriate for the cable its protecting it will be ok, the welder will have big fat cable probably 2.5mm no prob carrying 13a safely forever.

 

It depends also on the settings of the welder, you may find a lower current (if its adjustable) will be ok through 13a fuse but turned up full may blow the fuse more frequently and as it takes time to warm up that bit of wire to melting point the timer setting will also effect it.

 

For the extension you really want 2.5mm cable which is quite heavy they are usually 1.5mm with a 13a fuse which is tolerable but i wouldn't recommend running it under the duvet at full tilt. Also if its on a reel make sure it's all rolled out.

 

Its really more about annoyance than safety, use correct fuse for cable you will be safe enough but if clarke had said it was ok but it kept blowing fuses due to the inrush then the buyers would have had a justified complaint.

 

If you want really dodgy my present one is made out of an old microwave transformer, i always keep a fire extinguisher nearby, strongly recommended for all welding ops.

When fusing metal together at melting point surrounded by combustible material you are challenging the gods of pyromania, although in my opinion resistance welding has to be the safest.

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I have used a similar machine (be it on thin metal) with no problem on 13a fused plug.

 

Its the inrush (surge) that will be the issue rather than the load, so long as the fuse is appropriate for the cable its protecting it will be ok, the welder will have big fat cable probably 2.5mm no prob carrying 13a safely forever.

 

It depends also on the settings of the welder, you may find a lower current (if its adjustable) will be ok through 13a fuse but turned up full may blow the fuse more frequently and as it takes time to warm up that bit of wire to melting point the timer setting will also effect it.

 

For the extension you really want 2.5mm cable which is quite heavy they are usually 1.5mm with a 13a fuse which is tolerable but i wouldn't recommend running it under the duvet at full tilt. Also if its on a reel make sure it's all rolled out.

 

Its really more about annoyance than safety, use correct fuse for cable you will be safe enough but if clarke had said it was ok but it kept blowing fuses due to the inrush then the buyers would have had a justified complaint.

 

If you want really dodgy my present one is made out of an old microwave transformer, i always keep a fire extinguisher nearby, strongly recommended for all welding ops.

When fusing metal together at melting point surrounded by combustible material you are challenging the gods of pyromania, although in my opinion resistance welding has to be the safest.

 

Thanks for that! :thumbsup:

It did occur to me to try it with a 13 amp plug just to see what happened because the worst would be a blown fuse. It was just that google told me not to. Having said that, I don't take everything I read on google as gospel (unlike some), hence asking on here foe advice.

The metal I want to spot-weld is fairly thin mild steel ... 21 guage (0.83mm), or less and although you can't adjust the current, you can ajust the time.

 

If I can use 13 amp, there's no need for an extension as the garage has several 13 amp plug sockets. I don't particularly want to muck around wiring in a 16 amp outlet to the girlfriends fuseboard as she gets a bit funny about stuff like that.

 

Not sure about loading or stuff like that, but have no problem powering my MIG or compressor into the 13 amp sockets.

 

The reason I want to spot-weld rather than plug-weld with the MIG is purely for aesthetics (although it's quicker too), as they are how the car was was originally constructed and will be visible. Only just got round to this as was waiting for a new chassis to ensure panel alignments. :)

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My mate had a workshop - landlord bodged the electrics and he was effectivly trying to use fairly hefty power tools through a domestic 13amp power supply. Worst case was the power tripping out.

 

Mind you, he moved to more palatial digs with a proper power supply. It could have burnt to ground since then, but at the time, it was power tripping out.

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Essentially, if your're not sure yourself consult a qualified sparky, particularly as your partner lives in a flat.

Now @ 6kva the inrush current will be at least 27Amps.

I'm assuming you're considering a 16A blue Commando socket wired off its own 16A MCB, rather than a wire fuse.

You may well find you need a Type C MCB, but try with a B curve one first, only moving to a C curve if you get it tripping.

Don't forget 16A plugs aren't fused themselves, relying on the MCB to protect the cable and the tool at the end of it. i.e don't see the 27A number above and assume you need a 32A breaker, as there will be the possibility of overloading the cable. A 16A breaker will handle a higher surge current; how much depends on the design curve.

Edited by peak4

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Presumably its this:

 

https://www.machinemart.co.uk/p/csw6t-spot-welder/

 

https://www.clarkeservice.co.uk/manuals/spot_welders/csw6t-13t.pdf

 

You may have serious issues with RFI/EMI, occupants of other flats may see their TV pictures breaking up and broadband routers

dropping connections. There are two kinds of RFI: radiated and conducted. A decent inline RFI filter is a definite requirement.

Edited by Mikes10

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I used mine on 13amp plug-but My mains were 16 amp supply the only thing someone had to stand by it to reset the trip after each spot, in the end I used my mig.

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Some useful comments here, thanks.

I intend to see what happens running the spot-welder off 13 amps, but knowing my luck will result in abject failure.

Another possibility on top of wiring girlfriend's fuseboard up (:gag:) is to hire a 16 amp generator. Problem being, I can't do all the work in one go, so don't know wether the hire will run to weeks rather than days ... could be expensive.

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Some useful comments here, thanks.

I intend to see what happens running the spot-welder off 13 amps, .

 

I assume the house is wired with MCBs, rather than fuse wire.

That being the case, if/when you try it, make sure that nothing will be damaged by a sudden power failure; i.e. desktop PCs writing to a HDD really don't like being unplugged whilst working etc. etc.

 

Personally I'd be looking at a 16A socket with appropriate breaker, but also seeking advice from a qualified sparky; I'm not one of them.

 

I've just been there with my new workshop. I wired a 110v transformer up to a dedicatd 16A socket and had to use a Type C breaker as the normal B curve one tripped due to the saturation current in the transformer when I powered it up. (It's only a 2KVA transformer.)

I'm guessing the 13A ring main will have a 20A B curve breaker, which should trip @ 3 to 5 times the rated load.

Don't forget that any load already on that circuit, TV, PC, Table lamps etc. will all reduce the overhead you have available to take the surge current on your spot welder.

 

Re. the generator, I'm not convinced you'd need a 16A one, 4KW generators are't cheap, and also buying then re-selling a nice quiet suitcase generator would probably be cheaper than hiring, so long as no-one nicks it from the garage.

 

Have a read of the various generator related posts on this forum http://www.model-engineer.co.uk/forums/searchresults.asp?Search=generator&t=0 and note the comments about the modern solid state ones tripping out with surge currents.

Edited by peak4

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I would just mig it, a lot more versatile than just spot welding for a fraction of the cost, and will happily run off a house supply. I rebuild a mini years ago with one. You can even buy spot weld attachments if you feel the need.

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