Install A 220v Outlet For Your Welder

At some point most gearheads can no longer resist the urge to make two pieces of metal one. And why not? Decent welding equipment is now inexpensive and accessible to enthusiasts of all experience levels. I inherited a gently used Lincoln Electric AC-225 stick welder, which gave me a good excuse to step away from my MIG welder and master the ancient art of stick welding. It also required I install a 220v outlet in my garage.

I must preface this by saying that I am NOT a licensed electrician. I’m not even an unlicensed electrician. In fact, I once electrocuted myself installing a dishwasher. That’s a true story. Electricity can be dangerous, and the power supply running through your electrical panel is more than enough to kill you in a spectacular show of light and fire.

So, with that said, and with a healthy fear of electricity, let’s proceed – at your own risk! Though the dishwasher incident is now a fading memory, it left enough of an impression on me that I sought the expertise of the electrical professionals in my local hardware store for this project. I would suggest you do the same, or consult the manufacturer of the equipment you intend to use on the circuit prior to purchasing your materials.

  1. Before you touch anything else, turn off the main power to the breaker box.
  2. Remove the metal cover to gain access to the breakers. You’ll need to identify the make and model of your box, and determine if there is room for a two pole breaker in the box – they take up two spaces. If you’ve made it this far you’re ready to take a ride to the hardware or electrical supply store to purchase a breaker, a length of electrical wire, and an outlet.TIP: Pay close attention to the grade of materials you purchase for this project. An overloaded circuit is a clear fire and electrocution hazard, and can also damage your equipment. Be sure to purchase a breaker rated at or above the required amperage for your welder, the proper gauge wire for that size circuit, and the appropriate outlet to match your welder’s plug. If you’re unsure of exactly what to buy, ask for help.My Lincoln Electric Arc 225 requires a 50 amp 2 pole breaker and a three prong outlet with minimum #6 wire connecting the two. It’s important to note here that in the photos of my installation both the black and white wires are hot. In a four wire circuit the white would likely be neutral with black and red being hot. Green or bare copper are normally your ground wires. Since this is a three wire installation we’re using white for the second hot wire.
  3. On the breaker side of the wire, connect a hot wire to each screw on the breaker and snap the breaker into the box. BE SURE THE THERE IS NO POWER SUPPLY TO THE BOX FIRST! Then find an empty spot in the ground bar and connect your ground wire. Be sure you’re connecting the ground to the ground bar and not the neutral bar.
  4. Now, double check your connections to be sure the wires are routed correctly and everything is installed securely. If you’re satisfied, connect the outlet to a stud on the wall and install the outlet cover.
  5. Reinstall the outlet box cover, turn the master breaker back on, plug in your welder and check for power! Good luck, and happy welding!
By | 2017-09-11T15:29:50+00:00 February 8th, 2015|Garage Projects|13 Comments

About the Author:

I’m a lifetime car guy with a broad interest in just about any type of self-propelled machinery, and racing. I have a soft spot for under-appreciated marques, which often gets me in trouble with oddball projects.

13 Comments

  1. Horus March 13, 2016 at 1:48 am

    Hey if I wanted to run my lincoln 225v tombstone from my range outlet couldn’t I just change my welder plug?

    • Dan Hankin March 15, 2016 at 1:56 am

      Hi Horus. I’m not an electrician, so I’m not really qualified to give you a definitive answer to your question, but I’ve heard of people doing this. If you do, I’d first check the outlet, the gauge of the wire in the circuit, and the breaker in the box to confirm they’re rated high enough to safely carry the current requirements of your welder. If not, it could overload the circuit and cause a fire and/or damage your equipment. Good luck! Let us know how it works out.

  2. Rick April 9, 2016 at 4:04 am

    The wiring on my welder is different colors and ground is not a solid wire

    • Dan Hankin April 9, 2016 at 11:51 pm

      Hey Rick. The wires illustrated here are the circuit between the breaker box and wall outlet. That said, what color wires and what type of welder do you have?

  3. Jeremy Haller April 26, 2016 at 2:21 pm

    Dan I have a 195 mig welder with a green and yellow wire (ground) and a brown wire (neutral) and a blue wire (hot) and i’m needing to know if I should use 30 or 40 amp with it and what gauge wire would be the best so it will run correctly? I ordered this machine off of e-bay and got a great deal but the instruction manual doesn’t say what to use to wire it into my panel. Thanks in advance for any helpful advice!

    • Dan Hankin May 4, 2016 at 1:48 pm

      Hi Jeremy. I don’t know enough to make a specific recommendation, but will say with electrical circuits it’s better to err on the side of a step up in wire gauge and breaker amperage. Too small a wire or breaker creates resistance and heat, which can damage equipment or become a fire hazard. You’re not going to hurt anything by installing larger gauge wire/breaker.

      Also, when purchasing wire, be sure it’s rated AWG (American Wire Gauge). A lot of the cheaper offshore wire is not AWG and though the same overall thickness it’s more insulation than wire, which will run hot. If you have a local electrical supply store you can get your wire and breaker from they can help you ensure you get the right circuit to support your equipment. Good luck!

  4. Rob Simpson August 20, 2016 at 11:18 pm

    I don’t know but I focused on the “I once electrocuted myself” thing. Probably because I almost experienced it too so I don’t want it to happen again. Though accidents happen especially if your activity is such as this so it is best to wear your proper gear when working. Happy that you were able to do this successfully even with a little knowledge.

    • Dan Hankin August 21, 2016 at 1:46 am

      It’s definitely not something you forget, Rob! Fortunately, as I’ve gotten older and smarter I’ve learned to ask someone with more experience before starting an unfamiliar project. People are generally willing to share knowledge!

  5. Billy August 25, 2016 at 4:40 am

    So the 50amp breaker you put in, is it two 50s for a total 100 amps or just 50? This part of the install confused me cause I have the same welder you do.

    • Dan Hankin August 25, 2016 at 1:19 pm

      Hi Billy. It was a single 50 amp breaker. It’s a two pole breaker, so it takes up two positions in the box, but the throws are connected. If you’re unsure of which to buy it would be a good idea to consult with someone in the electrical supply store, or even the electrical department of a big box store like Lowe’s or Home Depot (which is exactly what I did back when I did this project). You can print the electrical specifications right from Lincoln and take them with you. http://www.lincolnelectric.com/assets/US/EN/literature/e230.pdf

    • jaknieper23 September 27, 2016 at 3:50 am

      it is just 50 amps. there is two 50 amp poles because to get 240v, it is essentially taking two 120v AC signals that are opposite each other (google 120/240 single phase transformer) so you are limiting 50 amps for each 120V source …. the benefit though is it is double the power 240v X 50a = 12kW vs 120v X 50a = 6kW

  6. Jimmy January 12, 2017 at 3:31 am

    For 195 use we have 8g with 40amp double pole breaker and use everyday for welding gates at fence company

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