Welding on 110 vs 220. Amps change.

Welding Techniques, Theory, Machines and Questions.

Moderator: Harold_V

Post Reply
Posts: 23
Joined: Thu Aug 11, 2022 2:01 pm

Welding on 110 vs 220. Amps change.

Post by ChooChooChris » Sat Sep 03, 2022 8:02 pm

Forgive me I am new to welding and just looking for some input. On my inverter welder the amps as measure by a clamp amp meter run 25 percent higher on 220v compared to 110v with the amp dial remaining the same.

So logically I lower the dial to get to the same actual amperage however I find it harder to maintain arc compared to 110 at the same amperage.

When dealing with these inverter units is the voltage consistent between 110 and 220 input? Is It possible on 220 it is using a lower voltage and there for bumping up the amps for the same actual heat output in watts? Or are watts irrelevant here since it isn’t really a resistive load?

Posts: 193
Joined: Tue Oct 20, 2009 9:39 pm
Location: Durban South Africa

Re: Welding on 110 vs 220. Amps change.

Post by atunguyd » Sun Sep 04, 2022 1:49 am

Where are you placing this clamp meter? On the cable coming from the wall outlet to the welder or on one of the cables from the welder to the torch or ground clamp?

If the latter then your clamp meter will probably not work correctly as the inverter output is not a pure AC or DC output but rather a pulse width modulated AC/DC signal

Sent from my SM-S908E using Tapatalk

User avatar
Posts: 1734
Joined: Sun Dec 08, 2013 1:40 pm
Location: southern Portugal

Re: Welding on 110 vs 220. Amps change.

Post by liveaboard » Sun Sep 04, 2022 5:00 am

As Atunguyd said, measuring real current output of an inverter is tricky.

I've found that the markings on the power knob on my inverter welder have little to do with reality.
So I set it to where I'm happy with the weld.
For 3.2mm (1/8") rod the markings state I'm running 140A to 160A.
In reality I suspect that's more like 120-140.

Posts: 441
Joined: Thu May 24, 2007 9:01 pm
Location: Westminster, CO

Re: Welding on 110 vs 220. Amps change.

Post by STRR » Sun Sep 04, 2022 6:43 pm

Current usage and voltage are directly linked. It's Ohm's Law. If you draw 20 amps with 110volts, the same load will draw 10 amps on 220. That's why industrial machines use 220, 440, or higher to reduce the amperage draw and thus the size of the wires bringing the power to the machine but still get the task done as designed.

This will most likely have some effect on the output of the welder amperage. Atunguyd, has good advice if you're trying to get a perfect measurement of actual welding amperage.

My recommendation: Use 220 if you can. Adjust your welder amperage to get your desired arc and penetration. All of the provided specs are just "guides" to get you close. Some welding machines need higher settings, while some need lower settings. You need to adjust YOUR welder to YOUR desired settings to get YOUR desired results.

I know this can be a chore when you do not know HOW TO but it's all part of the learning process. Start with the suggested settings. Then figure out if those settings are too hot or too cold and adjust them. You may want to purposely turn them up to see just what it is like welding HOT or turn them down to see what it is like to weld too COLD. You'll get the feel for it. Just keep trying and practicing on scrap pieces until you make yourself happy.

Good Luck,

Post Reply