The False Economy of Not Wiring Correctly for Your Spot Welder
In Europe, spot welders run on 440 or 400 volts but in Canada, a spot welder runs on 208 volts. This means you have a lot less power available to make a spot weld which means your welder must work harder in Canada to make an equivalent weld. If you further impact that by not providing the welder with the correct power the welder will in most cases still work but it affects the welder long term. It's like putting 89 octane in your car when it requires 93. It works but what are the long-term effects? In a spot welder, this could lead to a shorter life span or the requirement to replace electronic components like inverter boards.
Most spot welders require 208 volts, 3 phase, and 60 amp with no voltage drop. This is the crucial part. NO VOLTAGE DROP usually means sizing the wire one size bigger (thicker) to carry the current without restriction and eliminate the voltage drop. With the price of copper these days thicker wire costs more money but saving here will more than likely result in repairs to your spot welder down the road. Your electrician will measure the distance from the main panel to the socket where you will plug in the spot welder and make a calculation based on the voltage in your building. This will determine the wire size.
If you have a very long run you may consider running 600 volts from the splitter box where the power comes into the building and then using a step-down transformer where the welder will be used. Running at a higher voltage means using thinner and less expensive wire on the way to the transformer. This option gives the spot welder plenty of power. If you are adding electrical items, be mindful of your spot welders' needs. If you change the transformer on the pole outside your shop make sure your electrician or the city checks your spot welder for voltage drop. They may not be aware of your electrical needs and sometimes they set the taps too low.
When was the last time you had your spot welder serviced? Who does the spot welder service at your facility? If you can't answer either of these questions it's time for a service contract to keep your spot welder running. What is the cost and losses in production when your spot welder goes down? Titanium offers service contracts with many value-added benefits like new tech training and loaner machines.