If you’re carrying out some welding jobs at home, you should know that you’re in for a huge power bill. While that’s a clear fact, what’s not very clear is how much of a power draw the average welding equipment is.
While a welder sounds like a resource-intensive machine, it doesn’t use as much power as you think if you conserve power. Interestingly, your refrigerator and air compressor both use far less energy than your welder, making it a pretty efficient machine.
In this article, I’ll show you how much power the average welder uses to help you get the appropriate power source for your weld. You’ll also learn if you can weld on a generator, and how to get the best generators for welding.
Does a Welder Use a Lot of Power?
If you’re trying to run your welder on a generator, you may want to know how much input wattage you should be looking at. Depending on what kind of welder you’re using, it can range from “a lot” to “don’t use generator power.”
Welders use a lot of power, regardless of their size or power output. If you must rely on a generator for welding, you must be willing to use some of the best, as that’s how much power your welder requires.
Generally, the power consumption of your welding machine will depend on its transformer. The transformer also influences the output of the welder directly. In short, you’ll have to buy a pretty powerful generator to run a powerful welder.
It’s very easy to tell how much power a welder will consume as long as you know the amperage. You can use the amperage to calculate its required power input, which will be instrumental in helping you choose a generator.
Summarily, a welder does use a lot of power, but there are measures you can take to reduce your welder’s power consumption. Firstly, I’ll explain how to find out the average power consumption of a welder, then you’ll learn how to reduce your welder’s power consumption.
How Much Power Does a Welder Use?
If you’re not a very technical person, speaking in kilowatts will sound very boring. However, making direct comparisons to appliances that you use every day will be much more practical, and that’s how I’ll start.
An electric welder consumes a lot of power, but compared to some other home appliances, it’s relatively power-efficient. If you have a beefy gaming computer with some super-expensive graphics card, it’s probably using more power than your noisy welder does.
If you’re using a welder built for power efficiency like an inverter welder, you shouldn’t worry about an overblown wage bill. Unless you’re welding all day with the machine, the difference in your electricity cost will be quite minuscule.
If you’re someone who likes to deal in kilowatts, however, the information above isn’t very telling. You can calculate how much power your welder uses easily, thanks to the power consumption information on the machine and your own usage data.
If you check your device, you’ll notice a rate of power consumption indicated in watts. However, the most accurate unit for calculating its power consumption is kilowatts per hour, as it adjusts for the amount of time with which you’ll be using the machine.
You can calculate the kilowatts per hour by dividing the average power draw by the time. If you have the voltage and amplifier, multiplying them and dividing the result by the machine’s efficiency will give you the machine’s kilowatts.
How to Reduce Power Consumption While Welding
From this article, one thing is certain: welding consumes a whole lot of power. That’s not necessarily a bad thing. It’s not like there are more power-efficient alternatives out there that can do the job just as well.
Since you can’t rule out the fact that your welder will consume excessive power, you can reduce the power consumption. Here are some expert tips to help reduce the amount of power that your welder uses during each welding session to avoid exorbitant power bills.
- Ensure You’re Conserving Power On Idle.
If you’re not actively trying to conserve power, your welder will use more power when idle than what it uses to weld metals. Most electrical appliances, including welders, aren’t designed to be power-efficient and you’re the one to pay for that literally.
When choosing a welder, try choosing one that conserves power on idle. Some welders come with a standby button that puts the machine in a power-saving state. This is an excellent way to save power when welding, effectively cutting down your wage bill.
- Consider Switching To An Inverter Welder.
Inverter welding remains the most power-efficient welding technology out there. If you worry constantly about the power consumption of your welder, you should probably consider switching to one that’s built for efficiency.
Inverter welders are designed to accept low input, amplify it within and give out high output. While the details of how an inverter welder works could take books to explain, you should know that this welder design is a no-brainer for power efficiency.
On the negative side, inverter welders can be pretty difficult to repair due to the complicated tech that makes them run so efficiently. In addition to that, they don’t have as much durability as transformer welders, a quality which will force you to see a repairman every so often.
- Monitor Your Power Usage.
It becomes quite difficult to cut down on your resource usage when you have no idea how much resources you’re using. Before trying to cut down on your welder’s power consumption, it helps to determine how much power you use in the first place.
Many tools can help you determine how much power you use in welding. If it appears to be excessive, you may want to try out all the suggestions above. If otherwise, you’re likely using a piece of equipment that helps you save power out of the box.
Tracking how much power you use can help you cut down on your overall wage bill. If your welder isn’t at fault, you can try to determine whatever is at fault and take accurate measures to reduce its energy usage.