Why Does My Welder Keep Tripping the Breaker?

It’s quite normal for your welder to overburden a circuit breaker and make it trip because welding tools need a lot of power. However, there is a serious problem if this becomes a repeated issue and you may wonder, why?

Your welder will cause your circuit breaker to trip when it is pulling more current than the breaker can afford to generate. It is either the breaker doesn’t sustain sufficient amperage for what the welder is extracting, or that there’s damage in the welder or the breaker.

There are many issues that could make the breaker trip each time you want to make use of your welder. These issues, if not detected and properly handled, are capable of rendering the breaker useless. In this article, I’ll discuss the reason for, and how to prevent your welder from tripping the breaker.

What Causes the Breaker to Trip?

A breaker is intended to help prevent damage to your house. When the amperage of a circuit is raised, electrical resistance in the circuit is also raised. If the amperage rises in excess, this can make the resistance in the cables rise to the extent that it becomes a potential fire risk. 

In order to avoid hazards, a circuit breaker interrupts the circulation of electric current before the amperage gets too high. Most standard breakers achieve this by putting an electromagnet coupling inside the circuit, close to a switch. When the amperage escalates to unsafe points, the electromagnet pulls with stronger force, shifts the switch and unblocks the circuit. 

This action cuts the circulation of electricity and averts accidents. Welders are heavy tools that use so much electricity. This demands a circuit designed to permit a high amperage without prompting damage or tripping the circuit breaker. 

If the welder draws more amperage from the circuit than the capacity of the breaker, it will make the breaker trip. Knowing this, you need to carry out some evaluations to narrow down where and what the problem is. Then, you can detect the issue causing your welder to keep tripping the circuit breaker and fix it.

How to Stop the Welder From Tripping the Breaker?

Ensure that you use a circuit that is fitting for the electric current the welder requires. It is unsafe to use it on the welder which demands more voltage than what is generated. If you mismatch things and as a result prevent the breaker from opening the circuit, it could cause a fire outbreak, burning your house down.

Blowing your breaker all the time will eventually get it stressed and damaged. The breaker becomes unable to conduct even the original voltage it was made for. In addition, when the contacts heat up to a high level, the wiring is easily destroyed or even ignited. 

It is unlikely that integrating the contacts will cause damage very often, since the circuit breakers are designed to prevent that from occurring. Although things could still go wrong. If you purchase your welder instead of constructing one, then it should have a plug attached to it.

This way, you won’t insert it inside a lower current circuit because the size and order of earth pins differs on a high voltage plug. You can sometimes use lesser welding currents that won’t overburden the circuit. Although that will greatly reduce the thickness of the metal you’re able to weld.

The voltage on transformer welders is adjusted by transferring a mild iron core through the weld. In the event that you cannot achieve that with your handmade design, the adjustment will be impossible. When the capacitor is excited continuously with a lower current, it then dumps into the clamped electrodes in nanoseconds.

What to Check If Your Welder Keeps Tripping the Breaker?

Welders come in various sizes, and some require a lot more current than others. If your welder keeps tripping your circuit breaker in the fuse container, it could be because of certain factors. Ensure you attend to the problem immediately, thereby preventing more hazardous conditions. 

The following are the common reasons I see welding cause breaker trips.

Double Voltage Welder: With modernized inverter welders, numerous factories produce welders that can carry 120 to 240V input. This implies that while the device might be able to emit about 200 Amps, it won’t make it demand a lower voltage input. So when your welder is fused into a 120V outlet, you won’t need to weld at 200 Amps because it will trip the circuit breaker. 

Most plasma cutters and double voltage welders run at about half their capacity when running on 120V. If you’re experiencing issues, try to reduce the voltage and check whether you can weld at a lesser amperage.

Worn Wires or Breaker: Older buildings are likely to have worn-out circuit breaker boxes. This breaker can grow faulty or weak over time, causing constant tripping. In a situation, your welder functions well but keeps tripping the breaker, try changing the breaker itself and see if it’ll stop. 

I’ll advise you to get your local electrician to check out the breakers and wiring first before taking anything out or replacing it.

Fitting Breaker Size: This may sound unbelievable but most welders require a bigger breaker than is obtainable in an average house as normal. For example, using a 240V outlet originally designed to run simple home equipment which may have a lower breaker unmatched for the welder. Find out if your electrician can add an extra outlet or if the existing one can be upgraded.

Welder Functionality: Sometimes, welders fail and trip the breaker as soon as they’re plugged in. When this happens, plug in another piece of equipment and see if the same thing occurs. If it doesn’t, your welder is most likely the problem. Contact your electrician or welding company to complain and get the issue fixed.

Whatever the issue is, don’t try to resolve it without help especially if you’re not a trained engineer. Contact a professional to prevent possible hazards like fire outbreaks or electrocution.

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