run MIG off 5000 watt portable generator?

woodchuck50August 22, 2006

I've got a 130 amp 120 volt MIG welder that I'd like to run off a portable generator so I can take it out in the field (I'm at a small farm). The generator is a homeowner type Coleman 5000 watt generator, one of the cheaper units with a 10 horse flathead motor. Supposedly, the max output of this generator should be around 40 amps, which should be plenty to power the MIG, which takes up to 25 amps max input. Is there any reason not to try this? Could I damage the MIG if something goes wrong with the current output of this rather cheaply made generator?

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Should be OK, but you may have voltage sag at arc starting.
It is unlikely to damage anything if the 5000 watts is a continuous rating and not a BS 'peak' rating.

Welders tend to draw some extra current when the arc is struck, and this is not included in the input current of the device since it only lasts a brief time.

If the welder has a 25 A input rating @ 120 V you can only draw ~3000 watts continuous, so a 5000 watt continuous generator should be adequate.

    Bookmark   September 1, 2006 at 8:38AM
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