How Much Electricity Does a MIG Welder Use?

This is very obvious and one should be really conscious of that how much electricity is your machine about to consume.

Not all machines consume the same amount of electricity; the smaller ones with lesser volts will definitely consume lesser amount of electricity as compared to the larger machines. 

How Much Electricity Does a MIG Welder UseAlso, the volts and the power produced by the machine will be a deciding factor while selecting the thickness of the metal to be welded. You will need higher volt machine to penetrate through thicker metal sheets than the thinner ones.

One more thing that you should know is that only keeping the welder on will not consume electricity; the actual electricity is consumed only during the welding of the metals. 

To know how much electricity your MIG welder use, you need to multiply the input current (amps) by 230 volts. Therefore, for a 100 amp welder pulling 9 amps, the calculation will be 9*230volts=2070watts=2.070kW.

There are also a number of factors to be understood before understanding the amount of electricity consume by your welder and we will discussing about all of them in this article…

How much power does a MIG welder use?

MIG welders come in two sizes; one is the small one and the other is the larger one consuming higher power. The small MIG welder let’s consider the ones that are of 115 volts will produce power as much as 140 amperage that is enough to penetrate ¼” thick steel.

The larger MIG welder that are of around 200 to 220 volts will produce power as much as 200 amperage that is enough to penetrate ½” thick steel.

Also, the power consumed by the welding machine depends on the size of the transformer that is used in the welding. Large sized transformers will obviously consume more power than the smaller ones. This is because a lot of power is used up in the transformer heat-up.

Does a MIG welder use a lot of electricity?

To know how much electricity your welder is using, you need to first of all look at the input current or the power of the welder. Next, you need to multiply the maximum input current by 230 volts and you will get the maximum power consumption or electricity consumption of the welder.

Let’s make it simple!

If you run your MIG welder at 200 amps, it would draw somewhere around 20 amps from the supply. Thus, the power consumption of the welder will be 4.6kW.

That said, similarly a 150 amps welder will use around 3kW of electricity.

If you are still confused, let’s delve deep into the calculation that is multiplying the maximum input current by 230 volts to get the maximum power consumption:

A 200 amp welder will pull somewhere around 18 to 19 amps.

So, a 100 amp welder will pull half the amount that is 9 to 9.5 amps.

Therefore, 9.5*230 volts=2185 watts=2.185kW.

But remember, this calculation will be applied only if you run the welder continuously for 1 hour, which is not the case usually. The actual time of the running welder will be only 30% of the time. Therefore, current consumption will be even lesser.

MIG welder power requirements

There are a number of factors on which the power requirements depend on and let’s find them out in the charts below:

Thickness of the material and amps required:

Thickness (inches) Amps required 
1/16 60 to 90
1/8 125 to 160
3/16 190 to 240
1/4 260 to 340
3/8 330 to 400

Wire size and amps required:

Wire size (inches) Amps required
0.023 30-130 
0.030 40 to 145
0.035 50 to 180
0.045 75 to 250

Can a MIG welder electrocute you?

A MIG welder is exposed to electrocute you especially while changing the wire spool because this will expose you to higher voltage current than while the welding is being performed.

Here’s how to prevent electrocution from a MIG welder:

1.) Unplug the machine complete. Do not just switch it off. Even when in switched off state the machine will still be in an energized state while still plugged in.

2.) Unplug the MIG welder before changing the polarity or before opening the spool access door.

3.) After you have changed the polarity inside the welder close the spool access door before re-plugging in the machine.

4.) Store and place the MIG welder in a dry place. Do not expose them to water as this will increase the chances of getting electric shock.

5.) Always remember to plug the welder into the circuit with the right size of the breaker that is installed for the load.

Always inspect the plugs and power cords for worn and cuts that leads to bare wire threads.

Let’s wrap it up!

Your 220 volts MIG welder will not use any more than 4Kw if you run it continuously for 1 hour which is really next to impossible because your actual welding will consume only 50% of the time to the max! Therefore, be sure that your MIG welder will not consume more than 2.5kW at any cost!

Well, that’s all for the day!

Catch you guys in another article!

Till then stay connected to us, enjoy reading our articles and loving us as we have endless valuable information on welding to reach out to you!

Ending with a happy note that you may have a great day ahead!

Steve Goodman
Experienced welder with 7+ years of expertise in all the latest welding techniques MIG, flux and stick welding, drill press, crane operation and metal fabrication. Welding certificate course graduate and 2018 Excellence in Welding award winner.

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