Important Factors to Consider When Buying a Welding Extension Lead
Extension leads are important pieces of equipment that we use on a daily basis around the house and workplace. However, not all extension leads are made the same, especially not those that are used for industrial applications like welding. Welding leads are essential for welders who spend a large portion of their time welding outside. They are heavy-duty, can withstand the different weather elements, and they abide by industry standards.
If you’re looking to buy extension lead for welding, then there are a couple of things you need to factor in. Never shop before getting properly informed on the matter to make a good buying decision. That being said, let’s discuss what the issue with standard extension leads is, and how to buy extension lead for welding that’s right for your welding applications.
Standard cords don’t cut it for welding, simply because they feature larger gauge wires, which means that the longer the cable is, the faster electrical power dissipates. For that reason, welding equipment that requires 50 amps or more to function properly can’t rely on standard cables. Standard cables are prone to voltage drops, which can end up overheating the welder and wiring, and cause damage. Moreover, using a standard cable may impede your welding, because you won’t be getting enough power.
Welding extension cords, on the other hand, are specifically designed to efficiently transfer electricity in a stable manner. When shopping for extension cords, it is worth knowing not to get too easily sold on a model that’s labeled “heavy-duty”. Instead, take a peek at the spec sheet and see whether it abides by industry standards. The ideal welding cable features a 6 gauge wire and will supply you with at least 16 amps. Furthermore, consider the length of the cable. This will depend on how far away the area you weld in is from the outlet. Ideally, the length of the cable you buy should be just about right, because the longer the cable is, the more likely it is for problems to arise.
Lastly, you need to consider some safety aspects. Always make sure that the cord is properly secured to the ground, because believe it or not, most cable-related accidents occur due to tripping over the cord. Moreover, avoid covering it with flammable materials, as that can pose a fire hazard. There are specifically designed plastic risers you can use to keep the cable safe and secure. And it goes without saying that you shouldn’t be performing any types of modifications on your welding extension cord, as it can be incredibly dangerous for you and everyone else involved.