Can a 120V MIG be of benefit to me? Part 2
Body shops, muffler shops, and hobbyists make up most of the 140 amp, 120V MIG market. But can anyone else benefit from a 140A, 120V MIG? It’s likely that they can, especially if it is an inverter MIG like the Power i-MIG 140E. These new inverter MIGs deliver more power at a lower amperage input than do transformer MIGs. They also offer better duty cycle.
The ability for them to be highly portable and to work well in tight spots lends itself well to portable repair, or spot repair in factories and facilities where standard 240V isn’t present. One of the draw backs though of any 120V MIG is that the input demand will often exceed 20 amps if operating at maximum output.
This surpasses most standard house-hold receptacle and breaker capability. Though having a 30 amp 120V breaker installed in a garage is not out of the realm of possibility, especially in the case of RV owners which operate on 30 amp circuits frequently. The person seeking a 120V MIG because of its voltage requirement and limited capacity to add or run extra circuits for 240V should seriously consider at least upgrading one circuit to at least be capable of 30 amps for the most power.
If the customer isn’t willing to consider upgrading the wiring circuit, he/she must be prepared to trip breakers if the inverter unit is used beyond its half way mark. At the very least, the unit should be operated off a 20 amp circuit if 30 amp capable wire and breaker cannot be used.