Arc welder accidently trips building off ECall - Electrician Talk - Professional Electrical Contractors Forum
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Old 05-21-2020, 07:02 PM   #1
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Default Arc welder accidently trips building off ECall

A welder was called out by the company facility manager to repair a Damaged Gate-The motorized Iron gate happened to be grounded to the building ground grid. Upon welding the gate the site main tripped--The generators fired up & the welder had no idea until the facility manager ran out & stopped him.

So the welder said it was not his fault because that's where he was told to weld.

So who's fault is it?
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Old 05-21-2020, 07:12 PM   #2
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I would be inclined to think the site service should be inspected if welding a gate caused it to trip. Especially the grounding. I wouldn't blame the welder.
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Old 05-21-2020, 07:23 PM   #3
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It seems strange that a welder placing current on the ground (which welders do) but they set up a circuit from the welder to the equipment that is being welded and back to the welder. The current should not be tripping the main.

UNLESS there are neutrals grounded downstream from the service and the current is on those neutrals, resulting in the GFPE on the main seeing current in excess of the relay setting.

If the welder's equipment checks out I would not blame the welder for doing what welders do weld.
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Old 05-22-2020, 01:49 PM   #4
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I have seen electronics fry when welders hook up their ground wire to one end of a machine and weld at the other. Usually when two devices mounted on the machine are referencing something to ground and something to neutral. A parallel path for current to return.

But for welding on a gate I would not think so unless like said above boot legged neutral somewhere.

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Old 05-22-2020, 02:09 PM   #5
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Did the welder use house power? Could be a combination of marginal welder equipment and a sensitive fault setting. Once in a while, an ancient Ozark/TWA ground power unit would trip a 480 distribution Ground Fault and .25 mile of "D" concourse would go dark.
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Old 05-22-2020, 04:30 PM   #6
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Did anybody check to see what the main tripped on before resetting the breaker? I'm assuming GFP. I always had problems for one reason or another when doing GFP testing verifying single point grounds.

What type of ground fault protection circuit is it out of curiosity?
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