Lincoln 140HD draws 35 Amps, trips breaker (should draw 20 Amps max)

by Jim Wings
(Saint Louis, MO)

I have never welded before, and I just purchased a Lincoln 140HD wire fed welder. It is supposed to operate on a 20 Amp, 120 Volt electric circuit. I am trying to practice putting down a weld, but the 20 Amp house circuit breaker trips after about 10 to 15 seconds of welding. I put an amp meter on the 120 Volt input line, and when welding, the welder is drawing 35 to 40 Amps (fluctuates). The welder is obviously drawing too many amps for the 20 Amp electric circuit. So what am I doing wrong? I am practicing on a 1/2 inch piece of steel. Just trying to lay down a bead. I am not trying to weld 2 things together. Is the 1/2 inch thickness of the steel the problem? Does the thickness of what you are welding affect the amperage that the welder draws? I tried various amperage settings on the welder, all the same results. Thanks.



It sound like you have a legitimate beef with Lincoln.
It should not be drawing that much amperage unless something is screwed up.

I get a lot of emails from people popping breakers using 115 volt mig welders on a 15 amp breaker. But yours is on a 20 amps as recommended.

I dont have an answer.

I dont think the thickness of the steel should be making it draw that much amperage.

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Dec 31, 2011
Steel was too thick. NEW
by: Jim Wings

An update on this issue I was having. I think it was because I was practicing on a 1/2 inch piece of steel. I welded some 1/8 inch steel and the welder worked great. Not sure why thick steel would cause a higher amperage draw, but it appears that was the issue. So I guess pay attention to the limitations on your welder. The Lincoln 40HD specs say a maximum of 5/16 steel, but only with self-shielded wire.

Dec 31, 2011
lincoln 20 amp breaker NEW
by: Chris NY

The farther the outlet is away from the breaker will cause a higher amp draw. wire from breaker to the outlet should be 12 guage. Is there any thing else running off of the breaker you are using? Make sure you have a shiny clean spot for the ground clamp and ground connections are clean and tight. start running a test bead on a very low setting and slowly turn up the voltage. if you do all of these tips your welder will work great.

Jun 07, 2010
Things you might want to try!
by: Chris Johnson

Yea, I agree it sounds like something is wrong with the machine. Another thing you can check is the age of the actual breaker itself. Sometimes old breaker are worn & tend to trip fairly easy or under their load capacity. It sounds to me like you have a bum machine! Tell you the truth, even though they are more expensive I would have probably gone with a Miller myself! I just don't dig Lincolns that much, the tend to have to many in point! I see that you live in or near St. Louis, I live 15 east of the arch. If you ever need some help with learning to weld I'd be more than happy to come & show you some stuff. I don't charge or anything, I just enjoy helping people! Please feel free to drop me an email,

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