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 Post subject: Plug In Welding Receptacles
PostPosted: Sat Feb 12, 2011 2:55 pm 
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Location: Rutland, VT
Hello,

I did search and could not find exactly what I was looking for but in case I missed something, I apologize in advance for any duplication of efforts.

1. Is plugging into a 480V welding outlet with a twist lock plug considered "interacting" with the equipment where AF PPE would be required?

2. Same as above but plug is inserted and then this style of outlet has a On-Off switch, which must be turned on.

Thank you all in advance.

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PostPosted: Mon Feb 14, 2011 7:10 pm 
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This is a thorny question that is hotly debated. 480 volt 3 phase, 30A, 60A or 100A receptacles are commonly used for a variety of uses. I've seen tons of them in use. Most have a local fused disconnect. Problem is the older style metal body receptacles aren't interlocked with the disconnect therefore can be plugged or unplugged energized.

From a AF standpoint the IE is very low, typical cat 0 due to the wire size #8 or #10, cable run distance and fusing. The real problem is the shock hazard.

I've seen female pins get pulled out of the of the receptacle body leaving a dangling energized conductor. The newer disconnect/receptacle units, Hubble for example, have an interlocking pin that prevents removing or inserting plugs unless the disconnect is off. They are pretty pricey.

Interacting...? From a safety viewpoint you need to assume the welding recpt is going to be energized unless it interlocked with the disconnect handle. Disconnecting or connecting a plug in an energized 480 volt, 3 phase receptacle I would say yes, it fits the definition of interacting from a shock hazard standpoint.

Technically that requires voltage rated gloves, eye protection and be qualified. This is where the issue and debate war starts. Do you buy everyone that uses the welding outlet a pair of voltage rated gloves and qualify them to plug in a cord cap? Or do you have the plant electrician plug in a welder every time the pipe fitter needs to weld? Good luck selling management that idea :D

First option is label welding receptacles to turn off power before plugging or unplugging. This still doesn't insure its being turned off.

Second and best option is replace the receptacle with an interlocking type. This requires replacing the male body to match as well. Again, pricey but fool proof.


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 14, 2011 7:14 pm 
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Thank you. That was some of my thoughts and wanted some verification. The facility I am working in now does have the welding outlets with an on/off switch on them but not sure of the brand.

Are you labeling the outlets?

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PostPosted: Mon Feb 14, 2011 7:26 pm 
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Yes they are labeled and it's in the company safety manual to shut off before inserting or removing the male plug. Employees are trained as well. Again, this is only words and people take short cuts. It was a hard sell to management but we are in the process of replacing with interlocking receptacles and cord caps. One lost time accident can cost $$$$$.


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 14, 2011 9:13 pm 
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One of the largest users in our neck of the woods would be drilling rigs... They have TONS of Arktite receptacles on every piece of equipment and everything is run off of a generator... I wonder if they are gonna be revisiting their units? Not hopin to open a can of worms!!


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 31, 2011 10:42 am 
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Q Are you labeling the outlets
A Yes...


Please clarify if the receptacles are labeled with instruction to turn off during use (as mention earlier in the thread) or labeled as in AF warning with incident energy and PPE reqs.

where did you draw the line on the procedure ? just pin/sleeve types ? just 480V rated ?


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