From a safety point of view, I'd say hardwired wall sockets would be the way to go.
That way you're reducing tripping hazards caused by cords spilling all over the floor. Also, the danger of shock caused by the appliance plug and the female extension cord end working loose (a common problem) is eliminated.
I've also never seen 50-amp/250 volt female cord-connectors. Probably not much of a market for them, is my guess.
*edit*: I'm not an electrician. Was just saying something that seems to make sense though.
[This message has been edited by SvenNYC (edited 02-16-2005).]
I had that problem myself and solved it by changing the plug on the welder to a Russell Stoll, that does have cord connectors. I think you can also get IEC309 cord caps too. I used #6 SO cord for the extension.
The ones I see have ruggedised 6/50 fittings. We have one here salvaged from a silo unloader setup, all I did was take the plug from the unloader, and attach it to the other end of the 125 ft 6/3 SO cord (which was hard wired into the cotactor), and voila, welder extension. (has also been used to power a seed cleaner setup too).
I'm glad to hear that you want to make something that is compliant.
I would suggest that you give up trying to find the female connectors. Yeah they're out there, but, hard to get.
It is probably more cost effective to just buy an extension or adapter.
Most welding supply houses have equipment that is available for the model welder your company is using.
You didn't say what brand, but, for example... take a look at the Lincoln Electric page and peruse their catalog. They have several options available for their models including a 200ft. extension for one of their TIG models. http://www.lincolnelectric.com/
Adding outlets will not work. The shop is to big and the cord to small. I first thought of this but with an 8 foot cord and around a 50 X 50 foot shop. It just will not reach. Plus he needs to take it outside from time to time to fix vehicles.
I first thought of changing the welder plug. No can do. Other buildings have welding outlets that match this plug. Would not be worth the trouble.
To safetygem: The most obvious solution of course escaped me, contact the company who made the thing. its a Miller. Will do that.
Actually I am a bit steamed at mr welder guy as he did not ask me for advice before ordering. If he did I would have told him to get a LONGER cord on it. He just thought I would "rig" up something for him. If this was a temp contruction job thats one thing, but this is a full time maint shop.
Here on our facility me and the safety man have strictly enforced a no extension cord rule. It would be a bit two faced for me to have one in the maint shop when I tear them out of the rest of the facility.
Gotta lead by example you know.
Update...later today in another building I found a badly damaged ext cord with a dead short on the female end. Wire had pulled out of the cap. Was a tripped breaker call.
They are available. I just made a cord for a 50 amp Hotsy steam cleaner. I found it at my local supply house. I don't know the part number off the top of my head, but I believe it was a Leviton. It is a very rugged steel enclosure with a plastic cover. It can be a wall mount or cord end.