A welding machine is a complex and sophisticated device. Even if a small thing goes wrong, there will be a drastic effect on the welding machine as well as the welding work. If anything is wrong, the welding machine might not work properly or may not even start. It is not always necessary that the whole unit will need to be replaced, there are some problems that can be found and fixed by the user itself or one can get a help from another experienced user. Knowing some of the troubleshooting tips will be a great help to the user, as this would save a lot of time and prevent unnecessary waste of money on repairing shops. Here are some of the problems that a welding machine usually encounters, and also the cause and solutions for those problems.
Troubles on welding machine
First of all it is important to know the various problems that a welding machine encounters; one can check the various parts of the unit and fix the problem;
Machine doesn’t start
Cause: Sometimes the welding machine won’t start. It can be due to reasons like blown up power supply line fuse, dead power circuit, overloading or wrong voltage input.
Solution: If the welding machine doesn’t start, the first thing one must check is if the switch of the machine is on, and then one should thoroughly check the cause of the problem; if the fuse has blown then the fuse must be replaced. If the problem is with circuit, then the input voltage must be checked and corrected. If overloading is the reason then it’s best to let the welding device to cool down for some time. The voltage input should be checked and the input must always be as per given in the manual.
Welding machine starter works but blows fuse
Cause: Sometimes the welding machine starts up and is ready to work, but suddenly blows fuse. There can be either of the two reasons behind this, one is the fuse might be too small and the other is short circuit in the connections.
Solution: One must check the exact cause of the problem. If the reason is fuse, then the size of the fuse must be changed and increased, but if the reason is short circuit, then the connections must be checked and corrected and also insulation of the leads is necessary.
Welding machine suddenly stops
Cause: Many a times the welding machine suddenly stops during welding. This problem might be due to obstruction in ventilation, dysfunctional of internal cooling fan or overloading.
Solution: One should check if all the ventilation cases are free and clean. If unclean, then one must clean those properly so that there will be no obstruction in ventilation. If the internal cooling fan is not working, then the connections and main lead must be repaired or replaced in order to make the cooling fan function again. One should never overload the machine and do the work only according to the instructed duty cycle.
Polarity switch dysfunction
Cause: The polarity switch won’t work sometimes, either because of worn out connection or due to rough and improper use of the switch when the welder is still under load.
Solution: One should never use the polarity switch when the welder is under load, as this might damage the function of the polarity switch. In case the switch is worn out, then it must be replaced.
Electrode holder heats up
Cause: The electrode holder heats up in many cases. The reason behind this might be, loose connection or inappropriate duty cycle of the electrode holder.
Solution: The cause of the problem must be checked properly. If the connection is loose then it must be tightened. In case the electrode holder is not of the appropriate duty cycle, the holder must be replaced with the correct size.
Electrical shocks while touching the welder
Cause: In some cases, the user might encounter small electrical shocks while touching the welder, it might not be constantly but this can be dangerous. This problem occurs if the frame of the welding machine is not grounded properly.
Solution: For this problem, one must read the user manual properly and learn the grounding procedure of the frame of the welding machine and ground the cover in proper manner, so that while touching the welder, the user doesn’t encounter shocks again.
Welding cable gets heated
Cause: Sometimes the welding cable gets heated very fast. This occurs when the cable used in the welding machine is not of proper size with inappropriate duty cycle.
Solution: The cable must be replaced with the appropriate size as per instructed in the user manual. A cable with correct duty cycle size is very important in a welding machine.
Bad ground clamp
Cause: Ground clamp of the welding machine might get coated with oxides that can turn the clamp bad, due to which the electrons cannot transfer easily and it creates high resistance on the machine, which alters the flow of the current.
Solution: The ground clamp must be checked regularly and cleaned periodically to avoid any coating of oxides and to prevent the unnecessary resistance of the welding machine.
Cause: After long time use, the cable might be damaged and might have frayed and worn areas.
Solution: One should replace the cable of the welding machine as soon as possible, as a damaged cable can potentially cause many problems to the machine and might also highly affect the welding work. It is necessary to check the wires time to time for any sign of damage.
Welding machine doesn’t switch off
Cause: One might encounter the problem that the machine doesn’t switch off even if the switch is pressed, until the power supply is plugged off. This occurs when the line switch is worn out or has failed mechanically.
Solution: If the line switch of the welder is worn out, the switch and connection must be repaired or replaced.
Apart from the troubles with the welding machine, some welding defects also occur usually, that the user can fix simply by adjusting and repairing certain parts of welding machine itself. Here are some of the welding defects that might be encountered;
Improper wire feeding
Cause: In case the wire feeding is improper, the reason behind this might be a worn out drive roller. Having a worn out drive roller results in affected wire feed that might also slip.
Solution: If one encounters this problem, one must check whether there is any dirt or debris on the liner of the welding machine. One should properly clean up the machine to make the drive roller work normally again with proper wire feeding.
Cause: When the tip located inside the welding gun is worn, the power produced by the welding machine doesn’t adequately hit, which might create additional work for the welder as the welding doesn’t get properly done.
Solution: If this problem is encountered, one must change the tip that is inside the welding gun as soon as possible, as this might create more problems like bad wire. To avoid further troubles, the tip must be changed immediately.
Cause: Porosity might occur on the surface of the bead due to bad wiring or inadequate gas flow.
Solution: The wire connections must be checked and adjusted properly. The gas line should be checked properly and if there is any obstruction in the gas line, it must be cleaned. The gas nozzle should be plugged in correctly to avoid any gas leakage.
Shrinkage Cracks on the weld
Cause: There might be shrinkage cracks on the weld, which might occur if the wire is dirty and rusty or if the bead is too small and concave.
Solution: To avoid this problem, one should properly clean the wire that is to be welded and must not leave any dirt or rusty area where the welding is to be done. The beads should be of adequate size.
Lateral cracks on the weld
Cause: Some lateral cracks may occur on the weld due to too fast welding speed or sometimes due to very low current and high voltage of arc.
Solution: To avoid lateral cracking, one should keep the welding speed very steady and must not do the welding too fast, as this might lead to lateral cracking. The arc voltage and current flow must be same and steady.
Cause: Excess spatter may occur on the weld most of the times, which might be due to too much high voltage or due to excess CO2 and inappropriate impedance.
Solution: To avoid too much spatter, the voltage should be corrected within the welding machine and an adequate voltage must be applied. A gas heater can be used to heat up the CO2 so that spatter is minimized.
Along with all the fixing and repairing tricks, maintenance of the welding machine is very important. One needs to always keep in mind the following;
- The welding machine must be kept clean. One should clean the various parts of the machine periodically, in order to avoid any rust or oxidation.
- Time to time check for any damage on the parts of the machine. Even the smallest tear or wear must be surveyed seriously.
- The cables and other extra equipment to be used with the welding machine must be of the correct duty cycle size, compatible with the machine as per the manual guide.
- Never overload the machine and the welding depth limit must not be exceeded.
- The welding machine must always be stored in a cool and dry place.
Though the welding machine is a very complicated device, but if it is maintained well then it would last very long and will always give the desired result with perfection.