Tips For Maintaining a MIG Welder Properly
Regular maintenance and taking care of any equipment can give it an extended lifespan. You would usually identify most of the minimal repair requirements during maintenance. This gives you the reduced risk of damage and failure of equipment as you get to solve minor issues with your equipment during maintenance only avoiding the risk of becoming a serious issue.
Maintenance of a MIG welder also takes some time. But it is completely worth it. Here we have accumulated some of the important tips that you should keep in mind every time you use the MIG welding gun or whenever you think of maintenance. These tips would hold true for most of the popular brands and models of MIG welder.
Tips for Maintenance
Go through your product instruction manual:
First and foremost requirement before using a MIG welder or for repair and maintenance purpose is to read the instructions manual of your welder properly. Carefully follow all the recommendations for safe use of this machine.
Begin maintenance with an equipment after cooling down:
If you have been using your MIG welder before maintenance process, you must disconnect the gun from its feeder. Let the equipment to cool down before you begin with maintenance. This is important to keep yourself and equipment safe from any damage.
Check feeder connection:
One of the most common problems that are responsible for the improper working of MIG welder is a loose wire feeder. A loose or dirty wire can result in increased electrical resistance that could give rise to building up of heat at the connection. This could give you a voltage drop or an irregular arc or can even become responsible for the failure of equipment. The connection must be checked every time you install gun and feeder connection.
It should be fitted tightly and must be clean. If you are unable to tighten a connection, you may need to make a replacement. Cleaning of a connection must be done with electrical contact cleaner.
The connection must be checked every time you install gun and feeder connection. It should be fitted tightly and must be clean. If you are unable to tighten a connection, you may need to make a replacement. Cleaning of a connection must be done with electrical contact cleaner.
This is another part that can be faulty and may be giving you improper functionality with the welder. This area called O-rings are there to give a completely airtight seal for shielding gas to pass through and enter cable hose. O-rings may be damaged or can become too dry with the passage of time.
Damaged/cracked O-rings can cause has to leak that could penetrate or splatter and it may give certain defects that would defect your work. Check O-rings regularly. It is recommended to lubricate O-rings with silicone lubricant when you detach gun and feeder.
Check cable for any wear or damage. This part would need complete replacement. If it is damaged and thus you should keep a regular check on this part so that you don’t need to get a replacement cable. Any kind of damage must be checked and taken account of immediately as certain cuts can give internal copper wiring exposure and this would be a safety risk.
Make sure that the cable is always routed straight. As bends can restrict the flow of gas and can give you improper arcs or can cause other problems with your welder.
The liner is a key part of your MIG welder and it is the most difficult one to maintain. It is one of the most common sources of your welder improper working. Usually welding wire fragments chip off and these get accumulated in liner as they pass through. With the passage of time, these accumulations can result in poor feeding or burning back of the equipment.
In order to maintain liner, you need to clean it up by removing it completely. It is better to clean up any clogging with the use of compressed air that would clear it up. Cleaning would take some time. But it is worth to clean up instead you may need to spend time and cost to recover from defects that are caused because of liner blockages.
Check neck connection:
This part carries the current through the cable to consumables. Any loose connections here can give the improper conductivity of electricity that could cause certain defects and failures. Neck connections must be tightened.
Check handles with trigger:
These parts usually do not require much maintenance but it is ideal to check handle for any missing screws and you should also check trigger for proper working. You can do this inspection each time you use the welder as it wouldn’t take much time.
Exposed copper wire from a damaged handle can cause hazardous electrical shock. A damaged or dirty trigger can result in varied problems with the welding process. In either case, you should look for a proper replacement.
Consumables are exposed to heat and they heat up and usually spatter. These require replacement quite frequently but maintenance can surely affect consumption of time and money.
Gas Diffuser: The gas diffuser is responsible for passing electrical current to the contact tip. And any loose connections in these parts can cause leakage of gas and would affect functionality. So, you should check tightening and replacement of nozzle according to the recommendation by the manufacturer.
Nozzles: These are important parts that handle shielding gas through welding pool and spattering can accumulate inside them to block gas flow. Cleaning up of spatter may cause damage to nozzle and insulator. So depending upon the frequency of use, you may need to clean up nozzle many times within a day commonly with the use of welding pliers pair. The nozzle can be checked visually and any damaged condition would need replacement.
Contact Tip: This is the closest point of contact between a welding wire and equipment. The wire passes through the tip and it could wear out inside of tip that could lead for poor electrical conductivity, poor arc and can hinder gas coverage. Do not wait for the problem to arise but it is best to visually check this part and make a replacement during maintenance process if required.
Even if you select a high-end MIG Welder, you may encounter wearing or breaking down of equipment. Improper working of your welder could be a minor issue or a serious problem that may require replacement of some parts.
Risk of serious problems can be reduced with regular proactive maintenance of welder.