by: Deborah Long
There’s nothing worse than getting ready to start a welding job, only to discover your tools are not in good working order. Or to be in the middle of a job and experience a serious accident due to faulty/worn-out parts. Preventive maintenance is the best way to avoid such hazards and keep things running smoothly. It may take time to perform maintenance, but it’s well worth it in the long run — from both a safety and cost-savings standpoint.
Good welding results depend on well-maintained welding tools
The main tools of the trade, especially your welding machine, require a routine of careful inspection, regular maintenance and “proactive” parts replacement. Most tools you purchase already come with maintenance instructions, but following the tips below will further ensure top-notch performance and long life of your tools.
- Once a year – Have welding gun and liner assembly serviced by a qualified technician.
- Every 6 months – Disconnect all power units and blow out or vacuum machine’s interior.
- Every 3-4 months – Check and clean (using a wire brush) wire feeder and drive rolls (replacing, if necessary), in addition to inspecting and cleaning (or replacing, if necessary) inlet and outlet guides.
- Once a month – Inspect all electrical cables for signs of wear, including cracks and breaks, immediately replacing any cables with worn or damaged insulation.
- Once a month – Inspect electrical safety equipment to ensure proper functioning of circuit breakers and interlocks.
Shielding gas cylinder
- Always store cylinders in a cool, dry place, and upright position.
- Always store hoses coiled-up to prevent damage from prolonged kinks or being stepped on. Be sure to replace damaged hoses immediately!
- Every 6 months – Inspect and test regulators and valves to ensure there are no leaks or breaches causing incorrect pressure readings.
In summary, regardless of the type of welding you do, stay at the top of your game by keeping your tool components in the best possible condition for the highest quality welds. This will also extend the tool’s lifespan, saving you the cost of replacing the entire welding machine.