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How to blow up (literally) your tig welder

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lowlife

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#1
I was welding along and had changed spots while doing some aluminum welding with a miller tig. I was at the end of the leads so needed a bit more slack and adjusted and flipped leads around until i got the slack i needed.
About halfway through the weld I was met with a sound that was barely quieter than a 410 shell going off. It was loud enough to make me almost poo myself. At the same time all the lights, radio, etc went out. I had no idea at the time what the noise was, but it popped a 200 amp breaker. After a bit of searching and diagnosing I discovered that my tig would not work. After a bit more searching I found i had flipped the footfeed wire right on to the last weld i had just done. The wires were all shorted out and fused together from the heat of the weld.
I still had a warranty left but figured that it didnt cover stupidity or carelessness. I was wrong miller stood behind the repair and it was fixed a week later. This is why i own more than 1 blue welder. Moral of the story? Pull the helmet off and look around once in a while, and be careful about the computer line that runs to your foot feed.
FYI the repair would have run 1200.00 to fix without the warranty.
 

brino

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#2
FYI the repair would have run 1200.00 to fix without the warranty.
Ouch!
That's a great lesson to learn while under warranty.
-brino
 

TakeDeadAim

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#3
I take it you have a Diversion Foot Control. The RFC 23A metal foot controls have a heavier cord on them. I make it a habit to not pull on TIG cables because the foot control has multiple small conductors in it and the superflex welding cables I use have the gas hose in the center and the conductor is braided around the gas cable.
 
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#4
I run all blue welding machines as well, but just know if your warranty was up, they would have charged you. Their customer service has been good to me over the years and have always returned calls for technical questions.
Glad it worked out for you.
 

NCjeeper

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#5
I prefer a torch switch over a foot pedal.
 

Uglydog

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#6
lowlife, Glad it worked out for you!!

I prefer a torch switch over a foot pedal.
NCjeeper,
Have you always used the torch control?
What was the learning curve?
Any downside? I've heard they are difficult to get used to.
However, dragging the pedal around when underneath something and using my knee or shoulder to control the foot pedal sure has it's downsides!!

Daryl
MN
 

Ulma Doctor

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#7
i wouldn't know how to act with torch control!
i been pressing a pedal for 30 yrs , i even catch myself pressing an imaginary pedal when mig or arc welding :grin big:
 

NCjeeper

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#8
lowlife, Glad it worked out for you!!


NCjeeper,
Have you always used the torch control?
What was the learning curve?
Any downside? I've heard they are difficult to get used to.
However, dragging the pedal around when underneath something and using my knee or shoulder to control the foot pedal sure has it's downsides!!

Daryl
MN
I pretty much always use the torch switch. For me I don't do a lot of bench tig welding so not having to deal with a pedal is a plus. Only downside is there is no adjustability. So you cant throttle down on the heat if need be.
 

Uglydog

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#9
Got it!
I've heard of some that have a dial/thumb control at the torch. Well, that's if I've understood correctly.

Daryl
MN
 

NCjeeper

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#10
Got it!
I've heard of some that have a dial/thumb control at the torch. Well, that's if I've understood correctly.

Daryl
MN
They do make that style of torch. I have never tried one.
 

Rustrp

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#11
You guys really need to grow some and go without remote foot or torch control, and while you're at it turn off the high frec. start. :D

Edit: Just set the amps, scratch start and go. Of course most of the new machines have touch and lift start.
 

Ulma Doctor

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#12
You guys really need to grow some and go without remote foot or torch control, and while you're at it turn off the high frec. start. :D
been there , done that too!
my first unit i had to scratch start. it was a DC only unit, that was older than dirt.
then i got hooked on PowCon's (DC) and loved them to death (i still got 2 )- no HF but they have pedal control
then i thought i was King of the World when i went to school and used a Miller Synchrowave 300 Pulse Tig- it literally wanted to weld all by itself, you just fed the wire in
i've been looking for another once since then, but they always seem to be in the $4,000 range
i still went blue, and got an SP250 with a lincoln HF rig w/ cooler, for a song a while back- it has worked well for my needs
 

Rustrp

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#13
been there , done that too!
My comment was in part jest, but if you TIG weld and become addicted to foot control and high frec start, doing without them or welding in a position where the feet don't touch the pedal can make the going difficult. I've had to do both but I like all the whistles and bells that come with TIG welding. To stay in practice I spend a little time and go on a diet to stay proficient. The guys I know who do resturant work (stainless) never use the remote control.

For those who only know TIG aluminum A.C., try DCSP/DCEN. Helium is required but it's fast, really fast.
 

NCjeeper

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#14
For those who only know TIG aluminum A.C., try DCSP/DCEN. Helium is required but it's fast, really fast.
I am assuming that is for thick aluminum or can you do thin stuff?
 

Rustrp

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I am assuming that is for thick aluminum or can you do thin stuff?
1/8" + , but it's still amperage and speed of travel. You have to start with really clean material because oxidation is a factor.
 
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