MIG Welding Troubleshooting – Common Problems And Solutions
MIG welding is a fairly complex type of welding that requires knowledge to solve common problems. MIG welding is performed to weld metals over ¼ inch thick using an inert gas. The derivation of the name TIG refers to inert metal gas since it is the gas that acts as a protector from the circulating atmosphere.
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During the MIG welding process, you need to have the arc of the consumable solid wire electrode and the part that you will weld. Mig welding problems and solutions are not expected during the working process. The electrode you use for this type of welding is supposed to be continuously powered by a gun.
Several problems arise during MIG welding that must be solved so as not to fall behind. You, as a welder, must know how to detect the origin of any failure to solve in the shortest time and continue welding. MIG welding training does not require so many years of experience, especially as you continue to train yourself to learn more.
A MIG welder problem can make you lose an entire day of work or even several days. Porosity problems, lack of fusion, inadequate bead profile, and many others can be a real headache. The more you know about problems during MIG welding, the better prepared you are to deal with and solve them.
Dirt is a problem that can give you several headaches during the welding process, causing you many problems. During the guide, you can evaluate what the common problems are and what are the solutions that you should consider before each one.
MIG Welding Troubleshooting – Common Problems And Solutions
MIG or GMAW welding is one of the easiest jobs in the world of welders. Problems in the development of a welding job exist, and you cannot completely rule it out, but you must solve it promptly. The main four failures occurred during MIG welding are as follows:
- Welding Porosity
An unsuitable surface for welding is the most common reason for weld porosity problems. At the time of welding, if there is porosity, the weld will have less resistance, weakening the area. Finding out which fault is occurring during the welding process is what will make you fix it.
Common Problems And Solutions
1) Contaminants Embedded In The Surface
Oil, dirt, paint, or other objects are the cause of the porosity of the weld. The metal you are welding on prevents weld penetration resulting in weld porosity. You have to know that all the welding processes leave a slag, and therefore you must be aware of cleaning it.
The use of a chemical solvent makes it easy to clean the surfaces when welding. Deoxidizers in the child made of silicon, manganese, or others according to chemistry will help you. A grinder also gives you the efficiency to clean the metal before welding.
Note: If you use a trichloroethylene degreaser together with a solvent near the arc of the weld, the smoke will react, generating toxic gases.
2) Gas Protection
Shielding gas coverage is another of the most common causes of weld porosity. Remember that the main argument of MIG welding is the application of gas to protect the weld pool from the air. The arc is stabilized by the use of gas protection, so it should not be altered.
If the shielding gas is disturbed, then the air contaminates the weld pool causing porosity.
Several properties are responsible for the variation of the gas that is applied at the time of welding. Depending on each condition, a constant flow of gas is required to make the weld durable. The gas flow varies due to the following conditions:
- Thread Diameter
- Transfer mode
- Wind speed.
The gas is supposed to have a flow rate of 30-40 cubic feet per hour for the welds to be perfect. A flow meter will show you what flow you are generating and what you require depending on the job. You decide whether to use a ball or computer flowmeter.
- If you have high wind conditions use protective screens
- If you have wind conditions greater than five revolutions per minute stop the welding process
- Remember that ventilation systems hinder gas production.
- Check if the guns, cables, spirals, hoses or connections are faulty.
- When the air is sucked through the opening, the flow rate is reduced. In this case, it would be the Venturi effect.
- Try to weld with push and not drag techniques. Pushing techniques provide a gas effect above the arc allowing gas to settle in the joint
3) The properties of the Base Metal
Remember that each metal has different chemicals that can cause porosity problems when welding. The most complicated metals to weld are those that have high components of sulfur and phosphorous.
Unfortunately, there is no solution for the base material chemistry you use. If you want to avoid headaches, it will be better to change the base metal for one of the different chemical compositions. Slag-generating welding processes are suitable for welding materials with high sulfur and phosphorous contents.
4) Use of an Unsuitable Weld Bead Profile
Convex or concave lace problems are due to heart problems, or you are using the wrong technique. The most frequent problems in this type are:
- Insufficient Heat At The Entrance
A problem of insufficient heat results in convex cords preventing the penetration of the base metal. When the heat input is too cold, you must stop welding and check carefully.
Troubleshooting MIG welding for this sense checks the amperage setting. Each metal has its own indicated amperage level for the weld to penetrate and look good. If the amperage is according to the material, you should check the voltage because it brings excess to spatter.
If the voltage is too high, the weld will have a greater risk of weakening.
- Technique Failure
Whenever you are welding, you should study if the technique developed this act for the type of welding. The push technique creates a flat bead shape that the vice versa of other techniques.
Adjust the thrust angle to at least 5-10 degrees to make the technique more suitable.
- Inappropriate Work Cable
Improper arc voltage is caused by cable problems giving a voltage. Generally, if you notice that the cable is hot, you should change it because it does not have the proper voltage resistance.
Mig Welding problems and solutions are easier than you think. You should only replace the cable looking for the table to help you determine the size and current used.
Note: The greater the length and current, the cable must also be greater.
5) Lack or failure of Merger
The consumable used for welding must not adhere to the base metal, or melting problems will occur. When the fusion fails or is inadequate, it produces weak and poor quality welds when the job is done, this results in serious structural problems.
When cold lapping, the arc transfer process is insufficient and causes melting problems. The solder bath tends to melt, and due to the power failure, it does not merge with the motherboard.
Adjust the amperage and voltage correctly for the base metal you are welding. The Mig welder problem (fusion weld problem) is also solved by changing the technique. If necessary, change the tubing or use spray heat transfer methods.
6) Lack of power for the MIG wire
When the wire does not load well, or the welder notices a sound in the gun cable, there are surely problems. The feeding problems are related to the maintenance of the used equipment. The most common problems are:
- Failure in the Current Nozzle
Bead problems, insufficient arc, porosity are the causes of failures in the current nozzle.
Check the conditions of the current nozzle and also see if the wire size is sufficient. If you see that the tip is egg-shaped, this is a sign that you must replace the nozzle quickly.
- Gun Spiral Failure
The spiral used must be the same size as the thread to work well. When the thread doesn’t slip smoothly, it’s a prudent sign for you to replace it.
Solving MIG welding troubleshooting is to maintain the spiral from time to time. Blow with low pressure compressed air from the end to the tips. If the spiral is too worn, replace it with another one.
- Wear Of The Gun
Copper strands tend to break apart over time. Gun wear is a common event in MIG welding. Guns heat up greatly when internal damage exists
The only solution is to replace it. When making the replacement, use the correct size, the small ones being good for their manageability. Remember, it should never be too small, or it will overheat quickly.
- Drive Roller Problems
These rollers are replaced periodically because they always tend to wear out. Check the roller tension to make sure it is adequate.
If you notice wear, replace the roller and, if not, check the tension by disconnecting the cable from the bobbin winder. Pass the wire and pinch it as the gun comes out. The index and thumb are the right fingers to do the test; if it stops with the pinch, you need more tension.
Note: Adjust the wire spool so that it is straight in the tube.
- The Cable Comes Out Defective
If the cable has inertia after releasing the guns, it is because it is loose
Adjust the wire spool and brake tension so that the spool does not come loose.
Frequently Asked Questions
Why Is My MIG Welder Not Working?
One of the most common MIG welding problems can be difficulties turning on the MIG welding machine, which is missing power and does not generate the spark necessary to operate the electrode. The main solution to the problem is to check the machine’s power cable, which is not broken or frayed.
If there is bad wiring, it must be replaced before using the machinery. It is not recommended to use cable ties, because in case the union is not perfect, a short circuit will occur, which will damage the equipment and may put it at risk.
Another solution to MIG welding problems present in the machine is that it takes current not giving the indicated voltage so that it works as it should. Normally, MIG welding equipment needs 220 volts alternating current; this type of current is not common in homes; they have 120 volts.
If the welder wants to use, his equipment in a home should go to the main break of the house and verify that it has connections for 220 voltages. This is only done when the person knows about electricity since it must be handled with caution.
If you have the connection, you can adapt to one of the outlets and use the machine with ease. This is the most common and most common MIG welding troubleshooting.
Another one of the problems of MIG welding is to present faults with the electrode, that the same when having contact with the earth does not generate a spark. This occurs either due to lack of current or because there is no wear at the tip of the current.
Before welding any surface, check that it is clean; dust prevents rod contact. Then off the surface, in a metal rub, the electrode to check that it generates a spark, if it does not try again, this causes wear of the tip generating greater contact between the metals and, therefore, action of the same.
Always check the wiring and configuration of the machine before starting to weld. This as a protection Measure and Also So as Not to Cause Inconvenience in the Union of the Pieces.
What Causes A Mig Welder To Sputter?
MIG welding machines need to be configured before starting work since if this does not happen, there will be problems. Sparking electrode can be a MIG welder problem accompanied by poor configuration.
The first thing to do when starting to perform MIG welding, you must verify the space where you are going to weld. If the space is open, the oxygen that is present in the environment will interfere in the process, so a smaller dose of the inert gas (argon) is supplied.
The controlled supply of gas is done so that there is no uncontrollable explosion when the machine is operated, due to the chemical reaction of two highly explosive gases and causing dangerous sparks.
The temperatures of the environment where the welding is to be carried out must also be taken into account. This so that the reaction between the gases involved can occur, since temperatures influence it and no excesses occur that cause sparks.
The correct configuration of the equipment is what provides perfect and safe welding when working. This configuration ranges from the gas supply that is given to the machine, which depends on the electrode to be used, to the current availability.
It was previously explained that MIG welding machines take up 220-volt alternating current, this can be changed on some machines. The way to end MIG welding problems and solutions was to adapt the apparatus to both currents.
It adapts the type of current that the local offers to the machine, configuring the hands that this presents on its control panel, going from DC to AC or vice versa. In the same way, you can adapt the gas mass flow to be used according to the electrode with which you will work.
What Causes Excessive Spatter In MIG Welding?
There are porous and dirty surfaces that need welding, but before they must be cleaned and treated. If this step is not performed, the weld can be bad, causing unnecessary electrode residue, which lowers the quality of the electrode.
Excessive spatter generally indicates that the arc length is too long, and can cause problems, so much so that the joint fails. Shortening its arc length can be the solution for MIG welding problems. The general rule of thumb for arc length must be observed during electrode welding:
- Do not allow your arc to get much longer than the diameter of the metal core of the electrode. For example, if the electrode has a 1/4 inch diameter core, the arc length should be equal to or close to it
MIG welding, as a common cause of excessive, spatter, the use of too much wire is the cause of this problem. Trying to reduce the wire feed speed may be the solution to the problem.
An arc blow can also cause a MIG welder problem; this occurs when the magnetism in your base metal affects the quality of your arc. For the MIG welder solution, try welding towards your ground holder. If that doesn’t work, change the settings of the AC welding machine
What Causes Holes In MIG Welding?
The holes present in the weld are caused by the presence of porosity in the weld. Porosity is the contamination of the weld metal in the form of a trapped gas, which causes these bubbles to weaken the bond made.
MIG welding problems and solutions regarding this topic can be diverse. One of them may be a lack of gas in the cylinder; this solution is easy to recharge or change the cylinder will end this defect.
Another MIG welding problem is some external air that disturbs the contact between the electrode and the surface to be welded. Welders also need to know about open doors and air discharging from machinery. These currents, greater than 6.4 or 8 km per hour, can affect welding operations.
The MIG welding solutions to this problem is to weld with these appliances turned off and behind closed doors, to avoid inconveniences. The presence of humidity is another cause of holes when welding.
It can be from simple water or spray coming from the outside, to condensation in the weld with a thick plate; this occurs when temperatures reach outside ten ºC. The solution is to preheat the metal between 93 and 104ºC and thus evaporate the humidity, to weld without problems.
What Is Burn Back On A MIG Welder?
Burning or burning backlash occurs when the wire, passing through the hole in the tip, bends at the beginning of the tip and melts into the contact tip, causing an obstruction. This is a problem for welders and welding applications, especially in production environments, as periods of inactivity occur.
The MIG welding solution for this is to replace the tip with a new one, to eliminate clogging and problem without spending a lot of production time. Replacing the contact tip is the easiest and simplest path that can exist in the MIG welding problem; this implies an increase in material costs and time of the production process.
MIG welding is one of the most commercial when it comes to needing permanent joints and great support in construction. It offers many advantages in this field since supporting axial loads of great value gives engineers the safety of their structures, which is why it is so widely used in this world.
MIG welding problems and solutions will never be lacking in this job; it is only a matter of organization, knowledge, and analysis, to be able to solve them quickly. Skilled welders load all of their equipment and supplies on hand to recreate quick, non-high-cost solutions to the project.
To carry out these activities, the most important thing is the necessary protective equipment; your safety comes before everything. In addition to having the necessary tools at hand, to know how to solve any unforeseen.