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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Posts
    402

    Default contaminated argon ?

    guys,

    in the past i have come across a bad, contaminated bottle of 75/25 argon/helium while tig welding aluminum. i would swap the bottle out and everything would be fine.

    the past few days i have been having intermittent problems with the cylinder i am currently using. i could weld for a few hours with no problems, then all of a sudden i begin to have problems, like erratic arc, my tungsten turning blue/black after the post flow has stopped, etc, sometimes lasting for 30 minutes..
    i do not have any fans pointed in my area, and am far away from the open garage door and have curtains on each side of me, so i know its not any wind blowing away my shielding gas. i have been welding in this booth for 4 years.
    then within time it will start to weld good again...

    so my question is, if its a contaminated bottle of gas, is it possible to get good and bad spots within the cylinder, or once a tank is contaminated will it be all mixed with no good areas ? this is the first time i have had a bottle that acted good at times, then bad at other times..

    just curious.... its driving me crazy....

    thanks
    Syncrowave® 200
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  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    Australia
    Posts
    1,031

    Default

    Do you have a leak in the hose or torch area?

    Ji
    Grip it and Rip it

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Posts
    1

    Default Not properly mixed

    Your gas was not properly mixed by your supplier!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Posts
    402

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Jigantor View Post
    Do you have a leak in the hose or torch area?

    Ji
    thanks.... i do not believe so....
    how can i check for a leak ? can i hit the pedal, put my finger over the cup, to seal, and see if the flow ball drops to the bottom ?
    Syncrowave® 200
    Lincoln AC/DC 225/125
    Lincoln Weld Pak 100 wire feed

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    Australia
    Posts
    1,031

    Default

    Check from bottle to torch first with soapy water.
    See if any bubbles.

    Ji
    Grip it and Rip it

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Posts
    402

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Jigantor View Post
    Check from bottle to torch first with soapy water.
    See if any bubbles.

    Ji
    thanks... will do tomorrow..
    Syncrowave® 200
    Lincoln AC/DC 225/125
    Lincoln Weld Pak 100 wire feed

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    Australia
    Posts
    1,031

    Default

    Like I don't know if that is it but check the basics first.
    Grab the torch and see if the electrode is not tight, I have had problems with that before. Bits of copper flakes clog jet holes.
    Again just strip the torch and see what you find starting at the hose to torch connection.

    Ji
    Grip it and Rip it

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    northern NJ
    Posts
    1,821

    Default

    I have never had a bottle be intermittantly bad. When it was bad it was bad. I have had a tungsten become contaminated that seemed like a gas issue. After regrinding it & assuming that wasn't it I moved on to other causes but in the end I replaced the tungsten & all was well. Reground the original & put it back in, same problem so it got tossed.

    I've also had a weak gas hose that would kink when holding the torch a certain way. This was very intermittant. I've also pinched the gas hose with my chair, the pedal, pulled it to tight trying to reach around something.

    Crushed collet can also block the flow of gas.

    Just trying to give you some other ideas if the obvious doesn't fix it.
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  9. #9
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    Oklahoma
    Posts
    695

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by FABMAN View Post
    guys,

    in the past i have come across a bad, contaminated bottle of 75/25 argon/helium while tig welding aluminum. i would swap the bottle out and everything would be fine.

    the past few days i have been having intermittent problems with the cylinder i am currently using. i could weld for a few hours with no problems, then all of a sudden i begin to have problems, like erratic arc, my tungsten turning blue/black after the post flow has stopped, etc, sometimes lasting for 30 minutes..
    i do not have any fans pointed in my area, and am far away from the open garage door and have curtains on each side of me, so i know its not any wind blowing away my shielding gas. i have been welding in this booth for 4 years.
    then within time it will start to weld good again...

    so my question is, if its a contaminated bottle of gas, is it possible to get good and bad spots within the cylinder, or once a tank is contaminated will it be all mixed with no good areas ? this is the first time i have had a bottle that acted good at times, then bad at other times..

    just curious.... its driving me crazy....

    thanks
    For starters, you are using the wrong gas. You should be using 100% Argon on aluminum.

    Next, I have had 4 or 5 contaminated bottles of Argon. Once bad, the rest was bad.

    Griff

    Correction; I saw 75/25 and immediately read "argon/CO2" instead of argon/helium.
    My bad. Sorry.

    Griff
    Last edited by griff01; 11-27-2012 at 05:25 PM.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    Australia
    Posts
    1,031

    Default

    Don't spray soay water any where near electrical items.
    Yes to test torch and hose the trigger must be thrown.
    Common sense is best when testing for leaks around power.

    Ji
    Grip it and Rip it

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