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  1. #11
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    Sweetwater, TX
    Posts
    201

    Default

    This "flow gauge" as they are called I guess appears to be the one that comes with the MM252.
    http://store.cyberweld.com/smflreh1.html#pdItemDataTabs

    It for sure isn't a cheap flow gauge since it costs $89.75 If I had to replace is at my LWS it would easily be almost $100 with our 8.25% sales tax in TX.

    It lists the regulator as made in the USA with a 3 year warranty, so I'll try calling the welding shop I bought everything from on my lunch break and see what they say. Hopefully Smith flow gauges are really good and this is just a rare incident.

    Don't want to have to fork out another $100+ to get a working flow meter/gauge.

  2. #12
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    Four Flags city
    Posts
    302

    Default

    If this is a new machine I cannot see any reason the seller would not warranty the flow gauge.

  3. #13
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    Sweetwater, TX
    Posts
    201

    Default Why is regulator acting up???

    Well let me start by saying that I called the AirGas I bought the welder from and they said they would order me a new regulator. Friday I took the afternoon off from work and made the 80+ mile round trip drive to exchange my regulator for the replacement.

    Right out of the box everything worked fine. Got to spend a saturday making some brackets for new outlet boxes and spent about 30-45mins actually welding with the new Millermatic 252. Turned off the bottle, backed off the regulator/flowgauge pressure knob and bled off the line pressure using the welder trigger. 2 weeks went by and I went to use the welder for a project to help a friend and a local club I'm in and found the regulator was acting up like in the video so couldn't use the new welder.

    Here is what my new with the MM252 Smith regulator was doing:
    https://www.dropbox.com/s/izka0w7gm7...429_175742.mp4

    I tried the advice I read by someone on the forum by using the rubber end of a wrench and tapping on the regulator. Well that actually appeared to fix it as seen here:
    https://www.dropbox.com/s/lywdtkd75m...429_181746.mp4

    But having not seen a regulator ever act up like in the first video, I was uncertain if the problem would reoccur later. So I went ahead and exchanged my regulator for the one the Miller welding shop had asked Miller to send.

    I guess lightning can strike twice because it turns out the 2nd one appears to be faulty too as seen in this video.
    https://www.dropbox.com/s/5r7dzygt7x...504_193740.mp4

    The output flow gauge pressure drops all the way to zero and stays there until I let off the mig trigger. The replacement gauge will not maintain the output pressure.

    I tried tapping on the regulator like I did on the first one, but it hasn't helped it.
    I wondered if maybe the problem was with the new Millermatic 252 I bought last month that has seen about 30-45mins of welding total. So I tried making more videos, this time without the welder attached to the meter output side.
    Here I just increased the regulator screw to get around 25cfh as the Miller settings chart indicates as the gas setting.

    Here is the video without the welder connected:
    https://www.dropbox.com/s/lnyyzv7ugd...505_195854.mp4

    Does anyone know what could be causing the regulators/flow gauge to act up like this, is this ever common?

    This is getting rather frustrating since I had to use some of my accumulated paid time off from work and waste my time and my gas for an 80+ mile round trip to get a factory replacement part that has not fixed the problem. And now it looks like I may have to do it again to bring back the so called replacement part.

    I also had intentions of doing a welding project for my sister-in-law for her wedding shower this next weekend, but now can't since my new MM252 is out of commission because the regulator/flowmeter is not working correctly.

    I'm going to call the AirGas tomorrow and mention the problems I now have with the replacement gauge. I'll keep posted what the outcome is, but I was hoping to get some advice from the guys who weld everyday on what could be the issue with this regulator/flowmeter?

    Thanks for any suggestions/help you have,
    Clint
    Last edited by clint738; 05-06-2013 at 07:31 AM.

  4. #14
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    Houston, TX
    Posts
    900

    Default

    Clint, Victor makes a true flow meter in the same price range. See if the LWS will swap you one of those.

  5. #15
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    Western Pa.
    Posts
    220

    Default Help something wrong with new smith regulator for mm252

    Are u sure that u don't have a tank that is contaminated ?
    I have used Smith torches with Smith regulators for many years. Have even switched back & forth from propane & Acy. With same regulators.
    My 350P runs almost every day for 1-1/2 year still has Smith reg. on it. I never back off stem or bleed off tank, just turn off & back on next day.
    I do buy a true flow meter if I replace them and run flow meter on my Tig.
    Possible to have 2 bad regulators but not probable. I would call Smith and ask them before drive another 80 mile.
    >> any welding shops near u ? Most of us hv a extra regulator u could borrow to do ur project for weekend?
    Greg

  6. #16
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    Four Flags city
    Posts
    302

    Default

    Call Smith,800-843-7912,I would imagine they will gladly send you a replacement or expalin what is going on and help you fix your problem.

  7. #17
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    Sweetwater, TX
    Posts
    201

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by cope View Post
    Clint, Victor makes a true flow meter in the same price range. See if the LWS will swap you one of those.
    I would prefer to use a Victor product. I guess since I grew up around them, I have more confidence in them. When I emailed the guy at the AirGas store he said he would call Miller again. So it sounds like I may get another Smith as a replacement for the replacement...
    I have never seen AirGas stock anything other than Radnor products, so I'm afraid if I tried to exchange for another brand they may want to push their Radnor brand since they don't stock the Victor flow meters in the stores. I would rather take a Smith product over a Radnor product since I think Smith has been around longer.

    Quote Originally Posted by gnforge View Post
    Are u sure that u don't have a tank that is contaminated ?
    I have used Smith torches with Smith regulators for many years. Have even switched back & forth from propane & Acy. With same regulators.
    My 350P runs almost every day for 1-1/2 year still has Smith reg. on it. I never back off stem or bleed off tank, just turn off & back on next day.
    I do buy a true flow meter if I replace them and run flow meter on my Tig.
    Possible to have 2 bad regulators but not probable. I would call Smith and ask them before drive another 80 mile.
    >> any welding shops near u ? Most of us hv a extra regulator u could borrow to do ur project for weekend?
    Greg
    gnforge, I've been wondering if the tank could be the problem too but I've never heard of getting a contaminated tank so I wouldn't know how to verify it. Would it just be my word against the AirGas supplier? There are 2 different AirGas stores I'm referring to in this discussion, the local "little" one in town is where I got my Argon/Co2 tank from. They only carry one size, the 300. So it will be a beast to reload back in my truck even with the help of a friend. The 2nd AirGas is the one 40+ miles away and they are the bigger store that I bought the MM252 from.

    I've never dealt with regulator issues before, since this is the first tank I've ever rented for myself. So I'm not sure what to request they do that is reasonable? Will they simply exchange for another full tank no questions asked and can they check this tank and the replacement for any contamination? During all this purging and testing to find out what the problem is, and the actual 30 minutes of welding I first got out of the bottle, I have used 100 PSI from the tank. So now tank pressure is around 2400 where it was at 2500 when I first put the regulator on.

    I haven't checked if there are any welding shops nearby, but if there were I wouldn't want to put their working regulator on my bottle if there is a possibility of it jacking up there regulator too if the tank is in fact contaminated. I would then feel obligated to replace their regulator or pay for it to be fixed.

    Quote Originally Posted by big mike View Post
    Call Smith,800-843-7912,I would imagine they will gladly send you a replacement or expalin what is going on and help you fix your problem.
    Thanks for the Smith's contact info big mike!
    Since AirGas is contacting Miller for a replacement I will see if they can resolve it first. But I may contact Smith and see if they can view my videos and tell me if the problem is in the regulator or could it be related to contamination or an issue in the welder.

    Has anyone been able to view the videos at the links I put up?? Just want to see if they are working for everyone.

    For those of you who can view the videos, can you narrow down where you think the problem maybe?? Smith regulator, tank contamination, or something with the welder???

    Thank you all for you help!

  8. #18
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    Houston, TX
    Posts
    900

    Default

    The flow gauge is not working right, but it is possible that the tank has crud in it. I would take it back and get a swap out.

  9. #19
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    Sweetwater, TX
    Posts
    201

    Default

    Looks like someone else had a similar issue with a Smith regulator a while back. Wish he would have posted a follow up though.

    Can't view his video, so just going off what he said about the needle deflections.

    http://www.millerwelds.com/resources...ight=flowmeter

  10. #20
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    Sweetwater, TX
    Posts
    201

    Default

    Let me first say that Miller and AirGas have fantastic customer service!
    There may be some issues with the quality control of Smith though unless it is possible to have random issues with tanks fouling up regulators?

    Called the AirGas store 40+miles away and told him what the 2nd regulator was doing with the low pressure dropping to zero and staying there till I released the mig trigger.

    He called Miller and got them to send the regulator to my home address so I didn't have to make the 80+ mile round trip drive. That was on Monday. Tuesday I got home from work and there was the overnighted regulator waiting on my door step for me. Outstanding, Fast service!



    One thing I sort of questioned though was the replacement regulator has these rings around the shaft that goes in the tank? The other 2 regulators didn't have those markings, so I'm wondering if this is a rebuilt used regulator rather than a brand new regulator?

    The one with the rings is on the left (it was in the shipped box) and the one on the right is the 2nd New faulty regulator that wouldn't maintain the output pressure.



    Here is something else I noticed about the regulator that came in the box (on the left). The low pressure side needle does not drop all the way down to zero (rest against the pin).



    I called Smith about the low pressure side not returning to the pin and they though it could be spring related. I'm going to email them and send them the pics and videos.

    Now I tested this regulator and found this one maintains the low pressure output like it should. So my biggest question is why the low pressure side doesn't drop all the way to the pin and if this means the readings will not be accurate now, like is 25 cfh really 25 cfh on this unit since it will not drop all the way down?

    Here are the videos:
    https://www.dropbox.com/s/2qwgwzgly0...507_212401.mp4

    https://www.dropbox.com/s/mek7duzl78...507_213028.mp4

    I noticed one more thing too. I turned off the bottle and left things as they were with the low pressure side needle set to 25cfh. Came back about 20 minutes later and saw the low pressure side need had increased in pressure.
    Is this normal?

    https://www.dropbox.com/s/0djy094otl...507_221956.mp4

    So should this 3rd Smith flow gauge go back as well?

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