Have Welder Maintenance Questions? Follow These Checklists
Regular welder maintenance will keep your machine performing in top shape. Follow these tips for common welder maintenance.
Optimize welder performance
Tackling welding projects in your shop or garage requires a well-maintained, reliable welding power source.
Follow these guidelines for performing maintenance daily, monthly and every three to six months to keep your machines performing in top shape.
Welder maintenance to perform every day:
- Power it down: Turn off the power source when it’s not in use, and unplug the machine so there is no voltage on the plug. This protects the machine from power surges.
- Cover it up: Keep your welder covered when it’s not in use; only uncover the machine when you turn it on and are welding. This protects the unit from dust and debris.
- Shut off gas: Turn off the shielding gas when the welder is not in use.
- Keep it clean: Clean the nozzle with welding pliers, and check the contact tip for debris. This helps keep them free of buildup and promotes good shielding gas flow and coverage of the weld puddle.
- Wrap cables loosely: When it’s not in use, loosely wrap the welding gun cable in 24-inch diameter loops. Don’t wind the cable too tightly; otherwise you can kink the MIG gun liner.
- Watch the temperatures: Keep an eye on the indoor storage temperature where you keep your machine as well as the operating temperature when using it. Keep the indoor storage temperature between -4 degrees and 131 degrees Fahrenheit and the operating temperature between 14 and 104 degrees Fahrenheit.
Welder maintenance to perform monthly:
- Tighten it up: Be sure to tighten the work clamp lead and gun cable to ensure a good connection for welding.
Welder maintenance to perform every three months
- Check cables and hoses: Check the weld cables and gas hoses for any wear, cracks or damage. Replace as needed.
- Clean terminals: Clean and tighten the weld terminals. You can use any clean hand brush to remove debris.
- Remove liner debris: Use filtered compressed air to remove debris from the MIG gun liner.
Welder maintenance to perform every six months:
- Clean it off: Use a vacuum or filtered compressed air to clean debris and dirt from the welder.
- Maintain drive rolls: Remove and clean the drive rolls to keep debris from entering the weld circuit. To do this, remove the drive rolls from the casting and brush them to remove any debris.
- Power up the machine: Turn the welder on and use it. Regular use is best practice for maintaining the welder’s components.
Welder maintenance to perform as necessary:
- Replace consumables: Keep an eye on the consumables, including contact tips, nozzles, diffusers and liners, and replace them as needed when you notice wear.
- Store filler metals: In high-humidity environments, remove the filler metals from the wire feeder and MIG gun when the machine isn’t in use and store the filler metals in a cool, dry place.
Performing regular maintenance
Always refer to your machine’s Owner’s Manual
for complete maintenance checklists and procedures. Remember to check the instructions for accessory items such as coolers, guns or flowmeters. Maintain your unit more frequently if you use it heavily or in extreme conditions. Regular maintenance can improve your welds and extend the life of your machine.