One of the most essential qualities done to make your MIG welds have a good bead appearance and make distortion-free, strong welds is by maintaining good-quality welding equipment.
You do not need to spend a lot of your time and effort just for maintaining and repairing the equipment, but it does save you a lot of time and money in-turn.
Doing proper MIG machine maintenance for a short-term period can help you avoid any sort of welding errors and even avoid paying an expensive amount to get replacements or a new one.
Maintaining MIG welders
When we draw attention towards MIG welding (wire welders), it is prominent in the fact that it has many peripheral items more than stick welding like a gun liner, gun contact tips, a shielding gas tube, gas cylinders, and so on. Before performing any maintenance tasks or work, make sure to unplug the machine properly.
Whenever the wire feed runs close or across the steel drive rolls, they accumulate a large amount of dirt and dust that builds up on these drive rolls. To avoid the occurrence and after-effects of these substances, blowing out from the inside of the feeder section are the best solution.
This can be done by using compressed air and blowing it out at least once a week to maintain optimum performance levels. One more important thing is to switch off the wire feeder before cleaning your steel drive rolls.
Now the next important property to keep in mind is that the liner is cut to an accurate length. As told earlier, dust and dirt get easily accumulated inside it due to the short length of the wire between the liner and the retaining head. If you drive/roll a very heavy metal over it, then the gun liner might get flattened or even broken at times.
The most trouble-causing welding parts are the gun contact tips, cone, and diffuser and hence need to be maintained properly for a good amount of time. These components facilitate the electrical conductivity and gas dispersion by working together as a single unit while the MIG processes occur and if you fail to keep these parts in proper shape, then it is hard to maintain a good welding performance.
The gun nozzle is one of the best ways to shield your welds and this, in turn, fills the nozzle with a large amount of unnecessary spatter. To prevent any refusal/inhibition in the flow of inlet gas, it is better to keep your nozzle clean by using a wire brush to clean it after every weld. A nozzle dip is a type of jelly-like substance that prevents the spatter to stick into the nozzle.
Makes sure your gun contact tips are always in the best shape available, do not touch the tip often while welding. Also, do not make an unwanted electrical connection between the tip and workpiece that you are welding on as it easily damages the tip. The tip with the correct hole size is needed to maintain a proper and applicable diameter size for the best performance possible.
The next factor to be kept in mind is to maintain the shielding gas container (bottle), that is by always keeping it chained or attached to the machine or some rigid object. If the cylinder falls along with the regulator on it, the gas might escape without any obligation and this might damage anyone‘s health around it. When you do not use the welding equipment, make sure to remove the regulator and place the protector cap on top of the regulator and tighten it to keep it sealed until you use it again.
To keep the shielding gas hose in a good condition with no issues with the shape and quality, coil it loosely and store it in such a way that it does not twist or kink in such a way that it does not get damaged too soon. Also, store it in a place that is dry and cool.
One cooler tip is to buy a clean protective cover for your MIG machine that can prevent dust accumulation when not in use. A certified and well-trained professional can be called to check the MIG guns regularly. The most advantageous property of the MIG process is that the wire is generally copper coated making it rust-free.
Cleaning MIG Gun Liners
- Loosen the liner nut and remove the gun’s nozzle, weld tip, diffuser, and liner wire.
- Remove the liner from the welding lead.
- Blow air into the lead to remove the maximum amount of debris that is possible.
- Make sure the liner is free from kinks and bends.
- Now you can install or replace the liner back in the welding lead.
- Unscrew the Liner Nut:
Most of the MIG welding units will come with a spanner included and using them to remove the welding liner must be your first priority. Before you do that, remove the welding wire and welding tip from the gun. You will need the spanner to remove the liner’s nut. Once it is removed, you can remove the liner from the MIG gun.
- Blow out the Liner:
The most common way to clean the welding torch liner is by pressuring in a good amount of compressed air and blowing it in with a good amount of pressure can help in clearing out the debris and other unwanted substances.
- Check the Liner:
Always check your liner for any presence of kinks while cleaning the liner and also feed the wire and liner back to check for any drags present while doing your welds.
- Put the Liner back:
Once you finish, you need to put the liner back into the gun. It is a very delicate and tedious process. Hence, it is necessary to not kink at this stage and ruin the entire liner. Keep the gun in a straight line and slowly push the gun in such a way that you don’t stress the gun too much and complete it slowly. Once done, put the liner back into the gun and screw it using a nut and spanner.
- Replacing the Liner:
If you find out that there is any production of kinks and distortions, then probably your liner is already damaged to be thrown away. Cleaning it any harder won’t do well anymore. Replacing the liner is the best option now. Purchasing any additional consumable like diffusers for your liner can help you get good-quality welds and also maintains very few gaps between the power pin and contact tips.
With all the tips and steps with the installation and maintenance of MIG gun liners, we understand the amount of impact these MIG gun liners play in our welding processes. You can’t weld without them. Choosing the right kind of liner is extremely important and essential for a welder and his career.
Sean Coby is a welder par excellence and well respected among the welding community in Woodbridge, VA. He prides himself to be the fabricator and mechanic in the automotive/ diesel industry for the past more than eight years now. As the chief editor of his https://weldinginfocenter.com, he shares his experience to be safe during welding and to take proactive steps for becoming a successful welder like him.