How Often Do You Need to Replace Welding Helmet and Respirator Parts?

Welding HelmetEvery human being has just a pair of eyes and lungs right! Being a welding professional, you wouldn’t want to lose them in the process of building your career in welding. Hence it is recommended to use a welding helmet and respirator. But do you need to maintain and replace its parts?

Making a progressive change in your welding career is only possible if you maintain and service all the welding equipment and peripherals on a regular basis. The welding helmet and the respirator are the two most important safety equipment that ensures the safety of you and your health.

If you take good care of your helmet, you will always be comfortable using it and have great performance and will help you all through the welding processes.

The basic steps in a lame man’s terms will be to clean the helmet, store it in a cool and dry place, and replacing the consumable components. Helmets made of good-quality materials and manufactured with finesse from well-reputed welding companies will have better performance, quality and can be replaced with minimal costs and without any extra efforts.

Parts

Let us first get to know the parts that constitute the welding helmet and the respirator. Basic on the regularity and extent to which these parts are used, we will need to replace them accordingly.

Lens:

Welding Helmet Lens
Source: https://www.lincolnelectric.com
    • A basic welding helmet has 4 layers of a lens named the Inner lens, ADF lens, Outer lens, and Ground lens. Maintaining your lens in the proper state and avoiding any damages occurring to it can help you protect your eyes and also provide you good vision.

Even though every brand manufactures a welding helmet in its own configuration, the first lens is always designed to resist wear and tear and resists the inlet if sparks and debris that is extremely harmful to the human eye.

The front lens is placed in front of the dimming lens itself and protects the dimming lens from any welding spatter falling on it. The ‘Inside cover’ lens present behind the auto-darkening lens filters any form of dirt and dust falling passing it.

After several years of extensive use, once the lens gets discolored and stained with dirt, it becomes the time to replace the lens with a new one.

Replacement of any of the lenses must be done when:
      • There are noticeable scratches or cracks.
      • Poor vision.
      • The lens does not auto-darken even at full battery.

Read more: Best Cheap Welding Angle Grinder: Reviews & Buyer’s Guide

Sweatbands:

Welding Helmet Sweatband
The major function of the presence of a sweatband in the welding helmet is to prevent any form of sweat from your body to enter your eyes accidentally.

It is highly comfortable and made out of soft-cushioned fabric that not only absorbs excessive sweat but also provides a good fit to your headgear.

Image Source: https://www.lincolnelectric.com

You can replace the sweatbands when:
      • It is worn out or damaged.
      • The sweatband is highly unhygienic and dirty.
      • The fit of the sweatband is not perfect anymore.
      • The sweatband has been reduced of its cushions and the headgear is felt blatantly.

Related article: Best 110v MIG Welder: Detailed Reviews & Buying Guide

Face Seal:

Welding Helmet Face Seal
The face seal is one such component of the welding helmet that prevents the excessive fumes and sparks from the welding gun from entering into the helmet via the neck region and its gaps.

It allows positive pressure to work and requires cleansing and dirt removal every day in order to maintain proper helmet conditions.

Image Source: https://www.generalwelding.co.uk

You need to replace it when:
      • It is highly dirty and unhygienic and cannot be cleansed any further.
      • If you can find it to have tears, holes, and other damages.
      • If you experience suffocation due to the inlet of gases and fumes into the helmet.

Read here: Best Auto Darkening Welding Helmet: Detailed Buying Guide

Auto-Darkening Filter Batteries

Autodarkening Helmet Batteries
Source: https://www.arc-zone.com/
    • The welding helmets have this particular property which has made it get reputation and without this, no helmet is ideal for welding.

It is the ‘Auto-Darkening’ feature because of which you have the safety and protection of your eyes ensured.

It automatically detects sparks, bright light, and heat and starts the dimming function which is great for someone who welds most part of their day.

You can replace when:
      • The battery indicator indicates that you need a replacement.
      • If the auto-darkening feature does not darken even after the presence of an excessive spark.
      • If you can feel flames reaching you through the helmet.

Air Respirator Parts:

Filters

An electrically-powered air respirator will be your lifesaver if you work in a very humid and hot environment with a lot of fumes around you due to welding. They protect your lungs from harmful and toxic fumes and layers of gas and also provide you with a good amount of fresh air.
There are two types of filters used in the respiratory system performing these functions- P3 Particle Filter and Pre-Filter.

Also read: Best MIG Welder For Beginner: Detailed Buying Guide

P3 Particle Filter:

Make sure you keep a log/ schedule of the usage and maintenance and cleaning of the filters.

You might need a replacement or repair work done when:
P3 Particle filter
      • Battery operating time is less.
      • You can feel that you are breathing in some pollutants.
      • The respirator is difficult to use and breathing becomes quite hard.
      • The filter is damaged or worn-out.

Image Source: https://www.cerva.com

Pre-Filter:

The pre-filter is an addon layer to the P3 particle filter which preserves the life of the filter and saves a lot of time and money spent on these P3 filters.

You might need a replacement or repair work done when:
Pre Filter
      • When you get a thought with the use that the filter needs to be changed.
      • The operation time on the battery is very low.
      • You find difficulty in breathing using it.
      • The filter has been damaged or worn-out.

Image Source: https://www.fishersci.se

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Batteries:

A PAPR unit that you use must be maintained so that it lasts you at least for about 2 years without any replacements of its parts. These batteries make the PAPR last for a day fully without any issues. You can weld your projects without any disturbances during your work time.

Air Respirator Battery
You might need to replace these batteries when:
      • The battery cannot keep up its charge for the time it was given when purchasing the product for the first time.
      • The battery cannot be charged even with a proper charger and power supply.

Image Source: https://www.3m.com

Final Thoughts

If you avoid or do not take the use of a respirator for welding seriously, you might be prone to diseases like:
  • Bronchitis, asthma, and pneumonia
  • Emphysema and siderosis
  • Ulcer and kidney damage
  • Heart and skin disease
  • Damage to the central nervous system
  • Brain damage
Hence on our part, we recommend you take care of the welding helmet and respirator devices and parts and also lookout for replacements. It is recommended to change the pre-filter frequently as it is highly exposed to dirt and dust particles as it is exposed directly to the external environment.

Purchasing cover lenses to protect the inner and outer regions of the auto-darkening lens is also an ideal measure that can be taken to keep your products free of issues. The purple coating on the auto-darkening lens is essential to block all the harmful UV and IR radiations from the welding operation. Therefore, it is important to maintain the conditions inside and outside of the cover lens.