Q: What can I do to avoid electrical shocks?
A: Wet working conditions must be avoided, because water is an excellent conductor and electricity will always follow the path of least resistance. Even a person’s perspiration can lower the body’s resistance to electrical shock. Poor connections and bare spots on cables further increase the possibility of electrical shock, and therefore, daily inspection of these items is recommended. Equipment operators should also routinely inspect for proper ground connections.
Q: How can I inspect and maintain my Miller wire feeder?
Periodically inspect the electrode wire drive rolls. If dirty, remove the drive rolls and clean with a wire brush. Deformed drive rolls should be replaced. Drive rolls should be changed, adjusted or cleaned only when the wire feeder is shut off. In addition, check the inlet and outlet guides and replace if they are deformed from wire wear. Remember that when power is applied to a wire feeder, fingers should be kept away from the drive roll area.
Q: What are some important electrode safety considerations?
A: Welding power sources for use with MIG and TIG welding normally are equipped with devices that permit on/off control of the welding power output. If so, the electrode becomes electrically hot when the power source switch is ON and the welding gun switch is closed. Never touch the electrode wire or any conducting object in contact with the electrode circuit, unless the welding power source is off. Welding power sources used for shielded metal arc welding (SMAW or Stick welding) may not be equipped with welding power output on/off control devices. With such equipment, the electrode is electrically hot when the power switch is turned ON.
Q: How should I store my gas cylinders?
A: Cylinders should be securely fastened at all times. Chains are usually used to secure a cylinder to a wall or cylinder cart. When moving or storing a cylinder, a threaded protector cap must be fastened to the top of the cylinder. This protects the valve system should it be bumped or dropped.
Cylinders should not be stored or used in a horizontal position. This is because some cylinders contain a liquid which would leak out or be forced out if the cylinder was laid in a flat position. Also, welding guns and other cables should not be hung on or near cylinders. A gun could cause an arc against the cylinder wall or valve assembly, possibly resulting in a weakened cylinder or even a rupture.
Q: How can I tell if my regulator is faulty?
A: The following symptoms indicate a faulty regulator:
- Leaks – if gas leaks externally.
- Excessive Creep – if delivery pressure continues to rise with the downstream valve closed.
- Faulty Gauge – if gauge pointer does not move off the stop pin when pressurized, nor returns to the stop pin after pressure release. Do not attempt to repair a faulty regulator. It should be sent to your designated Miller repair center, where special techniques and tools are used by trained personnel.
Q: What are some tips for a safe welding environment?
A: The area surrounding the welder will be subjected to light, heat, smoke, sparks and fumes. Permanent booths or portable partitions can be used to contain light rays in one area. The heat and sparks given off are capable of setting flammable materials on fire. Therefore, welding should not be done in areas containing flammable gases, vapors, liquids or dusty locations where explosions are a possibility.
Metals with plating, coatings or paint that come near the region of the arc may give off smoke and fumes during welding. These fumes may pose a health hazard to the lungs, therefore an exhaust hood or booth should be used to remove fumes from the area.
When welding in confined spaces, such as inside tanks, large containers or even compartments of a ship, toxic fumes may gather. Also, in an enclosed room, breathable oxygen can be replaced by shielding gases used for welding or purging. Care must be taken to ensure enough clean air for breathing. In many companies, it is routine to provide welders with air masks or self-contained breathing equipment.
Q: How should an operator dress for optimum safety?
A: Gloves and clothing should be flame-resistant. Clothing made from a dark-colored, tightly woven material is best suited for welding. Gauntlet-type leather gloves should be worn to protect the hands and wrists. Shirt collars and shirt cuffs should be buttoned, and open front pockets are not advisable as they may catch sparks. Also, operators should never store matches or lighters in their pockets. Pants cuffs are not recommended, as they will also catch sparks. Tennis shoes do not qualify as adequate foot protection. High-top leather shoes or boots are absolutely necessary.
Q: Is there a daily maintenance schedule I should follow?
A: Below is a general engine drive routine daily maintenance schedule, but it should be modified according to a company’s specific conditions.
By following a regimen of appropriate and thorough maintenance and safety, a welder from Miller Electric can run dependably for decades. Designed to withstand rough use, these machines use high quality components and are tested for durability.
Always refer to Miller Electric’s owner’s manual for a thorough explanation of safety and maintenance. This article does not give complete coverage of all the maintenance and safety issues in existence.
Maintenance Schedule Chart
- Wipe up oil and fuel spills immediately
- Check fluid levels (oil & fuel)
- Service the air filter (refer to engine manual for specifics)
- Service air filter element (refer to engine manual for specifics)
- ChClean and tighten weld terminals
- Change oil
- Change oil filter (refer to engine manual for specifics)
- Clean and tighten battery connections
- Clean cooling system (refer to engine manual for specifics)
- Replace unreadable labels (order from parts list)
- Replace fuel filter
- Check valve clearance (refer to engine manual for specifics)
- Check and clean spark arrestor
- Tape or replace cracked cables
- Clean/Set injectors (refer to engine manual for specifics)
- Blow out or vacuum inside equipment. During heavy service, do this monthly.
Information courtesy of Miller Electric