Welding is an arduous task itself. So, when your welders jams suddenly in the middle of your work, nothing can be more frustrating than that. This is a common issue many welders have to face quite often. Especially after heavy use. Now, what can you do about it?
If your MIG welder keeps jamming, the first thing you should do is check the quality of the wire. If the wire isn’t causing the problem, then check the tension of the rolls (drive roll) or spool break. If you are still facing problems with your welder, then you should check the gun liner of your MIG welder. Finally, you can check the ID of the tip of your welding machine.
I’ve mentioned some basic steps of troubleshooting your MIG welder, and now I’d like to provide some valuable insights on each of the steps mentioned. In this article, I will extensively discuss what might be the different causes if your MIG welder keeps jamming and how you can fix each of the issues. So, without further ado, let’s get right to it.
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Steps of Fixing Your MIG Welder
It is extremely frustrating if your MIG welder keeps jamming while you are working. Fortunately, you can fix this issue by following some simple steps. Even if you are not an expert, you can fix your welding machine within an hour. The steps of fixing your MIG welder are provided below.
Step One: Check the Quality of the Welder’s Wire
One of the most common reasons behind MIG welders jamming is its wire. With time, moisture can grow on the wires and that can add some extra friction to the machine. If your welding machine is unused for a long time, moisture will cover all the wires inside the machine. Moisture can cause rust on it and it will ultimately clog up the liner.
If you detect rust on the wire of your MIG welder, then the first thing you should do is keep unspooling until you find the wire without any rust on it. Then, simply cut the rusty part and throw it away. Now, the welder should work fine. You might also have to replace the liner for making the Welding machine functional.
For avoiding future hassles, take out the wire from the MIG welder when you decide to take a long break from welding. Just keep the wire under a heavy blanket or a bin bag to prevent it from rusting. Make it your habit and it will save a lot of your money and time as you will not face any wire-related problems in the future.
Step Two: Check the Tension of Spool and Drive Roll
Another reason for the MIG welder being stuck is due to the inappropriate tension on the drive roll or spool break. An excessive amount of tension can cause the wire to get stuck inside the welder machine. If you apply too much pressure to such situations, the wire might even break.
On the other hand, a lower amount of tension on the drive roll or spool can result in bird-nesting. It means the wires inside the MIG welder will get tangled with each other. If the wires are bird-nested, you might have to completely replace all the wires inside the machine.
You will have to find a suitable amount of tension on both the driver roll and spool. Unfortunately, there isn’t an exact method to determine a perfect amount of tension, but there are ways that will lead you to a sweet spot.
For fixing this issue, first, take out the Driver Roll and lose the wire from it. Now, you will be needing a metal block or woodblock. Now, you have to roll the wire on it. While feeding, you will need to increase the amount of tension on the wire until it reaches one and a half turn from the spot where slippage started.
After doing all that, properly check if the machine is working. While using the MIG welder, if you still get the feeling that you have to make the driver roll tighter, then the problem might lie on the wires that you are using. Check if the wires are damaged or tangled. If that’s not the case, then you have to check the feed settings of the MIG welder.
Another big reason for bird-nesting is inappropriate wires or wires with wrong specs. If you can not find the problem whatsoever, then the problem may lie on the driver rolls of the welder. Over time, it gets damaged and you might have to replace it to fix the welding machine.
Many people mistakenly use the wrong type of driver rolls for the wires. Availing the right size and type of roll is essential for smoothly operating the MIG welder, otherwise, wire slippage will occur. While purchasing the driver roll, keep the following terms in mind.
- The wire you will use must match the size of the grooves.
- If you are using a solid wire, you must purchase v-grooved driver rolls.
- If you are using a wire that is made with soft metals like aluminum, you must purchase v-grooved driver rolls.
- If you are using a flux-core, you must purchase v-knurled drive rolls.
Step Three: Check the Gun Liner
One of the most common reasons behind the MIG welder being jammed is a faulty gun liner. This sensitive part stays in contact with the wires almost all the time. So, if the gun liner is damaged, clogged, kinked, or dirty, the MIG welder won’t feed properly.
Although this part of the welder is very cheap and the availability is high, replacing it is not a piece of cake. You will have to spend a long time and work very hard to place the new piece.
First of all, see if you can detect a clog inside the liner. If you can, use compressed air to blow the clog out from the machine. You have to keep in mind that using high-pressure compressed air will ruin the whole machine. Be patient and repeatedly blow air inside the liner using a low-pressure blower.
While purchasing, you have to make sure the gun liner matches the size of the wires. If you can, buy a liner that can maintain a singular diameter constantly. It will protect the wires for long-term use. Again, regular maintenance of your welding machine will extend its lifespan.
Step Four: Check the Contact Tip
After performing all the steps, if you are still facing issues, check the tip of the contact. It should perfectly match the diameter of the wires; otherwise, the machine will constantly jam while feeding.
In some cases, the hole of the tip deforms due to excess use. It should be a perfect circle, not an oblong. If the hole deforms; you will have to replace the contact tip.
Another thing that you need to check is the stick-out of the contact tip. It should be a perfect size. A shorter or longer stick-out might burn the tip completely and cause the jamming issue. For the best performance, fine-tune the distance of tip-to-weld.
As you can see, it will only take a few simple steps to fix your MIG welder if it is jamming. In this article, I have extensively discussed all the various reasons why your MIG welder keeps jamming and how you can tackle each of the issues.
Hopefully, after reading this article you are now equipped with the knowledge to successfully troubleshoot your welder.