Common TIG Welding Issues, Hard-Starting: Proper Grounding
Common TIG welding issues. TIG: Hard starting due to inproper grounding of your welderNo discussion of TIG arc starting issues would be complete without a discussion about proper “grounding”. Technically this isn’t grounding, since the work clamp is in the positive and it’s not going directly to earth. But commonly, welders will refer to the work clamp as the “ground”.Inverter TIG welders that initiate the arc via HF starting detect the flow of electricity before switching the inverter fully on to jump the arc. This is a quick process, but an important one. Maintaining a low resistance to the flow of electricity between the work clamp to the tip of the tungsten is important as a result. Running the work clamp direct to the metal as possible is important to reducing resistance. Many people who convert from stick welding to TIG welding are used to having the work clamp placed about anywhere they want. Since there is no HF, the scratching or tapping method helps establish a better path to ground as it offers the opportunity to short circuit the metal between the table and the piece of metal being welded. But with a TIG welder with a more delicate setup requires much more attention. Whenever possible directly place the work clamp right on the part to be welded, near the area to be welded. Make sure the area is scuffed up with a grinding wheel or flap disk to cut through mill scale and oxides for best contact direct to the metal. Also pay attention to the work clamp and cable itself. Over time oxidation can occur (even in new clamps and cables some oxidation can occur). Sand down connection points so that fresh metal is making contact with fresh metal. Check cable and work clamp tightness of course during this and make sure that the work clamp, connector, and cable are properly sized for a job. One way to tell if you are having work clamp/ground issues is to check the work clamp/cable temperature. If they are excessively hot or warm after using them for a while, then it is possible that you have too much resistance and corrosion present in the clamp or cable. Or it is possible that they are too small to do the job.Everlast Power Equipment, your TIG welding experts.Learn more on our welding forum.