Common TIG Welding Issues, Non-Starts - Back To Welding Basics

Common welding issues Part 2. TIG Welders: Hard startingIf you’ve TIG welded very long, chances are that you’ve experienced a non start when you placed your foot on the pedal or snapped down the switch. Or you may have at least experienced at least one start where the HF jumped all over the place or maybe didn’t jump anywhere at all. If you haven’t seen this, then consider yourself inexperienced or very, very lucky. These kind of non-starts or difficult starts are usually not the fault of the welder. Even in cases where no HF spark jumps across the air gap to the metal, you’ll usually find a simple cause. Of course, make sure that you’ve got the work clamp in the positive port. Yes, to the beginner, it may be confusing as people commonly refer to this as a ground and it is put into the positive port, but trust me, the work clamp is supposed to always be placed in the positive port and the torch of course goes to the negative. Even experienced guys get this backwards from time to time after switching from stick welding to TIG welding as most stick welding work is done with the electrode holder connected to the positive. Wrong polarity can make the arc dance around and appear quite random with the tungsten beginning to burn or ball. After correct polarity is confirmed, One of the first things to check is the work clamp (sometimes referred to as the ground) placement. In TIG, the work clamp placement is critical, as the HF tries to seek the most direct path of current flow and being what it is, is sensitive to resistance. The work clamp should be connected directly to the metal being welded and as close as possible.Everlast Power Equipment, Your Complete Welding Resource.Learn more on our welding forum