Common welding related questions that we hear. Part4

A fourth, but rather common question that we hear, usually before the sale, is how long will these new inverter welders last compared to a transformer? The truthful answer is: No one knows really. But let’s get something straight about that question. Inverters in the welding industry are not new and are basically reliable. They’ve been around for 30 years or so. Many of them are still around. Bur even so, you will always hear stories of a transformer welder sitting in the corner of some garage or barn that has been running since the 1950’s…or earlier. Well, let’s just say these welders are survivors.

For everyone that you see, there are thousands more that have died and gone to the great scrap pile in the sky. If they were to fail today, there would be no replacement parts available, by and large. And many of these old companies have long been merged or defunct.

Even later model transformer machines that survive often are orphaned by the company that produces them by obsoleting the parts after 10 years or so.  Granted, inverters aren’t as likely to last as long as a transformer machine, but don’t forget that most modern transformer welding machines are full of circuit boards and electronic controls themselves. A single repair on a unit this big and heavy will cost you much more than a strained back if it needs to be serviced.

Switches, selectors and rectifiers all last for only a certain amount of time as well and are found on most transformer welders. It is only a matter of time before a large part on a transformer wears out and the unit is ready to be junked because of either the lack of parts, or the extreme cost of repairing such a behemoth. Inverters are great for reparability, and are quite easy to repair if something were to fail. With the change of our products over to mostly digitally controlled designs it is easier than ever to fix one of our inverter welders.