Nozzle clogging in MIG
If you’ve ever done much MIG welding in your life, you are no doubt familiar with what happens while MIG welding with less than desirable quality of steel, or while welding overhead or in tight corners. Yes, the dreaded clogging of the nozzle with spatter is what turns many people off to MIG welding. If you have an Everlast Power i-MIG, this may be caused by having too small of a nozzle for the job. Typically, the small Power i-MIGs use a small 3/8” nozzle.
This is great for using with .023” filler wire, or for seeing the arc clearly, but the tradeoff is that spatter can quickly accumulate and block off the flow of gas and even wire. It can bridge across from the gas nozzle on the MIG gun to the contact tip and make the nozzle electrically live, creating a real mess. Of course, it can usually be removed with frequent removeal of the nozzle an scraping it out with a knife or a screw driver tip. But there are times that it will be stuck so fast to the wall of the nozzle that it has for all practical purposes fused itself so that it can’t be removed, and the nozzle will need replacing. If this is happening to you, consider purchasing either nozzle dip or nozzle ant-spatter spray from your local welding supply warehouse.
These items are excellent at preventing spatter from sticking inside the gun, and can even help lubricate the contact tip. Nozzle dip can be messy. But it is usually contained in a small tub, with a replaceable lid, similar to a can of wheel bearing grease. Leaving it open can attract a lot of unwanted debris, so if you use nozzle dip to coat the inside and outside of your nozzle, be sure to recover it.
Some nozzle sprays can be quite smelly, resembling dead fish. But they are quite easy to use, and can provide a relief from stuck spatter. The nozzle sprays are not expensive. However, people still try to use a cooking spray to get by. I would not recommend cooking spray as it can often contaminate the weld, leaving behind extra heavy traces of carbon.