What Causes a Welding Gun to Overheat?

Industrial & Manufacturing Blog

A welding gun may overheat and pose a safety risk to the operator and his or her equipment. Signs of overheating include the discolouration of equipment parts and dirty welding consumables, such as the welding wire. This article discusses some of the causes of overheating in a welding gun that hobbyists should take steps to prevent.

Changes in Welding Parameters

Welding equipment is usually rated in terms of its capability to handle given welding parameters, such as amperage and voltage. Those parameters usually define how much power the equipment can draw continuously during its operation. Overheating may result when you exceed the welding parameters provided by the manufacturer of your equipment. You should therefore check the welding parameters and bring them in line with the manufacturer's recommendations so that you can stop the equipment from overheating.

Poor Grounding

The welding gun may overheat in case there is increased resistance to electrical flow within the equipment. That internal resistance may increase in case the ground wire or material is poorly clamped. For instance, dirt may be preventing the ground wire from making full contact with the metal bar onto which it has been clamped. Check that the ground wire is firmly in contact with the ground surface. Remove any dirt or grime that could be hindering the flow of current through the ground wire.

Damaged Power Cables

The current flowing through a welding gun cable may arc or veer off its path within the cable as it searches for a ground wire at the point where the cable is damaged. This arcing can pose a serious risk of injury to the operator of the welding gun. Arcing also makes it harder for current to flow through the cable. The welding gun is likely to overheat if this source of resistance is not removed.

Improper Power Pin Seating

The welding wire is held in position within the wire feeder by a power pin. Your welding gun may overheat in case this power pin is not positioned well. Improper seating makes it harder for the wire feeder to release more wire at the correct feed rate as you weld. The feeder ends up overheating because it is not operating smoothly to keep the wire moving.

As you can see, most of the causes of overheating in a welding gun can be linked to an error in the way the welding equipment has been set up or is being used. You should therefore inspect the equipment before using it and improve you welding practices so that you protect your welding gun from overheating.


17 August 2016

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