Following on from my blog Care & Maintenance of Air-Cooled MIG Welding Torches, this edition refers to the most common issues I receive from customers who use Water-Cooled MIG torches (or as they're sometimes referred to - Liquid-Cooled).
"Danny, why is my torch over-heating?" or "Danny, my torch is leaking!!!'
Most of the time it is simply due to the following...
- Is there any coolant in the water cooler? Coolers should be checked every day by the welder.
- Are the radiator fins blocked up with dust? When was the cooler last blown out with compressed air?
- Are the hose connections the right way round? If not, the fluid will be pumped up the power cable first when it should be pumped to the neck first for maximum cooling of the neck.
- Is the cooled fan working properly? Make sure it's not damaged e.g. fan blades broken etc.
- Is the cooler pump getting too hot? It may be air locked or may be blocked.
- Is the customer using 'tap water' or 'distilled water' with anti-freeze? Fittings and connections may have become furred up by 'Electrolytic Action' as tap water allows current pass - this will harden and the power cables may become brittle and fail.
Use BTC-15 or BTC-20 NF (non-flammable) coolant for all MIG applications as this coolant helps to keep all fittings and connections clean and stops electrolytic action taking place, it also lubricates the pump & will pro-long the life of the torch.
If the above steps don't solve the problem then it is recommended you use a piece of equipment called a Water Test Unit to help diagnose the issue.
The Water Test Unit can be used for testing the following:
- Temperature & pressure of cooling liquid in the cooler circuit.
- Temperature & pressure of cooling liquid in the torch circuit.
- Coolant flow rate.
- Function point of the flow guard (when installed).
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