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How to Fix a Welder That Doesn't Feed Wire

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Welders that won't feed welding wire typically have one of two things causing the problem. Either the welding tip has built up with slag, or the wire feed tension spring is loose. Damaged internal motors should not be repaired at home. It is best to have internal electrical problems fixed by a qualified welder repair technician.

Unscrew the tip from the welding gun. You may not be able to tell by looking at it if the tip has become clogged, but tips are inexpensive, so replacing them is only a minor inconvenience.

Pull the welding wire through the welding gun, and then insert the welding tip over the wire. Screw the tip into position, and then try the welder to see if the wire feeds. If not, continue to the next step.

  • Welders that won't feed welding wire typically have one of two things causing the problem.
  • Screw the tip into position, and then try the welder to see if the wire feeds.

Open the side of the welding unit to check the spring tension on the wire feed unit. This is controlled by a wing nut that holds an arm down, squeezing the welding wire between two metal wheels. The lower metal wheel is the one that is under power. Tighten the wing nut down slightly, but not too much. Too much tension could crimp the welding wire.

Actuate the trigger of the welder again, paying particular attention to the lower wire feed wheel. If the wire feeds, the problem is resolved. If you see that the lower feed wheel is not turning, remove all tension from the wing nut and try again. If the wheel still does not turn, the wire feed motor or circuit board has burned out and needs replacement by a qualified repair technician.

  • Open the side of the welding unit to check the spring tension on the wire feed unit.
  • If you see that the lower feed wheel is not turning, remove all tension from the wing nut and try again.

Weld Aluminum With A Wire Welder

Welding aluminum can be very frustrating because the metal oxidizes quickly in open air. When using a wire welder the problems of aluminum welding increase because aluminum wire is prone to crumple and bend. If your welder has a steel wire liner, remove it and replace it with a plastic or Teflon liner so that the aluminum wire won't bind up. Connect a tank of pure argon gas to your wire welder as a shielding gas. Clean the aluminum surfaces you are going to weld. Brush the metal in a single direction away from the seam you're working on to prevent oxidized aluminum from being distributed to the area you are welding. Create an arc with your metal. Begin welding your seam, allowing a pool of molten aluminum to form between the two pieces of metal you're welding.

  • Welding aluminum can be very frustrating because the metal oxidizes quickly in open air.
  • If your welder has a steel wire liner, remove it and replace it with a plastic or Teflon liner so that the aluminum wire won't bind up.

Warning

Keep your fingers out of the moving parts within the welder to prevent injuries while you inspect the wire feed unit.

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