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  • WP-17 torch problem

    Hey guys,

    I've been reading the threads for quite a while, but first time posting. I've got a problem that I can't seem to be able to figure out. I'm a bit of a noob with tig welding, but I've been able to do some descent welds. (I own a syncrowave 200).
    So, this is my problem; one day I was welding on steel, and touch the puddle with the tungsten... so I took it out, grind it and put it back in. Done that many times before with no problem. This time though, when I did put it back, the collet was not tight inside the torch like it should be, it was wiggling back and forth by about 1/8''. So I went to my local supplier with the torch, the guy looked at it and told me it was stacked wrong, I guess I had bought a demo welder and the guys must have put the torch together a little fast.. The gas lens insulator was wrong, so I got the right one and fixed the wiggling problem, (which I didn't have in the first place). So I got back home, hooked everything up and I haven't been able to weld since then. The arc wonders, gas flow is screwed up, yellow smoke, can't make a shinny puddle, just melt my piece, and tungsten gets black all the way to the collet.

    And I forgot to say, but before I realize my collet was loose at the beginning, I tried to weld and all the same symptoms happened. Which at that time, I hadn't even turned the welder off or anything, so it is definitively not a setting problem because it was working 30 seconds before.

    Then that night, forgot to turn off the valve on my tank, and completely emptied itself during the night. Was not a good day... Since, I changed the tank, but still no luck with the weld.

    Does anyone have an idea of what is going on with my setup? Thanks.

  • #2
    If the tungsten gets black when you start welding then that is a lack of gas coverage, you're using argon for your shielding gas, right?

    I would start at the argon tank and check every connection right up to the torch. Does the back cap have the o-ring in place? Is it damaged? Don't forget to check the gas line where it connects to the torch. Do a test, when you step on the foot pedal, is the shielding gas coming out of the torch? If the flow rate is too high that could cause problems, too low and same thing, are you using a gas lens or a standard collet body? A gas lens will give you better coverage, but even so you shouldn't be having any problems even with a standard collet body.
    Last edited by Ltbadd; 10-08-2011, 10:16 AM. Reason: added text
    West coast of Florida


    • #3
      i run a wp-17 at work i have a miller maxstar 150. sometimes you get a bad bottle with oxygen in it instead of pure argon. check you argon hose going from the regulator to the welder. then check your torch lead and then make sure your torch is screwed on tight to the lead re build the whole torch from the back caps to the collet collet body and cup i use a number 6 cup all the time.then replace both of the white insulators. i would suggest if your welding in an area with no breeze set your regulator to 20 and and put a number 6 or 8 cup on it. i hope this info helps you out.


      • #4
        Originally posted by Ltbadd View Post
        B]Don't forget to check the gas line where it connects to the torch[/B].
        . . . and where the gas hose connects to the power adapter plug a the machine. This is what happened to my 180 SD once.

        Click image for larger version

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        Started getting porous welds just before it came completely off and zapped the end.
        MM200 w/spot controller and Spoolmatic 1
        Syncrowave 180 SD
        Bobcat 225G Plus LPG/NG w/14-pin*
        *Homemade Suitcase Wire Feeder
        *WC-1S & Spoolmatic 1
        PakMaster 100XL
        Marquette "Star Jet" 21-110


        • #5
          Thanks for the help, but haven't figured it out yet... as it is right now, I use a number 8 cup, and ''altig'' gas sold by airliquide. My setup might not be the best, but I had been working all day like that with no problem, so I highly doubt that the problem is from the type of gas I use or the gas flow or the machine setup, it's got to be something ''mechanical'' that craped out on me. I checked my connections at the back of the welder as suggested and no problem found, as a matter of fact, I turned off my tank last night, and 18 hours later the pressure gauge didn't move, if their was a leek their wouldn't be any residual pressure left in the lines. But why would my previous tank emptied itself in one night when I forgot the valve open? And I did notice that when I first push the foot pedal, their is a lot more gas coming out than about 2 second later, weir the pressure goes a bit down and stay the same until the purge is done. And their is a noise coming out of the back of the welder when I push the pedal and I'm not close to a piece of metal to make an arc, but that might just be the high frequency thing trying to strike an arc, not sure. It almost feel like the welder got a stronger arc too, at 150amp it takes about 2 second before I make a hole trough 3/16 mild steel... and yellow smoke and all crap... can a bad gas lens cause all that?


          • #6
            I just installed a new torch and it still does the same, I actually found a thread with someone that has the exact same problem as me (a long time ago) posted by ttype. I now believe the prooblem is from the welder itseflf


            • #7
              Now at the back of the welder where the gas hose attaches, is a screen to prevent debis (mostly teflon tape) from going through. Might want to check the condition of that, before you think on what further problems there could be.


              • #8
                You should be able to feel the gas coming out of the torch, just hold it away from any metal, an inch or so from your skin. To avoid shocks, don't have your body touching the work.

                If you think about how regulators work, it is normal to have extra gas flow when you first turn it on. The gas goes from the tank to the regulator, through a small orifice built into the regulator, and then into the hose to the welder. When there is no gas flow, the pressure builds up in that hose, while when there is gas flow, the orifice reduces the pressure in the hose.

                You could perhaps put a balloon over the tig torch tip and see how much gas comes out in a few seconds. That might help you see what is happening, you could perhaps even estimate the rate of gas flow.

                If you use soapy water (again watch for shocks), you might be able to find any leaks in the torch, cable, etc.

                I have no idea why it drained the tank one day and not another, unless the gas valve in the welder had a bit of dirt in it keeping it from closing all the way.

                As always, consider having a welding friend stop by and take a look at the set up, they might see something that you had not noticed. You could also take your torch back to the dealer, talk to a different salesman, see if the salesman sees anything wrong.

                Syncrowave 200, Millermatic 211, Victor torch, Propane forge....


                • #9
                  Take your torch apart and make sure all the parts are in good shape (may have arced over internally and damaged the internals so that you have a gas leak inside the torch.
                  The collet body should be asembled first, make sure its tight in the torch body, then insert the collet, screw on the back cap loosely then insert the tungsten and tighten the back cap.

                  I have seen the collet body loosen up and no matter how tight the back cap is it wont tighten up on the collet, and if used when assembled loosely it can arc inside and trash the torch.
                  mike sr


                  • #10
                    Unless you have a bad or cracked gas valve, bad internal gas hose or the pcb is not turning on the valve, the welder really can't produce that type of contamination. It only provides the current, ac or dc to do the welding.
                    Your situation still looks like some sort of gas issue.
                    If your gas cup is contaminated, it too will draw that into the weld.
                    If you disconnect the torch, you should be able to blow through the torch.
                    If you can't, take the torch cup, collet and collet body out of the torch and try again. I've seen some aftermarket consumables when screwed in all the way, block the gas supply from the torch.
                    If possible, try to get your gas supplier to let you try some UHP Argon.
                    That would rule out the gas bottle.

                    What flow rate are you using?
                    What voltage are you on and have you verified that the power is getting up to and through the power switch?
                    Has the welder ever welded Aluminum good in the past?

                    Hope this helps.


                    • #11
                      So far I tried most of you guy's idea (thanks) with no luck. I have replaced my tank with a new one, new regulator, Brand new torch, consumable and hose. It doesn't leave much potential source of contamination or leak... Especially keeping in mind that my setup on the welder (amperage, dcen, pre and post flow and everything in that matter) was working perfectly 30 second before. All I did is taking my tungsten out and grind it, and put it back in. Then nothing ever worked again. And yes, I did tried a different tungsten as well. One thing I didn't do is to check that little screen that cruiser was talking about, but I never used teflon tape. Andy, yes the welder has weld aluminum fine in the past. I was welding with 15chf, after it stopped working I tried everything between 5 and 30... I completely agree that it looks like a gas issue, but from were??? Anyways, after all that, my Air Liquide guy I deal with talked to a miller service tech that said that the hal device might be out of wack. My welder is now sitting in a miller service/repair shop here in Saskatoon. Really hoping he finds the problem, whether the welder is not working properly or I am a plain and simple dumbass!


                      • #12
                        A crushed collet will close off the flow to your collet body or gas lense. The gas will then leak out and around the o ring on you backcap.

                        I would recommend everybody spend $28 and buy a portable flowmeter to test the gas flow coming out of your torch. This would have confirmed you have a gas flow issue or not.

                        A simple test is to set gas flow at tank flowmeter, then confirm at cup on torch. I have found a few very interesting things.

                        The link is
                        Attached Files
                        Nothing welded, Nothing gained

                        Miller Dynasty700DX
                        3 ea. Miller Dynasty350DX
                        Miller Dynasty200DX
                        ThermalArc 400 GTSW
                        MillerMatic200 with spoolgun
                        Lincoln SP-170T
                        Linde UCC305 (sold 2011)
                        Hypertherm 1250
                        Hypertherm 800
                        PlasmaCam CNC cutter
                        Fadal Toolroom CNC Mill
                        SiberHegner CNC Mill
                        2 ea. Bridgeport
                        LeBlond 15" Lathe
                        Haberle 18" Cold Saw
                        Doringer 14" Cold Saw
                        6 foot x 12 foot Mojave granite


                        • #13
                          The hall device is a current sensor and has nothing to do with the gas circuit. It measures the current output and tells the pcb what amperage you are welding at.
                          If you had some output power problems where the machine was going wide open or down to minimum output with no control, then I'd say you have a hall device issue.

                          I would have them check the gas valve for cracks and the lines inside the machine.

                          One other thing to check is the O-ring inside the twist lock connector where the torch connects. Make sure it's in good shape and not broke or missing.

                          Good luck.


                          • #14
                            It would be so much easier if we could see the setup, fixing something in the dark is tough to do.
                            I dont know if a cracked cup was mentioned but that will cause a similar problem as well, also a cracked back cap.

                            I have also had a bad ground cause big problems as well especially on aluminum.

                            Keep us posted as I am very interested to see what the service shop findings are.
                            mike sr


                            • #15
                              Hey Guys,

                              Sorry it took so long... I finally found the problem about 2 weeks ago, (then I got really busy working) But the issue was simply that I got 2 bad tank of gas in a row. After spending way to much money changing everything that could possibly be changed, a friend of a friend welder came buy my place and took my bottle of gas to his work, and sure enough it was crap... I had a mixed helium/argon, which I never had problem with before, but then I guess they had problem with their mix or something.. Now using straight argon only and works like a charm. Thanks all for your help,