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  • Plasma cutter cutting out

    I have a Spectrum 375 Cutmate plasma cutter and use it frequently for cutting everything from 24 ga. sheet steel to cutting off 5/8" bolts. Regardless of what I am using it for I quite often experience a problem with maintaining the cutting arc. I am properly switched and plugged into 240 V, the same as powering my MM175. It is not related to the duty cycle. Even after the first 8 inches of cutting sheet metal, at a rated speed, it will suddenly and often just stop. I have to release the trigger for a few seconds and then it will cut another 8 inches or so. I used an ESAB many years ago, and don't remember any problems like this, but other than that, this is my first real use of a plasma cutter in my own shop. Any ideas? Yes, I checked and made sure I had a good return to ground.

  • #2
    Other than making sure your pressure isn't too high or too low, you've got me stumped. That is usually a bullet proof machine. Sounds like it could be a pc board problem. If it's under warrenty, don't be afraid to bring it in for a check up.
    A couple of questions though, When the machine stops, does the post air still flow or does everything shut off? Does any trouble lights come on? When it stops, try keeping the trigger pressed and move the torch around to see if it's a bad connection or a bad torch switch. These are some things that might help the technician pinpoint your trouble.

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    • #3
      No trouble lights at all. Pressure is dead on. Post flow air keeps going. Nothing happens when keeping the trigger pressed and moving around. I have to release the trigger and then basically start a new pilot arc and then cutting arc. It was bought new in May, should I return it to the distributor? Thanks.

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      • #4
        10-4
        Bring it back to the dist. It has a 3yr warranty on it. It's probably something easy to fix. MILLER sends all warrenty parts 2nd day air so you won't be without your machine long.

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        • #5
          375 extreme cut outs

          Hi ! I am new here and certainly not the most experienced welder(I just got my Dynasty200dx up and running) but I do have a 375 extreme plasma cutter.

          I have heard that these types of cut outs can be atrributed to moisture in the air line.
          I frequently blow the moisture out of my compressor to avoid this. The compressor also has a vapor collector which seems to be adequate.

          The regular 375 has a sophisticated air dryer that is not required for the extreme models.

          My 375 has worked like a charm ever since I pulled it out of the box.
          It has its limitations but overall for the $ I think it is a great machine for the hobbyist with fabrication in mind.

          Good luck

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          • #6
            One thing I learned on mine, check the work ground.

            It would light, start cutting then stop. Was scratching my head.

            Cleaned an area for the ground and it stopped doing it.

            Seems like there is a starting circuit, can light the thing in the air, then if there is not a complete electrical loop, it turns it self off.

            Had me wondering for a while.

            Tom

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            • #7
              The number one cause of the arc cutting out is having the retaining cup over tight. This can sometimes prevent a transfer which will cause the pilot arc to cut out after 4 or 5 seconds. A few other things that could cause the arc to go out would be a poor work clamp connection, traveling too slow on thinner materials (would cause the machine to think you finished a cut), or too high of a standoff between the torch and the material. If are having trouble, our service techs here at Miller can certainly help you through the problem. Give me a call.

              Ric
              Plasma Service
              (920)831-4854
              Ric Armstrong
              Service Technician
              Miller Electric Mfg. Co.

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              • #8
                One other thought I had, we do actually recommend an air dryer on all our plasma cutters, the Xtreme included. Moisture will reduce the life of the consumables as well as reduced cutting capabilities. In time, it can also damage the plunger in the torch head.
                Ric Armstrong
                Service Technician
                Miller Electric Mfg. Co.

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                • #9
                  One thing to consider is that since that post I think Mac not only got the machine working, but wore it out, sold it, got a new one, used it, sold it, moved out of the country (twice), and now has a different one. A lot can happen in five years.

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                  • #10
                    Saw the date later to, had to laugh.

                    Thanks for the tips on the plasma, will use them in the future.

                    Tom

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                    • #11
                      one chuckles at ones self

                      2002,,,,,,HA!! Should be resolved by now ehh! Question is hows come anyone else bother to check this out ?
                      This is a great site! Everyones cool and helpful!

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