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Millermatic 251 possible lightning damage

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  • Millermatic 251 possible lightning damage

    Hey guys, first post here. A couple of weeks ago we had a pretty bad thunderstorm where I live. Lightning apparently struck either my house (I live in a metal pole barn) or somewhere near my house. It took out my DSL modem, a DirecTV receiver, and the HDMI input on the TV the receiver was hooked to.

    The day before I had been working on a project on my rockcrawler in the garage and had left my Millermatic 251 plugged in but powered off when I finished for the day. When I found the damage to my electronics in the house I never thought about checking my welder. A few days later I went back out to work on the project some more and when I turned my welder on it powered up like normal and the voltage and wire speed displays still showed just what I had left them at. I got everything set up and ready to make the weld I needed, pulled the trigger and nothing happened. No wire feed, no gas solenoid clicking, nothing. I powered the welder off and took the gun apart and checked continuity on the trigger when it was pulled, the trigger is good. I powered the welder back on and had 35 VDC to the trigger. I checked voltage on the other side of the trigger with it pulled and it dropped to 28 VDC. I also unplugged the gun from the front of the welder and jumpered the pins on the welder side of plug and it still does nothing.

    I'm leaning toward a board issue, but looking for other input. I took the cover off the side of the machine and just looking at the board I didn't see any obvious burnt spots. Due to work schedule I haven't had a chance to really look it over good though. I'm hoping you guys may have some troubleshooting tips and ideas.

    Thanks!
    Ben

  • #2
    It does sound like maybe the lightning got a board. Please post your serial no. so we can look at the right manual.

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    • #3
      I'm at work now, I'll get it and post it up when I get home later this evening.

      Thanks

      Comment


      • #4
        The serial # is LC188779

        Comment


        • #5
          Not familiar with your machine but a look at the manual shows virtually everything is on a big circuit board. Perhaps Cruizer or Duane will respond but I suspect the answer is already clear.

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          • #6
            Yeah there is only one big circuit board in it.

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            • #7
              I'd be more inclined to first check power to the machine and it's on/off switch for power after it . Cause the gages will work even if the 230 was cut back to 120. Nothing else will though

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              • #8
                I just checked and I have 220V on both sides of the on-off switch.

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                • #9
                  Just wanted to update this thread. I did all the testing I could myself, and everything pointed to the board. I pulled the board out and sent it to Innovat in Marion, VA. Just got the board back Friday and put it back together. Everything seems to be working fine now. It was $200 for the board repair.

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                  • #10
                    That sounds great...Bob
                    Bob Wright

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                    • #11
                      Great! Glad you got it solved, and for not an outrageous price. Thanks for the update.

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                      • #12
                        I have never seen lightening damage to a welding machine. The strike didnt come down the power but in they the media or phone lines which is likely not to be correctly grounded. Section 880 deals with some of it. your welder has a 2 pole disconnect switch, it is electrically grounded so I spose there could be some scenario where the strike could be searching due to the fact it didn't go to earth. It hit an incoming thing on phone or cable which wasn't grounded, look at art 880 NEC.
                        ​ I did forensics on one a while back, the adjuster jumped to the fact the well was but but he doesn't know squat. It had hit an out building ungrounded and took the path of a grounded circuit to it, searched around the house attached to that circuit, service was old, gables rotted off and the best ground was downhole with the equipment ground to the well pump. Had it a casing ground or even rods, uffer it likely would have taken the path it was supposed to.

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                        • #13
                          Make sure ground rods are hooked to the neutral main, any uffer is connected and even improve this if you are in a prone area. I had problems and it as stemming from the phone co and the installer that says,,, I don't understand why,,, so he doesn't follow the instructions. They cost themselves a lot of money and customers a lot of grief due to the fact they learn hand to mouth.
                          I ran in to a satellite guy a while back on the other end, a contractor very specific and detailed and was very familiar as to how it should be, bugged the wire right to the rod wire This tries to keep strike out of structures in the first place.
                          There is an engineer named Westom on another forum catches some crap but he really knows. If there is interest I will see if he may come and add.
                          Last edited by Sberry; 07-09-2016, 08:51 AM.

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                          • #14
                            I'd like to hear what he/she has to say.

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                            • #15
                              As a semirelated observation....

                              It is pretty common to see the power lines around here shudder.....shake... sing and swing..... as a reaction to lightning strikes a couple of miles away...

                              I can't help but think that there are some pretty evil spikes and transients being induced into equipment in the area
                              .

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