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  • Argon Flow Problem

    I'm new to welding.

    I have a Miller welder (Dialarc HF-P, s/n HH061601) and can't seem to get the argon flowing. The welder arcs and the flow regulator assembly seems to be ok. (I removed the assembly and could blow through it and it worked fine - the ball bounced nicely.) The argon tank is newly filled.

    The connections seem solid (been there for a long time...).

    I can't seem to get the argon flowing when connected - the ball doesn't move.

    Any suggestions? It's too large to transport.

  • #2
    Did you turn the knob?
    Will it flow thru the hose alone unhooked from the machine?

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    • #3
      By 'turn the knob' do you mean open the valves? Yes. They flow freely. I've unhooked the hose from the welder and it's clear...

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      • #4
        Not familiar with that machine, do you have the manual, and double check that it's setup correctly for TIG welding?

        So this is the first time you've tried to TIG with this unit? IOW have you seen it TIG weld successfully before?
        Richard

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        • #5
          Originally posted by BridgetG View Post
          By 'turn the knob' do you mean open the valves? Yes. They flow freely. I've unhooked the hose from the welder and it's clear...
          So not meaning to insult, but, when you unhook the hose and open the valve and turn the knob, does the little ball come up? Does the hose blow argon?
          If so then the problem is with the machine (gas valve) or the pedal and/or it's wiring.

          www.facebook.com/outbackaluminumwelding
          Miller Dynasty 700...OH YEA BABY!!
          MM 350P...PULSE SPRAYIN' MONSTER
          Miller Dynasty 280 with AC independent expansion card
          Miller Dynasty 200 DX "Blue Lightning"

          Miller Bobcat 225 NT (what I began my present Biz with!)
          Miller 30-A Spoolgun
          Miller WC-115-A
          Miller Spectrum 300
          Miller 225 Thunderbolt (my first machine bought new 1980)
          Miller Digital Elite Titanium 9400

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by FusionKing View Post
            So not meaning to insult, but, when you unhook the hose and open the valve and turn the knob, does the little ball come up? Does the hose blow argon?...
            My first thought, too. We have to make sure. Are you adjusting the flow rate while the gas is flowing? If hooked up to the machine, it won't flow unless you are welding.

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            • #7
              First - thank you for your help.

              Second - is there a way to absolutely make sure there's argon in the tank? The place I swapped the old tank for this one is reputable, but is there a test?

              That will make me feel better about dragging you through all of the interim steps...

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              • #8
                Without a regulator attached, you can crack the valve a tiny bit for a split second. You'll get a loud hiss of gas. Some recommend doing this anyway to clear any debris out of the threads before attaching a regulator. But also, there should be a dedicated high-pressure gauge on the regulator that always tells you tank pressure. A new bottle is usually over 2000 PSI.

                With a regulator attached, you can take the hose off or make sure it's not attached to a machine, and screw in the adjustment knob. This should cause gas to flow and you can then turn it until you get the desired flow at the same time, before attaching the hose to the machine. After attaching hose to machine, you'll probably need to fine tune this adjustment to account for any restriction on the gas going through the torch lead. Do this adjustment while gas is flowing through the torch.

                If you post your location, we can provide any local resources we might know in your area.

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                • #9
                  I'm in San Jose. And I'm going to bed shortly. I'll check the tank tomorrow with your suggestions.

                  i emailed a local welder place that does repairs and am waiting on their reply.

                  Thanks again!
                  Last edited by BridgetG; 12-19-2017, 10:11 PM.

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                  • #10
                    Ok guys. I'm back after Christmas! Merry Christmas to all and to all some welding help!

                    So. I figured out my initial problem - no dang argon. Either I got an empty replacement tank or I have gremlins.

                    But. Now I have a regulator problem. I have a gas flow ball-type TIG regulator. The tank dial doesn't register anything and I have massive Argo flowing (screaming) out of the back safety valve. Seems like the little ball inside is stuck?

                    The problem is I can't seem to get the components involved. I'm stripping the nuts. (Not really, but I am scraping the heck out of them.).

                    Question: am I on the right track? Also, should I just keep banging away on the bolts knowing they will eventually give?

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                    • #11
                      You are attempting to repair a regulator? Any experience in repairing a device that operates with 2200 PSI?

                      Stripping or scraping fasteners usually means you are not using the proper tool for the job.

                      Can you post pictures of what you are dealing with?

                      You've already replaced the argon with a known full cylinder now?

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                      • #12
                        A bit scattered, are we?

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by BridgetG View Post
                          Ok guys. I'm back after Christmas! Merry Christmas to all and to all some welding help!

                          So. I figured out my initial problem - no dang argon. Either I got an empty replacement tank or I have gremlins.

                          But. Now I have a regulator problem. I have a gas flow ball-type TIG regulator. The tank dial doesn't register anything and I have massive Argo flowing (screaming) out of the back safety valve. Seems like the little ball inside is stuck?

                          The problem is I can't seem to get the components involved. I'm stripping the nuts. (Not really, but I am scraping the heck out of them.).

                          Question: am I on the right track? Also, should I just keep banging away on the bolts knowing they will eventually give?
                          BridgetG,
                          Merry Christmas to you as well!!
                          Now back on topic. In all fairness to yourself and your machine......please stop.
                          If you really want to use this equipment, you cannot go about it with the skill set you now have. You need to take a basic welding class. You might possibly get someone who truly knows what you have and how to use it, to teach you the basics, but that will be hit and miss. It took us years.
                          I can tell by your terminology that you are struggling to do this. All you are doing at this stage is destructive and possibly dangerous.
                          Most of us here grew up taking shop classes in school and have worked in industrial type of environments, so learning new things in this type of arena comes fairly natural. It sounds like you need to get a more rounded foundation of basic shop things before you try and tackle something of this nature.
                          Also you could just go to the welding supply and buy a new regulator. no big deal there. I have several myself. Then you know if it is junk or not.
                          What kind of power are you hooked up to? Can you get us some pictures to look at?
                          We want to help you.

                          www.facebook.com/outbackaluminumwelding
                          Miller Dynasty 700...OH YEA BABY!!
                          MM 350P...PULSE SPRAYIN' MONSTER
                          Miller Dynasty 280 with AC independent expansion card
                          Miller Dynasty 200 DX "Blue Lightning"

                          Miller Bobcat 225 NT (what I began my present Biz with!)
                          Miller 30-A Spoolgun
                          Miller WC-115-A
                          Miller Spectrum 300
                          Miller 225 Thunderbolt (my first machine bought new 1980)
                          Miller Digital Elite Titanium 9400

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            I understand your concern. I have taken classes. Two 6-hour ones at a neat place in Oakland. They, for whatever reason, did not cover the mechanics of the machine set-up and tank know how.

                            The Oakland place assured me I had enough knowledge from their class to start and that clearly wasn't the case. I'm going to follow up with them to strongly suggest they expand their curriculum to include basic troubleshooting, bottom-up set up and what trouble you can get in to. As with most classes, they only cover how to do things when everything is perfect.

                            I figured out that the tank that I got did not in fact have argon in it. I got another tank and it's perfect. Then the regulator that came with it (it was old) was faulty and I bought a new one.

                            I've realized in this process that, yes, I don't have what I need to safely jump into this with my current skill set. I've gotten a good guy through the Nextdoor app who is going to come by and give me some hands-on practical experience as I start. He's a retired welder who needs something to do to guide me.

                            If I hadn't had these problems I wouldn't have known how little I knew. So, I thank you for your time and great advise.
                            Last edited by BridgetG; 12-30-2017, 12:47 PM.

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                            • #15
                              On a separate note, I have a contractor friend who has a welder friend who wants my welder. He's offered to buy me a smaller one and setup in exchange. I've got this behemoth (DialArc HF-P) that is way, way, way more than I need. I had to add power to my garage. (70amps!) It has a crane hook for cryin out loud...

                              So I'm looking at more manageable ones.

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