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  • trouble with millermatic bought new. little use

    Hello out there. Am hoping I can get some advice here. I bought a miller matic 200 around 1987. Have used it now and then only for hobby purposes so, it may have the equivilant of 1-2 years on it as a professional would. It always worked fine but, has been giving me fits recently. I checked the power plug for current.
    1. it does turn on
    2 it does feed wire
    3 the selonoid for the gas seems to work fine
    4 the problem is that it seems to not get a connection. It acts like the ground is not hooked up but, it is. I have check this and that, tightened this and cleaned that. no improvement
    Once in awhile, if you keep playing with it, over and over ( wasting tons of wire ) it will eventually work and when it does, it is fine.
    but, it seems so strange.
    I have not abused or over used this machine and I am the only owner.
    I have the covers off trying to find something tell tale- no luck

    any idea how I can get my machine up and working like it should be?

    Perhaps a trouble shooting list or something?

    thanks so much for your time and expertise on this. I'd like to more on with some projects and this is holding me up

  • #2
    You may have a bad connection. It could be in the machine, in the gun, or where they connect. If the inside of the clamp that holds the end of the gun is any color other than shiny, give it a quick wire brushing. Check all big wires inside the machine to make sure the terminals are clean and free of corrosion, tight, and don't show any signs of ever getting hot.

    Another possibility is the contactor in the machine is going bad. Does it make a nice clunk when you squeeze the trigger?

    Any further testing will need a multimeter. Release the clamp on the wire so you don't waste it, put a zip tie on the trigger, and see where you have power and where you don't. Do you have power at the transformer output? Do you have power at the clamp to the gun? etc.

    If you find your serial number, you can enter it at https://www.millerwelds.com/support/manuals-and-parts to get the correct wiring diagram for your machine. Please post it here too, so we know what you have.

    Comment


    • #3
      I'm certainly no expert, but the fact that it sometimes welds normally would have me looking at the contactor and connections to/from it. Some corrosion mixed with grindings, etc...could just be sticking. I seem to recall there was also a change to the CR1 relay in the earlier Millermatics from an open style to sealed because grit and grindings would mess with the contact points. Since that's tied to the trigger on the gun it could be related as well.

      I'm sure more of the true experts will show up to help with much better guidance than I can manage! There's a really good chance the fix is relatively simple and Miller does a pretty good job supporting the older machines as well.

      Comment


      • #4
        Great advice from Bushy and G-Man. Both the main contactor W and relay CR1 are very likely suspects, as well as bad connections. I seem to remember one time finding an intermittent connection in circuit breaker CB1 that provides the power to the trigger to operate CR1, which in turn energizes the main contactor W. First thing I would do is jumper that CB1 breaker and see if it welds. It is located just above the drive motor, at least in mine. DO NOT leave it jumpered out--just bypass it to test if it's bad. Try welding, then remove the jumper and replace the breaker if that's the problem. If not, you'll have to dig deeper.

        Comment


        • #5
          If the contactor is clunking, which is an easy test, you can assume CR1, the circuit breaker, etc are good. I like easy tests.

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by Bushytails View Post
            If the contactor is clunking, which is an easy test, you can assume CR1, the circuit breaker, etc are good. I like easy tests.
            No argument there, but couldn't the contactor move and still not pass current if the contact points are corroded? Then hit the trigger fifty times and it knocks off just enough to work or hit just the right spot?

            I only ask because connections don't normally loosen when a machine sits, but corrosion never sleeps. I guess if it got moved around a bit, and there were big temperature swings something could loosen up, but that just seems less likely. Again, not arguing....just curious.

            Comment


            • #7
              I agree entirely - I was responding to Aeronca41's suggestion of jumpering the circuit breaker being the first test.

              Comment


              • #8
                Yep--we are all in violent agreement. I just proposed the CB1 thing in case he didn't hear the clunk.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Aeronca41 View Post
                  Yep--we are all in violent agreement.
                  LOL...love it!

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Bushytails View Post
                    You may have a bad connection. It could be in the machine, in the gun, or where they connect. If the inside of the clamp that holds the end of the gun is any color other than shiny, give it a quick wire brushing. Check all big wires inside the machine to make sure the terminals are clean and free of corrosion, tight, and don't show any signs of ever getting hot.

                    Another possibility is the contactor in the machine is going bad. Does it make a nice clunk when you squeeze the trigger?

                    Any further testing will need a multimeter. Release the clamp on the wire so you don't waste it, put a zip tie on the trigger, and see where you have power and where you don't. Do you have power at the transformer output? Do you have power at the clamp to the gun? etc.

                    If you find your serial number, you can enter it at https://www.millerwelds.com/support/manuals-and-parts to get the correct wiring diagram for your machine. Please post it here too, so we know what you have.
                    thank you for your post- not sure why you would want the serial number but, it is JJ350299 iy is a Millermatic 200 bought new in 1987.

                    Oh, and yes, it has that familair 'clunk' sound when I press trigger. The guy at the welding shop , where I bought it, told me that to take the covers off and to check that 3 way relay/contactor. I can see it 'clunking' when I press the trigger. But, I do not know what is 'normal'. it shows wear but, seems to work. ??
                    Last edited by applekrate; 05-29-2021, 11:26 PM.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by G-ManBart View Post
                      I'm certainly no expert, but the fact that it sometimes welds normally would have me looking at the contactor and connections to/from it. Some corrosion mixed with grindings, etc...could just be sticking. I seem to recall there was also a change to the CR1 relay in the earlier Millermatics from an open style to sealed because grit and grindings would mess with the contact points. Since that's tied to the trigger on the gun it could be related as well.

                      I'm sure more of the true experts will show up to help with much better guidance than I can manage! There's a really good chance the fix is relatively simple and Miller does a pretty good job supporting the older machines as well.
                      yes, I think it is something simple ( if you know what to look for ). I know certain old cars like the back of my hand but, have never serviced a welder so, feel like I am learning how to tie my shoes.....

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Aeronca41 View Post
                        Great advice from Bushy and G-Man. Both the main contactor W and relay CR1 are very likely suspects, as well as bad connections. I seem to remember one time finding an intermittent connection in circuit breaker CB1 that provides the power to the trigger to operate CR1, which in turn energizes the main contactor W. First thing I would do is jumper that CB1 breaker and see if it welds. It is located just above the drive motor, at least in mine. DO NOT leave it jumpered out--just bypass it to test if it's bad. Try welding, then remove the jumper and replace the breaker if that's the problem. If not, you'll have to dig deeper.
                        hmm I'll have to learn that the 'CR-1" and CB1" is. have no idea.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Bushytails View Post
                          If the contactor is clunking, which is an easy test, you can assume CR1, the circuit breaker, etc are good. I like easy tests.
                          well, not sure on that. whatever you know, you know more than me. But, it seems the contactor is working/activating when I press the trigger. However, how do I know all 3 connectors are flowing current? the guy at the welding store advised me that may be the issue. How would I check this? current flow

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by G-ManBart View Post

                            No argument there, but couldn't the contactor move and still not pass current if the contact points are corroded? Then hit the trigger fifty times and it knocks off just enough to work or hit just the right spot?

                            I only ask because connections don't normally loosen when a machine sits, but corrosion never sleeps. I guess if it got moved around a bit, and there were big temperature swings something could loosen up, but that just seems less likely. Again, not arguing....just curious.
                            this seems likely to me ( for what I know ) just not sure what to do about it

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Bushytails View Post
                              I agree entirely - I was responding to Aeronca41's suggestion of jumpering the circuit breaker being the first test.
                              hmmm I will have to study this idea. not exactly sure what I would be doing. I certainly do not want to hurt the machine... or myself

                              Comment

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