10 Common Welding Issues & Troubleshooting Guide

Welding is an activity that demands precision, patience, a stable sense of breathing, and sometimes it requires a very strong concentration if you want to avoid welding mistakes.

However, what experts don’t say is that welding is more about the experience than anything else. That’s why some people after having all the skills and knowledge, eventually end up making horrible mistakes.

To avoid these mistakes, you can learn from someone who has that experience. Otherwise, here we have the most straightforward guide with a list of errors you should avoid and how to do it. Read on and learn!

Here are 10 Welding Issues & Mistakes You Should Avoid

welding mistakes common

Mistake #1: Not Having Enough Practice

You studied and worked hard in search of a certificate that could lead you to medium or high-paying jobs in the area. Nevertheless, it seems like no one wants to hire you after showing them what you’re capable of. It is like every employer knows something you don’t…

Well, it may as well be the little things that come with experience. Even if you are someone who studied for a certificate in the best course in the country, you may still lack a few essential factors that make welding better.

Most employers know when you are aware of them and when you’re not. If you don’t show these little yet critical features, techniques or knowledge on the equipment, you may eventually end up looking like a fool for them. Don’t ever underestimate practice & experience.

Mistake #2: Welding with the Wrong Current

Welding with the Wrong Current

This is something that immediately comes with experience – knowing what current to use according to your desired results, the type of metal, and the length of the welding process.

It is always better to practice with scraps of the metal you want to weld before doing it for real. This will help you achieve better results when doing serious work.

It is recommended, for example, to use AC current if you are looking for top-notch penetration. DC current, on the other hand, provides excellent for thinner metals and more delicate touches.

Mistake #3: Striking an Arc Out of the Work

When you strike the arc outside the work you’re doing, it immediately damages the metal it touches. If you are working with something that demands more precision, touching the arc outside the work area will possibly ruin your work and the metal piece.

Make sure you are always focused and calm, welding in the exact place you need to. Also, try to leave the welding process in the same place where you ended or plan to begin. This will help you avoid improper arc touches on the piece.

Mistake #4: Losing the Welding Point

welding point position

Similarly to touching the working area with the arc, you may also end up losing the welding point you were making. This will lead to deficient welding, probably so severe that it won’t even do its job.

But you can always prevent losing the right spot. Just make sure to have your hands in the right place and have a total vision of what you’re doing. If you are using a welding helmet, remember to adjust it correctly before welding so you can avoid losing the spot by trying to fix the helmet while welding.

Mistake #5: Using Wrong Electrodes

Whether the electrode has rust, oil, moisture, or any contaminant, it may eventually produce too many sparks or just don’t work at all.

For this, make sure you always store the electrodes in the right place. Don’t use them while wet, with dust, or when there’s any material on the electrode. It may eventually cause significant trouble with the welding machine.

Mistake #6: Using Improper Gas Flow

welding gas flow meter

Even though not all welding machines use gas, the ones that use it may experience some annoying problems, such as improper gas flow.

The incorrect gas flow may cause several problems with the machine and the welding, ranging from burn out electrodes up to affecting the weld quality with cracks, porosity, or too many sparks.

In addition, the built-up gas inside the machine hose may eventually produce arcs to work unstably, to the point of making welding impossible or too dangerous.

So always check the gas flow and current before and during applications. Focus on checking the gas source, the gas line, and the connections. You may spot not only a build-up of gas but also a leak, which leads to insufficient welding capacity.

Wasting gas is another consequence of this. For a general solution, always check everything before starting the welding. This will help you save time, effort, and even money by saving more gas.

Mistake #7: Overusing Anti-Spatter Spray

When you use too much anti-spatter spray in the wrong area, or just incorrectly, it immediately causes a problem in the welding process.

The whole purpose of these sprays is to decrease the number of sparks you make while welding. It means they actually reduce the effect of the welder, making it less potent and diminishing the sparkles in the process.

When the spray goes into the welding point, it will undoubtedly make the weld go wrong, affecting the welding performance and possibly even creating issues in the penetration and rigidity of the process.

Sometimes, the problem is not the spray but the welder. When it is creating too much spatter, it may be that there is an electric problem, so you may need to fix that first before using more spray than you need. Similarly, it could be a problem with gas flow, so check the gas line as well.

In general, what you can do to avoid improper use of this spray is to decrease spatter by yourself as much as you can without affecting welding performance. Set the right parameters and configure the welding machine correctly.

Only use the anti-spatter spray when necessary – the more you save by reducing spatter in different ways, the more spray you will have eventually for when you really need it.

Mistake #8: Not Knowing the Metals

Not knowing how to weld in different metals is not only a lack of experience but a lack of practice overall. Even people with certificates may not know something as essential as welding in aluminum, for example.

Why does this happen? Simply because knowing the metals is more about experience and practice than anything else – this makes welding a little complicated.

Not Knowing the Metals

Even if you know each technique and factor to consider if you don’t have enough experience with the metal to weld you may end up making a disaster.

You will surely make many mistakes before you learn how to weld a few metals correctly, but that’s all part of the process.

Try starting with scrap metal such as steel and then slowly try with different ones such as bronze, aluminum, or any other one. It will help you learn for when you need to use it in serious welding applications.

Mistake #9: Forgetting the Essential Cleaning Process

A pinch of dust, a few grains of dirt, debris, drops of water, or even metal residues are some of the most common parts that could start a disaster while welding.

To avoid those, always make sure you are cleaning the device before and after use. Clean it correctly and entirely. Don’t leave anything, not even the tiniest of contaminants in the machine.

Even grease that makes be produced with the time the machine is not being used could start several disasters that may also be dangerous to you when welding.

For that, there’s nothing better than always cleaning your machine at all times. Use acetone, paint remover, soft clothes or even a slag hammer if you need to clean up some.

The cleaner the welding machine is, the better it will work. That’s undoubtedly a fact about them.

Mistake #10: Never Doing Maintenance

One of the essential things to remember with mechanical and electric devices such as a welding machines is that they need regular maintenance.

Mainly if you use the device too often, maintenance is not merely important but vital to its performance and overall lifespan.

The more maintenance you do to the device, the more likely it will work better, reduce problems, save you time, money, and effort, and of course, increase productivity, efficiency, and overall capacity in the long term.

Actually, when you take a look at some welding machines’ manuals or instructions, they will come with an individual chapter or page entirely focused on how to do maintenance correctly.

Always follow those instructions to the letter, it will help you increase your device lifespan and make the welding with it a lot more comfortable and practical.

Overall, however, you may consider the following tips for better results:

  • Inspect the welding gun, the power supply, and the device interior. Always check the consumables, they are essential for the whole system.
  • Look for connections, screws, switches, or just whatever that could loosen or disconnect with constant vibration while using. Also, make sure to check them before using them in case you’ve overlooked something. These are also the welding safety precautions you should follow.
  • Clean the device up at least once a month. If you use the device every day, you must clean it at least weekly. It will maintain clean and free of any dust or metal sparkle to damage the equipment.

Start Welding Now and Avoid These Mistakes!

Now that you know how to avoid common welding mistakes and what to do if you want to improve your overall welding experience and also if you want to be a professional – it is time you start putting all these recommendations into work.

Remember, preventing these mistakes is both about experience, knowledge, and consistency. The more effort and time you invest in your welding machine, the better the results you will get, and the fewer mistakes you will make!

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