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200P TIG arc intermittantly flashing up too bright to see.

12-01-2008, 08:17 AM
Let me first start off by saying this, I only have 200#'s of argon in my bottle. My torch will weld OK for a sec and then it flashis up so bright that I cant even see the weld pool. I tried bumping up the gas a little and it actually seemed to improve a little but eventually flashes up again. I also have reground a few peices of tungsten thinking that it may be a contaminated elctrode also. I have also went over the connections & ground checking for a loose connection but everything looks to be OK. Any suggestions?

12-01-2008, 10:08 AM
Make sure it isn't your auto darkening helmet opening up. I had that problem with a cheap auto dark helmet and had to change it. If you are doing low amperage TIG it often is not bright enough to keep the helmet dark.


12-01-2008, 10:14 AM
Hi guys,

We now carry high end auto-darkening helmets with sensitivity settings. We will have pics up soon.


12-01-2008, 12:41 PM
I had a similar problem, and the cermacic cone was contamiated with the metal. That caused the arc to jump to the cone then to the work. Check it out.

Also, most auto darking helmets have a operating temp. If the ambent temp is to low, or to high the darking ability of the helmet will be eradic.


12-23-2008, 10:10 AM
I'm also going to reccomend the auto-darkening helmet scenario -

With cheaper auto-dim helmets they usually only have one photo-eye, and if something as simple as your filler rod blocks the path of light from the arc to the photo-eye it will momentarily un-dim. Just something to take note of. Not knocking the cheaper auto-dim helments as I use one, once you realize this with them, you just hold your filler rod at a slightly different angle and poof - problem solved.

Another thing to note on the opposite side of things - I found that switching from an incandescent overhead light to a high output flourescent bulb helped with the "premature" dimming. Some of the cheaper auto-dimming helmet's are very suseptable to the type of light incandescents put out, and they will catch a glimpse off the table I'm welding on (looking down at the piece) and stay dimmed out the whole time, essentially making them a tinted piece of glass vs the proper auto-dimming helmet they should be.

But if your argon's low, I would replace that tank first to eliminate any doubt. When you have low or no argon the tungsten can easily superheat and the light it puts off - is similar to a tungsten bulb, only with a much thicker filament, so much brighter than normal. I would suspect that to be the case first. Once you get a new tank run between 15-20 CFH for ceramics larger than 6, and for sizes 5 and 6, 10-15 CFH works pretty well respectively, and doesn't waste the gas as much.

01-29-2009, 12:59 PM
Had the same problem with a helmet from harbor freight,$50.00 model,I use a regular helmet with a fixed glass gold coated,# 10 does ok for me,the auto dark from HF is a good helmet for bright arc's,stick,mig ect.
I will try some of the suggestions and see if they help.
I did find a helmet on eBay that has settings for everything for under a hundred,it's on it's way,I would like to see the ones simon will offer too!
I have used some more expensive miller helmets,they do work well!
just my 2 cents,