Arc Weld Troubleshooting: Step By Step Guide 2022

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A welder is a sophisticated and complicated device that might be challenging for beginners. Sometimes even professional welders face challenges in diagnosing defects associated with a welding machine. If anything small goes wrong, your machine will be affected drastically and the welding task.

The welding machine will only work if everything is in good working condition. Advice with defects sometimes might even fail to start, and you therefore forcing you to do arc weld troubleshooting. What I mean is that some faults, once diagnosed, they can get fixed and bring back the equipment to its performance.

Therefore, this article provides you with various types of problems in Arc Welding Machine, causes, and how to troubleshoot them. Let's get into the business.

Here we give some ARC welding machine troubleshooting procedure with problem:

Arc Weld common mistakes and Troubleshooting
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01: Welder will not start (Starter not operating)

You wake up one day, and your welder is not working anymore. What could be the problem? Lets' analyze some of the issues that might be the reason your starter not starting. Besides, the step by step guide will be helpful to you.

Step 01: Check Voltage

You only have to check the voltage if the power circuit is dead. Yes, this is one of the common challenges associated with a welder, whereby the welder refuses to start. Inspect the voltage to ensure excellent flow.

Step 2: Repair 

If the power lead is broken, don't hesitate to repair it. Fix the issue on the spot before you continue with the inspection.

Step 3: Inspect nameplate against supply

The wrong voltage supply is another problem that might be why your welder refuses to start. Confirm the manufacturer's recommendation not to interfere with the power supply.

Step 4: Close power switches

Sometimes the power switches of your welding machine might be open. Check if this is the problem and diagnose before moving to the next step.

Step 5: Replace blown fuses

Inspect the whole machine to check if there blow fuses. Replace the blown ones for smooth performance.

Step 6: Remove overloading cause

Overload relay tripped might be the reason your starter is not operating. Allow the set to cool.

Step 7: Repair open circuit

If the starter button's circuit is open, try to repair it before troubleshooting for other problems.

Step 8: Replace worn out operating coil

Your welding machine may fail to start due to the defective operating oil.

Step 9: Remove mechanical obstruction

If the contractor has any mechanical obstruction, fix the issue.

02: Welder will not start (Starter operating)

Here is another problem associated with a welding machine whereby the welder fails to start, but the starter operates. Below are some of the causes and how to fix them in a complete guide.

Step 1: Inspect connection diagram

The motor might be wrongly connected, hindering the welder from starting.

Step 2: Confirm nameplate against supply

Wrong voltage supply might be the issue of why the welder refuses to start. Confirm the manufacturer's recommendation not to interfere with the power supply.

Step 3: Turn Rotor stuck manually

Rotor stuck is another cause why the welding machine is not starting. Turn it manually.

Step 4: Replace the fuse and fix the open line

Inspect the system to see if the power circuit single-phase is the problem.

Step 5: Tighten motor connection

The motor might be poorly connected. Fix the issue before moving to the next step.

Step 6: Repair open Circuits in the winding

The windings might have an open circuit that requires a replacement. Replace it if it's worn out.

03: Starter operates and blows fuse

Your welding unit might be able to start, but it blows a fuse. Go through the following steps to fix the issue.

Step 1: Use the right fuse

Sometimes the fuse of the welder might be too small. Experts recommend usingtwo or 3x rated-motor current.

Step 2: Insulate motor and starter leads

The motor connections might have a short circuit so, try to inspect motor and starter leads for insulation from each other and around.

04: Welder runs but soon stops

Your welder runs but soon stops, right? Don't worry because here are the solutions. Go through the following step by step guide.

Step 1: Renew relay heaters

You only have to do so if the relay heaters are wrong. Ensure the relay heaters are in good working condition.

Step 2: Ensure the overload is reasonable

Welder overload may be the reason your fuse blows. Ensure the excess is considerable and can only be sustained for a short period.

Step 3: Don't operate continually if the duty cycle is too high

If the duty cycle is too high, try to operate in steps at overload currents.

Step 4: Ensure the leads are large enough

The leads might be too narrow or too long in cross-section. Therefore, ensure the information is large to support the current welding needed without extra voltage drop.

Step 5: Inspect one deadline or fuse

Power circuit single-phase can make your welder last for a few minutes in operation.

Step 6: Operate at a reasonable temperature under reduced loads

The ambient temperature might be too high when working at more than 100 degrees (F).

Step 7: Check exhaust and air inlet openings

This is only advantageous when the ventilation is blocked. Diagnose and fix this issue; it might be the problem.

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05: Welding arc is loud and spatters excessively

Is the welding spatter excessively and is loud? Several factors might cause a problem. Let's figure what the issues are and how to sort them out.

Step 1: Check the output and setting with an ammeter

Determine the state of the current because it might be too high. Experts recommend using an ammeter to inspect the output and monitor the current flow.

Step 2: Check polarity

Polarity wrong can be another problem with your welder, making it louder than usual. If this is the problem, try to reverse it or use an opposite polarity electrode. Fix the issues before going for other issues.

06: Welding ARC sluggish

Welding arc sluggish is another problem that is mostly associated with your welder. Arc sluggishness might be due to some reasons, and below are remedies to such defects. You need to diagnose the issues before fixing them out.

Step 1: Fix issues with current flow

Under this step, you need to check the output to understand the recommended current for whatever type of electrode you're using. You need to ensure the current flow is as stipulated by the manufacturer; it should not be too high and too low.

Step 2: Fix low connection issues

Here, you need to ensure all the electrode holder, ground cable and cable connections are ok. Remember, strap iron should not be your option; it is not a good ground return. Poor connections will always make your welding arc sluggish.

Step 3: Inspect cable voltage drop

Is the cable too small or long? If this is the case, I would advise you to identify a voltage drop before changing the line. The device requires a cable with a reasonable voltage drop.

07: Touching set gives shock

On some occasions, you might experience electrical shocks when you touch the machine. The wonders might not be persisting, but they can turn out to be a dangerous defect. This issue always occurs due to improper frame grounding.

Step1: Check frame grounding

The frame might not be adequately grounded.

Step 2: Ground solidly

Here, you need to ensure the frame is appropriately grounded to smooth performance. If you don't know how to fix it, revise the user manual for more information. Learn how to drop the frame properly to feel no shocks when you contact the welder.

08: Generator control fails to vary current

A welder with a generator that isn't in excellent working condition will always fail to vary current. The generator control should be in a state to differentiate current. Now what might be the primary root of this challenge? Don't worry, below is the issue and how to solve it.

Step 1: Find damaged contact

Under this step, you need to look for faults in any part of the welder. Some of these parts might be open or short-circuited.

Step 2: Repair

After confirming the open or short-circuited parts, the next thing will be to fix the problem. Repair and, if possible, replace the affected part if it can't be repaired.

09: Welder starts but will not deliver welding current

If your welder starts but doesn't deliver welding current, try to fix the following issues.


This problem arises when the rotation direction is wrong. So, confirming the initial starting is an excellent way to go.

Step 2: Check the state of the brushes

Try to inspect if there are missing or worn out brushes. I would, therefore, advise you to ensure all the meetings provide commentator with enough tensions.

Step 3: Tighten loose brush connections

If the brush connections are not tightly held to their places, work on the issue once diagnosed. Loose connections will always make your machine starts but delivering an insufficient welding current.

Step 4: checking connection to resistor, secondary brush studs, and rheostat

Open field circuit might be the reason your device is experiencing this problem. Therefore, you need to ensure the resistor, brush studs, and rheostat are appropriately connected.

Step 5: Fix armature circuit and series field opening

Here, you need to use a bell ringer or a test lamp to determine if this is the exact problem why the unit is misbehaving.

Step 6: checking nameplate against speed

Ensure the belt drive and motor are ok because using the incorrect driving speed might be the issue. So, ensure the device uses the belt drive and engine recommended by the manufacturer.

Step 7: Cleaning field coils

Sometimes dirty grounding field coils might be the problem with your welder. So, you'll also be required to reinsulate the field coils for proper grounding.

10: Welder generating but current falls off when welding

The last problem you are likely to encounter when using a welding machine is the current fall. The device operates excellently from the start but end p reducing the current supply as the operation goes by. Use this guide to fix such an issue and thank me later

Step 1: Tighten and clean all connection

You need to perform this art after knowing that the ground and electrode are not tightly held to their position. Clean them before tightening.

Step 2: Inspect ground-return circuit

This issue might be because of the low ground. Ensure the base is excellent, and you are ready to go.

Step 3: Replacing worn off brushes

You don't just need to replace it with any brush, but with a recommended one. Sand the part to fit and blow out carbon particles.

Step 4: Readjust or replace brush springs

A weak and loose brush spring can be why your unit is not supplying sufficient current. Readjusting or replacing the brush springs is the best solution to this issue.

Step 5: Reversing backward brushes

Your tool might be running on backward brushes, hampering the current flow. Reverse them an search for other problems.

Step 6: Renew wrong brushes

You need to ensure wrong brushes are replaced as recommended by the manufacturer. If the brush pigtails are damaged, replace the brushes also.


Proper maintenance is the best treat you can offer to your welding machine. Let the trick for repairing and fixing the issues comes later; you will experience small defects under proper maintenance once you know how to carry proper arc weld troubleshooting. Hopefully, the above discussion helps you set some problems your unit might encounter.

Ensure the welder is clean; its parts are clean from dirt and debris. Also, you need to regularly check the tool's state, setting it in excellent working condition.


Why does my arc welder keep sticking?

Sticking might be due to several issues, but the main one is a high current in the welding rod. Also, the rod's melting point might be too high

What should you do if you think something is wrong with your welder?

Switch off the device before diagnosing exact problems for the portrayed problem.

How do you smooth out welds?

Smoothing out welds is necessary for a professional touch. Spot weld removal is the best way, but you can use either drill bits or a drill to do so.

Can you weld over a bad weld?

Welding over a lousy weld is not a good idea, but it's possible if you don't have devices like a drill.

How do you check for welding defects?

Welding defects are necessary even for an experienced welder. NDE method remains the significant and best way to spot flaws in your machine.

Last Updated on January 6, 2022 by weldinghubs

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