Arc Welder Problems?

I have an old Sears Craftsman 30-230 Dual Range arc welder that I have
had for over 20 years. It has had pretty light use, but has been a life
saver when I needed it.
Lately it has been difficulty to strike an arc. Saturday it just gave up
the ghost. Regardless of where I set it or what range I use, it won?t
strike an arc. I opened it up and everything seems to look OK. There is
no smoky smell of anything burnt. The fan works. I ran a VOM over
various locations. They all seemed to produce a range of voltages from
28-220 volts depending on where I placed the leads.
I do not have a schematic and I am not much of an electrical whiz, but I
sure hate to toss the thing in the trash. Anybody have an idea of what
might be wrong and how I might get it fixed?
I wonder if Sears still does the lifetime Craftsman warranty? ;^)
Jake in Escondido
Reply to
Jake in Escondido
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The only thing I can suggest without being there to look at it (and I probably couldn't help much then either!) is to check the connections at both ends of your leads. If you have a bad/dirty/loose connection either at the welder or at the stinger or work clamp you could have problems like you describe.
As a matter of fact they do but I don't think it covers any type of power tools. :-(
Best Regards, Keith Marshall
"I'm not grown up enough to be so old!"
Reply to
Keith Marshall
These things are pretty bullet proof, don't toss it unless you can see the smoke coming out!
One question up front: does this unit have a crank hooked up to screw that moves a (shunt) into the main core or does this unit have a 10 position heavy duty switch that selects the heat?
Since you have the case off, follow the main power leads into the machine, both sides go to a switch, then to the core with some light weight leads to the fan. Since the fan runs, you probably have voltage to the core. Does the core buzz when you turn it on?
turn it on, check the voltage at the welding leads inside the cabinet. You should have about 55 volts between the ground lead and the high power stinger lead, 80 volts between the ground and the lo power lead, and 25 (or 28) volts between the high power and low power stinger terminals.
If that checks out ok, you have a bad lead or connection on your cables. With an old unit, this is the most likely problem. Make sure you have solid clamps where the cable goes into both the plugs, the stinger, and the ground clamp.
Jake > I have an old Sears Craftsman 30-230 Dual Range arc welder that I have
Reply to
I have one too. Pretty good for a basic a/c buzz box. Indestructible. Have used it extensively for prolly 25 years. No problems. Check the H/L stinger ports, they are bakelite and can crack, causing poor contact. Check the power supply socket-maybe one dead leg? The work clamp/cable connection might be high rez. JR Dweller in the cellar
Jake > I have an old Sears Craftsman 30-230 Dual Range arc welder that I have
Reply to
JR North
Thanks Guys,
I will give it a closer look this weekend
JR North wrote:
Reply to
Jake in Escondido
The problem was in the ground cable. I cut 6" off the ground lead and it works like a champ. There was some sort of a break in the cable. There was enough copper to show continuity but not enough to carry the current. Thanks again guys.
Jake in Escondido
Jake > Thanks Guys,
Reply to
Jake in Escondido

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