Plasma Torch Troubles


I have a Chicago (something) Plasma torch from Harbor Freight and it
keeps dying on me...you kind of get to rely upon the fun tools in the
shop!
The current issue is that it will spark the pilot arc but not continue
to burn (it's like it blows it out, or something doesn't cycle...bad
transistor or relay?)...I cannot find anything about the schematics
for it and I'm tired of taking it in for 4 weeks to get a $20 part fix
and a $80 labor bill.
These things have to be simple enough...just need some diagnostic
help.
I would also like to know about other "common" issues the I may
encounter and their fix.
Reply to
DrO
Loading thread data ...
If you put a daub of fingernail polish on all the parts, you'll know the one that they replace.
Reply to
Jim Stewart
"DrO" wrote: (clip) The current issue is that it will spark the pilot arc but not continue
^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^ You ARE aware, I hope, that the electrode and nozzle on the torch are consumable. Have you examined/replaced those? If the orifice in the nozzle gets too large, it will stop working. The electrode (on mine it's a steel tip with spiral grooves around it) burns back as it is used. Eventually, it starts acting the way you describe.
Even if those are not the cause of your present problem, you need to have spares on hand.
Reply to
Leo Lichtman
I don't know what torch your plasma has but mine has a Trafimet/Selco S30 IIRC and I found out a design problem by debugging the workings when it failed to play ball and I thought the electronics had failed . The internal electrode is pushed back by the air pressure when the plasma is initialised and the repeated impact of the consumable electrode on the back housing upset the material causing it to pinch the retracting shaft that the electrode was screwed into, eventually the pinch was enough to prevent the electrode going back to the start position so the electronics didn't see arc initiation and so no operation. Once I had realised what the problem was a couple of quick passes with a small 3 corner scrapper sorted the burr and no further problems till the next time but then I may know what the problem is.
Reply to
David Billington
Funny you should say that...I did it the second time and I got ribbed kind of hard as to the color of choice (don't use your kid's neon pink)
Reply to
DrO
I change out two new nozzles and electrodes, thinking that was it...still exhibits the same with new parts
Reply to
DrO
I found a picture of the air cooled electrode with a consumable breakdown...(mine is the center consumable option)
formatting link

On what part in the picture did you find the flaw?
Reply to
DrO
the electrode PN is ERGOCUT S 45
Reply to
DrO
Well, I'll say what everybody is thinking: you got what you paid for. Good luck, but keep your expectations low.
Bob
Reply to
Bob Engelhardt

PolyTech Forum website is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here. All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.