How to "ground" your welder
Grounding your welding machine is an important step in the welding process. Learning how to ground your welder isn’t that difficult, but that doesn’t mean you can do it however you wish.
Unfortunately, if you don’t ground the machine properly, the quality of the project will suffer, and it’s even bad for your equipment and your consumables.
If you’re wondering, “How do you ground your welder?”, keep in mind that most of the time, the grounding starts with a clamp that is usually made out of either copper or brass.
A well-grounded welding machine completes the circuit and allows the welder to strike an arc. Without a good ground, there is no good circuit, which means your welds simply won’t be the high quality you need and deserve for the project to be perfect.
Remember to clamp the ground as close as possible to the welding zone. As far as the surface of the clamp is concerned, make sure it is free of grease, debris, or anything else.
Make sure the contact is always metal to metal, and make sure both the clamp and clamp table are in excellent working condition. All you need to do is place your clamp onto your workpiece, making sure you’re clamping onto clean metal and always in the space that is as close to your work space as possible.
If you happen to be working from a metal bench, clamp the ground directly to the bench in an area that is very clean and out of the way. While you’re welding, never lean against the clamp because if you do, you might get a slight shock.
Are there different types of grounding?
When you’re considering the type of grounding that will work best for you, remember that you ground the welding machine so the circuit can be completed while you’re welding. Below are some of those types of grounding you can use:
- Double insulation: Some machines come with double insulation, which don’t need a grounding conductor because the insulation prevents shocking.
- Grounding connectors: Some setups come with a flexible cable that needs to be put into a specific outlet; most are not permanently wired in.
- Grounding pins in plugs: This is common in smaller machines and includes a plug that’s on the end of a power cord.
- High-frequency grounding: This involves starting and stabilizing welding currents with high-frequency voltage; the signals expand away from the welding area and might interfere with any electronics nearby.
- Portable welding machines: These are used for remote jobs; be sure you ground all parts of your welder in these circumstances.
- Test circuits: You can use a test circuit to check if your ground is operating properly; this is also a very affordable option.
- Workpiece grounding: With this type of grounding, the grounding is connected directly to the workpiece or metal table.
Grounding your workpiece is a very simple but important job. There are many ways you can do this, depending on the type of machine you own. The important thing is to realize that grounding is imperative if you want clean, efficient welds and outstanding results.