How To Tell When To Replace Your MIG Welding Contact Tip
Many factors contribute to how a weld turns out, including the quality of your contact tips. MIG welding is an easy method for beginners to learn, but that doesn’t mean problems can’t occur. For this reason, learning how to tell when to replace your MIG welding contact tip is crucial. To put it simply, you can tell there’s an issue with the contact tip if welds aren’t going as smoothly as they should. Thankfully, keeping an eye out for the two issues below will help you prevent those poor welds from happening in the first place.
Oval Contact Tips
An easy way to know it’s time to replace contact tips is based on the shape of the opening at the tip. After enough use, the openings at the end of contact tips will change shape, adopting an ovular appearance instead of circular. When this happens, swap it out for a new tip. The holes in contact tips are tiny, but monitoring their shape is essential regardless. Misshapen contact tips will lead to an unreliable arc; suffice it to say, that’s not ideal if you’re building a reliable structure. Thankfully, keeping an eye on the hole at the end of contact tips and swapping them out accordingly can help maintain smooth, consistent arcs.
Excessive Debris Accumulation
Even new welders should know that metal debris and spatter are common occurrences across various welding methods. MIG welding doesn’t produce as much spatter as other methods, but it still is a possibility. As a result, metal debris collects at the end of contact tips over time. Minimal debris is fairly simple to clean out of contact tips, but in some cases, there are too many obstructions in the tip, and a full replacement is necessary. Monitoring the situation is easy—after each weld, inspect your contact tip. Using materials such as anti-spatter spray and nozzle dip can help you minimize spatter during welds.
Now that you know how to tell when to replace your MIG welding contact tip, you can prevent this issue from affecting workpieces. Contact tip replacements are routine, but they’re not as frustrating as they might sound to newcomers. For example, among our selection of MIG welding accessories are packs of reliable tips that ensure you don’t have to pay an arm and a leg every time you run into problems.