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Many experienced TIG welders repair their own torches, but how do you repair a TIG torch? This is a useful skill that many TIG welders should know, as it will save you money in the long run if you don’t have to pay someone to repair your torch every time.
How do you repair a TIG torch? Some basic repairs, such as a leaky hose, can be repaired at home or patches can be used as a short-term solution, but major repairs require a professional and shouldn’t be attempted by non-professionals.
Major repairs on a TIG torch are detailed and complicated. It often requires special tools and training to know how to fix them. On the other hand, sometimes you need to simply toss your torch and buy a new one.
Can You Repair a TIG Torch Yourself?
Very little repair can be done on a TIG torch without a professional. This is because of how complex and detailed the inside gears of a TIG torch are. It’s hard to figure out what does what and how to successfully repair it unless you’ve been trained to do so.
If your torch is leaking water, there is a simple fix you can do. We’ll cover that in a section below. If you’ve managed to melt a part of your torch, which a surprising amount of people have done, you can’t fix it, but you can prolong its life until you can purchase a new torch.
That brings us to our final point-not all TIG torches can be saved. Sometimes, if your torch has been damaged badly enough, you may have to simply throw in the towel on it and buy a replacement. Keep in mind that for major repairs, you’ll need a professional, which can be pricey.
What Repairs on Your TIG Torch Can You Do at Home?
Most repairs require a trip to the professional, however, that can be expensive and they can be hard to find. This leads many welders to trying to figure out how to fix their torch themselves.
There is one common issue people experience with a TIG torch that is a simple fix, which we’ll cover in the following section. You can do short-term “patch” work at home, which may extend the life of your torch for a bit, but not for long.
If you notice anything seriously wrong with your torch, you should immediately stop using it. Depending on the problem, you may need to let it cool for a second before you look into the possible problem farther. Always put safety first.
Once you’ve established that there is a problem, you’ll need to address the severity of it. A deep scratch, for instance, would be no issue in one place, but in another, could have caused damage to important parts inside the torch. Take serious issues with your torch to the professionals.
How to Fix Water Leaking from Your TIG Torch
The situation most people encounter is when a hose gets leaky, and water will either spray everywhere or slowly leak, depending on your hose, the size, and location of the leak, and whether it’s turned on or not. This is merely a faulty hose or connection or both and is a quick fix.
- First, you’ll need to figure out what kind of hoses you have or what kind you may want to buy for this fix. If you don’t know, you can find some options by looking up your torch’s details online. This should pull up information from the company that made your torch, which will be most accurate.
- Second, you’ll need to go ahead and purchase your hose of choice and the necessary supplies to do the switch. You should already have these, as you’ll just need to be able to disassemble the torch enough to change the hose, which is probably stretched out or punctured somewhere, causing the leak.
- Finally, you’ll have to do the actual repair. This is simple, as long as you are comfortable with your torch and how to disassemble and reassemble it. The hose fits up at the bottom of the torch and the connection can become loose. Simply replace the hose and reassemble your torch.
How to Fix Small Melted Portions of Your Torch
Your surroundings get very hot while you’re working as a welder. Many welders complain of melting parts of their torches by setting them on a hot surface without thinking. If you did make this mistake, you should be relieved to know you may not have to immediately chuck it in the garbage.
The first thing you need to do is figure out the severity of the melted spot. If it’s a large spot or on a major component or near the tip, you should immediately stop using it till you can have it checked out. You could have melted part of the wiring inside or a key part, and you don’t want to continue using it like that.
If the melted spot is small and in an insignificant spot, such as on the handle, you may be able to cover it with tape and finish your project or day. This isn’t a long-term solution, obviously, but will get you through in a tight pinch.
Long-term, the melted spot may merely be an inconvenience and a remind to be away of where you put your equipment. Even worse, however, is if you melt the wrong spot. Serious damage can only be solved by buying a replacement.
Where Can You Take Your TIG Torch to Be Repaired?
TIG torches can be expensive, and it’s usually preferable to try and fix it before giving in to buying a new one, which we’ll cover below. However, we’ve also covered how little repairs you can do yourself. This leads us to the search for someone who can do it professionally.
It can be hard to find a local place to do it, so you’ll need more options than that. You may end up driving a distance to have it taken care if you live in an area where that isn’t common. In fact, the easiest place to find TIG repairmen is in small towns where large welding companies operate out of.
This is because it’s a very specific skill. TIG torches are tough machines and don’t break down frequently, so there isn’t a surplus of work in the field either. This is why most people choose to not specialize in repairing TIG torches. Instead, you’ll need someone more general.
Look for someone who does general repairs on welding torches and/or equipment. If you try to search for “TIG torch repairmen,” you won’t come up with much. However, you may find someone who’s a welding torch repairman.
Where to Go If You Don’t Have a Local Welding Torch Repairman
Just because you don’t have a welding torch repairman nearby doesn’t mean you won’t need work done on your torch, of course. In fact, it may feel as if it has more issues because you don’t live near a local shop. What can you do then?
In this case, you have two options. Each has its pros and cons, so we’ll explore each. Next time your torch breaks down on you, you’ll know exactly where to go.
1. If Your TIG Torch Needs Repairs, Contact the Company
This doesn’t just mean if your torch breaks and you need to fulfill your warranty, though if your torch breaks under warranty, immediately contact the company. This will ensure your torch is either repaired properly and for free or is fully replaced for free unless you’ve already tried to fix it.
Even if your torch is damaged outside of warranty, you should still consider contacting the company. They may offer repairs directly through them for your specific torch. Even if they don’t, they may have a list of repairmen they know of. This will, at least, give you somewhere to go from.
Some companies also offer a repair service for a fee. You simply tell them what’s wrong with your torch, send it in, and they’ll fix it up and send it back to you. Because it’s through the company, you’ll know for certain you’re getting the quality parts.
The one drawback to this is the shipping and handling cost, on top of the repair work costs. You’ll have to pay to send it to the company and, most likely, pay for them to mail it back to you. While this is a great option, you’ll need to keep the cost in mind as well before committing to it.
2. If Your TIG Torch Needs Repairs, Mail It Out to Be Fixed or Look for Freelancers
Look for a freelancer near you who is qualified to work on your TIG torch. Search places online like Angie’s List, where you can find different repairmen or other professionals that are accredited and certified. Make sure, however, if you decide to go with a freelancer, you check their certification.
As we just discussed, sending your torch out for repairs can be very nice, but very pricey. This is because of the shipping and handling fee, as we covered, not because of sending it to the company. If your company doesn’t do repairs, but you can afford to send it out, there may be an option for you.
There are companies that don’t make the torches but do basic repairs. These may be hard to find in actual stores, but the internet is wonderfully open to anything you may need. Look for any large company that does repairs on welding torches and inquire whether they can take your model.
They should be easy to find, and Google will give you a plethora of options with a simple “welding torch repairman” search, but we’ve also compiled some places we know of to give you some ideas of where to start as well.
They’ve been in business for a very long time, so you don’t have to worry about them not knowing their job. They have great experience and a quick turnaround time. You merely have to contact them about your torch and repairs and then mail it to them.
They’ll make sure your torch is fully functional before they return it to you by testing the flame and for any leaks.
This company boasts of rebuilding of over 1350 regulators and torches every month. They completely rebuild any torches you send them and also replace all the soft aspects, from O-rings to gaskets. This ensures your torch will be in tip-top shape before they return it to you.
When Should You Get a New TIG Torch?
After a certain point, there’s no going back. You simply have to move on and purchase a new torch. This may be because of years of wear and tear or from a significant injury done to it very recently. It’s important to know when that point is.
Parting with your torch can be hard, both because of how long you’ve had the torch and because of the hit to your bank account. But, to safely operate your torch, you need to be fully functional. Here are the two main reasons people end up having to say goodbye to their torch.
1. The Cost of Repairs for a TIG Torch Can Outweigh the Cost of a New Torch
Just like with cars, sometimes, the cost of repairing a TIG torch can outweigh the cost of buying a new one. In this instance, you may be tempted to stick with your tried and true, but you should heavily consider it before you decide on this for a variety of reasons.
If your torch is in very bad shape, it may be unsafe to be used anymore. This is the biggest instance where torches have to be tossed and replaced. You can’t risk your safety and the safety of anyone near you by keeping an old torch in use for too long.
The only way to save a TIG torch that’s in terrible shape is to completely replace everything and keep the shell. In this way, you’ll be able to keep the same outer shell, like the handle and visible parts, but the insides will be replaced. Again, this is similar to cars in that they can be rebuilt from the frame.
However, you may run into issues if your torch is older. Older torches don’t have parts readily available, much less enough to completely rebuild the inside of the torch. Old torches are notoriously hard to find parts for, which is another common reason people replace them.
2. The TIG Torch Was Damaged Too Severely to Be Repaired
This is the second most common reason. TIG torches are very tough, but even they have their limits. Sometimes, things happen that are too much for your torch to recover from.
For instance, if you manage to drop your torch from a high enough distance to damage it, you’ll probably need a new torch. They’re built to withstand a lot, so once you reach the point where you break it, you really break it. This will usually call for a new torch.
As covered in the previous section, you may be able to keep the outer shell and replace all the insides, even in a severely damaged torch. However, if the outer shell and the inner workings are all smashed or burned or melted, you’ll simply have to accept that you need a new torch.
New torches can be expensive, but keep in mind that you’re keeping yourself and anyone near you safer by having a fully functional torch. Damaged torches present many risks, both to you and everyone and everything around you, because they aren’t functioning properly.
How to Learn to Work on Your TIG Torch Yourself
There are some basic things you can do for maintenance on your TIG torch. This includes things like taking it apart to clean it, regularly checking and changing your water hose when needed, and knowing when to take it to a professional. But what if you’re tired of taking it to a professional?
If you want to learn how to fully work on your TIG torch yourself, you’ll save money over your lifetime by not having to send it out anymore. On the flip side, you’ll need to do some investing beforehand in equipment to work on TIG torches and your education.
Check your local community college for welding programs. Several of these will offer at least one class on basic repairs you can do to your TIG torch. Depending on the college, you may even be able to get a full degree in welding torch repairs. This would allow you to even open a business repairing torches.
You can also educate yourself but do so at your own risk. Youtube has a plethora of videos on how to repair everything, including TIG torches. However, keep in mind YouTubers don’t have any requirements to post, so be extremely careful when working off YouTube instructions.