How not to splice welding cable
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  1. #1
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    How not to splice welding cable

    Traded for a older Lincoln 225-ac a while back and only got around to trying it out for the first time today. It welded ok but seemed like I had a bad connection or something so I started looking and notices some electrical tape on the ground cable. At first I didn't think much of it just figured there had been a cut in the rubber and someone put some tape on it. But after looking a little closer I found this. The cable had been cut about 3 or 4 feet from the machine so the spliced it back together with a couple of hose clamps I've seen alot of things and strange fixes in my time but this was the first time I have ever seen this so I thought I would share.

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  2. #2
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    Re: How not to splice welding cable

    Good enough for the Navy.
    I can remember in the 7th grade my mom said "people will offer you drugs" by the 10th grade I was like, "where the hell are these people?"

  3. #3
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    Re: How not to splice welding cable

    was that the problem?

  4. #4
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    Re: How not to splice welding cable

    You definitely left some amperage on the table with the cable on the left. While it's also a good way to get somebody killed if the circumstances are just right, that should have worked if both cable ends were bright and clean. Stuff like that is why the stricter jobsites don't allow electric tape on leads. The right puddle and conditions and it's a homemade electric chair.

  5. #5
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    Re: How not to splice welding cable

    I would be interested in knowing what the problem is too? Looks like...could have found a cleaner section of cable on the left side.

  6. #6
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    Re: How not to splice welding cable

    Yeah it's a crude splice, but it looks to have made a good connection and there doesn't appear to be any signs of corrosion or overheating. I wonder too if this was actually the problem.

    As far as the right conditions for a "homemade electric chair" I don't see how this would be any more of a danger than even the slightest nick through a cable's jacket; or even a twist-lock connection.

    Good Luck
    Last edited by denrep; 11-12-2010 at 10:35 AM.

  7. #7
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    Re: How not to splice welding cable

    Denrep, no argument. Any of those are problems in the right situation. However, most of us know to check our cables for nicks, and when we find them, to fix them. The correct fix here would've been a twist-lock for $30. Which is easy to see and therefore easy to be reminded of and keep out of danger. This little splice here camouflaged by electric tape would be next to impossible to see and therefore remember and keep an eye on in daily use.

    I know lots of people tape their cables. Not trying to start a war on the subject. However, because this is a public forum there are probably inexperienced people reading this thread who DON'T know that this is dangerous in the right circumstances. I feel like it's a great chance to point out a potential hazard to those people. Welding is hardly the most dangerous activity on the planet, but there are those little hidden things that will rise up and bite you if you're not paying attention.

  8. #8
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    Re: How not to splice welding cable

    Perhaps this thread should be moved to the Safety Forum.
    I can remember in the 7th grade my mom said "people will offer you drugs" by the 10th grade I was like, "where the hell are these people?"

  9. #9
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    Re: How not to splice welding cable

    Quote Originally Posted by joefitz View Post
    Perhaps this thread should be moved to the Safety Forum.
    Sorry didn't think to put it there is it possible for someone to move it?

  10. #10
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    Re: How not to splice welding cable

    Looks like they got to it.
    I can remember in the 7th grade my mom said "people will offer you drugs" by the 10th grade I was like, "where the hell are these people?"

  11. #11
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    Re: How not to splice welding cable

    Quote Originally Posted by tbone550 View Post
    The correct fix here would've been a twist-lock for $30.
    The O/P said the splice was 3 or 4 feet from the machine. I wouldn't install a twist-loc here unless I wanted a pigtail at the welder, otherwise cut off the 3' and use it for making up a ground clamp. I think the best way to splice a welding cable without installing a connector is to install a crimp sleeve with a heat shrink instlalled over the sleeve that is at least equal to the insulation on the cable.

    As far as taping cables with insulation damage, I think it is OK on a temporary basis but should be replaced by a heat shrink at the first opportunity.
    "The reason we are here is that we are not all there"

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  12. #12
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    Re: How not to splice welding cable

    That's an interesting idea. Does the heat shrink hold up to being dragged around? Never heard of that one before.

  13. #13
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    Re: How not to splice welding cable

    For anyone that was wondering I replaced the cables on the machine with new ones that I got an amazing deal on. More on the deal in a minute. After replacing the cables I tested everything again and it fixed my problem. My guess id the splice had to much resistance. With the old cable when I set the machine to the 90 amp tap with a 1/8" 6011 it would just stick and didn't seem hot enough to maintain an arc. The next tap 105 amp was just a little to hot for what I wanted. With the new cable 90 amp was pefect it cave me a nice arc and wouldn't stick even when I jammed the rod right in.

    Now for the cable. I went toto my LWS who I always deal with and wanted some 7018AC rods both 3/32" and 1/8" but they were out of 1/8". They were also out of 6011 and 6013. then they were out of cable lugs in the size I needed. And then to top it off when I finaly made up my mind on how much cable I wanted 60' #2 (30' ground and 30' stinger) I told the guy and he disappeared into the back. he came back a few minutes later with two coils in his hands. I thought finally they have something I need. Then he said they were out of #2 so he gave me #1 and said that I was going to get a really good deal today. I just assumed that he was going to give it to me for the price of the #2 sinces they are good that way. I was wrong. He charged me full price for #1 cable $7.73 per meter. But instead of charging me for 20 meters a total of $154.60 he only charged me for 1 meter a total of $7.73 I was a very happy customer.

    Sorry for the long post I just wanted to share my results and my good deal.

  14. #14
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    Re: How not to splice welding cable

    Quote Originally Posted by tbone550 View Post
    That's an interesting idea. Does the heat shrink hold up to being dragged around? Never heard of that one before.
    Depends on the heat shrink. Some are really thin, some are quite thick. You can also get some with hot glue inside them which melts and gets forced out each end guaranteeing a waterproof seal. If you don't have the hot glue type, put some rtv silicon caulk around the damage and shrink over it before it sets. This seals the same as the hot glue type and seems to be more flexible.

    If the shrink is on the thin side I usually build up the damage or splice with tape to the original diameter of the insulation then a heat shrink on top to hold it all together. Also if all you have is thin heat shrink material, you can put more than one shrink on top of each other if you want.

    The heat shrink makes a neat looking repair and seems to last much longer than tape as you drag the cable around.
    "The reason we are here is that we are not all there"

    SA 200
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  15. #15
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    Re: How not to splice welding cable

    i still dont see whats wrong with it.

  16. #16
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    Re: How not to splice welding cable

    I've seen split bolts but never hose clamps before.
    Tough as nails and damn near as smart

  17. #17
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    Re: How not to splice welding cable

    Quote Originally Posted by bp626indamix View Post
    i still dont see whats wrong with it.
    It was making a poor conection and the screws of the clamps stuck out and could possibly arc out on the work. And that's never good I don't like stray arcs on my work.

  18. #18
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    Re: How not to splice welding cable

    I know I've seen worse looking connections doing a decent job. The two hose clamps are actually probably better than many connectors which were crimped with a hammer.
    Larry

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