GMAW Sch 40 Stainless Socket Welds
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  1. #1

    GMAW Sch 40 Stainless Socket Welds

    Is there a procedure for single pass Mig welding schedule 40 socket welds for steam pipe? We will see up to 100 psi saturated steam pressure on this line.

    I work for a small food manufacturer and our engineer brought in a contractor to install a new stainless boiler for our process. The pipe fitter assembled the associated piping in sch 40 stainless pipe with socket weld fittings. He seemed to have to chase a lot of leaks in a relatively small run of pipe with a lot of weld looking cold lapped. Is this an actual procedure that he just failed to perform properly (he never feathered his starts/stops so I believe that's most of his issue) or did they just throw this together?

    I can't seem to find anything about GMAW on socket fittings and even came across a site where the process was not permitted. What's the deal? I feel like a lot more leaks are gonna arise in the coming months once we see some hot and cold cycling. They say they offer a lifetime warranty of the work but I wonder at what cost to our production schedule.

    This is the worst joint but you can see others in the picture which I believe are also worrisome.





    Welder and settings it was left at.


  2. #2
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    Re: GMAW Sch 40 Stainless Socket Welds

    Time to hire a tig weldor

  3. #3

    Re: GMAW Sch 40 Stainless Socket Welds

    Yep, had a talk with the contractors when they arrived this AM. All their work is getting pulled out, sent to a shop to be re fabricated with tig, and brought back onsite to be reinstalled.

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    Re: GMAW Sch 40 Stainless Socket Welds

    That guy wasted a lot of time and money. Seems like the welder should have been turned up but that guy sucks. Did he even use stainless rod or prolly 70s2?
    Last edited by motolife313; 01-05-2017 at 12:36 PM.

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    Re: GMAW Sch 40 Stainless Socket Welds

    I worked around pipe welders all my life. I’ve never seen them use Mig on stainless steel socket welds.
    Everywhere I’ve worked, that welder would be fired on the spot! But first drug out back and the sh!t beat out of him!
    Don’t pay any attention to me
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    Re: GMAW Sch 40 Stainless Socket Welds

    Yeah that's some pretty hack looking workmanship. Since it doesn't look like the people that did that job really knew what they were doing I'd have to wonder if most of those socket joints weren't fit up with the pipe "bottomed out" in them. I'd be sure and raise the subject of proper socket joint fit up with who ever is going to be redoing it.

  7. #7

    Re: GMAW Sch 40 Stainless Socket Welds

    Quote Originally Posted by motolife313 View Post
    That guy wasted a lot of time and money. Seems like the welder should have been turned up but that guy sucks. Did he even use stainless rod or prolly 70s2?
    I've been questioning how their company makes money the whole time they were working our site. I could have built out the pipe myself in half the time it took their 2 guys to build it. There seems to be a skilled labor shortage in this area. They did use stainless wire and tri-mix gas. Welder looks set cold as well.

    Quote Originally Posted by CEP View Post
    I worked around pipe welders all my life. I’ve never seen them use Mig on stainless steel socket welds.
    Everywhere I’ve worked, that welder would be fired on the spot! But first drug out back and the sh!t beat out of him!
    Agreed, I've heard SMAW and GTAW but never GMAW. When I asked why they were having so many leaks on such a short run their foreman kept blaming porosity and the fact they don't weld stainless often, usually carbon pipe with GMAW. Looks more like cold lap / lack of fusion to me. He did admit to testing out the process in house to determine if they could perform the job that way, which he found successful.

    Quote Originally Posted by HT2-4956 View Post
    Yeah that's some pretty hack looking workmanship. Since it doesn't look like the people that did that job really knew what they were doing I'd have to wonder if most of those socket joints weren't fit up with the pipe "bottomed out" in them. I'd be sure and raise the subject of proper socket joint fit up with who ever is going to be redoing it.
    Their welder was actually a great fitter, he just seemed to be led down the wrong road for the actual welding. He gapped his sockets correctly and built to plumb, level, square on the pipe stand. They chose Mig for speed and it just cost them time and money in the long run.
    Last edited by ScottFc3s; 01-05-2017 at 01:57 PM.

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    Re: GMAW Sch 40 Stainless Socket Welds

    It’s been so long now, aren’t you suppose to have a 1/16” plus gap from the pipe bottoming out on socket welds?
    Don’t pay any attention to me
    I’m just a hobbyist!

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    Re: GMAW Sch 40 Stainless Socket Welds

    AWS does not offer a SWPS prequalified procedure for mig on stainless. But they do offer one for Tig, Er3xx alloys. Then produce a simple welder cert plate and have it tested and approved and you are downtown.

    AWS Order # B2.1-8-212:2001(Revised2012) $186 member to $248 nonmember.
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    Re: GMAW Sch 40 Stainless Socket Welds

    But this is pressure piping on a steam boiler; I guess it's almost certainly ASME code B31.X. ASME does not have any pre-qualified welding procedures; insofar as I know. So the contractor must have a weld PQR with test results and welder qualification for a GMAW stainless solid wire procedure. Anything else is not in compliance with code.

    The welds look like short arc MIG and I'm not surprised at the leak issues; based on the visual appearance of the welds. Pipe that small is almost certainly easier to weld and get high quality results with TIG. But for pressure piping, the contractor still needs a PQR and welder qual record even for TIG. There's no getting around that if you need to be in strict compliance with the welding code.

    Quote Originally Posted by shovelon View Post
    AWS does not offer a SWPS prequalified procedure for mig on stainless. But they do offer one for Tig, Er3xx alloys. Then produce a simple welder cert plate and have it tested and approved and you are downtown.

    AWS Order # B2.1-8-212:2001(Revised2012) $186 member to $248 nonmember.
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    Re: GMAW Sch 40 Stainless Socket Welds

    If you want to weld pipe, you need to hire a pipe welder.

    And no, nobody that knows anything about welding would do that with MIG.

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    Re: GMAW Sch 40 Stainless Socket Welds

    Quote Originally Posted by A_DAB_will_do View Post
    But this is pressure piping on a steam boiler; I guess it's almost certainly ASME code B31.X. ASME does not have any pre-qualified welding procedures; insofar as I know. So the contractor must have a weld PQR with test results and welder qualification for a GMAW stainless solid wire procedure. Anything else is not in compliance with code.

    The welds look like short arc MIG and I'm not surprised at the leak issues; based on the visual appearance of the welds. Pipe that small is almost certainly easier to weld and get high quality results with TIG. But for pressure piping, the contractor still needs a PQR and welder qual record even for TIG. There's no getting around that if you need to be in strict compliance with the welding code.
    Got it. The AWS SWPS is for transmission piping, not pressure.

    I don't think they want to wait to qualify a procedure. All depends on what engineer is willing to accept then get authorities to buy. No sense sending out to have it re-welded without developing a procedure.
    Weld like a "WELDOR", not a wel-"DERR"
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    Re: GMAW Sch 40 Stainless Socket Welds

    Quote Originally Posted by A_DAB_will_do View Post
    But this is pressure piping on a steam boiler; I guess it's almost certainly ASME code B31.X. ASME does not have any pre-qualified welding procedures; insofar as I know. So the contractor must have a weld PQR with test results and welder qualification for a GMAW stainless solid wire procedure. Anything else is not in compliance with code.

    The welds look like short arc MIG and I'm not surprised at the leak issues; based on the visual appearance of the welds. Pipe that small is almost certainly easier to weld and get high quality results with TIG. But for pressure piping, the contractor still needs a PQR and welder qual record even for TIG. There's no getting around that if you need to be in strict compliance with the welding code.
    I guess first step is to find out what code is specified. If no code specified, wrangle the engineer for guidance. The AWS SWPS is better than nothing.
    Weld like a "WELDOR", not a wel-"DERR"
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    Re: GMAW Sch 40 Stainless Socket Welds

    Where are you located? Myself along with many others on this site could do this in our sleep and make it all perfect in both appearance and quality. People can die because of poor quality/craftsmanship when messing with steam at any pressure. I personally know a guy that was breaking a union loose to bleed off residual steam pressure and the union spun itself completely apart and what little pressure was still on the line cooked all the skin off his face. He was in up in the air and couldn't get away from it because he had his safety harness tied off. He wore a mesh sock on his face for two years. Please don't take steam at ANY pressure lightly, you'll meet your maker real quick or hope you did.
    Last edited by Showdog75; 01-05-2017 at 06:18 PM.

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    Re: GMAW Sch 40 Stainless Socket Welds

    Quote Originally Posted by Showdog75 View Post
    Where are you located? Myself along with many others on this site could do this in our sleep and make it all perfect in both appearance and quality.

    Yeah that looks like one of those jobs where a man would need to show up with two loaves of bread everyday just so he could be sure of getting all that gravy sopped up.

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    Re: GMAW Sch 40 Stainless Socket Welds

    WOW !!! I did better than that when I started 40 + years ago. I would fire the guy that hired him.
    A 100 pound STEAM line is nothing to f... with. I would have that contractor return and hydro test have to at least 200 PSI. Did they even test it ? They must have been less than the lowest bid.
    Any Union piping contractors will have real welders to do this. Socket welds are fun welds too !!!

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    Re: GMAW Sch 40 Stainless Socket Welds

    This is the absolute easiest of the easy to weld right. I'd blackball that contractor for life. I once walked off a job working for a cheap *** contractor because he wanted us to stick weld some 1" schedule 40 for a mixing head in a chemical plant. I walked then they had another guy weld it and I heard it looked like a sprinkler system when hydro'd. They got run off then a real pipe contractor finished it up properly. Saving two dollars will cost you big bucks in these cases. Dumb a $$'s

  18. #18
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    Re: GMAW Sch 40 Stainless Socket Welds

    WTF? This is a joke right?

    That contractor should be run out of town. Were they trying to weld if with a Harbor Freight 110V unit? People can get killed doing $HIT work like that. My 10 year old would do a better job than that. The contractor blaming porosity? No? It's called incompetence. No offence but whomever hired them should be given the boot as well because they obviously have no clue what they are doing either to hire an incompetent contractor.
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    Re: GMAW Sch 40 Stainless Socket Welds

    Quote Originally Posted by xryan View Post
    WTF? This is a joke right?

    That contractor should be run out of town. Were they trying to weld if with a Harbor Freight 110V unit? People can get killed doing $HIT work like that. My 10 year old would do a better job than that. The contractor blaming porosity? No? It's called incompetence. No offence but whomever hired them should be given the boot as well because they obviously have no clue what they are doing either to hire an incompetent contractor.
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  20. #20
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    Re: GMAW Sch 40 Stainless Socket Welds

    That's some pretty hack looking stuff. Even by my standards

    Really tho, I would find it hard to be taken seriously the second someone who knew what they were doing saw that mess. When I worked on the farm, a lot of stuff gets fixed that way, but many factors usually played into that. Usually lack of time for an in depth repair and everything being covered in cow shlt.

    I let the more qualified ppl handle this one, and be thankful that my name isn't on that welding job lol.

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    Re: GMAW Sch 40 Stainless Socket Welds

    Quote Originally Posted by CEP View Post
    xryan don’t hold back, tell us what you really think!
    I don't have enough money to put in the curse jar after I'd say what I really think
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    Re: GMAW Sch 40 Stainless Socket Welds

    OP, this is how you want your stainless socket welds to look:

    Name:  IMG_0937.jpg
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    Re: GMAW Sch 40 Stainless Socket Welds

    The Pipeliner, called in to affect repairs, after talking with the MIG weldor who destroyed that joint while saying "What? I don't see any problem"

    Last edited by ManoKai; 01-06-2017 at 12:31 AM.
    "Discovery is to see what everybody else has seen, and to think what nobody else has thought" - Albert Szent-Gyorgyi

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    Re: GMAW Sch 40 Stainless Socket Welds

    I've been consulting with a brewery and their steam...most of it is in black iron. It's all fitted up with threaded fittings and unions. No luck there in your situation?

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    Re: GMAW Sch 40 Stainless Socket Welds

    Quote Originally Posted by ScottFc3s View Post
    Is there a procedure for single pass Mig welding schedule 40 socket welds for steam pipe? We will see up to 100 psi saturated steam pressure on this line.

    I work for a small food manufacturer and our engineer brought in a contractor to install a new stainless boiler for our process. The pipe fitter assembled the associated piping in sch 40 stainless pipe with socket weld fittings. He seemed to have to chase a lot of leaks in a relatively small run of pipe with a lot of weld looking cold lapped. Is this an actual procedure that he just failed to perform properly (he never feathered his starts/stops so I believe that's most of his issue) or did they just throw this together?

    I can't seem to find anything about GMAW on socket fittings and even came across a site where the process was not permitted. What's the deal? I feel like a lot more leaks are gonna arise in the coming months once we see some hot and cold cycling. They say they offer a lifetime warranty of the work but I wonder at what cost to our production schedule.

    This is the worst joint but you can see others in the picture which I believe are also worrisome.





    Welder and settings it was left at.

    These pictures need to be in the "welding fail" thread! Wtf is this crap?
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