Miller 280 non-DX cutting out after a few minutes
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  1. #1

    Miller 280 non-DX cutting out after a few minutes

    Hello,

    I'm having some issues with my 280 TIG welder and I'm hoping someone may shed some knowledge.

    I have a Miller 280 non-DX machine that is a few years old. I'll get the serial number this afternoon.

    It has relatively low hours, I'm a hobbyist and bought it used but still very new. I'll check the hour meter as well and provide.

    The machine runs on a 50' extension cord made from 8/3 SOOW. It has run fine on this exact cord and circuit for about 1 year now. I'm pretty sure the breaker is a 50amp.

    Recently, we emptied the shop that the welder was in to paint the floors. Upon moving the equipment back in the machine now will run for about 3-4 minutes and turn off, re-power back up 3-5 minutes later on its own and repeat. The times aren't exact but rough. I video'd the LCD screens while welding to ensure no messages are coming up before it shuts off- and nothing is. It simply turns off, then turns back on. The times for it to turn off are not affected by whether the machine is being used or not. It can be running idle and will shut off, then come back on idle, shut off, and back on... or I can be using it. Typically I weld around 100amps DC, but 80amps AC has also been run and it did the same shutting off cycles. If I manually cycle the power to make it turn back on, nothing happens. The welder has to wait its time before it will switch on. Each time in the afternoon when I turn the main power on, the welder fires up. Then once it is running it will start cycling.

    I have checked all connections at both ends of the extension cord, and the plug on the welder. Everything is tight. I checked the length of the cord and no cuts or anything, the jacket looks very good. Again I am a hobbyist not in a production atmosphere. I ohm'd end to end and was about 0.2ohms on each leg.

    I have moved the welder to another outlet in the shop, a 30amp breaker just to test. I connected the machine directly to the outlet, no extension cord. I didn't weld off this circuit(at the time) but let the machine idle. I will let it sit some more on this outlet today but I feel like it wasn't cutting off at the time. I introduced the cord and the machine cut out and did its cycles. I unplugged everything and went back to the wall power, machine didn't cut out again once it fired back up. I added the cord again and the machine didn't cut out this time after idling for a few minutes.

    After this last test everything was huddled near the outlet. So I pulled the cord out across the shop and moved the welder by my work station and fired everything up thinking the problem was resolved but the welder started cycling again on and off. Frustrated I didn't do anymore testing. A few times after the welder cut off I quickly unpluged the machine from the cord and checked voltage at the cord- and it was fine- 232-234volts, each leg symmetric.

    So really I don't have any conclusive results from the array of testing I completed. Sometimes the welder doesn't cut out, sometimes it does. It seems to run more reliably without the cord.

    Next I'm going to pull the sheet metal cover on the welder and take a look. Maybe something loose or the switch is going out? When the welder runs, it works perfect.

    It is very strange that the welder was working perfect then it was moved and replaced exactly as it was before and now has issues. The only difference is the concrete the cart rolls on has epoxy paint on it. I personally moved the welder so I know it wasn't damaged while moving, unless the vibrations of rolling it has jarred something loose.

    I could note- I have run a miller 212 MIG machine on the original circuit and extension cord for a few hours now(several feet of ~150 amp use) with zero issues since we have moved everything back in. After the TIG shuts down, I can swap the power to the MIG and it will run fine- no issues.

    Has anyone experienced gremlins like this before? Normally stupid power issues I would say are external to the welder but in this case it is appearing they are internal?? Could it be some sort of thermal breaker within the welder tripping? and if so why?

    I appreciate any guidance. TIA

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    Bemidji MN
    Posts
    13,252

    Re: Miller 280 non-DX cutting out after a few minutes

    Since it happened after moving, I'd say something is loose.

    I would take the cover off and look for sure.

    A wiggle test of the cords to try and prove something is loose would be my first check.

    It's a common test for automotive electrical gremlins. Wiggle the wires and power cord trying to duplicate the shutdown.
    Dave J.

    Beware of false knowledge; it is more dangerous than ignorance. ~George Bernard Shaw~

    Airco 300 - Syncro 350
    Invertec v250-s
    Thermal Arc 161 and 300
    MM210
    Dialarc
    Tried being normal once, didn't take....I think it was a Tuesday.

  3. #3

    Re: Miller 280 non-DX cutting out after a few minutes

    Quote Originally Posted by MinnesotaDave View Post
    Since it happened after moving, I'd say something is loose.

    I would take the cover off and look for sure.

    A wiggle test of the cords to try and prove something is loose would be my first check.

    It's a common test for automotive electrical gremlins. Wiggle the wires and power cord trying to duplicate the shutdown.
    Thanks I appreciate the sanity check. When I get over there this afternoon I try some more tinkering within the welder.

    I'm 95% sure my power source all the way to the end of my cord is good on either outlet.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    Bemidji MN
    Posts
    13,252

    Re: Miller 280 non-DX cutting out after a few minutes

    Quote Originally Posted by RADustin View Post
    Thanks I appreciate the sanity check. When I get over there this afternoon I try some more tinkering within the welder.

    I'm 95% sure my power source all the way to the end of my cord is good on either outlet.
    Intermittent electrical gremlins are the worst.

    Often the wiggle test will find the culprit if a wire is broken or something is loose.
    Dave J.

    Beware of false knowledge; it is more dangerous than ignorance. ~George Bernard Shaw~

    Airco 300 - Syncro 350
    Invertec v250-s
    Thermal Arc 161 and 300
    MM210
    Dialarc
    Tried being normal once, didn't take....I think it was a Tuesday.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    Ceres, California
    Posts
    3,256

    Re: Miller 280 non-DX cutting out after a few minutes

    If inverter, watch for stored power that can reach out a hit you. hours after the power has been removed.

  6. #6

    Re: Miller 280 non-DX cutting out after a few minutes

    Alright guys, still cutting out after factory reset.

    When it cuts out it’s fully resetting. Example- I’m welding on 120 amps DC. When it shuts off and restarts, it’s set on 100amps. I believe typically it should remember the last amperage it was set to.

    Serial- ME430368L

    There are 44 hours on the machine. It’s babied it’s entire life, essentially lives under the Miller fabric cover to keep clean.

    Hoping someone has an idea or test procedures to self diagnose? Thanks!

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