How to clean polarity selector switch?
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  1. #1

    How to clean polarity selector switch?

    Can somebody give me some advice on how to clean and lubricate the polarity selector switch on my syncro 250?

    It moves really hard, I guess it isn't a good idea to use the grease I use on heavy equipment?

    Ill post a picture if I can get it to work
    Thanks!
    Im a 16 year old teaching myself to weld.

    Miller Syncrowave 250

    Esab Migmaster 250

    Miller Two Fifty Twin

  2. #2
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    Re: How to clean polarity selector switch?

    Here's what I did on mine...I first tried WD-40, and that didn't do much. I ended up using non-chlorinated brake cleaner and a brush, until it was clean and dry. Then I used white lithium grease to re-lubricate it. Make sure you pile in some paper towels or rags to catch the solvent and the gunk that will fall from the switch, and let it thoroughly dry before re-lubricating. Some folks suggest using dielectric grease, which probably can't hurt, but I would use what you have on hand. Spray on white lithium grease worked great for me. Some folks suggest taking the welder to a car wash and hitting the insides with the spray wand. That's a bridge too far for me. I am afraid I'll brake something.
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  3. #3
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    Re: How to clean polarity selector switch?

    Here's the advice that was given to me:

    Originally Posted by 7A749

    Yes. Open the machine up and blow it out with compressed air. You can lay some rags under the switch and hit it with carb cleaner and a small brush if it's got caked up grease on it. Be careful not to get carb cleaner on other components inside the machine. It can discolor and melt some plastics. The insulators will be ok for what little you're hitting them with it.

    I generally use white lithium in a spray can with a straw on the nozzle. You will see where the switch is a series of copper lobes with lined indentations in them, separated by plastic insulators between them. Inspect the switch for any damage, then spray some grease into the assembly. Use care moving the switch until it smooths out. If you reef on it before it's greased up, you could break the components.

    Move the switch thru all three positions and make sure you have grease on all the lobes of it. The early machines have a metal control handle, later models, a plastic one. You should have metal switches on your machines.
    Millermatic 252
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  4. #4

    Re: How to clean polarity selector switch?

    Thanks for the quick reply, I’ll try that. What type of brush did you use, a wire brush? Carb cleaner sounds like a good idea to get the gunk off there.
    Im a 16 year old teaching myself to weld.

    Miller Syncrowave 250

    Esab Migmaster 250

    Miller Two Fifty Twin

  5. #5

    Re: How to clean polarity selector switch?

    Here’s the picture of the switch:
    Plenty of grinding dust on there
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    Im a 16 year old teaching myself to weld.

    Miller Syncrowave 250

    Esab Migmaster 250

    Miller Two Fifty Twin

  6. #6
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    Re: How to clean polarity selector switch?

    I uses a small bronze bristled brush, the kind hey sell for cleaning guns. Be careful not to breath the carb cleaner. I like the brake cleaner a bit better. Don't breath that either. And whatever solvent you use, watch where it goes. Don't let it get on the electronics at all.
    Millermatic 252
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  7. #7
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    Re: How to clean polarity selector switch?

    CRC brand "Electro-Motive cleaner" is a really good product for this type of cleaning, It's fairly friendly to most plastic components. Used to buy it in 5 gallon buckets working on LeTourneu and Wabco heavy equipment electrical components. A lot of the newer non chlorinated brake cleaners are pretty hard on plastic. I used some today to take 3 layers of paint off a semi trailer ID tag, washed it right off.

  8. #8
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    Re: How to clean polarity selector switch?

    t
    The electro motive cleaner is excellent, I've seen videos of people immersing a running electric motor into it, personally I would not use carb cleaner, also after cleaning a little dielectric grease on the contacts will help lubricate and preserve them to prevent a recurrence. You can also use tuner cleaner and lubricant, and try to get lubricant into the bushings and shaft.
    NRA LIFE MEMBER
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  9. #9
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    Re: How to clean polarity selector switch?

    Whatever you decide to do.........just remember to unplug it 1st.
    "You can't out puke a buzzard"

  10. #10
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    Re: How to clean polarity selector switch?

    Quote Originally Posted by 12V71 View Post
    CRC brand "Electro-Motive cleaner" is a really good product for this type of cleaning, It's fairly friendly to most plastic components.
    It wasn't too friendly to the plastics in my HFT angle grinder. I sprayed some into the motor once when it was acting up, and the plastic disintegrated. But it didn't melt -- it just cracked all to pieces.

    I know CRC makes something called "QD Electronic Cleaner" spray which is much safer on plastics...personally, I'd use kerosene or MS on the Sync switch and then dielectric grease.

  11. #11

    Re: How to clean polarity selector switch?

    So I got the contacts cleaned pretty well and greased it with Lucas red n tacky but it doesn't move much better than before. Any suggestions?
    Also why would I want to use dielectric grease for this application? From my understanding it is nonconductive which doesn't seem favourable for an electric contact switch. What am I missing here
    Im a 16 year old teaching myself to weld.

    Miller Syncrowave 250

    Esab Migmaster 250

    Miller Two Fifty Twin

  12. #12
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    Re: How to clean polarity selector switch?

    You put dielectric grease on car/boat battery terminals, too. It keeps air out, which keeps moisture and oxygen out, which keeps corrosion out.

  13. #13
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    Re: How to clean polarity selector switch?

    Quote Originally Posted by Kelvin View Post
    It wasn't too friendly to the plastics in my HFT angle grinder. I sprayed some into the motor once when it was acting up, and the plastic disintegrated. But it didn't melt -- it just cracked all to pieces.

    I know CRC makes something called "QD Electronic Cleaner" spray which is much safer on plastics...personally, I'd use kerosene or MS on the Sync switch and then dielectric grease.
    I honestly have never seen an issue with Electro-Motive, I do like the QD cleaner too, use it for electronic plugs and recepticals on heavy equipment and trucks.

  14. #14
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    Re: How to clean polarity selector switch?

    Quote Originally Posted by 12V71 View Post
    I honestly have never seen an issue with Electro-Motive, I do like the QD cleaner too, use it for electronic plugs and recepticals on heavy equipment and trucks.
    The stuff I used that caused problems was called CRC "Lectra-Motive"

  15. #15
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    Re: How to clean polarity selector switch?

    So I got the contacts cleaned pretty well and greased it with Lucas red n tacky but it doesn't move much better than before. Any suggestions?
    No offense but I am guessing you didn't clean it well enough. On mine I had to repeat the cleaning process several times. Also don't just focus on the contacts but also on the pivot points.
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  16. #16
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    Re: How to clean polarity selector switch?

    also use something like Ballistol or Break-Free CLP on the pivot points to clean and lube them. Grease won't work there.
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  17. #17
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    Re: How to clean polarity selector switch?

    The dielectric grease will help prevent arcing and oxidation, I use it on most open switches and contacts, coat my battery teriminals and inside the clamps with it, it works wonders to prevent corrosion.
    NRA LIFE MEMBER
    UNITWELD 175 AMP 3 IN1 DC MIG/STICK/TIG
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    GOD BLESS AMERICA!
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    We didn’t pass it to our children in the bloodstream".
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  18. #18
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    Re: How to clean polarity selector switch?

    Quote Originally Posted by Kelvin View Post
    You put dielectric grease on car/boat battery terminals, too. It keeps air out, which keeps moisture and oxygen out, which keeps corrosion out.
    ...and if you put it onto the terminals of batteries before you load them into a flashlight, you won't have to beat the flashlight every time you want to turn it on.

  19. #19

    Re: How to clean polarity selector switch?

    That makes sense, thanks caveman and kelvin.

  20. #20

    Re: How to clean polarity selector switch?

    Quote Originally Posted by Louie1961 View Post
    No offense but I am guessing you didn't clean it well enough. On mine I had to repeat the cleaning process several times. Also don't just focus on the contacts but also on the pivot points.
    What do you mean by pivot points?
    I re cleaned everything where the copper makes contact and got some dielectric grease to put in but it still doesn’t move any better. It does switch into AC pretty easy but that is because the ac only has 3.or 4 contacts whereas the dc has 7 or so.

    Also, what breaker do you have your s-wave on? I am only running it from a 30amp and it just pops really fast.

    Thanks for all the help!
    Im a 16 year old teaching myself to weld.

    Miller Syncrowave 250

    Esab Migmaster 250

    Miller Two Fifty Twin

  21. #21
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    Re: How to clean polarity selector switch?

    The polarity switch is a rod with a bunch of blades sticking off of it, and a handle on one end. That rod has to have some kind of bearings or pivot points that allow you to twist it with the handle. Make sure you clean and lubricate those as well.

    I am running a 100 amp breaker with 6 gauge romex to my garage. Its a beefy, dedicated welder circuit. I never trip my breaker.
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  22. #22

    Re: How to clean polarity selector switch?

    Yes I did clean those.

    I hadn’t realized that you “only” need #6 wire for 100 amps.
    Thanks for all the help!
    Im a 16 year old teaching myself to weld.

    Miller Syncrowave 250

    Esab Migmaster 250

    Miller Two Fifty Twin

  23. #23
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    Re: How to clean polarity selector switch?

    you should download a copy of the owners manual. https://www.millerwelds.com/support/manuals-and-parts
    Millermatic 252
    Syncrowave 250
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