Question about ESAB MM 260
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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2018
    Location
    NW of Minneapolis MN
    Posts
    10

    Question about ESAB MM 260

    Hello to All,

    I am a farmer with our own repair shop. I am new here, but not new to welding. After college degree completed in 1967, I decided that I needed some practical skill, so I signed on to a night school welding program. Although I had some welding introduction in high School in 1960, I knew the welding skills needed to be raised to a higher level. So my personal journey began, and continues today.

    In 2001 I bought an ESAB MM 260, the finest welding machine I had ever laid hands on. It is the early version with the tan face. In MIG mode it had been really great, but it sets in my unheated barn shop so it is out of the rain and snow, but sure experiences environmental temp extremes. However about 2 years ago it began to have occasional problems with MIG mode. When I'd pull the trigger to begin a bead, It would create a loud "pop" sound as if a surge caused a hard burn back into the tip. I tried all sorts of adjustments and thought I was losing my welding ability (age, shaky hands, etc). I had good friends try to weld with it and we found a few minor problems, but the problem continued and became more frequent. Our welding supply shop suggested new wire, new liner, new contact tips, higher gas flow, etc. Intermittent problem continued and got more frequent. I took it into their repair shop, they installed another new liner and it worked well for the tech. I brought it home and the problem continued and got to the point where it is doing the hard burn back when first triggered 11 times out of 12 starts. So I have needed to use the stick welding mode for all needed welding since... and that mode works quite well (thankfully!). But I want this machine to MIG as it should.

    Specific machine details: Burn back dial used to be set at about 4, now at 0. Inductance module added and set about 1/4 rev from "0" position. No pulse module. Common wire first used .035 usually at 19-20 volts preset about 250-275 ipm. Now loaded with .025 17-18 V ~ 400 ipm. I went with the smaller wire to do some sheet metal repair in tractor fenders, but the .035 is my go-to for most everything else. I seldom weld new steel. Most of my work is repair on older equipment. I run 75/25 argon/CO2 mix gas. The electrical supply is single phase 240V 50A. It has never tripped the breaker.

    In reading other discussions on the WW forum, I see some discussion of failed SCR causing a surge, but they only related the surge to input power tripping the panel breaker. Do the SCRs come into play when in the stick mode? My stick mode seems to work well.

    Thank You, Thank You! for any help you can suggest.


    Paul in MN

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2017
    Location
    AJO, ARIZONA
    Posts
    929

    Re: Question about ESAB MM 260

    Welcome! Are you trimming the little ball off the end of the wire before restarting a bead? Mine does this if I don't trim the wire. Have you tried it with fluxcore?
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  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2018
    Location
    NW of Minneapolis MN
    Posts
    10

    Re: Question about ESAB MM 260

    Cavemann,

    Thanks for your reply. I am not trimming the little ball off the wire with every start, but with the many burnback starts, I have to take off the contact tip and touch the end to the grinder to grind off the ball that is firmly stuck to the contact tip. So the wire gets clipped clean and is restarted into the cleaned out tip. I have also tried new tips with no difference in hard burnbacks. As you might guess, this has become very frustrating. I have tried to measure the "surge" voltage at time of "triggering", but my digital Fluke meter is not fast enough to catch it. The meter displays a voltage reading very close to what the digital display on the welder shows.

    Have never tried fluxcore. But I have used this welder for 17 years, of which 15 years have been flawless performance. I figure that if I have to switch over to fluxcore, then I will just stick weld, and that function is working reliably.

    Paul in MN

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