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Thread: Hobart AirForce 500i Plasma No pilot arc

  1. #1
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    Hobart AirForce 500i Plasma No pilot arc

    I am trying to troubleshoot my Plasma Cutter as there is no pilot arc anymore.

    Only LED light that is on the front panel is the power on. No other indicators lit.

    I get compressed air going out the torch, but no pilot arc.

    I checked for continuity between the inside of the machine to the torch handle, there are a total of 4 wires plus two large.


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  2. #2
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    Re: Hobart AirForce 500i Plasma No pilot arc

    Have you gone through the manual and check the maintenance items and the troubleshooting section? sounds like a consumable issue...

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    Last edited by ronsii; 08-26-2020 at 12:54 AM.

  3. #3
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    Re: Hobart AirForce 500i Plasma No pilot arc

    Quote Originally Posted by ronsii View Post
    Have you gone through the manual and check the maintenance items and the troubleshooting section? sounds like a consumable issue...

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    Thank you for a response. I figured it out but it required me to cut open the sheathing for the torch. I found a broken air line, it was totally cut into two pieces. Reconnected everything back up and the plasma works.




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    Re: Hobart AirForce 500i Plasma No pilot arc

    Just curious, if you had a broken air line how were you getting air out the torch ?

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    Re: Hobart AirForce 500i Plasma No pilot arc

    There was some air coming out of the torch head, but majority was getting out of the sheathing. I guess there was an arc that developed, but the concentrated air wasn’t blowing the arc out of the tip.

    I connected everything up (minus the sheathing since it got cut) and the plasma works as it should.


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  7. #6
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    Re: Hobart AirForce 500i Plasma No pilot arc

    Wow!! for the air line to be split in two is strange... either it got too high of pressure at some time or could be the line is is just getting old and brittle which means you'll be having more line issues in the future.

    Glad you figured it out and it's working again!

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    Re: Hobart AirForce 500i Plasma No pilot arc

    Quote Originally Posted by ronsii View Post
    Wow!! for the air line to be split in two is strange... either it got too high of pressure at some time or could be the line is is just getting old and brittle which means you'll be having more line issues in the future.

    Glad you figured it out and it's working again!
    Not sure if I ran the line over with a hand truck or my welding cart.

    The rest of the line seems good, as I inspected the wiring and air line from the machine to the torch handle.

    I temporarily put everything back together and used the plasma cutter successfully the whole day today. Am waiting for my TIG torch cable cover from Amazon so I can have the plasma torch cable protected.


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  10. #8
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    Re: Hobart AirForce 500i Plasma No pilot arc

    please insulate real good where you cut into the torch lead cover.
    You don't want the voltage to get out and bite you. can be around 300vdc.

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  12. #9
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    Re: Hobart AirForce 500i Plasma No pilot arc

    Quote Originally Posted by ccawgc View Post
    please insulate real good where you cut into the torch lead cover.
    You don't want the voltage to get out and bite you. can be around 300vdc.
    I re-used the rubber sheathing that I cut, cable tied it every foot. Then used cheap corrugated flex loom to cover that and cable tied that every foot. Sparks still could get in and melt the plastic air line. I ordered a TIG torch cover from Amazon. It uses a zipper to enclose the torch cable.

    For now, I am being very cautious of where the sparks can fly near the torch cable.


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  13. #10
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    Re: Hobart AirForce 500i Plasma No pilot arc

    Quote Originally Posted by stanward View Post
    I re-used the rubber sheathing that I cut, cable tied it every foot. Then used cheap corrugated flex loom to cover that and cable tied that every foot. Sparks still could get in and melt the plastic air line. I ordered a TIG torch cover from Amazon. It uses a zipper to enclose the torch cable.

    For now, I am being very cautious of where the sparks can fly near the torch cable.


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    A lot of times on repairs like yours when I have to split the outer jacket I'll use a bunch of liquid tape on my way out to keep things waterproof.
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