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Thread: Powermax 30 Air uses a lot of consumables

  1. #1
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    Powermax 30 Air uses a lot of consumables

    I am new here and found this place during my search for an answer. Here is my question/problem.

    I bought a used Powermax 30 Air machine for a project I have going on. I need to cut 3/16" steel and thinner. Yesterday I finally had time to start this project and I am having an awful time cutting. It makes a huge mess and takes several attempts to cut to 3/16" plates. After one cut (20 inches) which starts out good but ends messy I have to replace the electrode or it barely cuts.

    I was watching some YouTube videos on the machine and in the videos it makes nice clean cuts. Not the machine I have. I can get nicer cuts with a cutting torch.

    I am curious as to what might be the issue. I am thinking maybe the water separator is not working? I was hoping it is something simple and/or common.

  2. #2
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    Re: Powermax 30 Air uses a lot of consumables

    are you using real hypertherm consumables bought at a trusted source?? otherwise you can be using chinese crap..also call hypertherm for FREE advice on what may be the issue..

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    Re: Powermax 30 Air uses a lot of consumables

    Maybe your humidity is super high? I know in my Thermal 35c all in one unit it has a huge built in water separator of super high quality. Not just a little dink unit that does very little for removing water..
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    Re: Powermax 30 Air uses a lot of consumables

    The consumables I bought on Ebay so there is a chance they are counterfeit. The store I bought them from has a web site and appears to be a Hypertherm dealer. I will see if someone near me is a dealer and I will buy some to rule that out.

    Humidity was 37% at 77deg. yesterday when I was using it.

    I am connected to a 240 volt circuit. I had the same issue with 120v and thought maybe I needed more amperage but that does no appear to be the issue.

    If the consumables don't fix it I will call Hypertherm to discuss and possibly send it in. I just figured I would ask here because being a hobbyist I only really use this stuff on weekends and holidays. So calling Hypertherm is not an option until Tuesday.

    I appreciate the advice.

  5. #5
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    Re: Powermax 30 Air uses a lot of consumables

    Like already said check the water separator. Drops of water are deadly for consumables.
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    Re: Powermax 30 Air uses a lot of consumables

    1st electrodes and nozzles should be replaced in pairs for best cuts.
    2nd work clamp must be connected to clean rust and paint free metal.
    3rd cut nozzle should be just off the metal when starting. 3/16 you will want to start on the edge. After cut arc is started the nozzle can be dragged.
    A small amount water at the nozzle is normal for these units.
    So you will want to make sure you have genuine Hypertherm consumables.

  7. #7
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    Re: Powermax 30 Air uses a lot of consumables

    And... there should be at least a 1 inch air gap under the piece you're cutting.

    Post some pictures if you can, pics of the bad consumables and also of your setup when cutting.

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    Re: Powermax 30 Air uses a lot of consumables

    I will get some pics later today. I have plenty of space under the cut. I just clamp the piece to the edge of a temporary work surface and let the cut overhang.

    I am so disappointed with this machine I am considering getting rid of it. I don't want to sell it unless I know it is working correctly. I don't want to pawn off my problem onto someone else. I have to make a bunch of floor panels and some other cuts on my backhoe. I bought this thinking it would save time and money on cutting wheels. I am spending way more time trying to make this thing cut than I would if I used cut off wheels. I also have gone through half of a consumables pack I paid over $100 for.

    Tomorrow I will stop at Airgas and buy some consumables from them. They are a dealer according to Hypertherm's website. That should rule out possible fake consumables. If that doesn't do it then I guess a trip to Hypertherm is in order.

    I am not seeing any water coming out around the nozzle at all.
    Last edited by edgephoto; 2 Weeks Ago at 11:28 AM.

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    Re: Powermax 30 Air uses a lot of consumables

    *** Have you checked the builtin filter/water separator??? and check it for any leaks or missing seals and stuff cause you never know what someon else did inside there

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    Re: Powermax 30 Air uses a lot of consumables

    Quote Originally Posted by ronsii View Post
    *** Have you checked the builtin filter/water separator??? and check it for any leaks or missing seals and stuff cause you never know what someon else did inside there
    I did check that it is there. Seems to be complete. Not sure how to test it for function. I will check it again and compare it to a part diagram if I can find one.

    I forgot to get pics of the consumables today. I will do that tomorrow and post them. I plan to go pick some up from a dealer listed on Hypertherm's website. I would be so happy if that solves my issue.

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    Re: Powermax 30 Air uses a lot of consumables

    I kinda doubt it's the consumables....I guess there is always a chance... But I use knockoff stuff in my plasma's some of the time and while they don't last as long and cut quite as good as OEM they certainly don't go poof in the first couple minutes... unless you got some really chitty ones... or maybe that unit is way more sensitive to things than mine... as I don't have an identical unit to offer experience from...

    Anyways good luck and hopefully then new consumables fixes the problem so you can get the cutting done

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    Re: Powermax 30 Air uses a lot of consumables

    Quote Originally Posted by ronsii View Post
    I kinda doubt it's the consumables....I guess there is always a chance... But I use knockoff stuff in my plasma's some of the time and while they don't last as long and cut quite as good as OEM they certainly don't go poof in the first couple minutes... unless you got some really chitty ones... or maybe that unit is way more sensitive to things than mine... as I don't have an identical unit to offer experience from...

    Anyways good luck and hopefully then new consumables fixes the problem so you can get the cutting done
    Thanks. I hope I can square this away or it goes up for sale and I will use abrasive wheels to get the job done. I want to take a sledge hammer to this thing.

    I bought it used and have not used a plasma cutter since the late 80s. I do not remember it being this aggravating. I certainly have not saved any time. Between changing electrodes and nozzles and grinding the mess it leaves I would have done it faster with a cut off blade in a circular saw.

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    Re: Powermax 30 Air uses a lot of consumables

    what air pressure have you set it to?

    It seems like either it's not putting out the amps, or the air pressure is really low or really high.

    3/16 - you should be able to rip though with it, and cut relatively clean.

    And even if it was moisture, a brand new nozzle and electrode should really fly at the start of cutting.

  14. #14
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    Re: Powermax 30 Air uses a lot of consumables

    Put the hammer away, Powermaxs' are top quality equipment. Proper consumables and/or help from Powermax will solve you problem.

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    Re: Powermax 30 Air uses a lot of consumables

    I stopped at Airgas today. They are the only supplier listed that is sort of near me. What a crap place. They had hardly any consumables for Hypertherm or any other welders etc. The guy said "I can have them in a few days for you. We have them in the warehouse". They pegboard was empty. What good does this stuff do in a warehouse vs. the actual store. He checked the computer. The only place that showed them in stock is a 45 min drive from me.

    I have to go somewhere Thursday and there is a different place there that says they sell supplies. They are also a repair facility. I am debating just dropping the unit off and asking them to check it.

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    Re: Powermax 30 Air uses a lot of consumables

    Getting that checked out by someone knowledgeable is your best bet. Will save you money and frustration in the long run. Ya gotta do what ya gotta do....

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    Re: Powermax 30 Air uses a lot of consumables

    Quote Originally Posted by edgephoto View Post
    I stopped at Airgas today. They are the only supplier listed that is sort of near me. What a crap place. They had hardly any consumables for Hypertherm or any other welders etc. The guy said "I can have them in a few days for you. We have them in the warehouse". They pegboard was empty. What good does this stuff do in a warehouse vs. the actual store. He checked the computer. The only place that showed them in stock is a 45 min drive from me.

    I have to go somewhere Thursday and there is a different place there that says they sell supplies. They are also a repair facility. I am debating just dropping the unit off and asking them to check it.
    Well... if they're like the 'big' outfits around these parts they won't look at it inhouse anyways.... I am currently working through a half dozen engine welders that people dropped off at one of the big guys.. they in turn sent it north a hundred miles just for the tech estimate.. then back they came... so when the guys that sent them out got sticker shock(happens a lot!!!) they picked them up and sent them to another guy... and now I have them

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    Re: Powermax 30 Air uses a lot of consumables

    Quote Originally Posted by ronsii View Post
    Well... if they're like the 'big' outfits around these parts they won't look at it inhouse anyways.... I am currently working through a half dozen engine welders that people dropped off at one of the big guys.. they in turn sent it north a hundred miles just for the tech estimate.. then back they came... so when the guys that sent them out got sticker shock(happens a lot!!!) they picked them up and sent them to another guy... and now I have them
    mental! "sticker shock" you mean they got scared of taking the panels off?

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    Re: Powermax 30 Air uses a lot of consumables

    Quote Originally Posted by shortfuse View Post
    Getting that checked out by someone knowledgeable is your best bet. Will save you money and frustration in the long run. Ya gotta do what ya gotta do....
    Did not get a chance to call Hypertherm today. I assume I can send it to them for repairs. I have decided I will send it in and explain what issues I am having and let them look at it. I will spend less money, time and aggravation this way. I had issues trying to cut 18ga sheet metal. In the end I will probably not have gotten such a good deal. I save almost $700 over new but I am probably looking at $200-500 more by repairing it. Oh well, live and learn.

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    Re: Powermax 30 Air uses a lot of consumables

    don't believe they do repairs. Call them first and ask. if they will, you will need a RMA number to be able to send it in or it will just get returned.
    They will send you to the closest shop with with Hypertherm trained tech.
    If you have access to a DC clamp amp meter, you can try measuring the pilot current and see what it is and if it changes with the output setting. Plus see if it drops to near zero after a cut is started. also check the current in the work lead. It should be what the output is set for. If zero, this might be the problem. Your not cutting just melting with the pilot. Cut would stop every few seconds.
    Almost sounds like a shorted pilot control or an open work lead.
    Only worked on a few of these and none had your problem. All cut very well.

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