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Thread: "New" Millermatic 251 won't power up. Help, please!

  1. #1
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    Question "New" Millermatic 251 won't power up. Help, please!

    Hey, folks, I just acquired a used Millermatic 251 from a friend. He got it from a company that was just bought out by a national corporation that is buying all new equipment, and so sold the existing equipment. He says it was running when he got it, and he 'says' he even saw it welding. Well, after we got it to my nephews' shop, I plugged it in, and it doesn't power up. It has a 220 plug that looks like a range type plug. The existing receptacle in the shop is the dryer type, so the first thing I did was change the plug to match the receptacle. No luck. I then bought a receptacle that would match the old plug on the welder. Still no luck. (Yes, I checked the rec. for power and there's full power coming off both legs). So, here I am, asking the experts on this forum. One thing I should make clear also is that I'm not sure if the plant it came from was single or 3 phase. I tried changing the buss bar connection inside the reel compartment, but that didn't give any indication of power making it to the machine, either. Can anybody give me a starting point to check this supposedly previously fine working welder? Where do I start and what do I look for? It was loaded into his pick up via a forklift and 4 point choker rigging that was built onto the heavy duty shop cart it was mounted on, and rolled off onto a ramp nearly level with his tailgate, so, at least at the unloading point (I wasn't there when it was loaded), it was done gently and without any banging around of the unit. Thanks in advance for any and all ideas and comments! Lee
    "When I rest, I rust" Old German proverb

  2. #2
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    Re: "New" Millermatic 251 won't power up. Help, please!

    Do you have a multimeter? Start at your outlet and go to the bus. Do you have power at both those spots?

  3. #3
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    Re: "New" Millermatic 251 won't power up. Help, please!

    Thanks, TigMonster, will do. thought that is what I'd hear, but except for actually checking for power at the buss bar, I didn't know what came first in the schematic line up on this machine. I've downloaded the 251 manual, but it doesn't really cover any trouble shooting at all, just the general trigger, feeder motor, etc. topics. I'm heading over to the shop right now, and will check for power there. Thanks. Does anyone else have any more of a specific line chart of what path to take if there is/isn't power at the jumper?? Also, thought I think I've found the answer on a search of these forums, (and in the manual), where is the buss bar jumper supposed to be for the 203/240 hook-up AND is there any change required for the actual power inputs to that bar (on the opposite side of the mounting wall? {in other words, on the right side of the system, looking at the front face of the welder}). Thanks again, TM, and all who can give me some clues here.
    "When I rest, I rust" Old German proverb

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    Re: "New" Millermatic 251 won't power up. Help, please!

    Take the cover off. Start at the plug (wall end) and follow the wires. Check for continuity and let us know where it quits. Could be as simple as a bad cord, bad switch, or unhooked wire, but we don't know until you look.
    My name's not Jim....

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    Re: "New" Millermatic 251 won't power up. Help, please!

    It takes 2 jumpers to get 230 volt so if you only have 1 then you will need to get another or make something. You don't have to change any thing else. The plug is green ground and the other 2 wires are hot legs.
    www.georgesplasmacuttershop.com
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    Re: "New" Millermatic 251 won't power up. Help, please!

    Your machine should look like one of these two:

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    Dave J.

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

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    Tried being normal once, didn't take....I think it was a Tuesday.

  7. #7
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    Re: "New" Millermatic 251 won't power up. Help, please!

    Well, this is kind of weird, but I went over to the shop this afternoon to change the bearing in my bike's back wheel and get it ready to put a new tire and tube on, and before I left I was going to plug up the welder and start back tracking the electrical system to find the culprit gremlin in the machine. I was pretty tired already from the bike work, so I was dreading the possibility that I would check for power to the furthest point then start ohming it back to the trouble. I plugged it in, turned on the switch, and to my surprise, it powered up! I don't know what happened between now and the last time (when I spent a half day dismantling the panels, checking connections, blowing out all the PO's dust collection and changing plugs/receptacles -all with no luck), but it's up and running. It has a nearly full 33# reel of fluxcore wire in it, but it's not run through the rollers, but the rollers are turning, all the same. I guess my buddy actually DID see it run, and I'm hoping it will do fine. It has E71-T wire in it, but for some reason he said they were running gas with it where it came from. CO2 probably, but I've always used 5/64" fluxcore wire in the field as an Ironworker without gas, and have a little Hobart/Miller 110v that I use .030 fluxcore without gas on, so this will probably work, too. I didn't run the wire through to see how it's gonna perform cause I was just too tired, and I didn't want to spoil the warm-fuzzies I was getting from just seeing those digital readouts lighting up. (I'll go over tomorrow and give it a test run). Anyway, thanks for the tips and suggestions, even though I didn't have to chase anything down. I have NO idea what was different this time. It's in an air conditioned shop, and I've got it on a 4 wheel dolly, and nobody is ever down there but me and my nephew. I guess I had to come and admit that I didn't know what to do next to get it to work. Actually, I bought it to do mig welding with, so I'm ditching the innershield wire and using solid wire with Ar-CO2 gas, which I haven't used since my early days in the 80's down in Houston. After 27 years of stick and innershield in the IW's, I'm kind of looking forward to not having to clean slag for a change. Thanks, guys. I do appreciate the suggestions and help. You all are quick.
    "When I rest, I rust" Old German proverb

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    Re: "New" Millermatic 251 won't power up. Help, please!

    You may have a bad line switch. Sometimes they will turn on right and sometimes not. when they get worn. If it ever fails to turn on again. Leave switch on and unplug welder, remove the cover near the switch. Carefully plug back in and read 240 volts at switch. should have 240 at both sides. do not measure to ground.
    Unplug before putting welder back together or installing new switch. Have fun be careful.

  9. #9
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    Re: "New" Millermatic 251 won't power up. Help, please!

    Quote Originally Posted by ccawgc View Post
    You may have a bad line switch. Sometimes they will turn on right and sometimes not. when they get worn. If it ever fails to turn on again. Leave switch on and unplug welder, remove the cover near the switch. Carefully plug back in and read 240 volts at switch. should have 240 at both sides. do not measure to ground.
    Unplug before putting welder back together or installing new switch. Have fun be careful.
    Thanks, that may be the case. I haven't tried it again yet (been busy with getting my Indian back up and on the road), but since it wouldn't come on regardless of what I did, then decided to come on for no apparent reason, this will help if it DOES do it again. The gremlins that come and go are the ones that bother me most. Thanks very much for the advice. Lee
    "When I rest, I rust" Old German proverb

  10. #10
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    Re: "New" Millermatic 251 won't power up. Help, please!

    This is what, in the electrical trade, we call FM. That stands for freaking magic.
    Dan

    I hope that when i'm dead and gone, people will remember me and think; "Boy, that guy sure owed me a lot of money!"

  11. #11
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    Re: "New" Millermatic 251 won't power up. Help, please!

    showme, I have a 251 that is being parted out. Send me a PM if you end up needing a switch or any other parts. There are some photos of the 251 here:
    http://weldingweb.com/vbb/showthread.php...81#post6038681

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