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Thread: PowerMax 800 help!

  1. #1
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    PowerMax 800 help!

    About 11 years ago a bought a Hypertherm Powermax 800 plasma cutter from an fab shop that went out of business and had an auction. Me and my buddy went and they had a Powermax 1000 and a Powermax 800. My buddy bought the 1000 and I got the 800. I had to change the electrical plug and at that time I checked the jumpers on the machine for correct voltage input (220 volt single phase). The lead for the gun was very stiff but useable. The machine powered up and seemed to be ok. I did some test cuts and it seemed to work. Has projects came up I used the plasma and after about a month I noticed that the thing really didn't cut all that well. For a 60 amp machine it seems to lack power. It cuts 1/4" alright, struggles with 3/8", and is not even useable on 1/2"? I would think a 60 amp plasma cutter would cut 1/2" slowly but be able to do it. Even when I cut 1/4" the cuts are not that clean. The machine also sometimes just loses arc in the middle of a cut. Let off on the trigger and start again and is fine. It came with a Motor Guard M-26 file mounted on it and I was using it. I replaced the filter in it and it made no difference. I bypassed the Motor Guard filter and it made no difference. I hav a IR T30 5hp 2 stage compressor so I have plenty of air. I tried it in all 4 220 volt outlets in my shop and it works the same. Even measured the voltage at my outlets and they were good. I don't use the machine much because it doesn't work that good. Just recently I replaced the gun has a last ditch effort with the new Duramax H RT gun. It is just a touch better but still not what it should be. I cut 4 6" circles in 1/4" steel with a circle jig and it didn't do a very good job. The kerf of the cut is angled even know the torch is held perfectly straight in the jig. By the time I got the 4 circles cut and a few straight cuts to clean up the drop from the circle the tip and electrode were shot. So it is using consumables up very fast! This is very frustrating. My buddy that bought the 1000 has had great luck with his machine. I've even used it to cut some 1" steel and it had no problem. So I know there are some very knowledgeable people here that know these machines and I'm hoping someone can help me.

  2. #2
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    Re: PowerMax 800 help!

    check the distance from gun tip to work piece. also make sure you have a fantastic ground. also check that all tip pieces are fully seated as supposed to be.
    lincoln 125sp
    monkey wards 250 ac/dc
    miller 211 w/spool gun
    ahp 200 sx tig
    lotos ltp5000d
    of course duramax diesel

  3. #3
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    Re: PowerMax 800 help!

    Quote Originally Posted by duramax-rob View Post
    check the distance from gun tip to work piece. also make sure you have a fantastic ground. also check that all tip pieces are fully seated as supposed to be.
    Thank you for your response. Boy I wish it was that easy! LOL Don't take this personally but I thought I gave enough details in my post to prove that I know how to operate a plasma cutter and have checked all the basics. I also stated that I replaced the gun with a brand new upgraded model with not much change in the way the machine performed. So I don't believe it is a problem with the gun or associated parts.

  4. #4
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    Re: PowerMax 800 help!

    On my 600 the pins that plug the torch into the machine had some faulty solder joints. I just pulled the plug apart and resoldered them all. Worked like a champ! I have also had the ground wire break inside the insulation behing the clamp. Can’t see the broken wire because the insulation is so thick. I just trimmed it back and crimped on a new eyelet.

  5. #5
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    Re: PowerMax 800 help!

    Quote Originally Posted by walker View Post
    On my 600 the pins that plug the torch into the machine had some faulty solder joints. I just pulled the plug apart and resoldered them all. Worked like a champ! I have also had the ground wire break inside the insulation behing the clamp. Can’t see the broken wire because the insulation is so thick. I just trimmed it back and crimped on a new eyelet.
    I'll have to break out the multimeter and check the ground wire. I have a brand new torch so I don't think those connections are good.

  6. #6
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    Re: PowerMax 800 help!

    Those connection points could be bad on the machine side as well as the torch side. Has the brand new torch ever functioned properly?

  7. #7
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    Re: PowerMax 800 help!

    Quote Originally Posted by walker View Post
    Those connection points could be bad on the machine side as well as the torch side. Has the brand new torch ever functioned properly?
    It did cut out on me during a cut with the new torch. I will check the connections inside the machine for the torch when I get a chance.

  8. #8
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    Re: PowerMax 800 help!

    FWIW, the Hypertherm tech line is great for diagnosing issues on your machine, just give them a call if you don’t get it figured out quickly.

  9. #9
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    Re: PowerMax 800 help!

    Check the pilot arc contactor, it is most likely stuck closed.
    The contactor is no longer sold by hypertherm but they are a standard 30amp DC contactor. you can find it at one of the online electronics stores.
    The 800 is only a 50 amp unit. the 900 was a 55 amp. the 1000 is the 60A.
    the 1250 is 80A and the 1650 is 100A. All no longer made and going obsolete.

  10. #10
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    Re: PowerMax 800 help!

    Quote Originally Posted by ccawgc View Post
    Check the pilot arc contactor, it is most likely stuck closed.
    The contactor is no longer sold by hypertherm but they are a standard 30amp DC contactor. you can find it at one of the online electronics stores.
    The 800 is only a 50 amp unit. the 900 was a 55 amp. the 1000 is the 60A.
    the 1250 is 80A and the 1650 is 100A. All no longer made and going obsolete.
    Thanks for the info. I will look into it!

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