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Thread: shelf life of welding wire once installed

  1. #1
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    shelf life of welding wire once installed

    Practically speaking, what is the shelf life of a roll of wire once installed? If you are welding regularly I assume you use up the outer layer of wire that would rust so that there is always a "new" layer exposed to the elements. I know there are a lot of variables. I'm just looking for generalities to see if a 10#spool makes sense for my hobby welding or if I should keep buying the 2# ones.

    Thanks, Charlie

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    Re: shelf life of welding wire once installed

    I will assume you are talking about steel wire and copper coated. One of the big variables is, is your shop heated? Others are how much humidity is common where you are? Is the wire subject to wide temperature swings which could lead to condensation on the wire? How good is the ventilation around the machine? All that said, my shop is unheated. There are times of the year that everything is dripping water from condensation. I am a lazy bugger and don't take the mig wire out of my machine and store it in a sealed container in the house. I don't mig weld that often and I buy 10 lbs. rolls because they are much cheaper than 2 lbs. rolls. I haven't experienced any problem yet. I do sometimes cover the welder with a shipping blanket when there will be wide temperature fluctuations to slow down the change in temperature at the at the machine. If you weld really infrequently, you could always take the wire out of the machine and store it where it will be dry.
    ---Meltedmetal

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    Re: shelf life of welding wire once installed

    I have had past 40 year old wire and rod works find as long the weather does not get to wire or rod..

    Dave

    Quote Originally Posted by cbourbeau32 View Post
    Practically speaking, what is the shelf life of a roll of wire once installed? If you are welding regularly I assume you use up the outer layer of wire that would rust so that there is always a "new" layer exposed to the elements. I know there are a lot of variables. I'm just looking for generalities to see if a 10#spool makes sense for my hobby welding or if I should keep buying the 2# ones.

    Thanks, Charlie

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    Re: shelf life of welding wire once installed

    If your shop goes through temperature swings and you get dew/rust on your wire, I've heard some guys say that they put a "gun safe heater" inside their MIG machine, supposedly it heats things up just enough to prevent condensation and rust on your wire. They don't use much power...a few watts, I suspect.

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    Re: shelf life of welding wire once installed

    Quote Originally Posted by cbourbeau32 View Post
    Practically speaking, what is the shelf life of a roll of wire once installed? If you are welding regularly I assume you use up the outer layer of wire that would rust so that there is always a "new" layer exposed to the elements. I know there are a lot of variables. I'm just looking for generalities to see if a 10#spool makes sense for my hobby welding or if I should keep buying the 2# ones.

    Thanks, Charlie
    I bought a Millermatic 251 from a guy who bought it new for one project and it still had the last little bit of the original 33lb spool left on it. It was something like 14 years old and welded perfectly. Even if the wire has a spot of light rust here and there it will be fine....but too much and it will clog up the liner. Many people use foam rubber ear plugs to wipe the line before they enter the feed rollers. You take a new foam plug, stick the wire through it, then feed the wire into the feeder. The plug stays outside the housing and wipes the wire clean...replace the foam plug with each spool change.
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    Re: shelf life of welding wire once installed

    We take two weeks off Over Christmas I would cover the wire with a blanket on wire feeder. But never had trouble with wire rusting, I did just in case.

    Dave

    Quote Originally Posted by Kelvin View Post
    If your shop goes through temperature swings and you get dew/rust on your wire, I've heard some guys say that they put a "gun safe heater" inside their MIG machine, supposedly it heats things up just enough to prevent condensation and rust on your wire. They don't use much power...a few watts, I suspect.

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    Re: shelf life of welding wire once installed

    Here in AZ I've had them last over a year easy, but it's mostly dry here. I also use the wipers, red and black, and every time I get a package with those little packets of silca gel I throw them in the wire compartment.
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    Re: shelf life of welding wire once installed

    Thanks to everyone's replies.......so much good info!

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    Re: shelf life of welding wire once installed

    Welding supply houses sell small felt pads to be folded over the wire where it enters the rollers and fastened to it with a butterfly paper clip.
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    Re: shelf life of welding wire once installed

    I use a old shirt and oil for babies

    Dave

    Quote Originally Posted by mla2ofus View Post
    Welding supply houses sell small felt pads to be folded over the wire where it enters the rollers and fastened to it with a butterfly paper clip.

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    Re: shelf life of welding wire once installed

    I'm in SW Florida and its humid AF in the summer, seems like the outer portion of the spool might get some rust. If it were heavy I'd cut it out.
    It seemed like a good idea at the time!

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    Re: shelf life of welding wire once installed

    That bad 👎
    You can remove the wire and store the roll inside your home.

    Dave

    Quote Originally Posted by welding1 View Post
    I'm in SW Florida and its humid AF in the summer, seems like the outer portion of the spool might get some rust. If it were heavy I'd cut it out.

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    Re: shelf life of welding wire once installed

    Quote Originally Posted by mla2ofus View Post
    Welding supply houses sell small felt pads to be folded over the wire where it enters the rollers and fastened to it with a butterfly paper clip.
    Some folks claim those can cause problems when the felt breaks down and winds up in the liner. The topic has come up enough I have to think there might be something to it, even if it's that people don't change them frequently enough. That's where I read about the foam ear plug solution...new plug ever time you replace the wire. That might work with the felt pads as well, but some people really, really hate those felt pads!
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    Re: shelf life of welding wire once installed

    I did purchase a kit back in 1980. The replacement was a old shirt 👕
    Was buying the wire lubrication till I read the SDS paper work and found it was same as baby 👶 oil. Baby oil I could buy from discount store for price in a large bottle 🍼.
    Wait until you find out what mig dip is.

    Dave

    Quote Originally Posted by G-ManBart View Post
    Some folks claim those can cause problems when the felt breaks down and winds up in the liner. The topic has come up enough I have to think there might be something to it, even if it's that people don't change them frequently enough. That's where I read about the foam ear plug solution...new plug ever time you replace the wire. That might work with the felt pads as well, but some people really, really hate those felt pads!

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    Re: shelf life of welding wire once installed

    Quote Originally Posted by smithdoor View Post
    I use a old shirt and oil for babies

    Dave
    You oilin' up your babies with an old shirt????????????????

  16. #16
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    Re: shelf life of welding wire once installed

    Unless you're doing code welding, or the wire is rusty, I wouldn't worry about it.
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  17. #17
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    Re: shelf life of welding wire once installed

    I agree

    Dave

    Quote Originally Posted by Stick-man View Post
    Unless you're doing code welding, or the wire is rusty, I wouldn't worry about it.

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