If you have welding experience and have decided to open up a welding shop, then an electric arc welder is a vital piece of equipment for your business. Since electric arc welders run on two-phase power and will cause electrocution if not properly grounded, correct installation is vital for everyone's protection.
To ensure everyone in your welding shop can safely use your new arc welder, follow these important installation tips:
Professionally Install the Arc Welder on an Independent Circuit
Your electric arc welder needs to be hardwired into the power panel because industrial welders use two-phase power. The arc welder needs to be professionally wired by a licensed electrician. The electrician must wire the arc welder to an independent circuit using a safety breaker. The safety breaker is designed to cut the power to the welder if a problem is detected.
Ground the Arc Welder's Frame
When the arc welder is being installed, it must be grounded. Grounding prevents electrocution when you are welding if the high-voltage machine happens to come into contact with water. The arc welder's frame can be easily grounded by attaching it to the concrete floor using long lag bolts.
Install the Arc Welder in a Fire-Safe Environment
Since arc welding machines send off a lot of very hot sparks while they are being used, it is vital that they are installed in a completely fire-safe environment. A fire-safe area contains all of the following:
- concrete floors
- fire-safe curtains
- no combustible liquids or materials
- no chemical drums
- no wood or paper products
In addition, you should never have a cigarette lighter in your pocket while welding because sparks could penetrate the plastic and cause an explosion.
Weld Only on a Safe Surface
Your shop needs a special welding table to use your arc welder. The table must have a conductive metal top and should be grounded. For additional safety, the items you are welding must be placed on top of clean insulating mats.
You should never weld items sitting on concrete because the excessive heat will cause the concrete to expand and explode.
Keep Sand Buckets and a Correctly-Rated Fire Extinguisher Next to Your Welding Table
Finally, to further protect your equipment and welding staff from a possible fire, keep buckets of sand and a correctly rated fire extinguisher next to your welding table. An ABC dry-style fire extinguisher is the proper one to put out arc welding fires in your new welding shop.
For more information about welding services and safety, talk to shops like Sam's Welding Incorporated.