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Importance of a good ground

 
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Cranky Buzzard
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PostPosted: Sat Nov 13 10 6:11 am    Post subject: Importance of a good ground Reply with quote

We all know that a good ground is required in order for the welder to do it job of heating and melting, but how many people know what can happen when you don't have a good ground, try to strike an arc, and the conditions are just right?

Today one of my employees found out first hand what can happen.

This afternoon we had some storms come through so the humidity was high and the shop floor had a little water in it from some wet materials being brought in.

The employee placed the ground lead onto the welding table (did not clamp), fitted up his RUSTY pieces to weld and got a very severe shock. Not a tingle, a shock!

He wasn't burned, but needed medical attention since he had a tingling sensation in his left arm after the fact. He is fine and will return to work tomorow.

Our accident investigation found the following:
The ground lead was not properly connected to the welding surface or materials to be welded.
The rusty pieces of metal did not make a good connection with the table or with each other.
He had his left elbow resting on the table when he went to strike an arc.
He was standing in a wet spot with wet shoes on.
His body completed the ground circuit for the welder.

Our recommendations:
Make certain that all pieces to be welded are in good contact with the ground. Clamp directly to piece when possible.
Clean clamp/grounding area with wire brush if needed prior to grounding and welding.
Clean all floor surfaces of water as soon as water hits the floor.

Unless you KNOW you have a GOOD electrical ground DO NOT STRIKE AN ARC! This could have been a lot worse.

Charlie
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k.a.m.
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PostPosted: Sat Nov 13 10 8:10 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Charlie, I am glad your man is going to be alright. A valuable lesson was learned no doubt about it. Thank You for posting, this is something we should all remember.
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Hell Fire Grill
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PostPosted: Sat Nov 13 10 8:57 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

What condition are the leads and stinger in? Was the guy holding onto the electrode?
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Cranky Buzzard
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PostPosted: Sat Nov 13 10 9:50 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hell Fire Grill wrote:
What condition are the leads and stinger in? Was the guy holding onto the electrode?


Leads and stinger are in great shape since this is a new machine. The BIG problem is that he didn't use the ground CLAMP as a CLAMP, he laid it on the table top expecting it to work "like it always has"...

We haven't been able to determine how he was handling the stinger, BUT with his elbow resting on the table he was holding the part with his left hand. I think that he probably had wet gloves as well, but we didn't look at that in the investigation. We should have....

A LOT of questions unanswered for sure, and I think this was a freak incident since I have been welding, and have welders reporting to me for better than 15 years, but figured I'd post this so that others realize that THEY can become the ground path if things are not done correctly.

Charlie
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Hell Fire Grill
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PostPosted: Sat Nov 13 10 10:04 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

One thing about welding is sooner or later your gonna get shocked, its not if its when and how bad.
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tacklebox
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PostPosted: Sat Nov 13 10 10:14 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hell Fire Grill wrote:
One thing about welding is sooner or later your gonna get shocked, its not if its when and how bad.


Try having your finger touching the tungsten on your TIG torch and having your @$$hole buddy step on the pedal Twisted Evil
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TrailerBuilder
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PostPosted: Sat Nov 13 10 10:22 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Charlie, glad your worker is okay, that is something that can turn ugly in the blink of an eye. People dont think about that kind of thing, but there is a lot of juice floating around when an arc is struck up.

Oh Man Tacklebox, all I can say about that is OUCH! Gives a man warm fuzzy feelings all the sudden huh?

Ive only got 1 shock in 20+ years, but it was enough to make you think twice everytime you start burning metal.
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Hell Fire Grill
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PostPosted: Sat Nov 13 10 10:26 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

tacklebox wrote:
Hell Fire Grill wrote:
One thing about welding is sooner or later your gonna get shocked, its not if its when and how bad.


Try having your finger touching the tungsten on your TIG torch and having your @$$hole buddy step on the pedal Twisted Evil


Its only one finger, you can still weld with the other 9.
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cody
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PostPosted: Sat Nov 13 10 11:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

if you cant clamp the ground lead you can weld it to the metal i have had to do this lots of times
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ggarner
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PostPosted: Sat Nov 13 10 2:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The only time I have gotten a little shock was when I was messing around. I was doing a stick weld with 7018 at higher than suggested amperage and at the same time feeding in a second 7018 electrode as filler with my other hand and because my stick gloves are so thick I had dropped the glove on my right hand. Everything was going fine until the 2 electrodes touched and apparently my elbow was a pretty good ground. Have not tried it since, and doubt that i will again.
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Jonnyrod
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PostPosted: Sun Nov 14 10 8:11 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have been bitten welding in pipe racks while it was drizzling. Only took a few times to be a little more conscience of where I was striking an arc being damp in relation to my ground. Keep your free hand out of the circuit and don't touch the end of the rod. Laughing I guess it's a learning curve, shock therapy will speed this process up immensely. Laughing
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killswitch505
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PostPosted: Sun Nov 14 10 2:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

tacklebox wrote:
Try having your finger touching the tungsten on your TIG torch and having your @$$hole buddy step on the pedal Twisted Evil


ha ha thats a good one Shocked
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Hydro
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 16 10 1:50 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

That's a good way to find out you have a leak in a water cooled tig torch. Since the current flows through the water it'll make you want to find the leak!
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