Among various challenges, MIG welding faces, as the wire feed system is fairly labeled with so many unexpected problems. The top-most is why is my MIG welder popping?
Typically, a MIG welder pops out when the wire feeding occurred faster than the amount of speed it meltdown. This popping also takes place in a certain situation where a solid wire has been used by the welder without any shielding gas. There could be numerous factors that are responsible for such welder pop for instance type of the wire, incorrect size and speed of the wire as well as adjustments of the voltage and amperage. Moreover, one of the unexpected problems that cause MIG welder popping will lead to a weak weld along with little penetration. Thus, you cannot have the exact point, so you have to find it by yourself.
So, today we will be talking about everything a welder needs to know regarding why my MIG welder popping and what are the suggested solutions one can have to resolve them. Dropping down everything in sequence, we will first provide a detailed description of suggestions one can follow by questioning the problem, and then we will provide factors responsible for causing troubles and then take a viable approach to solve them.
Why is my MIG welder popping? – Identifying the Problem by Noise
Typically, one of the promptings and identifiable characteristics of welder popping is the noise around us.
Here, we are talking about various sounds that took place in creating a welder popping. Hence, we have identified the major noise and sounds, so you know them all in advance. Thus, if such sound is produced then they will eventually differentiate from one another. Also, it helps the welder to save them from any confusion.
1. MIG welder sounder like frying up meat
If you ever get a chance to fried yourself some meat like bacon, you will easily recognize that crisp sound. The welder torch of yours will sizzle nicely and you can hear some pops sounds from your MIG welder. Though this doesn’t come very often and you don’t have to worry about this sound even. As it doesn’t mark anything wrong or worried.
2. Actual MIG Welder Popping Sound
When you will hear something frequently snapping and popping, then it is time to take a look at the wire. Here, make sure you check the wire speed because it is indicating that the wire is way faster than the actual requirement. Hence, this enables the wire to keep coming out from the metal surface quite quickly, and also the heat setting up is not matching up with the metal surface requirements.
3. Mixed Popping & Hissing Sound
When many people intentionally or unintentionally avoid the usage of shielding gas then they will come across certain sounds like hissing or popping sounds. These are the most heard mixed sounds by the welder while working.
4. The MIG Welder with Only Hissing Sound
If the heat is set to be very slow, then the wire feed speeds up. Doing such a state, the welder will make a particular hiss sound that is quite identical. As you already have the idea of his sound by MIG is similar to the gas leakage sound. Hence, one doesn’t need to get himself confused with the noises that are coming at low speed or fast speed.
5. MIG welder that makes an Irregular Sound
You might get into a situation of having a very long distance between the contact tip and the endpoint of the electrode which is not properly melted. As the pressure and heat are not constant. Hence, the change in volume and pitch is quite common for making such irregular sounds.
So after getting the idea of all the possible sounds you can hear from a MIG welder, it’s time to identify which sound you should worry about and which sounds are okay and cannot create any big issue. Thus, sounds like Actual MIG Welder Popping and Mixed Popping & Hissing Sound are the sounds that represent the main cause, and the rest of the others are too problematic but not as much that we have to incorporate them with popping issue.
Identifying the Problem by Results
Let us dig down on real-time scenarios to understand more about MIG welder popping. Being a welder, you might have experience in hearing different types of sounds and noises revolving around you. Also, in every situation, you have discovered the involvement of a variety of welding outputs.
Hence, now we will talk about the various kinds of noises and welder experiences in a real-time situation.
Signs Indicating Proper Settings
You will come across to almost a flat and throughout weld along with finding a bead that is fairly wide with the uniformity. Thus, it shouldn’t protrude any sort of much from the surface of your working piece. And make sure to double-check, especially the back part of your workpiece. You will realize you have seen almost a flawless outline, giving you the impression of perfect welding penetration which will be occurred in base metal.
What Will Happen if the Wire Speed Dialed in Too High?
The two most noticeable difference that can be appeared first is the appearance of your weld and the sound it produces during any sort of welding process. The MIG welder gun should let you notice certain changes. As the wire is not firmly set into and can come out too fast in speed while hitting the surface and not properly melting within the workpiece. Or you feel the wire that is pushing hardback on your welder gun.
However, when things are in some good practice you realize it does push back and at that spot of hard pushes, the popping takes place. So, as you move your MIG gun, you will only be able to produce types of individual globs. You are not creating any sort of puddle here and this pop usually takes place in the absence of weld penetration’s outline. Thus, the ending output of this will turn into no less than a poor and weak weld.
Factors to Consider For MIG Welder Popping
Regardless of hitting the right way as per the defined rules, we have mentioned here, there is a still margin of when you still face the same popping issue in your MIG weld. There are still some factors that take place and you must consider them to keep your MIG welder safe from popping.
1. Thickness and Amperage of Metal
There is a direct relation between your metal thickness and base target. So, the thicker your metal is the lower inches per Minute (IPM) the welder can target. Also, it will affect the occurrence of penetration, thick metals mean low penetration. Hence, the welder cannot get IPM and weld penetrating speed for both thick and thin metals. Though you wonder how metal thickness has anything to do with MIG popping.
For some welder they run their tool quite slow while forgetting the thickness of the base metal, on the other hand, some take their tool to run on a faster route. Either way, the result of the MIG gun will end on pop. Though, it might not occur at the start within the second you begin. However, it will also not take too long to kick into the popping problem.
Hark back to These Two Points
- The thickness of the base metal you select for welding will determine the amperage
- Typically, the amperage will go hand in hand with the speed of the wire. So, for instance, the former is higher, if the latter is faster
Hence, handling amperage is critically crucial, so should one weld without popping? Or any incorrect setting will result in the wire burning either too cold or too hot. And how one can smoothly adjust all these issues? These are the few questions one might deal with while working with a MIG welder.
Therefore the standard rule, for .001” thickness, the welder requires around 1 amp of output. Hence, for the 1/4th or .25 inch metal, the welder needs to set around 250 amps. Until you are asked to follow certain recommendations from any seasoned welder.
For more in-depth standard rules, take the below table as the reference and learn the amperage requirements to regulate the thickness of metals.
The other most overlooked parameter while setting is the voltage that should be adjusted properly, to get the desired effects. Hence, in all the cases we have cited above numbers are seem to not account while staying in a particular welding state where teamwork is putting their role.
Welding Wire’s Type, Diameter, and Condition
Notably, wire is not taken as much important part when compared with the actual topic and issue we are discussing right now i.e. the MIG welder popping. So, here when we are talking about the wire, we have either flux core or solid that effectively work for MIG welding enthusiastic though they don’t provide the same speed on two different base metals.
Solid wires –So, initially talking about solid wires. ER70S-6 will be your first choice when you are working on base metal mild steel. To elaborate the code ER70S-6, the ER represents Electric Rod, 70 indicates the metal’s tensile strength that needs to be weld i.e. 1000 X Pounds per Square Inch (PSI). Furthermore, the S represents wire type, solid in this case and 6 is the chemical additive used in the wire that directly affects the polarity settings of a welding machine.
We have some more solid wire options that you can use for your welding. These include:
- ER70S-3 –the wire one can use for a general purpose. As it includes no additional chemicals that are why welders like to use this wire on clean steel.
- ER5056 and ER5356 are the two most widely chosen aluminum wires with the former that contain excellent strength, softness, and ductility.
- The wire that works great with a spool gun is ER4043.
- ER316 and ER308 include the common stainless steel wires.
- For enhanced corrosion resistance, you can go with ER308-L as the L indicates that resistance.
Flux-cored wire –these wires include some type of shielding ingredient which is used to protect your weld pool. Hence, bring ease as you do not require the welder to carry any gas tank with them anymore.
For basic understanding to choosing between flux-cored or solid is that you must choose flux-cored wires when the welder needs higher amperage along with larger diameters rather than what is provided with solid wires.
There are a few basic kinds of stuff that you should know about the diameter of a wire. The wire’s diameter affects the overall choice of base metal’s thickness. As you want to pick from the typical standard size then you will observe few diameters such as 023″, .030″, .035″, and .045″. Thus, many of the professional DIY along with some fabrication shops can easily work with the standard 0.35”-inch wires. Since industrial welding workers might want more thick wires.
Even though you may be interested in taking a try from the available size based upon the requirements of the base material. Following is the attached table that can help you in determining the wire diameter of both solid and flux-cored recommended for metal thickness, speed, and amperage
Now, I think you’ll find the following chart useful
MIG Solid Wire
|Wire Diameter (Inches)||Metal Thickness (Inches)||Recommended Amperage||Recommended Wire Speed (Inches Per Minute/IPM)|
|0.23||0.31, 0.37. 0.50||30-90||100-400|
|0.30||0.31, 0.37. 0.50, 0.63, 0.78, 0.125||40-145||90-340|
|0.35||0.50, 0.63, 0.78, 0.125, 0.188, 0.25||50-180||80-380|
MIG Flux-Cored Wire
|Wire Diameter (Inches)||Metal Thickness (Inches)||Recommended Amperage||Recommended Wire Speed (Inches Per Minute/IPM)|
|0.30||0.37. 0.50, 0.63, 0.78||40-145||90-340|
|0.35||0.50, 0.63, 0.78, 0.125, 0.188||50-180||80-380|
|0.45||0.63, 0.78, 0.125, 0.188, 0.25||75-250||70-270|
Hence, almost everything that we covered explains the basics of wire along with other welding problems associated with popping. Hence, carefully setting up and test before a final shot can save you from any trouble.
Weld Spatter vs. Weld Popping
The moment you transferred the wire into the weld and a molten weld pool gets disturbed then it will create a weld spatter. Hence, here the correlation between settings for instance amperage and voltage works. For the novice, it is important to understand the weld spatter first then move to weld popping. As, either you are facing low voltage or high amp, one must undergo this issue.
While welding, we want you to stay confident and don’t lose any hope that leads you to demotivation when you are facing such awkward problems. As even the pro do not help themselves out when stuck in such a state where they incorrectly set up the voltage or any wire speed beforehand. Generally, on regular projects, one can easily avoid spattering problems by just readjusting the speed of wire and voltage.
Though the adjustments are not as easy as they sound. However, the adjustment for amp and speed of wire are technically sharing the same pitch. Also sharing the direct relationship. So keep those Hark back points in mind.
When it comes to handling the tough situation where you find your MIG welder popping, all you need is to stay calm and make the right choice of property adjusting the wire speed, the voltage, or the combination of both things. Most beginners find it difficult whereas when talking about pros, they deliver it with their experience.
You might ignore the wire speed and pick optimize, a standard voltage that provides the wire to be fed within the weld puddle. You can take help from the provided standard values we discussed in the table or seek guidance from the manufacturer’s provided manual.
Try to resolve the minor adjustments till you reach the point where things go with the flow. Make sure not to hit the extreme settings all at once, as doing this can take you a non-reversal path. Doing slow is better than any-fail in the procedure within your proposal.
1. What is the MIG welding process?
Typically, Metal Inert Gas (MIG) welding is a welding process arc, uses a continuous heated solid wire electrode while fed into the weld pool with the help of a welding gun. The two base metals were melted to form a join.
2. How do I stop my MIG welder from splattering?
Proper technique is important to keep the spatter at a minimum level.
- Vertically hold the MIG gun at no more than 15 degrees.
3. How do you tell if the MIG welder is out of gas?
Following are the signs indicating your MIG welder is out of gas
- Formation of air bubbles in the weld puddle.
- Easily visible spatter at the joint.
- Holes created in your weld.
- Excess amount of sparking or smoking produced while welding processes.
Luis Ferency with experience of 35+ years is a semi-retired welder. Though his passion for welding and learning keeps him going further. He loves sharing his knowledge on his expertise in SMAW, GMAW, GTAW, and FTAW. Hence, this helped the new welders to seek leverage knowledge and improve their welding skills.