Lincoln Power Wave R500 Power Source

7 Weld Power Source Perils to Avoid

Practical Tips for Lincoln Power Wave Users

Unknown repeatable issues or intermittent weld failures holding you back? Take charge, know the source, and get things under control. Make best use of your Lincoln Power Wave by following these 7 monthly inspections for better looking and higher quality welds.


Just Need Some Fresh Air

Heat is not your friend here. If you place filters on the air intake to prevent dirt, they will restrict air flow and can cause excessive operating temperatures.

Damaging heat is easily reduced when you blow out or vacuum the inside of the equipment roughly every 1000 hours. During heavy service we recommend doing this monthly.

Fuses and Circuit Breakers

Keep it Together

Using fuses or circuit breakers smaller than what’s recommended may result in shut-offs from welder inrush currents – even if the machine is not being used at high currents. It’s a simple thing to forget but an even simpler thing to get right.

Installing fuses and circuit breakers capable of withstanding high amounts of amperage to beat the system should be avoided altogether.

Input Voltage

More Power

Lincoln Power Wave factory default settings typically have the input voltage at its highest allowed setting. There are a couple of things that can go wrong here:

  1. The welder will not produce output power if the main reconnect switch is placed in the wrong position.
  2. The welder may not come on at all if the auxiliary lead is placed on the wrong voltage tap.

If you experience either of these problems – turn off the input voltage, properly connect the A lead, reset the breakers, and try again. You’ll find the proper setup instructions located inside of the input access door.


Break the Commodity Mindset

Here are the most common cable mistakes we see that threaten a great weld:

  1. Budget Blunder:
    Finding a generic brand to save some money on your iPhone charger. Well done. Bringing that mindset to the industrial automation realm of things. Ehh, probably not. Bottom line: don’t skimp on the cables. Quality copper will go a long way.
  2. Worn and Weary:
    Frequently inspect cables for wear, cracks and damage. Immediately replace those that are excessively worn or have damaged insulation. You’ll improve safety and avoid the possibility of lethal shock from bared cable.
  3. Oh, Henry:
  4. You can minimize inductance by selecting the proper cable. And don’t coil excess wires… untangling them will be the least of your worries.


Opposites Attract

Setting the correct polarity is a must for quality welds. Fortunately electricity was nice enough to offer 2 options: Straight (electrode-negative) or Reverse (electrode-positive).

  • Setup

  • electrode cable to the negative (-) stud, and work cable to the positive (+) stud
    electrode cable to the positive (+) stud, and work cable to the negative (-) stud

The coating on the electrode designates which polarity is best and all manufacturers specify on the packaging what polarity is recommended. Good news: changing the polarity is simple.

Most Lincoln Power Wave units have a switch to change polarity while others require a quick change to the cable terminals.

Duty Cycle

Don’t Push It

Keep your machine’s duty cycle in mind — it’s based upon a ten-minute period. For example, 60% duty cycle represents 6 minutes of welding and 4 minutes of idling.

Not sure what your duty cycle should be? Check the label on the backside of the power source. General rule: higher output = lower duty cycle.

Exceed the manufacturer’s recommendations and you run the risk of overheating the power source. Luckily for us most machines have built-in thermostats that automatically shut off the output until the machine cools to a reasonable operating temperature. Thank you, technology!


When Magnetism Goes Awry

Always route control cables away from weld cables to avoid disrupting the ArcLink system, especially when using more advanced Lincoln Power Wave units. The large amounts of current generated by these machines creates a fluctuating magnetic field.

So, unless you enjoy intermittent communication keep them separate.

Error Codes

Stay Tuned for an Important Message

Error codes that contain three or four digits are defined as fatal errors [Dun Dun Duuuun]. These codes generally indicate internal errors on the Power Source Control Board. If cycling the input power on the machine does not clear the error, contact our service department. We’ll help you out.

Don’t Stop Now

Keep the Momentum Going

If you’ve read this far, then you’re the type of manager or technician that knows how to keep things running for optimal production and you’re always wanting to learn more.

Download the Welding Maintenance Checklist to unlock even more weld know-how.

Join our mailing list