An auto-darkening welding helmet is one of the most significant protective gear manufactured by a Swedish company.
Welders can now see clearly while doing their job smoothly when the helmet is already in the down position.
As a result, continuous work can be done without unnecessary readjustment of the helmet.
A good helmet gives protection from potentially vision damaging UV and infrared rays emitted by the arc. It has increased productivity and reduces the repetitive runs to the emergency room with flash burned eyes.
Sometimes, this perfect welding helmet may cause some problems, and every problem has a solution. So keep reading the article if you don’t want to miss out as I have briefed about the common issues you might encounter with their solutions.
Problem 1: Poor Visibility
The visibility through the helmet is remarkable and crystal clear. However, sometimes you might experience obstructed view out of the weld and thus hindering you from working without difficulty.
On the other hand, even though you have clear visibility, but you cannot visualize the weld due to the narrow width of the lens. For that reason, you have to turn your head or body just to catch a glimpse of the edge of your weld while working.
I can imagine how troublesome this might get at times while on the job. It’s very commonplace to face this kind of issue so if this happens, do not worry! The solution is mentioned below.
A few bits of advice will help you overcome your problems, and those are:
- Cleaning Your Helmet
The most common reason for this problem is due to the accumulation of a lot of dust and dirt over a long period of time. So obviously, the solution to this is to clean your welding helmet and your lens. Take your time when cleaning it and wash it properly.
- Replacing the Helmet or Lens
If this doesn’t help, you should consider replacing your helmet or the lens. There are tons of good brands to select from and make sure you are buying a good one.
Occasionally, the clear view is reduced in cheap helmets or for being used for a long time. Instead of changing the entire helmet, you can also install a more comprehensive lens into your welding helmet to improve your vision through the helmet.
- Using a Shade Too Dark
Another issue could be due to using the wrong shade, which is too dark during welding. Merely changing the shade might also correct the problem at hand.
- Increase Light Source
You can also attach a small torch on top of the helmet, to increase your visibility of the weld. Usually, there is a space for attaching the flashlight on top, or you could just stick it with duct tape.
This is just a temporary solution to those who cannot afford to buy another helmet but either way it helps.
Problem 2: Too Bright Weld
The torch and the overall weld always seem too bright in the case of advanced or industrial grade welds. Even putting on the welding helmet for protection, it fails to darken the light from the welding torch.
This can be scary because the first thing that comes to your mind is that either you are doing something wrong or your helmet is failing you. To guess which one you should do a sun test beforehand. The screen will darken briefly and won’t work if you have a faulty welding helmet.
So, this type of situation might be alarming, but sometimes it is just a small issue that has an easy fix.
To overcome your problems, we have provided some solutions below:
- Adjusting Dark Shade Lens
Using a darker shade is the solution to your problem. Most auto-darkening helmets are accompanied by a variety of shade lens which can be easily adjusted according to your choosing.
To get a better result, you can adjust ranging from level nine through level twelve or thirteen. Level thirteen is ideal if you are welding at very high amperage.
If this does not help, then you might have gotten the incorrect shade, and you must change your shade to get desired results. In industrial works, it is highly recommended to use the darkest shade for self-protection, although it might show a poor view during your task.
- Changing the LCD Screen
If the welding helmet has not been used for a long time, the LCD screen sometimes begins to fail, which is also a common source of the issue. So changing the LCD can also rectify the problem.
Problem 3: Too Dark Weld
Your welding helmet might suddenly darken too much too quickly. It is very commonly encountered in helmets that are used regularly. As I mentioned previously, it is absolutely necessary to do a sun test which will aid in pointing out these problems earlier.
Cheap helmets have cheap soldering, and so this might also be the reason. It is because they use a low-quality potentiometer that controls the shades of the helmet.
As huge as the problem seems to be, there is nothing to worry about as it can be fixed easily if the cause can be identified beforehand.
Here are a few pieces of advice that will help you overcome your problems:
- Tweaking the Lens Sensitivity
Most of the time, adjusting the sensitivity of the lens overcomes this kind of problem. It is because the circuit designs in welding helmets are triggered by rapid changes of light intensity. So a simple turn of the buttons on the side of the helmet solves it.
If this does not help, then you can change the potentiometer that controls it as it may be the result of a dry potentiometer. They are straightforward to remove and available in any hardware store.
- Substituting the Power Source
Another apparent cause is due to a faulty battery. Replacing the battery always helps but if it still doesn’t work check if there is any solar panel for your helmet as some are solar charged.
Welding helmets that are solar-powered should be kept outside in the sun for recharging. This is normal in times where the helmet is used in dark places or due to overuse.
- Buy Good Brands
When every other measure fails, it is wise to purchase a new helmet. Good brands should be taken into consideration when buying, and if not, the problem might repeat.
Problem 4: Helmet Feels Unreliable
It is very frustrating when the helmets don’t feel right while wearing it. The feeling is worse when this happens in the middle of welding, and you have to keep readjusting the welding helmet. Also, the precision of your work depends on the comfort of your helmet. A heavy helmet will only get in the way of your job.
Well, as there is always a solution to every problem and thus I can surely point you in the right direction.
We have offered a few bits of advice that will help you overcome your problems:
- Adjusting the Straps
Your welding helmet being unreliable is usually a result of a faulty or sturdy helmet. This can be easily solved by tightening and making a few adjustments.
For example, the headband at the forehead can be shortened to make it tight, or you can buy a replacement from the helmet manufacturers. It is effortless to replace as you only have to unscrew it from the outside of the helmet to release the straps.
- Acquiring a New Helmet
If the problem still persists, you should consider buying a new helmet. You should also keep in mind to purchase a helmet which is lightweight and with proper fittings to your head.
Problem 5: Eye Strains
One of the common occupational hazards that you might experience is having eye strains. The welders commonly complain of eye strains which are followed by headaches after working long hours. This is caused by frequent blinking of the eyes to adapt to the changes in the surrounding light conditions.
Even though it is a medical condition, the real issue might be with the welding helmet. With this general idea, usually, the welders change the entire helmet instead of finding what is causing it.
So you should read the following solution to avoid this mistake and save yourself some money.
The solutions down below will help you overcome your problems:
- Adapting the Reaction Time Settings
The solution is simply changing your reaction time settings on your welding helmet, and it will definitely reduce your eye strains.
Your helmet will react slower if the reaction time is set higher. As a result, the lens will only darken when it needs to with precision. The recommended reaction speed is 1/10000 second.
- Medical Checkup
Even if your eye strains are caused by the welding helmet, you should also consult a doctor for eye checkups to exclude any serious medical condition. It is better to be safe than sorry.
Problem 6: Flickering Lights
Another mind-boggling situation that occurs is the flickering side sensor light on the auto-darkening welding helmets. These auto-darkening welding helmets are powered in different ways. For example, some are with a replaceable lithium battery, and some are featured with solar power and battery.
While working, the constant flickering might become an unwanted distraction. It not only affects the precision of your welding work but also delays its progress.
Generally, the helmet that is battery-powered frequently shows this kind of problem and of course, do not worry; there is a simple fix to this.
A few pieces of advice will help you overcome those problems:
- Switching the Old Battery
As it is common with a battery-powered helmet, replacing the battery should solve the problem most of the time. So it is convenient to always keep an extra replaceable battery with you.
- Needs Some Sunlight
In some helmets, there is no replaceable battery. So you have to take a guess that those are solar-powered. In that case, keeping the helmet in the sun for a more extended period of time can also help.
- Purchasing Good Brands
If this has not yielded any positive results, then you have to buy a new one. Even though they can be a tad expensive, buying a good brand can save you from a lot of trouble.
Problem 7: False Activation
In some high tech welding helmet, you might have noticed a blinking light on the helmet which detects any bright light causing the helmet to switch off quickly.
This can be an immense problem if the welding helmet turns off during work as a consequence of the security system malfunctions. In some cases, the helmet doesn’t shut down, but the alert which warns us about the bright light keeps blinking repeatedly.
The constant blinking alert can become very annoying, and hence, it might cause you to lose focus from your welding works. This false activation of the security system can be avoided with a straightforward solution and so do not take any stress.
Below are the solutions to this problem:
- Helmet Hooding
It can be solved effortlessly by covering the helmet, for example, placing a towel under the headgear which will block any light from activating the sensors.
- Avoid Triggering Lights
The towel trick might become uncomfortable, and so as an alternative, you can put your back to light while working. As a result, it will not trigger the sensor, and therefore, there will be no blinking lights.
If it still persists, then you should check if there are any reflecting lights in your surroundings that might be causing it. In that case, you should remove those objects, causing the reflections.
- Help from Hotline
Even if this does not help, you can contact the manufacturer company and notify them about the problem.
Problem 8: Broken Lens
If you are clumsy, then you might find yourself sometimes dropping your helmet and cringing for breaking the lens. Of course, it will cause damage to the glass shield of the welding helmet. Although sometimes the lens of cheap welding helmet also break easily. So it might not be entirely your fault.
Even if there is a slight hairline crack on the glass, you have to change the entire glass set up, which I know is very irritating. The consequences of a broken lens are bothersome as it contributes to causing arc eyes.
Do not be scared of all this because if you identify the root of the problem, you can save yourself from all the trouble.
We have the solution below to help you overcome your problems:
- Changing the Broken Shield
You do not have to buy a new helmet for your broken shield. Rather the obvious solution is to change your broken lens and luckily enough lens replacement for welding helmet is readily available. You have to purchase according to the brand you are using.
It is very easy to remove the glass set up from the helmet by simply unscrewing the frame that supports it. With a quick flick of your hand, the lens can be replaced.
If you think you cannot handle changing the glass frame, you can always find help any repair shop to take it to.
Problem 9: Welder’s Flash
After a good job done, you might wake up and unable to open your eye, which will obviously set you in a panic mode. It will indicate that you are suffering from flash burns. The feeling of hot sand in your eyes is the worst. No one definitely wants to be condemned to that terrible fate.
These circumstances usually happen if your auto-darkening welding helmet fails to protect you from the hot and bright light of the welding torch. To be more specific, when the sensors in the helmet don’t work, you will most probably suffer from this type of problem.
It is also common if you are working outdoors or in bright places. Even wearing a white shirt will cause arc flashed eyes. To prevent such a disaster ever to happen again, I have come with some solutions at hand.
The list of solutions is provided below to help you solve your problem:
- Avoid Outdoors during Daytime
It is not wise to do welding jobs outside in broad daylight as it increases the risk of having arc eyes, which is also known as welder’s flash. This is because using the helmet when the sun is out, causes a delay in response for some milliseconds. So good advice would be to work indoors or in dark places.
- Washing the Sensors
The sensors which detect these harmful lights lose their sensitivity if not cleaned for a long period of time. Also, the smokes that are being created through the welding might tamper with sensors that keep the helmet from working. So clean your helmet once in a while and save yourself a trip to the doctor.
- Remove Reflective Objects
On the other hand, it is possible to get flashed from the sides or underneath your helmet due to the reflective surfaces around you like white walls. So word of advice, avoid the causative factors.
- Replacing Your Helmet
If this happens to you, then it means you have to change your auto-darkening shield immediately as your auto-darkening helmet is meant to prevent such types of injuries. Since it has failed to do so, it means that it is not working anymore.
I tried to cover almost all issues faced by welders, and hopefully, these tips will be of great help. Now that you know the solution to most of the common problems hurry up and fix it!