How to Repair Auto Darkening Welding Helmetsby Don Kress
Welding helmets that automatically darken are effective pieces of equipment for your body shop. They allow you to weld without having to constantly lift your helmet to check the progress of your weld. As with any good tool, however, there are times when you might have to repair your helmet. Thankfully, helmet manufacturers produce replacement parts that can easily replace the broken parts of your helmet.
Diagnose the problem. In some cases, a welding helmet might not work because of something simple. For example, auto-darkening helmets use a battery to store power, even if they utilize a solar panel. If the battery is damaged or cannot be recharged, replacing it will fix the helmet and no further checks are necessary.
Repair broken auto-darkening lenses by replacing them. Because auto-darkening helmets use a glass shield, you'll have to replace the entire glass assembly if it breaks because it was dropped. This can be done by unscrewing the frame that surrounds the glass, then unplugging the glass from its circuit board. Replace the glass with a unit purchased from the manufacturer of the helmet.
Repair the helmet's headband straps by replacing them with replacements purchased from the manufacturer of the auto-darkening helmet. Since no two helmet manufacturers use quite the same headband strap mounts, you'll have no choice but to purchase a replacement. These can typically be removed by unscrewing the mount from the outside of the helmet, which releases the strap on the inside. Some helmets, however, use snap-in headband straps.
- If the auto-darkening helmet still does not function correctly after changing the battery and lens, the problem is likely the circuitry of the helmet. In these cases, repairing the helmet is seldom worth the trouble. Contact the helmet manufacturer to see if a warranty still applies. If not, consider purchasing a new helmet.
Items you will need
- "How To Weld"; Todd Bridigum; 2008
- "Welder's Handbook, Revised: A Guide to Plasma Cutting, Oxyacetylene, ARC, MIG and TIG Welding"; Richard Finch; 2007
- "Welding Manual"; John Haynes; 1995
- Jupiterimages/liquidlibrary/Getty Images