A welding helmet is a necessary piece of equipment for any welder. Welding helmets help protect the user from sparks or splatter when welding. It is a critical safety tool that you can find in every welder’s workshop. There are various types of welding helmets. However, many experienced welders will tell you that an auto-darkening welding helmet is the best.
An auto-darkening welding helmet features an auto-darkening filter that changes the shade of the helmet accordingly. The helmet automatically becomes dark when you start welding, then clear once you are done. Helmets are very important to welders, and it can be a problem if your auto-dimming welding helmet develops issues.
Anyone will get frustrated if their auto-darkening helmet doesn’t function properly. It can also be very dangerous to weld without a suitable helmet. In some cases, self-darkening helmets develop problems that affect the effectiveness of the helmet. Here are some of the common issues and how to solve them.
When welding, it is normal to experience one or two issues with your self-darkening helmet. However, that does not mean all self-darkening welding helmets have problems. In fact, you can fix most of the issues the helmets have easily if you know the right steps to take.
It is quite easy to troubleshoot an auto-darkening welding helmet. You can easily solve most of a self-darkening helmet’s problems self-darkening helmet’s problems by changing the faulty component. WhenWhen your helmet has issues, you can easily solve them by changing the batteries or getting a new shade or filter.
Hence, you don’t need to panic or get angry when your self-darkening helmet develops an issue. It is better to examine the helmet yourself first to see if you can solve the problem before giving up and replacing the helmet. If your solution doesn’t work, you must purchase another auto-tint welding helmet. Here are some tips for troubleshooting your welding helmet.
- To troubleshoot your welding helmet, the first thing to do is to check the battery compartment of the helmet. If the battery is weak or dead, you will need to replace it and get a new one so you can keep using the helmet. You should also check to ensure the helmet is properly turned on.
- If the helmet is off after your check, you should turn it on and check again to see if the problem persists. Turning the helmet on and off is a common solution for most auto-darkening helmets.
- If you still experience the same issue after turning it off and on, you should check the lens of the helmet to see if it is dirty or damaged. You don’t need to do anything if it’s clean. However, if the lens is dirty or damaged, you must get a replacement before you can keep using the helmet.
- If you don’t find a solution after these steps, the problem might be with the auto-dimming welding helmet’s sensors or main circuit board. If this happens, you should take the helmet to a professional to fix it or get a new welding helmet entirely.
Most individuals can use their welding helmets again after a bit of troubleshooting. If your helmet starts working again after troubleshooting, you should make sure to maintain the part or component that was faulty. This helps to prevent the same issue from happening again in the future. You can check the manufacturer’s instructions on how to take care of the auto-darkening welding helmet.
Problem One: Poor Visibility
Visibility is crucial in a welders workshop. A welder needs to be able to see what they are welding clearly. Hence, visibility is key when using an auto-darkening welding helmet. If your visibility is compromised when using your helmet, it can lead to you making mistakes in your welding.
In some situations, your auto-dimming welding helmet can lose visibility over time. When this occurs, you don’t need to panic. Various things can reduce the visibility of your welding helmets, such as low-sensitivity settings and a dirty lens. All these can lead to poor visibility when welding. The solution to this problem is to:
- Clean Your Helmet’s Lens
It is normal for the lenses of auto-darkening welding helmets to get dirty over time. When this happens, it can affect the user’s visibility and lead to errors. Hence, you have to clean the lens. To clean the lens, gently remove it from the helmet before wiping away any dirt or grime on the lens.
You can use a lens cleaning solution just to be safe. Also, ensure the cloth you use to wipe the lens is clean. After cleaning the lens, you can return it to the helmet and see if your vision improves.
- Adjust Sensitivity
Every self-dimming welding helmet features its own sensitivity settings. The sensitivity of the helmet is very important, as it affects the auto-darkening feature of the helmet. If the sensitivity of the helmet is set too high, it can greatly affect your work and reduce visibility.
The helmet may darken when it is not supposed to if the sensitivity is too high. Usually, the helmet is only meant to be dim when welding without blocking visibility. You can easily reduce the sensitivity of the helmet if you see that it gets dark prematurely. Stop reducing the sensitivity when you notice that the helmet only dims when you start welding.
Problem Two: Over visibility
Even though over-visibility seems like a good thing, more visibility or light is needed for welders. Welders are exposed to intense light when welding, requiring protection from the intensive rays. If the light that penetrates the auto-darkening welding helmet is much, the welder will find it difficult to see properly.
It is very easy to make errors when you can’t see properly—looking directly into the light produced when welding can damage the eyes. The whole point of a self-dimming welding helmet is to reduce the effect of light when welding. There are two ways to solve the problem of over-visibility.
- Reduce Sensitivity
The sensitivity knob of an auto-darkening welding helmet adjusts the dimming rate of the helmet. If too much light gets into the helmet, reduce the sensitivity of the helmet so that the helmet dims slowly. This way, you won’t get suddenly blinded by the bright light.
- Welding Hood
An auto-darkening welding hood is also a great solution to this problem. If you have over-visibility issues, you can easily solve them by wearing a welding hood over your helmet. The hood helps block out the light that reaches the helmet and improves visibility.
Problem Three: Unfocused Vision
It is common for welding helmets to become hazy after a while. If your vision needs to be clearer and more focused when welding, there is likely an issue with your welding helmet. There can be various reasons for this. The problem can be from the lens of the auto-dimming helmet or the batteries.
It is quite easy to solve this problem. First, you need to clean the lens properly with a clean and soft cloth to ensure no dirt on it. You should also check the batteries to see if they are functioning properly. Older auto-darkening welding helmets tend to cause reduced visibility when the battery runs out.
Problem Four: Slow Adjustment Time
Auto-darkening welding helmets dim automatically when you start welding, and become clear again when you’re done. However, there is a short adjustment period before the helmet darkens or clears up. Here’s what you can do when your auto-dimming welding helmet is slow to dim or clear up.
- Clean The Light Sensor
The lens of an auto-darkening helmet features a light sensor that tells the helmet when to darken. If the lens or sensor is dirty, it might affect the adjustment time of the self-darkening welding helmet. Cleaning the lens and light sensor regularly will help solve this problem.
- Increase Sensitivity
Another way you can get rid of slow adjustment time is by adjusting the sensitivity settings of the helmet. If the sensitivity of the helmet is set too low, it will take longer than necessary for the helmet to adjust. Increasing the sensitivity of the self-dimming helmet can easily solve this.
- Reduce Temperature
An auto-darkening welding shield is meant to operate at temperatures above five degrees Celsius. Operating the helmet at a low temperature can lead to a slow response from the helmet. It is important to follow the instructions in the helmet’s manual properly.
Problem Five: Weld Is Too Bright
It can annoy any welder when the weld is too bright. Your accuracy and effectiveness will be lowered if the weld is too bright. Usually, this problem occurs when the filter needs to be correctly lined with the helmet’s lens. Since the filter is out of place, the helmet won’t get as dark as it should.
An easy way to solve this problem is to pay attention to the filter’s position before using the helmet. If the filter aligns perfectly with the helmet’s lens, you will not have any difficulty using the helmet. If the problem persists, you need to get darker shade lenses for your helmet.
Some welding helmets come with a shade lever to adjust the shade of the lens. If the weld still seems bright after aligning the filter properly, try reducing the shade level of the lens so it becomes darker. This helps to reduce the brightness and protect your eyes from the light.
Problem Six: Performance Issues
Helmets are very important for welders. They protect the user’s head and face from sparks and splatter that can cause damage. Hence, a helmet is one of the most vital tools for any welder. That is why your helmet must be reliable at all times. An unreliable helmet can easily compromise your safety and work.
If you experience various issues that make you doubt the reliability of your welding helmet, it is better to take some steps to solve them and avoid further issues. To fix general problems that your welding helmet might have, you can first check the battery compartment of the helmet to see if they are okay.
Old batteries can sometimes give you minor problems when working with your helmet. Hence, remember to change them when they run down. You can also clean the helmet’s lens when you have visibility issues. Some people’s helmet is not a good fit on their head. This is also a problem many often encounter.
If your helmet isn’t properly fitted, it can disturb your work. You can adjust the fitting of most auto-darkening welding helmets. If you’ve done all this and are still experiencing issues with your helmet, you should reset the helmet. You only need to take out the helmet’s battery for a few minutes to restart it.
Problem Seven: Loose Parts
It is a regular occurrence for some internal components of an auto-darkening welding helmet to get loose over time. Once you keep using a helmet for an extended period, the internal parts can get loose, which can cause the helmet to stop functioning properly. It is quite easy to fix this problem. You only need to tighten the loose parts.
To tighten the internal parts that have loosened up, you need to open up the helmet before tightening each component accordingly. This process is relatively simple, and you can do it yourself. However, it is advisable to consult the manufacturer’s manual before proceeding.
Problem Eight: You Can’t See The Weld Clearly
Sometimes when welding with a self-dimming welding helmet, you might not see the weld. The most probable cause is the helmet being on low-sensitivity settings. If it is a sensitivity issue, it is rather easy to fix. All you need to do is to increase the sensitivity of the helmet.
You need to turn the helmet off and adjust the knob on the side of the helmet to adjust the sensitivity. If the problem persists after that, it is very likely that your helmet is too old and needs replacement. However, another solution that might work out for you is getting wider lenses.
Auto-darkening welding helmets come in various lens sizes. In a situation where you can’t see the weld clearly and the problem doesn’t seem to be the sensitivity, you can choose to go for wider lenses to have a better view. A wider lens also helps to reduce eye strain or fatigue.
Problem Nine: Eye Strain
Welding is a job that is quite tasking on the eye. Welders must concentrate on their weld and expose their eyes to light. Eye strain is one of the most common problems from long welding. If your auto-dimming helmet has a problem, it is very easy for you to develop eye strain.
If your welding helmet gives you eye strain after welding, there is an easy solution. You need to check to see if the batteries are dead or not. When an auto-darkening welding helmet’s batteries run out, its performance reduces. This can lead to a loss of function and strain on the user’s eyes.
Problem Ten: Flickering
It is a major issue if your welding helmet keeps flickering between light or dark filters. It means there is a problem with the auto-darkening filter of the helmet. Every self-dimming welding helmet has an auto-darkening filter that controls the shade of the lens. If the filter has a problem, your helmet might flicker.
The solution to this problem is to replace the batteries of the welding helmet. Most auto-darkening helmets have accessible battery compartments. If you can’t access the batteries of your helmet, then you might need to purchase a new helmet. However, if you can access the batteries, changing them will solve this problem.
Another thing that can lead to flickers is a dirty sensor. If the light sensor of the helmet is dirty, it might not be able to perform its work accurately. This can lead to flickers when you are welding. To solve this, you must clean the sensor with a soft and clean cloth. You should be good after that.
Frequently Asked Questions
Do welding helmets need batteries?
Regular welding helmets do not necessarily need batteries to be effective. Most traditional welding helmets have shades and a protective cover. However, auto-darkening welding helmets require batteries to work. This is because an auto-darkening helmet must automatically dim when welding and clear up afterward.
How to change the battery in a welding helmet
It is quite easy to change the battery of an auto-darkening welding helmet. Most auto-darkening helmets come with a battery compartment that houses the batteries. However, some older models require you to return to the manufacturer to replace your batteries.
To change the battery of your welding helmet, you need to open the battery compartment and remove and replace the dead battery. It is as simple as that unless you’re using an older model, which will require a visit to the manufacturer.
How do I know if my self-dimming welding helmet is working?
Do you want to confirm whether your self-darkening welding helmet works correctly? All you have to do is to weld something and see if everything is fine. If the welding goes without a hitch, you are good to go. Normally, the helmet should darken when you are welding and return to a clear state when you stop. If the helmet stays dim for a long, it might have a fault.
Why can’t I see out of my welding helmet?
If you can’t see your welding helmet clearly, you probably have a problem with the lens of your helmet. The lens of your helmet plays a huge role in visibility, and if it gets dirty or scratched, it can affect your visibility. To solve this issue, you need to clean the lens properly with a lens cleaner.
It could also be that the filter of your helmet is damaged. If the helmet’s filter is damaged, the solution is to get a new one. You only need to get a new filter, not the whole helmet. Users can easily reattach the new filter after taking out the old one. Click here to learn more about auto-darkening welding helmets.
How to test your auto-darkening welding hood
To test your auto-darkening welding helmet, you need to use it for what it is made for. Have a small welding session to see if everything goes well with the helmet. If there are no issues, that means your helmet is working fine. However, you can run further checks to decipher the problem if you notice any issues.
The first thing to check is the battery of the helmet. If the battery is dead, it will need to be replaced. You can also check the lens and sensitivity settings of the helmet to make sure visibility is perfect. If the helmet feels loose, check the strap to adjust the fitting.
How long do auto-darkening helmets last?
Auto-darkening welding helmets are known to have a long lifespan. If you maintain your self-dimming helmet properly, it can last for up to a decade. Most parts of the helmets can be replaced separately. Hence, auto-darkening welding helmets tend to have a long lifespan. Most of them last between eight to ten years.
A self-dimming welding helmet is a very crucial piece of equipment for any welder. Not only does it protect the user from sparks and splatter, but it also protects the eyes from strain. It is normal for your auto-darkening welding helmet to develop problems sometimes. Most times, the problem can be fixed easily.
Usually, if your welding helmet has performance issues, you can take some basic steps to solve the problem of the helmet. You can replace the battery to see if it solves the problem. You should clean the helmet’s lens if it is a visibility issue. However, you might need a new helmet if the problem persists.