Adjusting your auto darkening welding helmet is among the most important tasks for you in order to ensure that you will stay protected at all times during welding. In addition to this, proper adjustments of your head gear is going to guaranteed that you work comfortably under any circumstances, keeping your productivity levels high and your workflow uninterrupted.
There are two main aspects you have to take into consideration when it comes to adjusting your helmet. There are the control settings, and the adjustments of the head gear itself that you need to take care of if you want to maximize the functionality of your welding helmet.
Both types of adjustment are extremely, and should be configured appropriately before you start using the helmet. Of course, both types refer to auto darkening welding helmets, since passive ones do not include any type of technology, except the fixed shade lens which can be easily replaced.
How to adjust an auto darkening welding helmet
Being able to make the necessary adjustments on your own, makes it a lot it easier and faster to learn how to use your welding helmet the right way. Understanding the control settings takes some time, because you have to test them and see what fits your style and method of welding, especially if you use more than one techniques with significant difference.
The best help when it comes to knowing the ins and outs of your helmet, is the user manual that comes with the unit when you purchase it. Although you will find out that all model function similarly, you might face minor differences between various welding helmets, even among the biggest names of the welding industry, such as Miller Electric, Jackson Safety, 3M, Lincoln Electric and more.
Adjustments of the control settings
Below, we are going to provide a general guide on how to adjust your auto darkening welding helmet properly, using the settings of the helmet.
Regarding auto darkening welding helmets, there is no ON/OFF button since they start working automatically. What this means, is that the ADF (Auto Darkening Filter) starts working instantly after it detects the source of light, which in this occasion is the arc light produced by the welding torch.
As far as going off is concerned, the majority of the auto darkening welding helmets turn off after some time since the source of light has stopped for safety reasons. For example, it takes about 15 or 20 minutes for some welding helmets to turn off after the arc is inactive.
The low battery indicator is there to inform the user about the remaining battery life of the welding helmet. Most of the times, the light of the indicator turn on around 2 or 3 days before the battery is dead, to inform the welder that he should replace it.
The reset button helps the user test the welding helmet, by checking if the lens works the way it should. The welder should never press the reset button when actively welding, because of the fact that resetting it means that the ADF is going to turn off, removing the protection.
Usually, when you press the reset button, the lens of the helmet is going to darken two times instead of one. After those two times, which indicate that the reset button has been pressed, the lens is going to return to the clear mode. Most of the time, if the lens does not follow the process described, it is a sign that it does not work properly and you should check it out.
Variable shade controls
The variable shade controls (or control) help you adjust the darkening shade of the lens in your preferred way, so that you can protect your eyes according to the welding technique you use. The level of the shade and the shade range depend on the amps and the intensity of the process.
In order to adjust the variable shade controls, you have to learn about which shades are the right ones for your specific welding process, and use them as a guide for using the controls. Usually a shade range of 9 to 13 is suitable for most welding processes, although there some that require a minimum of 10.
Lens delay controls
The delay controls have a specific usage, which is to determine the time it takes for the lens to go back to the clear functioning state, after the arc light is inactive. The most common range for most welding helmet models, starts from 0.10 secs to 1.0 sec which is the maximum delay available.
The delay controls of the lens tend to be extremely important when it comes to welding with high amperages. In such situations, the remaining molten puddle tends to be very bright for the human eyes even after the welding process has stopped, and higher delay protects the eyes more effectively.
Various welding processes require different responsiveness to light. This is why you need to set the sensitivity controls appropriately in order to help your auto darkening welding helmet darken when needed, according to the amps of the welding process.
The majority of the welding processes require a mid range sensitivity adjustment, which means that you will have to turn the sensitivity levels around 50% in order to start welding.
To start adjusting the sensitivity levels, firstly turn the welding helmet off by pressing the reset button. Then turn the sensitivity controls switch to the lowest level. Turn the helmet to the direction of the light source, and start turning the sensitivity control up until you surpass the point that the lens is at the clear state. If you detect slight flashes, make sure that you turn the sensitivity higher for better results.
Grind mode is very different from weld mode, and you should not use it to weld because the lens of your welding helmet is not going to darken (meaning you have no eye protection from the arc light). Usually, in order to turn the grind mode on, you have to turn the sensitivity switch to the right side of the sensitivity control.
To sum up, adjusting your auto darkening welding helmet the right way is fairly simple, easy and fast. All you need to do is read the user manual provided by the manufacturer, to make sure that you understand all the details regarding the functionality of your helmet.
Aside from that, following the steps of this article will help you adjust the control setting of any welding helmet in a more general way, making it functional for welding.