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Old 01-07-2020, 02:16 PM
LKeithR's Avatar
LKeithR LKeithR is offline
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Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: Langley, B.C.
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In theory that should be easy to weld with wire but--wire being what it is--I'm guessing that most of us who mig weld a fair bit have run into situations where you just can't get it to work right. As you surmise I suspect that the material in the bucket is seriously contaminated. We used to do a lot of "farm" repairs and you could definitely get contamination in the metal from whatever it was exposed to. Even after you had cleaned something up completely you could smell it cooking off when the heat got into the metal.

One thing that hasn't been mentioned is the possibility of bad gas. It's not common but it can happen, usually because the previous user drained the bottle right down and didn't leave a tiny bit of reserve in it. Once this happens you get air in the bottle and if it isn't properly purged before it's refilled the next user is gonna have problems. If you weld much you're occasionally going to get a bottle of gas that is "skunky" and if you don't figure it out it can drive you nuts.

The biggest sign is porosity in the welds. If there is enough contamination the porosity usually shows up as soon as you start with a new bottle but once in a while you'll find one with just enough contamination that the problem can be intermittent--those are the ones that can drive you crazy.

Easiest way to check for a bad bottle is to swap it out for a new one--easy to do if you've got a spare or your supplier is close but not so much if your miles away from another bottle...
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