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  • Need help getting my plasma cutter working

    I have never used a plasma cutter and I am doing an automotive project that needs very light cutting and welding. I bought a very cheap tig/mig/plasma cutter 3 in one and I have not been able to get the cutter to work. It is a CT312. I assembled the air regulator and hooked up compressed air to it. Hooked up the ground clamp to the piece I want to work on. When I press the button to start cutting, air should come out indicating that it is working. No air will come out and no arc is generated. One thing that confuses me is there is a small bolt on the back of the machine with a grounding symbol. In the directions it says "connect the case to earth whose section is no less than 2.5mm from the earth screw at the back of the machine to earth from a cable." Very confusing wording. I tried taking a car jumper cable and clamping it to the search screw and putting the other end on some steel in my garage door rails, nothing happens. Please help I have no idea what to do.

  • #2
    Garage door frame is probably not "earth"... Bolt with ground symbol Is probably Safety Ground (chassis) which should be same as bond to neutral bar in CB panel.... I would not be too concerned about it...

    I would try the TIG torch connection/switch to test to see if it does same thing as Plasma torch... Either should trigger "gas" solenoid.... Also might try shorting across the two terminals of control plug to see if it energises "gas" solenoid... If not, back to dealer...

    Dale


    Last edited by Dale M.; 07-09-2019, 09:12 AM.
    "Fear The Government That Wants To Take Your Guns" - Thomas Jefferson..

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    • #3
      Check your polarity. The work clamp should be positive.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by Freakyloose View Post
        I have never used a plasma cutter and I am doing an automotive project that needs very light cutting and welding. I bought a very cheap tig/mig/plasma cutter 3 in one and I have not been able to get the cutter to work. It is a CT312. I assembled the air regulator and hooked up compressed air to it. Hooked up the ground clamp to the piece I want to work on. When I press the button to start cutting, air should come out indicating that it is working. No air will come out and no arc is generated. One thing that confuses me is there is a small bolt on the back of the machine with a grounding symbol. In the directions it says "connect the case to earth whose section is no less than 2.5mm from the earth screw at the back of the machine to earth from a cable." Very confusing wording. I tried taking a car jumper cable and clamping it to the search screw and putting the other end on some steel in my garage door rails, nothing happens. Please help I have no idea what to do.
        Well, there is nothing confusing about your "Guarantee"! Here it is, straight from the manual, written in the best Chinglish,:

        Click image for larger version  Name:	Worst "Welder Guarantee" Ever ! .png Views:	0 Size:	27.0 KB ID:	705477
        Lots of blank space, including the name of the company that is offering the guauantee, and, any way to contact a service provider!

        Seriously, have you gone through what the 10 page" Manual" calls "Breakdown Checks"? If not, do that, and report the results, as well as the max. pressure and delivery rate of your air compressor.

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        • #5
          Ya the ground clamp is on positive. So if the earth wire isnt required to at least function, could I have possibly wired the plug backwards? (Came unwired) The light and fan turn on so i assumed it was correct but could it still be backwards? I wired the striped wire to ground, brown to hot, green to negative (well my brother did, and that's what he said) I dont really understand the troubleshooting part of the instructions, it sounds like I'm supposed to take the machine apart and start checking the insides, I'd rather just return it.
          my air regulator sits at right below the .4 mark. But like I said I cant get any air to flow from the tip of the cutter.

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          • #6
            Would it be fine to test the tig tool with an air compressor hooked up just to see if I can get it to flow, obviously I need argon to weld but I dont want to go rent a tank if the machine needs to be returned.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Freakyloose View Post
              Would it be fine to test the tig tool with an air compressor hooked up just to see if I can get it to flow, obviously I need argon to weld but I dont want to go rent a tank if the machine needs to be returned.
              Yes... You only want to see if or hear "gas" solenoid function at this point.... The two prong plug is the control to make machine go from idle mode to full function, clicking trigger on either gun (plasma/TIG) for short interval is not going to have any effect on rest of machine while you are just testing... You don't "need" air or argon gas to test to see/hear solenoid function (though air will be valid indicator solenoid valve is operational)... Also be sure function switch is not in "stick" mode...

              Dale
              Last edited by Dale M.; 07-09-2019, 10:39 PM.
              "Fear The Government That Wants To Take Your Guns" - Thomas Jefferson..

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              • #8
                Thanks for the reply. Yes, when I click the trigger nothing happens for the cutter. I will test the tig tomorrow, mostly I just need the tig to work. I think the only explanation could be that I didnt wire the 110v plug correctly, although the lights and fan do turn on. Does that seem plausible?

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                • #9





                  Click image for larger version  Name:	ct312.jpg Views:	1 Size:	135.8 KB ID:	705498

                  Got image on plug wiring instructions.... PDF file (crappy one I found) states unit is 220 volt ..That makes Brown L1 and Green L2 and Green with Yellow stripe Safety ground (chassis ground)....
                  Last edited by Dale M.; 07-10-2019, 10:43 AM.
                  "Fear The Government That Wants To Take Your Guns" - Thomas Jefferson..

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                  • #10
                    The ad when I bought it says it can do 110 or 220, but in the instructions it says 220....Click image for larger version

Name:	Screenshot_20190710-083224_Samsung Internet.jpg
Views:	108
Size:	40.0 KB
ID:	705497

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Freakyloose View Post
                      Thanks for the reply. Yes, when I click the trigger nothing happens for the cutter. I will test the tig tomorrow, mostly I just need the tig to work. I think the only explanation could be that I didnt wire the 110v plug correctly, although the lights and fan do turn on. Does that seem plausible?
                      Does nomenclature plate or lable on back of unit state 230 Volt AC input or 120 Volt AC input?

                      Dale
                      Last edited by Dale M.; 07-10-2019, 10:53 AM.
                      "Fear The Government That Wants To Take Your Guns" - Thomas Jefferson..

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                      • #12
                        Ok just tested the tig and it does make a noise when I click the trigger. The plasma made no noise at all. So do you guys think it's probably a faulty plasma torch?

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Freakyloose View Post
                          Ok just tested the tig and it does make a noise when I click the trigger. The plasma made no noise at all. So do you guys think it's probably a faulty plasma torch?
                          Probably ... One review on youtube stated switch seemed a bit funky and cheap... Got Volt/Ohm meter, would test cable and switch on plasma torch....

                          Dale
                          "Fear The Government That Wants To Take Your Guns" - Thomas Jefferson..

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                          • #14
                            Are the plasma torches pretty interchangeable? I've finished all the cuts for my project with a grinder but I'd still like to have it working. I found this torch for 35$, would it more than likely just plug in and work with my machine?
                            Honestly I can't even find the vendor I purchased the machine from months ago, that's what I get for going the cheapest possible route. I paid 150 for the whole setup so if I have to get a new torch oh well.
                            Attached Files

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                            • #15
                              Why not see of you can fix switch... Its actually only a momentary (open/close) push button style......

                              Dale
                              "Fear The Government That Wants To Take Your Guns" - Thomas Jefferson..

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