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Can You Weld an Exhaust with an Arc Welder?

Date: 14-06-2022

Can You Weld an Exhaust with An Arc Welder


Any mechanic will tell you that working with metal comes with a diverse set of challenges. The range of metals you work with can change on a daily basis, with certain factors like thickness, durability, and functionality dictating what can or cannot be done to manipulate the metal. 
Exhaust piping is a system of metal pipes that releases harmful gases away from a vehicle's engine, and its occupants. They are generally constructed with mild steel and are lightweight, inexpensive, and easily malleable. However, the drawback is that these systems are prone to rust and require frequent maintenance and repairs when damaged.
This begs the question: can you weld an exhaust with an arc welder? In short, yes. However, there are certain tips and techniques that we’ll share in this blog to ensure that you weld your exhaust safely and sturdily. 


Before You Start Welding Exhaust Pipes

To weld well, you’ll need the correct tools and accessories – as well as the proper method. When it comes to welding an exhaust pipe, we recommend using a MIG welder as they are exceptionally effective when working with thinner metals. 
We must also note that welding an exhaust pipe can be incredibly dangerous and uncomfortable if you attempt to do it while underneath the car. We highly recommend using a car hoist or removing the entire system to have a greater scope of the job at hand. We also recommend cleaning the exhaust system thoroughly with a wire brush. Any damaged metal should be removed and replaced with a section of new pipe or sheet metal strips, and perfectly aligned with the existing pipework.  
Now that you have access to your clean exhaust pipe, there are some things to consider when selecting a welder: 


1. Power Output for The Job

The first thing you should consider is the power output you want. This will depend mostly on how often you want to do this.
100 amps is acceptable for occasional welding. However, if you wish to weld more often, and decide to weld things other than an exhaust pipe, 140 amps would be a better choice.


2. Power Input

If you choose a 140 amp welder, an input of 240 volts will get the job done. Anything that uses 415 volts of electrical current will weld almost anything – but will affect your electricity bill. 


3. The Duty Cycle

Duty-cycle indicates how long the welding equipment can operate within a ten-minute time slot without overheating. Usually measured in percentages – 30% at 200 amps means that the welder can run non-stop for a total of three minutes and then rest for seven minutes. Lower output of the power allows welders to operate for a longer time without the required rest.


5. Wire Feed

We highly recommend a welder with a synergic program. If the speed of the wire feed is too slow, the wire will disappear upon touching the metal and leave a messy finish.
If it is too fast, you’ll end up with too much wire and spatter. A synergic program will correctly adjust to the power output and allow you to have a clean, leak-free finish.


6. Safety

We’ve saved the most important for last. Safety should be your number one consideration before, during and after welding. Some welding machines will feature a thermal overload shutdown that will cool down the wire until the trigger is used. Be sure to wear appropriate PPE gear, this includes thick heat resistant clothing, proper welding gloves and welding helmet. 


Get Welding!

Now that you’ve properly prepared, you’re ready to start welding your exhaust pipe!
If you are still unsure about the process, contact Alphaweld today! Our dedicated team is always ready to share our expertise and find the best solution for all of your welding needs. To speak with our team of trusted experts, visit us online or give us a call on (08) 9456 8000 – and we’d be more than happy to assist.