Why does the electrode stick to the metal, only turn red, or will not strike an arc?

Check the ground clamp and electrode (rod) holder for correct assembly.

  • Check to see that the ground cable has enough insulation removed and copper wire exposed to provide a good connection to the ground clamp.
  • Check to see that the lead cable has enough insulation removed and wire exposed for good connection to the electrode (rod) holder.
  • Check to see if your ground clamp is attached to the actual surface metal, which should be free of paint and rust. You should position this clamp as close to the area that you are going to weld as possible.
  • Check your electric source. It is better not to use an extension cord. However, if you must use an extension cord, use a 10-gauge cord no more than 20 feet long.
  • Make sure that you are using the appropriate size and type of electrode (rod) for the metal you are welding. Refer to your owner’s manual for correct electrode (rod) style and size.
  • Make sure you are using a 20-amp dedicated circuit. Check to make sure that you are not leaving it in the molten pool. You must hold the electrode (rod) slightly above surface, approximately 1/16". And you must keep the electrode (rod) moving at a steady pace while welding.