The best way to minimize downtime to is to take proper care of your tools both on and off the roof. Here are our top 5 tips to keep your tools in good working order throughout the roofing season.
1. Careful how you lift
The most frequent issue we see in our repair shop is a broken lock pin and lifting the VARIMAT incorrectly is our top suspect! Don't pick the tool up by the Electron (the heat gun). Instead, use the frame and handle to lift the machine securely and avoid putting stress on the lock pin.
2. Cooler heads prevail
Cooling down your tools adequately before shutting them off is extremely important to avoid damaging the heating elements. Allow both automatic and hand tools to run with the heat turned down for 5-10 minutes (until the element is cool) to prevent thermal shock from damaging the element. With newer tools such as the VARIMAT V2 and UNIROOF AT, simply select the cool down mode and wait for the blower to turn off before disconnecting power.
3. Don't carry by the tail
Carry hand tools by the handle, not the cord. Even carrying a light tool by the cord can cause the interior connections to loosen and eventually break, necessitating a trip to the repair centre.
When correcting the tracking of a VARIMAT or other automatic welder be sure to use the handle, not the cord.
4. Keep it clean
Make sure nozzles on both automatic and manual tools are kept clean. A quick once-over with a wire brush while hot is sufficient. A blocked nozzle can impede air flow through the tool, potentially causing it to overheat. A clean nozzle results in a much better weld.
Additionally, make sure air intakes on blowers are cleaned regularly. Use a soft brush or compressed air to remove debris to ensure the air intake isn't restricted. If air flow is impeded, the heat gun can burn out necessitating replacing the element or more.
5. Make sure you have the power
The total required power of the tools plugged into your generator should be no more than 80% of the continuous rated power for your generator. If your generator is struggling to supply enough power, your tool won’t work as well and your weld quality will suffer. Be sure to account for any hand tools that will be used at the same time as your automatic welder when sizing your generator.
If you find your tool isn't working properly, be sure to check John's Tech Tips for a solution. STANMECH is an Authorized Leister repair centre. We offer a free, no obligation repair quotation by our Leister trained technologist. Find out more about our repair service.
Originally published: 09/22/2014