Taking the time to perform maintenance on your machine now can save you downtime during the roofing season. We recommend you do the following things:
We often get questions and see repairs with problems that can be traced back to the generator, cord, or plug being used while on the roof. This article covers best practices and our suggestions for generators, cords, and plugs for roofing tools like the VARIMAT, SARNAMATIC, and TRIAC ST.
The size of generator you need depends on which tool, and how many, you are using. When using a generator, ensure that the maximum current capacity is never reached as the resulting voltage spikes can damage equipment. We recommend that a generator is not run above 85% of its rated power. If the generator begins to roar, it may have reached its maximum capacity.
The minimum generator capacity required when using only a VARIMAT is 6000W with at least 5000W of continuous output; for a BITUMAT minimum 8000W with at least 7000W of continuous output; for a SARNAMATIC minimum 8500W with at least 7500W of continuous output. If a 120V hand tool, such as the TRIAC ST, will be used simultaneously a continuous output of 10,000W or higher is recommended.
Never turn the generator on or off with the tool connected and switched on. Dirty or water-contaminated fuel, undersized generators, or poorly maintained extension cords can cause voltage spikes which may blow fuses or damage circuit boards in the equipment.
We often get questions from customers about the VARIMAT V2 and the BITUMAT B2. These machines seem similar on paper but are specialized to deal with specific roofing materials.
The VARIMAT V2 and BITUMAT B2 are both designed for flat roof work and are best suited for basic welding seams, not detail work. They perform exceptionally well on long, straight runs. They have similar drive speeds, dimensions, and looks and they both achieve their welds using hot air. Beyond this, the tools have little in common.
The largest difference between the VARIMAT V2 and BITUMAT B2 is the material they are designed to weld. The VARIMAT V2 is made exclusively for use on single ply thermoplastic materials whereas the BITUMAT B2 is made exclusively for use on modified bitumen. Although a popular request, one machine cannot weld both materials.
The welding seam width that each tool provides is optimized for the material as well. The VARIMAT V2 welds 40 mm seams while the BITUMAT B2 welds 75 or 100 mm seams, depending on the model.
The BITUMAT B2 carries an extra 5 kg (11 lbs) of weight and has a slower top welding speed of 6 m/min. (19.6 ft./min.). The BITUMAT B2 has a power output of 6700W while the VARIMAT V2’s output is 4600W. This added power output, along with the heavier machine, allows the BITUMAT B2 to handle the more difficult task of welding modified bitumen.
Other aspects of the tools like the nozzle design and pressure roller material are optimized for the material as well.
Have questions about these tools? Contact your Technical Sales Representative for more information.
Test welds are an important part of the roof installation process. Welds should be tested first thing in the morning and several times throughout the day to ensure that environmental changes are not compromising the strength of your welds.
How to Test
Testing a weld is simple.
Together the VARIMAT V2, UNIROOF E, and TRIAC DRIVE comprise Leister’s line of automatic welders for roofing materials such as TPO, PVC, and other thermoplastics. There are some key difference between these tools which make each suited to particular jobs on the roof.
The VARIMAT V2 is a large, fast machine; it is best suited to large, flat roofs and straight seams. It has closed-loop temperature control which compensates for changes in environmental conditions or small voltage fluctuations to ensure the output temperature remains constant. Parameters are set with Leister’s unique e-Drive and can be saved for easy recall between sessions.
The UNIROOF E is smaller and lighter than the VARIMAT V2 and welds at approximately half the speed. Its lighter weight, coupled with its strong motor, allow the UNIROOF E to tackle steeper slopes than the VARIMAT V2. Its smaller size makes it well suited to small roofs, detail work, or tight areas. Like the VARIMAT V2, the UNIROOF E has closed-loop temperature control.
The TRIAC DRIVE is a semi-automatic tool unlike the VARIMAT V2 and UNIROOF E which are fully automatic machines. It is composed of two separate pieces of equipment: a TRIAC hand tool and a DRIVE unit. The DRIVE unit propels the tool and includes a roller to compress the seam. The operator must apply constant downward pressure and guide the tool manually to ensure a straight seam that is bonded tightly. The TRIAC DRIVE is the slowest of these three machines but is faster than manually welding with only a TRIAC hand tool. The TRIAC Drive is excellent for tight spaces and situations where welds are on slope or even a vertical surface.
For more help choosing the correct tool for your job contact your Technical Sales Representative.
When the temperature begins to dip, welding roofing materials takes on special challenges. Here are our tips to ensuring a watertight weld in cold weather.
The real key to successful cold weather welding is being aware of the changes in the environment and adjusting your tools accordingly. Check your welds often to make sure tool adjustments are working.
Still have questions? Contact your technical sales representative to discuss.
Electrical certification is a must for any electrical tools bought, sold, or used in Canada. Tools must be tested by an accredited certification organization to determine that they meet the applicable safety standards and adhere to the Canadian Electrical Code. The Standards Council of Canada handles the accreditation of inspection bodies and together with provincial Safety Authorities oversees enforcement.
Receiving an error message while on the roof can be extremely frustrating. Below you’ll find the common error codes you may encounter and an explanation of what they mean.
Need more information? Give us a call at 1-888-438-6324 to speak with our repair technician.
The best way to minimize downtime to is to take proper care of your tools both on and off the roof. Keep reading for our top 5 tips for roofers to minimize downtime.