welding aluminum

General boating discussion
clambo
Posts: 216
Joined: Sun Oct 12, 2008 5:23 pm
Location: South Eastern Mass

welding aluminum

#1

Post by clambo » Sat Jun 08, 2019 8:29 pm

Is there any chance when welding aluminum that the welding could fry electronics or the or the electrical components of the outboard motor? Don't know squat about welding, info is greatly appreciated :thumbsup:

kmorin
Donator 08, 09, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19
Posts: 1440
Joined: Mon Aug 18, 2008 1:37 am
Location: Kenai, Alaska

Re: welding aluminum

#2

Post by kmorin » Sun Jun 09, 2019 4:12 pm

clambo, "Any chance"???? is a kind of open ended question- yes I can state without reservation that there is
"some chance" of a welding circuit to "Fry Electronics or the Engine Electrical Components" !

I did some welding one time, years past, and the engine was alleged to run before I welded- then the owner claimed it "didn't after you welded on the boat"!! So I purchased a new "puck"/Brain/engine electronics module and the dealer/vendor said "it started right up!"

Frankly, I think the engine service and the owner weren't being entirely honest? But can't prove it so I'm out the several hundred dollars for the electronic module!~~! And worse, really don't have a clear picture of what might have happened so...... ??

So.... I guess is can happen, and there may be some experiences, similar to my ONE case, that had a problem? ON the other hand maybe not- too.

Not sure there's a hard and fast rule-of-thumb?
What does your outboard vendor say?
What does your local mechanic say?
What does the manufacturer's tech support hot line say?
What does the Local Welding Supply say?
And.... what does the local boat repair service say?

I'd error on the side of caution and see if you could unplug the engine's power/Battery and engine electrical plugs- inside the cowling. As to the hull's electronics- I'd encourage you to unplug/disconnect the battery from the entire electrical system, and the electronics from any bond to the hull.

Then, I usually put the welding 'work' or "ground" lead right next to the welding area, and combining all these precautions- you may want to risk welding on the hull with engines and electronics still mounted? I'd guess that AC TIG high frequency was the greatest risk to any electronics component?

cheers,
Kevin Morin
Kenai, AK
kmorin

Chaps
Donator '09
Posts: 2156
Joined: Sun Jan 13, 2008 12:19 am
Location: Seattle, WA

Re: welding aluminum

#3

Post by Chaps » Mon Jun 10, 2019 1:17 am

A member here, Goatram, does quite a bit of welding (mods and repairs) on fully equipped boats and likely has some thoughts on this. On the occasions I have had hot work done on mine I pull the CPU off the engine, disconnect all cables from the batteries and ensure all breakers are off on the panel. Probably overkill but never had issues.
1987 24' LaConner pilothouse workboat, 225 Suzuki
Image
please view and like: https://www.facebook.com/bottompainting/

clambo
Posts: 216
Joined: Sun Oct 12, 2008 5:23 pm
Location: South Eastern Mass

Re: welding aluminum

#4

Post by clambo » Mon Jun 10, 2019 11:40 am

hopefully Goatram will chime in. I need info!

User avatar
gandrfab
Posts: 435
Joined: Fri Mar 28, 2008 12:33 pm
Location: Edgewater Fl

Re: welding aluminum

#5

Post by gandrfab » Mon Jun 10, 2019 12:26 pm

Goatram, Goatram,.........G o a t ram

User avatar
goatram
Donator 08, 09, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19
Posts: 1959
Joined: Wed Apr 09, 2008 11:53 pm
Location: Stanwood WA

Re: welding aluminum

#6

Post by goatram » Tue Jun 11, 2019 12:00 am

I disconnect the Batteries Most Times. I remove the grounds. If you can put the ground clamp as close to the area to be welded you have less chance of frying the electronics. I have done that on my boat before and had no issues BUT I don't do that all of the time. I ensure that anyone elses boat in my yard that the extra couple of minutes of time is taken. It could get expensive quick. Battery Disconnects can be turned off and power is still on, on some items on by boat so that is why the grounds are pulled.
John Risser aka goatram
33' RBW with twin 250 Hondas (Aliens)
2015 Ford F350 Dually
Master of R&D aka Ripoff and Duplicate

Post Reply Previous topicNext topic