Number 3: Counting down the five most common Powermax fault codes, 0-21

By Ann Thompson, Hypertherm
Posted on 03/08/2019 in SPARK the blog, Plasma cutting

Designed for peak performance, the Powermax65Powermax85, Powermax105, and Powermax125 use arc voltage to monitor the gas flow through the torch lead. When the arc voltage drops, the inverter shuts down and turns the Powermax off. This is a 0-21 fault. The code will be clearly visible in the lower left-hand corner of the LCD screen found on the front of the power supply. This is the system’s way of protecting the spring-loaded electrode from heat damage. As you might expect, this code will need to be cleared before the system can start working again. When troubleshooting a 0-21, the simplest thing to consider first is the air supply line. Is it compressed, blocked, or damaged? Confirm the lead is not pinched, bent, or caught on something in your shop and check for leaks. Thicker, reinforced hoses like the Powermax torch leads will nearly never kink but storing them in loose coils will eliminate that risk. Next check your air compressor to determine if that’s contributing to the issue. If you find any gas supply restrictions, fix them, and restart the power supply to see if that clears the 0-21 fault code.

If the 0-21 remains, look at your consumables. Are you using FineCut or unshielded consumables? If yes, is your torch too close to the workpiece? The FineCut consumables already have a low arc voltage rate making them even more sensitive to a 0-21 fault. If the torch-to-work distance is too close, that will alter the arc voltage reading as well. Consumables can also sustain damage when they are cutting too close to the workpiece. If needed, replace damaged consumables and increase your torch-to-work distance. Best practice is to always use shielded consumables whenever you can.

If the 0-21 still hasn’t cleared after trying these things, contact Hypertherm’s North American Technical Service Team. If you’re in the United States or Canada, call (800) 643-9878, or email the team at

Check back next Friday as the countdown continues. We reveal the second most common fault code that operators ask us to explain, but while you are waiting check out Number 4 and Number 5.



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