Don’t find yourself underwater

If you own a water table, protect your Powermax’s circuit board from water damage. Here's what you need to do.

By Hypertherm Technical Service
Posted on 01/08/2019 in SPARK the blog, Plasma cutting

By the time Hypertherm’s Technical Service Team gets the call, it’s too late. Your Powermax is no longer working. The diagnosis: a damaged circuit board and a corroded work lead from exposure to water. You, meantime, are left wondering, “How did water get into my Powermax?”

Unfortunately, this is an all too common scenario for plasma users who have water tables. They unknowingly place their ground clamp in the wrong spot: either underneath the water or attached to the table’s cutting slats. Table slats and the workpiece can conduct electricity, but when used with a water table, this set-up is risky, as over time water slowly seeps into the work lead and makes its way into the system. It may take months or years, likely until you are out of warranty, but eventually your circuit board will fail and as anyone who has ever had to replace one can tell you, it’s a very expensive fix.

Our advice to anyone using a Powermax with a water table is to connect the work lead directly to the outside frame of the cutting table. Use your table’s grounding stud and remove any rust and/or paint first to prep the stud for the strongest connection. This is a common practice with heavy industrial plasma systems, but a step that is sometimes overlooked with lighter industrial cutting systems like our Powermax brand.

Ground 2 Q4 2018.jpg

In addition to connecting your ground clamp to the outside of the table, we also suggest placing your Powermax power supply on-top of a work bench or cart, not on the floor. You need to place it higher than the ground clamp and the water table, and far enough away from the table so water does not splash or drip onto the work lead.

Hypertherm’s Technical Service Team is happy to help, if you still have questions. You can contact the team via email.

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