Protecting your technicians is a big responsibility. You make sure they have the right welding uniform, work with top-of-the-line equipment, and adhere to your well-thought-out safety procedures. Protecting them from welding fumes, which can be a serious hazard, should be high on your list, too. Once you’ve chosen the right fume extractor to do the job, it’s important to maintain it properly. Here’s a summary of how to keep your Chief Fume Extractor in tip-top shape. (You can find the full users guide on our Product Manuals page.)
The Chief Fume Extractor is designed to be easy to use and maintain, but just like the other equipment in your shop, there are certain steps techs should take each time they use it and periodically. Before you get started, note:
- You’ll need to disconnect electrical power prior to servicing equipment.
- You should always wear appropriate protective clothing.
- Collected particulate may be hazardous. Consult the proper authorities for handling and disposal.
- Disposal of collected particulate must be according to federal, state and local regulations and all appropriate authorities.
Then, once a day:
Check the filter pressure gauge. If the differential pressure is consistently above 4 inches wc, or the airflow isn’t strong enough to adequately capture the welding fumes, it’s time to change your filter. Be sure to go with a ProTura nanofiber filter and follow the instructions and precautions in the users manual carefully.
Test that the extraction arm moves freely. Techs need to be able to adjust the arm easily, and it should stay in position after it’s moved. Each joint on the arm has a friction disk. Tighten or loosen the nylon lock nuts at the joints as needed. At the elbow joint, be sure to adjust both nuts the same amount.
Every three months:
Check the labels. Serial and warning labels should be legible and not damaged. Clean them as needed or replace them. These labels are important reminders both for techs who use the machine regularly and for trainees.
Inspect the spark arrestor. The spark arrestor sits directly below the base of the extraction arm and catches embers or large particulate that gets suctioned through the arm. That junk can accumulate, so it’s important to take a look and clean it off. To do that, unhook the latches at the base of the arm and pull out the spark assembly. Clean the surfaces, slide the assembly back in and then latch it up.
Clean interior. Check the inside of the fume extractor and arm, and clean off any buildup using a suitable vacuum or warm water and detergent.
Clean the filter cabinet. Take out the filter and clean the inside surfaces of the filter cabinet.
Examine the swivel base of the arm. Make sure it rotates smoothly and that the hardware mounting it is secure.
Keep this list handy or incorporate it with your other maintenance documentation. It’s smart to add it to your training plan, as well. When it comes to safety, you want everyone—both experienced techs and newbies—to have a full understanding of the equipment they use.