If your hot-air tool isn’t reaching the proper temperature, or doesn’t get as hot as it once did. You may have a faulty heating element.
To check your heating element for defects, simply look at the front of it after it has heated up. If it’s working properly, the entire front-end should glow orange. In the image below, only half of the hot-air welding tool's heating element is illuminated, even though the machine is set at its maximum heat setting. This signals that the heating element is broken, and requires maintenance.
Safety Note: To avoid burns, don’t put any part of your body directly in front of the heat element while it is on and blowing air. Stand a minimum 10 feet back.
Fixing a Clogged Heat Element Nozzle
Damage of this type can be caused by a clogged nozzle, which limits the amount of air pushed through the element. When too little air escapes, pressure grows within the hot-air tool, causing the element to overheat and burn out.
To prevent this buildup, it’s important to clean off excess plastic from both the top and sides of the nozzle after every weld, using a stainless steel wire brush. See below for some tips:
- Use a motion away from your body when scraping the plastic.
- Make sure to clean the element while the nozzle is still hot. Once the plastic cools and hardens, the job becomes much more difficult.
- Protect your hands and eyes from heat and melted plastic by wearing protective gloves and glasses, and holding the tool in a clamp.
By routinely cleaning hot-air tool nozzles after every use, you can help to extend the life of the element. This will reduce unnecessary downtime, and save you money in ongoing maintenance and supply replenishment.
If you’re still having pour heat output after cleaning the nozzle, please contact IHS’ service center for assistance.