There are many ways to enjoy throwing away your money. Then there’s money you’re throwing away and getting nothing in return. One of
those no payback times could be your welding gases. Gases are one of the most expensive components in the welding process. You could be
blowing it into the wind and not receiving anything in return: except to return more empty cylinders. There are three good ways you can waste gas when MIG welding: a leaking gas hose, gas surges, and excess gas coverage.
LEAKING HOSES The leaking of the gas hose will be coming from the gas connection(s) and/or the puncture(s) in the hose. Soapy water will detect the leak. New fittings will stop the leak. And the labour to fix it will cost more than the fittings.
GAS SURGES Gas surge is an unnecessary waste of gas. The gas surge occurs every time you pull the trigger on your MIG welding gun. This puff of gas is more than what’s needed for welding. The surge is created by pressure in the gas hose. When the welding stops, the gas builds up a line pressure in the hose. How much of a gas surge you get is determined by length and diameter of gas hose. Multiplied by the number of times the trigger is clicked. Harris has a program that if you put in the parameters, it will do the calculation for you. (Harris Link) http://apps.harrisproductsgroup.com/gassurge/gas.aspx
You can eliminate this gas wastage with a surge protector (or fixed flow adaptor).
EXCESS COVERAGE Excess coverage is where more welding gas is used than necessary. Depending on your welding process, there is a required gas flow. But what happens, the welder sets too high of a flow. The extra gas becomes a waste. There is a tool you can use to prevent excess coverage: gas guard regulator. The regulator can be set to deliver the exact amount of flow for your welding process. If you want to guarantee the flow doesn’t get changed after you set it, you can remove the set screw.