colin-young avatar image
colin-young asked

Welding on base vehicle

My install is in a box van type motor caravan and consists of;

12/3000 Multiplus

Cyrix split charging


Colour control

75/20 Solar controller

270w solar panel

Rolls AGM batteries

The cab of the base vehicle needs to have a weld repair made on a small section.

What if any actions need to be made to the installation before the welding takes place?

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1 Answer
Justin Cook avatar image
Justin Cook answered ·

@Colin Young, my general procedure for welding on vehicles (in small areas) has been to simply disconnect all system grounds prior to beginning. This ensures that (although the odds of this happening are slim) current from your welding unit does not inadvertently travel into your batteries via system chassis grounds.

If you were going to be doing a significant degree of welding on a frame or chassis, I would recommend complete removal of the batteries, but for a small repair I would just make sure to disconnect all battery NEGs (both from your start battery and your house bank), make your repair, and reconnect your system NEGs. Obviously as is the case with any welding, keeping your welder ground clamp as close as possible to the area to be repaired will make the repair easier as well as ensuring that no stray current goes elsewhere in the system, but disconnecting all your battery NEGs will ensure that any stray current which might occur has nowhere to go but into your weld.

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colin-young avatar image colin-young commented ·

Many thanks for the reply.
Presume the solar feed to the controller would be disconnected before the earths are removed and reattached after battery volts re established.

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Justin Cook avatar image Justin Cook ♦♦ colin-young commented ·

Ahhhh yes, either that or cover the panels so they're not generating power. As long as the panels aren't "live", you can leave them connected... I would hope you'd have a disconnect on the PV side with something like a Bussman 187-series breaker or a MidNite Solar MNEPV breaker, but that's a step that's often skipped because it's not strictly necessary.

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