You may have exceeded the welder’s duty cycle. When you exceed the duty cycle, the welder will overheat. In this case, the orange duty cycle light will come on. You must discontinue welding to allow the welder to cool down. If you leave the power switch turned on, and the welder has a cooling fan, it will take less time for the welder to cool down.


When the welder is ready to use, and the power switch is on, the orange duty cycle light will go out. Duty cycle is the portion of a 10-minute period during which actual welding can take place. For example, if the welder has a 10% duty cycle, you can weld for 1 minute, and welder must cool down for the remaining 9 minutes.


Duty cycle ratings correspond to a specific output current. Most are at the maximum output of the welder. If the welder is operated at output currents below the rated current, duty cycles increase.


The welder’s duty cycle can be found on the welder itself. Precise location of this information may vary with each model. Use of an extension cord may shorten your duty cycle. If you must use an extension cord, use a 10-gauge cord that is not more than 20 feet long. A fan blowing directly on the welder may help increase the duty cycle.


If duty cycle is not the issue, make sure:


  • You are using a 20-amp dedicated circuit.
  • The ground clamp connection is secure.
  • The electrode holder connection is secure.
  • You have enough electrode (rod) in the holder to continue the project.


Lastly, unplug the welder and check inside the welder casing for loose wires.