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Old 12-15-2017, 02:22 PM   #1
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When Welding; Battery Disconnect Switch good enough?

I'm going to have some HD rollers welded on the very back of my 5th wheel lower frame. Question, is the Battery Disconnect switch good enough or does the negative leads have to come off the batteries directly.

TY!
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Old 12-15-2017, 02:32 PM   #2
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I might answer my own question here...

The Battery cuttoff switch is just the Positive (I believe), so then in fact, you should lift the ground off the battery bank(s).
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Old 12-18-2017, 05:43 PM   #3
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While the disconnect might be fine as the means of disconnect, I would pull the cables and also make sure that the shore power is disconnected. I might even consider pulling the reverse polarity fuses on the converter.
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Old 12-18-2017, 05:55 PM   #4
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My first question is why?

Unless you're willing to go to every single electronic device and disconnect the grounds from them (almost all ground to the chassis or grounded part of body) you really aren't accomplishing anything.

When welding any current flow is localized between the area being welded and the welder's ground clamp. Welding on the rear of the frame won't bother anything at all. I spent some time in the Paccar research facility and we welded all the time on the truck chassis under development and never disconnected batteries. (Paccar builds Kenworth and other large trucks, all of which today are loaded with computers and "electronics".

This "disconnect the battery" business is a holdover from the days when people though computers were magic boxes and were afraid of even touching them.

If it makes one feel better, run a jumper cable from frame to a ground like a cold water pipe (metal of course).
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Old 12-18-2017, 06:16 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TitanMike View Post
My first question is why?

Unless you're willing to go to every single electronic device and disconnect the grounds from them (almost all ground to the chassis or grounded part of body) you really aren't accomplishing anything.

When welding any current flow is localized between the area being welded and the welder's ground clamp. Welding on the rear of the frame won't bother anything at all. I spent some time in the Paccar research facility and we welded all the time on the truck chassis under development and never disconnected batteries. (Paccar builds Kenworth and other large trucks, all of which today are loaded with computers and "electronics".

This "disconnect the battery" business is a holdover from the days when people though computers were magic boxes and were afraid of even touching them.

If it makes one feel better, run a jumper cable from frame to a ground like a cold water pipe (metal of course).
Used to disconnect the positive wire off the alternators to keep from frying the built-in voltage regulators. I think it is still standard practice.
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Old 12-18-2017, 06:24 PM   #6
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I consider it insurance and it only takes a couple minutes to disconnect them. One loose welding ground lead and while it's not likely that anything will happen, there's a possibility that it could.

Ever seen what a battery will do when ~90 volts is applied across the plates? I have, and it ain't pretty.

Is the possibility remote, maybe, but for a few minutes work, it's a little insurance.
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Old 12-19-2017, 01:05 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TitanMike View Post
My first question is why?

Unless you're willing to go to every single electronic device and disconnect the grounds from them (almost all ground to the chassis or grounded part of body) you really aren't accomplishing anything.

When welding any current flow is localized between the area being welded and the welder's ground clamp. Welding on the rear of the frame won't bother anything at all. I spent some time in the Paccar research facility and we welded all the time on the truck chassis under development and never disconnected batteries. (Paccar builds Kenworth and other large trucks, all of which today are loaded with computers and "electronics".

This "disconnect the battery" business is a holdover from the days when people though computers were magic boxes and were afraid of even touching them.
This statement surprises me. I have been a diesel tech my whole career, have seen 1 instance of the current actually welding the bearings to the crankshaft, and 1 time it fried the ECM, which controls all engine functions. I have always disconnected the ground, and you put the ground as close to the part your welding as possible.
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Old 12-19-2017, 01:09 PM   #8
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I'm with TitanMike, clamp the ground to the frame where your welding and you won't have an issue, Done it hundreds of time with no problems
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Old 12-19-2017, 01:52 PM   #9
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Should not be an issue at all. Disconnect if you want. Definitely not an issue with MIG and with TIG it would only be the autostart that could possibly be a problem. As mentioned, all voltages and currents are local.
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Old 12-19-2017, 02:43 PM   #10
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I agree, I have degrees in Welding and Electronics, current takes the path of least resistance. If you clamp close to what your welding you won't have a problem. Done it hundreds of times but if you feel better and like resetting radios and clocks go for it.
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