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- - By Molten Metal (**) Date 02-13-2007 22:58
Well guys.Gimmee the skinny on this.Is it relativly safe-to a point?Or should it be avoided? Is it common? I was working at a recycling yard today and as it was drizzling I kept on welding,(smaw),but then it started coming down so I stopped.Not because I wouldnt weld in the rain but because I really was'nt sure if it's safe.Common sense kinda tells me it's NOT,but,maybe you pipeliners and others who weld outside in inclament weather could let me know.Thanks in advance,Gary.
Parent - - By makeithot (***) Date 02-13-2007 23:09
Been welding in the rain for years ,but you do need to use an umbrella or tarp . try to keep your gloves dry or wear rubber gloves underneath your leathers to avoid shock.In some places they call those "beer clouds" in others it's just part of the job.
Parent - - By hogan (****) Date 02-13-2007 23:17
common for deck welding, though not code compliant
Parent - By makeithot (***) Date 02-14-2007 00:04
never ment to indicate that welding in the rain was to code. But was trying to avoid being shocked. Not everyjob allows you to go home when it starts to sprinkle out.
Parent - - By aevald (*****) Date 02-13-2007 23:50
Hello Gary, as with anything, there are definitely dangers involved. Yet, when you live in areas where rain is second nature to existing, you have to learn to deal with it or you can't get anything accomplished. Whenever possible do as some of the the posts have suggested, come up with some sort of shelter that will keep your area dry. Also, what I do a lot of the time is wear playtex rubber gloves under my regular welding gloves, I also typically wear raingear over my leathers, when it comes time to change the rod I will put the new rod under my arm and clamp onto it with the stinger. You may still end up getting zapped when welding in the wet, but generally this amounts to something similar to the shock from an electric fence. Keep in mind that most welding occurs with a fairly low voltage and higher amperages, this is the characteristic that will generally keep you from being seriously hurt when a shock occurs. Yes, you can still be hurt with an electrical shock of this type, having said that, I and many others have done extensive amounts of welding in the rain and we're still here to talk about it.
     When you are talking code work you will need to heed to other requirements, all of the codes speak to relative humidity levels and moisture in the presence of welding processes. If inspectors are doing their jobs properly they will put limitations on work that is being performed in high moisture environments. Just my $.02 Regards, aevald
Parent - - By Sourdough (****) Date 02-14-2007 01:26
ALRIGHT! Here's my 2 cents

IF - you are welding in the rain, wear dry gloves, and dry boots - thats IT!

IF- you don't like it when you put your electrode in its place and you gain intimate feelings for your machine in your scrotum - and don't like it - DONT weld in the rain.

IF- you are somewhat twisted, and fun loving?...Weld your glutes off in the rain, because a good shock is very good for a man's labido....

HOWEVER - I do not have the latest statistics on nad shocking and baby making. HMMMM??!        -Sourdough
Parent - By Molten Metal (**) Date 02-14-2007 02:09
LOL...Well.Thanks guys.I'll try to Not Zap my Nads.This is my first experience with a welding job thats ALL outside and there is no code-work involved.Or,time limit for that matter.Very good experience for me as they throw somthing new at me everyday.(I only work there about 2-3 hrs a day).I have my night job too.My stick welding has improved dramatically over the last 6 weeks.It just doesnt rain much here in the mojave desert where I live,but man,when it does,it does'nt mess around.
Parent - By CWI555 (*****) Date 02-14-2007 03:54
LOL I think I'll avoid the NAD shocking.
Parent - - By XPERTFAB (**) Date 02-14-2007 04:04
I am recalling your post about the mere nanaosecond of time it took to achieve the Superman pose.......  I think about this every time someone says "Can you weld this?" while it is raining.  Rain water does not do the actual hot weld too much good either.  However, the collection of little tiny holes you get when welding on wet material or better yet when water is streaming over your weld bead as you are welding really looks pretty!  It is a little fun to watch the steam rise up out of those little holes when you tie back in after exchanging for a new electrode.  
Parent - - By Sourdough (****) Date 02-14-2007 17:32
I really enjoy welding horizontals in torrential rain. The little rivelets tak a 4 inch detour right over your arc.

It IS pretty!!
Parent - - By jon20013 (*****) Date 02-14-2007 19:12
When I began my welding career, circa 1973, my first job was welding in the shipyards in Seattle... Anyone who knows Seattle knows it is renowned for its rain... I knew no different at the time, complained to my boss and shop steward but they paid no heed and just told me to try wearing some plastic bags under my gloves (no, they wouldn't give me dry gloves...).  Ahhh, if I had only known then what I know now... probably why my hair is so curly, lol!!! ;-)
Parent - - By Sourdough (****) Date 02-16-2007 02:08
I don't think I've ever been in Seattle when it wasn't raining!
Parent - - By clack6010 (*) Date 02-16-2007 04:28
most of the time as long as you have rubber gloves or waterproof gloves (tillman makes one they sell for about $5 , blue and yellow, they are good as long as your not burnin 5P overhead) welding in the rain is ok if you are welding with DC. the trick is to stay dry and becareful when your putting a new rod in.

there is some situations when its not a great idea though, myself and another guy were inside of a round frac tank we were building , there was a few inches of water in the bottom of it from rain the night before.
he had wet gloves and wet clothes. he ended up gettin shocked so bad in there he couldnt talk for a few minutes.

a few oldtimers i have worked with refuse to weld in the rain, i dont know how but they said although most its not bad , it is possible for the charge to travel through your body just right to kill a person.
anyone heard that? im talkin dc.
Parent - - By Sourdough (****) Date 02-17-2007 23:15
Any electricity can kill you if the circumstances are just right
Parent - - By litchko (*) Date 02-21-2007 02:27
All of my work is done outside(gravel banks)when it's wet out I wear a good pair of rubber boots ,have burned rod standing in water and most of the time I try to set up a tarp, sometime I get tickled a bit from wet gloves while changing rods(never thought about wearing latex gloves under my welding mittens).I also weld in the winter(gravel banks are shut down)this is when we do our major work,sometime the snow is worse than the rain.I have a kneeling pad I use to kneel on when I'm welding to keep my knees dry.
Parent - - By Shane Feder (****) Date 02-21-2007 11:08
Hello guys,
Sorry to be a "party pooper" but since when did welding in the rain become acceptable if it was non-coded work and not acceptable if it is coded. Does the weld know any difference?
If welding in the rain increases the likelihood of producing a sub standard weld does it matter what it was on.?
Is it acceptable to be producing welds that internally may be full of holes but externally looks OK just because it is not load bearing or pressure retaining?
What happens when a company that has made farm gates for years (and welded in the rain) suddenly wins a contract to build a bridge or some other load bearing structure?
Do you really think that the welders are going to change the way they have done things for years?
Treat every weld you do as if it is going to be tested and you will never go wrong,
Parent - By jon20013 (*****) Date 02-21-2007 12:51
Shane, welding in the rain has never been acceptable whether coded or non-coded.  Unfortunately, here in the states sometimes one's employers don't see things that way.  Yeah, it sucks and one could try explaining but the bottom line is if the employers refuse to address the situation one has two choices... do as they request, or walk.  Of course, now days there is a third option, call OSHA, but thats probably the same as walking.  Regardless, your point is well taken.
Parent - - By RonG (****) Date 02-21-2007 15:33 Edited 02-21-2007 16:49
Shane you old party pooper. I would venture that someone welding in the rain is not the least bit concerned with a code or they would not.

If the gate manufacture gets a contract to build a bridge he will have to beaware of specs before they can even offer a bid. They will also have to provide staff for Engineering and NDE.

There is a great deal of welding that goes on hundreds of feet under ground where it rains in all directions. If you are not producing or repairing a marketable product no code applys.
Parent - - By clack6010 (*) Date 02-22-2007 03:19
when its oilfield , you get the job done .  if you dont someone else will
Parent - - By Sourdough (****) Date 02-22-2007 03:43
Exactly, oilfield is a different world.

Oh, by the way, I implore you to xray one of my welds wether in the rain or blue sky. It WILL pass........period.

Parent - - By DaveBoyer (*****) Date 02-22-2007 04:06
I don't know what sort of gear it takes, but there are guys who weld under water, so there must be ways arround the moisture/electrocution problems.
Parent - By makeithot (***) Date 02-22-2007 18:01
Dave .
You make a good point . In Underwater wet welding though being shocked is controlled by first always welding with straight polarity DCEN this keeps the current (in theory) flowing away from the diver and focouses the arc to the parent material creating the envolope in which the puddle is contained. Second the ground lead is always placed in front of the diver so as not to include him in part of the circuit. Electrode current is also turned off when not welding or changing rods. If these simple precautions are follwed shocks are few. Porosity in the weld is generaly caused by hydrogen inclusions and is a result of too long of an arc lenght , this also results in a lack of penetration and hydrogen cracking as well. Standard dc equipment is used but the stinger is insulated and made-up of plastic or stainless components,Having said that I have on many occasions modified surface stingers to do the same thing they just don't last as long. Welding leads if possiple are of a continuse lenght and in good repair free of abrasions or cuts. If they are joined all connections must be insulated. To make a long story short I have had a lot more luck being sap free underwater then above. DCEP is used underwater, but only for dry habitat welding or for arc/water gauging. When useing DCEP all other safety percautions should be strictly adheared too, but in a nut shell it is like working with a loaded gun, fun to play with but deadly when pointed at yourself.
Parent - - By Sourdough (****) Date 02-22-2007 04:22
Shane Feder you must be a millionaire, (you know..... to take the time to make a code weld on junk iron that bears no weight or pressure, and all....). I think that you must be, because if I worried about the same thing you do when it comes to junk iron, that would mean that I really don't need to make ANY money at all in this oilfield, or have the reputation I do as a trouble shooter. Why would I if I didn't need the money??

BECAUSE...... if I operated the way you say to, I would be run off a rig so fast that the mud wouldn't even catch in my fenderwells.

I'm sure that Shane Feder must be able to make a code weld on a pop can, or somebody's kids radio flyer wagon, right?

Do you and I live in the same world?

Maybe we operate in completely different fields? I live in a field where it doesn't take 6 weeks to have 10 engineers lay out my job for me. I wake up at 3am and go put out fires on gas rigs untill 10am - when I have to go straight out to another job a 100 miles away and finish a completion, (all code welds by the way), so the blm stipulations don't catch up to the multi billion dollar corporations that pay me $95.00 an hour to do so.

Get off that pedestal and grab a handful of rods!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Parent - - By jon20013 (*****) Date 02-22-2007 10:37 Edited 02-22-2007 11:05
Sourdough old buddy, I've got the greatest respect for you and all the other rig welders in this forum and I know what you say is true... however, I respectfully disagree with any notion that welding in the rain is acceptable.  Shane is a very knowledgable guy and has been around a long time himself; I also have a great respect for his knowledge (and his ability as a welder as well as an inspector).  That said, there are the "real world" conditions of which you speak, and there are the "ideal world" to which the codes speak... you both live in the same world, but are just subjected to different circumstances.  Sorry, I guess I just didn't think Shane deserved the response you gave him. 

EDIT: I know I'll probably take some heat for referring to code work as the "ideal world" but in many circumstances I believe this is a true statement.  I also know that many of the electrodes used in oilfield work are not subject to the same moisture concerns as the low-hydrogen series but I still believe rain has an adverse affect on the metallurgical soundness of the weld... even if they end up passing RT.  I guess at the end of the day I'd have to conclude that if the oilfields had the same inspection oversight that many other jobs do the inspector would stop such practices or force compliance.  This could probably turn into a lengthy thread...
Parent - - By Sourdough (****) Date 02-24-2007 07:34
Hello John. First and foremost: We ar in a major war, and in a shortage of natural resources. I am one of the men, (of thousands), that is helping to bring more natural energy to the struggling economy. There are many people that will gladly oppose the exploitation of our natural resources nowadays....but I am not one of them. I go out there into the field and help bring the juice to the surface and pipeline it to civilization. It does not matter the time of day, I go no matter what! I help this nation survive, and I also love what I do!

If it rains, do we cease living? If it rains, do we cease throwing patriot missles at the enemy? If it rains, do we cease grilling up some medium rare t-bones?

If it rains, do we not throw up a canopy, and spark and arc, untill the day is done?

C'mon fellas, do you feel me?
Parent - By billvanderhoof (****) Date 02-25-2007 01:50
Actually, if you put up the canopy and dry everything off with the weed burner you aren't welding in the rain anymore.  You are welding inside a shelter which is in the rain.  I think that is an entirely reasonable approach to the problem.
Parent - - By Shane Feder (****) Date 02-22-2007 10:48
By your response you have shown how unprofessional you really are.
I have welded pipe for 17 years and been a CWI for 10 years. I have welded and inspected in the oil & gas industries all over the world.
When I was welding as soon as it started to rain the inspectors made us stop welding immediately. Now I am a CWI it is me that stops the welding as soon as it starts to rain.
This is not my choice, it is written in the specifications.
It takes no longer and is no more expensive to make a code weld than a crap weld so I don't know what point you were trying to make.
If you want to make personal attacks on someones integrity, head to the UK Welder forum. There are plenty of welders there with chips on their shoulders.
Oh, and by the way, why not post under your real name as I have.
Parent - - By RonG (****) Date 02-22-2007 12:28 Edited 02-22-2007 12:35
Gentlemen, lighten up. No need to beat each other up here. Read the original post. The man (assumption on my part) asking the question was working in "RECYCLE" yard. I don't know of any applicable code for that.

Please try to remember what the codes are intended for. I have read through all of them (I did not say I have read all of them) and I have never seen any thing that calls for flaming one another with it.

Truth be known, as I said before. If you are the owner of the property and do not intend to sell the work, Code be darned. That means any one you hire to do your welding is subject to your discretion wither a code weld is required or not. There fore if your employer requires you to weld in the rain and makes it safe to do so it not your place to decide any thing but the safety concerns which I thought was the main concern of the original post. If they ask or you feel they should be informed by all means speak up. But if they are really concerned about it let them hire there own consultant.

Oh yes on the safety issues. An AC welding machine is not safe in the rain (Duh!) Gas, Diesel or air driven SMAW machines can be. Albeit it may be difficult to do at times and if you have heart problems I would not recomend it.
Parent - By makeithot (***) Date 02-22-2007 18:12

Good point, someone needed to say it.You kids play nice now.
Parent - - By TimGary (****) Date 02-22-2007 12:34
Why hasn't anybody mentioned why it's not good to weld in the rain, like underbead cracking?
For those who don't know, underbead cracking is caused by hydrogen (moisture) being allowed to enter the weld arc during a low hydrogen welding process (SMAW -7018 etc.)
This causes cracking that is typically underneath the bead along the fusion zone with the base metal and lies parallel to the base metal surface.
This means that it is not detectable by visual inspection nor, in most cases, by RT.
About the only ways to detect it are by UT and, oh yeah, when the entire weldment falls apart and kills somebody. But by then the SOB that welded it up in the rain is long gone, so who cares?
If it's worth being welded at all, it's worth being done right.

Parent - - By Molten Metal (**) Date 02-22-2007 23:00
Hello all.Moten Metal here.I really didnt want this to turn into a drag em out type deal.I was just concerned with the "Is it safe" side of it. I am not a pipe-pro or a full time welder.I dont have much "fully outside" welding exp. and while all this code talk has been enlightening,I hope you all dont get personal.(And yes Ron G.,I am a man...So my wife lets me think,anyway).Now everyone take a deep breathYou num-skulls!!! Gary.
Parent - - By jon20013 (*****) Date 02-22-2007 23:39
Gary, ya said a mouthful "You num-skulls!!!"  It's not uncommon for the threads here to get sidetracked into technical matters when you only wanted a yea or nay... Admittedly, we got kind of out of hand.  From my personal point of view, I've been zapped quite a few good ones and while it wasn't comfortable, I'm still here!!!  Let the decision be yours, I doubt very much the shocks you WILL get will kill you, unless that is you have a fairly severe heart condition... sorry for all the segways!
Parent - - By Sourdough (****) Date 02-23-2007 19:54
I've been called worse.

Well, what can I say? I'm a git er done type of guy. If it's raining I break out my umbrella and weed burner. Maybe I should have clarified that. Sometimes Germans hold a grudge, if you know what I mean.

My point is this; If the elements pose a tangible threat to the integrity of your welds, you find a way around the problem. You don't shut down the whole damn operation on account of the weather! I'd be living in a homeless shelter if I did that. Can anyone relate to what I'm saying?
Parent - - By Sourdough (****) Date 02-23-2007 20:02 Edited 02-24-2007 22:36
By the way Shane, I got my first 6g pipe cert through aws when I was 16. One year before that was my first 4g cert. Prior to that I had been welding on my dad's drilling rig for a couple years. Someone else on this site informed me about all of their grandiose accomplishments while I was still in diapers. Don't mean squat to me! I know what God gave me in the way of talent. I don't know what he gave you, I really don't. Maybe you are a brilliant soul, maybe not.....If you want to see me and my work go to and search for Sourdough1.

I do not give my real name on the internet. It's my opinion that it opens you up to a whole lotta bad people wanting to exploit you in some bad way. I could be paranoid, but it's kept me from being victimized so far.
Parent - By clack6010 (*) Date 02-24-2007 03:08
get the job done
Parent - - By ssbn727 (*****) Date 02-24-2007 16:27
Hmmm. I wonder who that could've been???

Seriously though, one would think that there would be a much better example of showing one another a bit more respect to one another here in this forum because after all, we're only expressing our own opinions and there's certainly no need to offend each other over differences in opinions... I mean if one would take just a few more sentences to explain there situations or applications or conundrms with a bit more detail, I'm sure the level of communication between each of the parties would become more dignified... At least that has been my experience!!! There's really no need to prejudge or to insult one another when commenting on a post or to react prematurely when one expresses an opinion.

Common Courtesy SHOULD be the rule here from now on!!! I say this with the admission that I've been guilty in the past of not always measuring up to that rule at times, and yet I realize that it is in the best interest of this forum to act as professionals in order to showcase ourselves to the rest of the world as such!!!! I'm sure that others here will concurr so please respect one another because we have so much to offer one another here that's positive... We certainly do not need to be so negative or so abrasive here, especially on such a consistent basis. Brothers and Sisters alike!!! Let's show one another some mutual RESPECT!!!!

Parent - By Sourdough (****) Date 02-24-2007 22:41
Ah Jeez........I'm just me fellas! People either love me or hate me, I guess.

Fortunately the folks I work for love out pretty good if you think about it.
Parent - By joseph asturino (*) Date 02-25-2007 16:59
i hear they tack coat hanger racks together for K-mart in the rain also , but the monkey with the mig gun is wearing a rain coat.................

its getting ugly in here again,,,,,,,but i love it........

as far as welding in the "rain"......i don't think that anyone here is actually welding with rain drops splattering all over a molten weld puddle , rather than just trying to keep things as dry as possible........hay , in some situations why not,,,,,,,,,all the rest..........never......

P.S........keep up the good work Henry...........
Parent - - By joseph asturino (*) Date 02-25-2007 17:28
hay sourdough , don't worry , i still like you...........

anyway buddy,,,,,,,,i want to see some of what you do,,,,,,i went to "my space"    for "sourdough1.,,,,,,,,,but some 18 year old kid is there..........

where are ya...........???????
Parent - - By Sourdough (****) Date 02-25-2007 21:14
Man, do I need another name, or what? I swear, I'm there. Try Sourdough1 with the s in caps.
Parent - By litchko (*) Date 02-26-2007 01:22
I agree with sourdough,sometimes you gotta do what you gotta do to get the job done.I'm not talking about a heavy down poor that would be kinda dumb with out a tarp.What ever I weld reguardless of the weather my welds are always top quality.There are times when things break and need to be fixed what are you going to tell your boss "wait till the sun is shining".Dry it up, heat it up, burn it in get er done.
Parent - - By joseph asturino (*) Date 02-26-2007 01:36
sorry Sourdough , no go......i tried everything......its some kid name Brandon,,,,,he's 18...wants to be a firefighter,,,,,,dosen't weld,,,,,,,,but sure loves to party..........
Parent - - By Sourdough (****) Date 02-26-2007 05:01 Edited 02-28-2007 02:13, or look for 36 year old men within 5 miles of the zip code: 81601
Parent - By joseph asturino (*) Date 02-26-2007 08:47
i totally agree with you........

anyway , i wanted to see the bumper you made for your duramax..................
Parent - - By devo (***) Date 02-26-2007 16:38
This story was told to me by a former instructor.  Some years ago a fairly young and talented weldor was working on a coal tipple.  It wasn't raining, but they spray water all over the place to control dust.  He was welding overhead, most likely standing in damp ground or water with damp gloves.  As he finished his weld and flipped up his hood, the end of the electrode touched his nose, killing him instantly. 
Parent - - By Sourdough (****) Date 02-26-2007 19:21
I believe it.
Parent - - By Lawrence (*****) Date 02-26-2007 19:41

I thought about you and this thread today as I stood out in a bit of a snowstorm applying some 6010 to a broken snowplow.

Everything was going nicely.  Work clamp very close to the work, snow deflected nicely from the weld area, removed paint, all the good stuff in order while the students were watching.

When I'm finished and rolling up the leads, the plow operator is in such a big hurry that before I could stop him he cooled the weld down with a handful of snow so he could bolt it back up without burning his fingers!

Warrenty voided!

Parent - - By Blaster (***) Date 02-28-2007 00:26 Edited 02-28-2007 06:51
I would keep the joint dry.  I did an experiment with two pieces of 3/8" x 1" A36 backing bar.... both sections came off the same bar.  I heated up a good red spot on both at the same time and threw one in a water bucket and allowed the other to air cool.  Both then went into the press brake at the same time.  The air cooled bar bent past 90 degrees without even a crack, the water quenched bar snapped like a glass rod, with no visible deformation.  One half almost hit a man in the teeth when it shot out of the brake.  I still have those pieces as a reminder.

Rain drops obviously won't quench at the same rate as a bucket of water, but it reinforced to me that allowing the joint to get wet at all during welding operations is a bad idea.  Of course water running onto a joint would lead to a much greater quench rate than droplets.

If a job is bid to be done IAW the D1.1 or some other code, there is no reason a contractor should not be held the criteria in that code, even if in a location where it pours rain every day of the year.... the joint must be kept dry even if it cost the contractor extra time and expense to make this happen.  They must be expected to make their bids with the criteria in the code in mind.
Parent - - By jon20013 (*****) Date 02-28-2007 10:37 Edited 02-28-2007 10:39
Blaster, while I don't doubt what your telling us, I do doubt you were using A36.  I don't know how many welders I've had voice concerns over "quenching" low carbon mild steels.  To illustrate the forgiveness of A36 I've had dozens of my guys quench their A36 coupons before saw cutting and bend testing (guarenteeing them another shot at the test if it breaks) and haven't had a single one break when bend tested.  A36 simply doesn't quench harden; perhaps you had something of a little higher carbon content without realizing it?  I expect the metallurgists of the forum would agree?
Parent - - By Lawrence (*****) Date 02-28-2007 12:35 Edited 02-28-2007 12:38
I'm waiting to hear from the egg heads on this one.  I have used A36 for examples of quench hardening. And it sure feels harder to file after a quench! I have also attributed failed bend tests to foolish quenching practices... Maybe it was just a bad weld.

The Arc strike examples I use... A36 hot rolled, 11/2 inch X 10 X 3/8    Drag a stick electrode across the center and bend. Always opens up right at the arc marks.... I was assuming that the tears were happening because the arc strikes created small areas of untempered martinsite (Which is a mechinisim of quench hardening isn't it?)... if not that than what?   I would like to get this story straight and make sure I'm not giving out bad information.
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