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When do welding helmet & respirator parts need replacing?

Posted by Gus Broomhall on 06 August 2019
Gus Broomhall
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Keeping your welding helmet & respirator well maintained has great health and financial benefits!  You'll find your helmet will always be comfortable, perform at it's best, and you're unlikely to experience downtime in having to repair or replace your helmet.  Proper maintenance is really just giving your welding helmet a good clean after use, storing it in a clean place, and replacing consumable components when they are due.  Generally, better quality helmets will have components that not only perform better, but last longer and are replaceable.  Below is a guide for how to know when a part needs replacing, and how long you can expect TECMEN welding helmets & Freflow respirator parts to last.

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Welding Helmet Parts

Depending on how frequently you use the helmet, the environment, and maintenance, some of these parts will need to be replaced regularly, and others you may never need to!  

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Lens

Keeping your lens in good condition means you'll maintain good vision as well as adequate protection of your eyes and face.  Although different brands and models of welding helmet will have slightly different configurations, in general, being at the front of the helmet, the lens cops a bit of a battering from sparks and flying debris, so it's no wonder it needs changing a bit more than some other parts.

Front cover lens

Your front cover lens sits in front of the auto darkening filter and stops weld spatter from getting in and damaging the auto darkening functionality. This is likely to need regular replacement depending your welding processes and dirt levels.

Inside cover lens

The inside cover lens protects the back of the auto-darkening filter from dust and other dirt. It should be replaced once it becomes uncleanable and discoloured. 

When to replace:

  • If there are any noticeable scratches or cracks.
  • Vision has become poor.
  • Battery is charged, but the lens is not auto-darkening.

TECMEN Replacement Guide

Part Average Replacement Time (Professional use)

Outside Cover Lens
TM1000
TM820

3-5 days

Inside Cover Lens
TM1000
TM820

1 month

Grind Lens (anti-fog)
TM1000

2-4 weeks

 

Sweatbands

Sweatbands are not only important for comfort, and preventing sweat from running into your eyes.  They also play an important part in making sure the headgear fits securely, so don't overlook these when it comes to maintenance!  

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When to replace:

  • Sweatband is visibly worn or damaged.
  • Sweatband is dirty and unhygienic.
  • Headgear is not fitting snugly anymore.
  • Starting to feel the  headgear through the sweatband.

TECMEN Replacement Guide

Part Average Replacement Time (Professional use)
SweatbandsTM1000
TM820
1 month

 

TM820-Face-Seal

Face Seal

The face seal is what prevents larger particles and bursts of gases and fumes from coming up under the helmet.  It's a major component in terms of allowing the positive pressure to work, and should be cleaned down at the end of each day along with the rest of the helmet for proper maintenance. 

When to replace:

  • It is getting dirty and unhygienic.
  • If there are any rips, tears or noticeable damage.
  • If any fumes are reaching into the helmet.

TECMEN Replacement Guide

Part Average Replacement Time (Professional use)
Face Seals
TM1000
TM820
3-4 months

 

Auto-Darkening Filter Batteries

The face seal is what prevents larger particles and bursts of gases and fumes from coming up under the helmet.  It's a major component in terms of allowing the positive pressure to work, and should be cleaned down at the end of each day along with the rest of the helmet for proper maintenance. 

CR2450-BatteriesWhen to replace:

  • The battery indicator indicates they need replacing.
  • Auto-darkening filter does not darken or flickers.
  • If any fumes are reaching into the helmet.

TECMEN Replacement Guide

Part Average Replacement Time (Professional use)
2 x CR2450 lithium batteries 1-2 years

 

Powered Air Respirator Parts

Working in a hot environment with dangerous fumes, a powered air respirator is probably your best friend.  They not only protect your lungs and allow you to breath comfortably, but you also get that dose of cool fresh air.  Like anything, if you want to keep the good times rolling, your respirator will need a bit of ongoing TLC with cleaning, storage and filter changes...

Filters

There are two filters required to keep your respirator performing safety - the P3 Particle Filter and the Pre-Filter.

P3 Particle Filter

Any good PAPR unit will have an alert to tell you when the particle filter needs changing, however it is good practice to keep a log and schedule of filter changes, as well as making sure the user of the respirator is aware of any signals the filter may need changing such as:

  • Battery operating time becomes shorter; and/or
  • You start to smell or sense breathing in any pollutants; and/or
  • Breathing becomes difficult and the respirator becomes uncomfortable to use; and/or
  • The filter has been damaged in any way (change immediately if damaged)
9 Helmet and respirator with Filter Parts Showing

Pre-filter

Your pre-filter will preserve the life of your P3 particle filter if changed regularly, which will then save on costs over time. You'll know when these could do with a change as you'll see the dirt absorbing through the filter rather than just sitting on the outside layer.

When to replace:

  • Filter change alert is triggered.
  • Battery operating time becomes shorter.
  • You start to smell or sense breathing in any pollutants.
  • Breathing becomes difficult.
  • The filter has been damaged in any way or becomes blocked.

Note: You must never try to wash, clean or reuse dirty filters.

TECMEN Replacement Guide

Part Average Replacement Time (Professional use)
Particle Filter (P3 Filter) 3-4 months
Pre-Filter 3-5 days

 

Batteries

A good PAPR unit will have batteries that can last a full day on 1 charge so that the welder is not interrupted while working on a project.  Of course there may be times where someone forgets to charge the battery, or turn the charger on, so it can be handy to have batteries that are fast charge (TECMEN fully charge in 1 hour) and/or have a spare battery up your sleeve. 

8 Battery

When to replace:

  • Battery is not staying charged for as long as it used to.
  • Battery is not charging.

TECMEN Replacement Guide

Part Average Replacement Time (Professional use)
2-3 years (500 charges)

 

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Topics: Safety, Respiratory and Welding Safety