Your Adflo PAPR unit is central to your continued health and safety as you weld and grind: not least by offering 50 times cleaner air than you would otherwise breathe unprotected. However, this award-winning level of protection does rely on you as an owner remaining diligent in how you use and effectively maintain your welding powered air respirator.
To that end, here are some habits to adopt and some to avoid as an Adflo user!
How can I look after my Adflo?
Regular replacement of consumables
Just as your car runs better when you regularly change the oil and filters, so too does your Adflo PAPR when you regularly change its consumable spare parts (particle filter, pre-filter, optional gas filter). Regularly replacing your filters can have several benefits from both a productivity and cost saving standpoint. For example, regular turnover (once/twice a week approx.) of the pre-filter will lighten the workload and in turn extend the life of your particle filter. Another benefit of welding with clean filters is that it prolongs your battery life as the motor does not have to work as hard – meaning you can weld for longer!
Monitoring the condition of your filters for any damage prior to the start of each shift is essential to make sure you get the most out of your powered air respirator. So, how do you know when to change your filters? If you notice any damage, particle breakthrough, or the filter becomes loaded (indicated by the particle loading indicator turning red), change your Adflo particle filter and pre-filter immediately to ensure you are receiving the desired level of protection.
Furthermore, if you notice a dip in your respirator’s performance (e.g. a conspicuous drop in battery operating time), your Adflo is most likely being overworked and needs fresh filters. Put simply: the more mindful you are as an Adflo owner, the better it will perform!
For professional welders who undergo a minimum of 4 hours usage a day, we have put together recommended change frequencies for each Adflo part (advising you to replace your particle filter at least once a month etc.) For a custom care and maintenance guide for your specific Speedglas powered air helmet download all the information here.
After using your Adflo system, it’s important to charge your battery. Not only will this mean you are ready to weld again tomorrow, it also helps prolong the life of the battery itself. When stored for long periods of time, make sure to charge the battery every 6 months to keep it ticking over. Always store your Adflo system in a cool, dry place – for example in your Adflo storage bag!
It’s no secret that welding environments are harsh. While the Adflo system is hard-wearing and built for tough conditions, regularly wiping it down with a moist tissue or cloth helps to reduce buildup of grit and particles.
Finally, it’s important to know the difference between general wear and tear and significant damage. Certain Adflo parts (spark arrestor, breathing tube) should be substituted at the first sign of a break or tear, as any leakage will compromise the unit’s safety as a whole. If you’re working in particularly hard-wearing environments, you should therefore consider investing in a heavy-duty rubber breathing tube or flame-resistant cover to increase your Adflo hose’s durability where it matters most.
And now… what NOT to do!!
The most common mistake made by Adflo owners is attempting to clean the filters, which can be dangerous and put your health (and your back pocket!) at risk. See the warning from the Adflo instruction manual below:
“The particle and gas filters cannot be cleaned. Do not attempt to remove contamination using for example compressed air as this will destroy the filters, the equipment will not give the expected protection and the warranty will be invalidated.”
Put simply, the Adflo filters are built specifically to capture welding fume and are not designed to deal with high pressure compressed air. Compressed air can create holes in the filter that, although not always visible to the naked eye, can compromise and level of protection. For example: holes in the filter may affect its structural integrity, meaning that particles can fit through and reach your airways.
Furthermore, holes in the filter also create an opportunity for larger particles to pass through into the Adflo motor. The motor, if infiltrated, could sustain damage that would not be covered under warranty and thus have to be replaced at considerable expense.
So in the grand scheme of things, it is vastly more cost effective to simply replace your filters rather than attempt to clean them!
For a detailed breakdown and instructions for your specific Speedglas welding helmet with Adflo PAPR, visit our Care & Maintenance Tool!