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How to Make a Water Cooler for TIG Welder?

Water cooling is often underappreciated in TIG welding. Every type of welding needs some sort of cooling system to cool down the torch.

A cooling system ensures that the torch and electrode do not melt under very high temperatures. The torch itself is not generating the most heat, but rather the power cables that are connected to the torch body heat up the most.

Getting a water coolant system for your TIG welder from the market can be costly. TIG welding is already an expensive process and I understand if you would want to save money by not getting the coolant system.

But what if I told you that you can build your own coolant system that will guarantee optimal performance and also save you a lot of money?

In this post, I will be discussing the detailed step-by-step process of creating a custom water cooler for a TIG welder.

Just follow our step-by-step guide below and you will be able to build your own cooling system in no time.

Related: How to Use a TIG Welder? Ultimate Guide and Expert Tips


How to Make a Water Cooler for TIG Welder?

If you are looking for a quick answer, then here’s what you need to know:

To make a water cooler, you will need a suitable container, a submersible pump, a radiator, coolant, hoses, and connections. Simply connect the components to create a closed-looped cooling system.

Yup, that’s about it. There are no complex steps involved. You simply have to make a closed-loop system that will allow the coolant to flow through.

The system will carry cold water to the torch for efficient heat dissipation and then take the hot water back to the reservoir where it will be cooled down.

Let’s dive into the step-by-step guide that will help you build this system easily.

Step 1: Gathering the Materials – The Building Blocks of Your Water Cooler

You will need to purchase some basic components to build the custom water cooler for your TIG welder.

Here’s what you will need.

1. Container or Reservoir

You will need a sturdy, durable, and non-metallic container preferably with a lid. This container will serve as the reservoir for your coolant and house your submersible pump. You can also use a cooler basin.

2. Submersible Pump

The submersible pump will be responsible for running water through the torch. You don’t need a powerful pump but ensure that the one you get is high quality and can withstand continuous usage.

3. Radiator

Choosing a fan-assisted radiator is the best choice. It will be responsible for dissipating heat from the coolant. Hence, you must choose a radiator with sufficient cooling capacity.

4. Coolant

Since we are building a water cooler, distilled water is a common choice. However, you can also choose specialized water-based coolants for better performance and cooling.

5. Hoses

You will need to purchase hoses that can withstand high pressure and temperature and are compatible with your TIG welding setup.

6. Hose Clamps and Connectors

Clamps are responsible for securing hoses to your pump, radiator, and TIG torch connections. You should purchase the ones that are compatible with your TIG torch.

Step 2: Assembling the Water Cooler

Once you have gathered all the equipment, you can begin the assembly of your customer’s water cooler.

1. Place the Container in the Appropriate Location

First of all, you need to decide on the perfect location for your cooler basin. You can’t have too long hose pipes attached to the TIG torch, and hence the cooler must be placed closer to the TIG welding system.

2. Install the Pump

Next, you have to install the pump inside the container. Make sure that the pump is placed at the base of the container where it will be fully submerged in the coolant when filled.

3. Connect the Hoses

Now, attach a hose from the pump outlet to the radiator input and secure it with a clamp.

Next, attach one from the radiator output to the TIG torch water inlet and secure it with a clamp. If you don’t know about the TIG torch inlet, then just remove the outer jacket of the torch and you will see that there are two copper fittings located at the base of the torch handle.

These fittings conduct the water in and out of the torch handle.

Similarly, connect the final hose from the TIG torch water outlet back to the container and secure it. Once the tubing has been secured, you must run it down the length of the cord and remove any excess tubing.

Once you have secured all the connections, reattach the cover of the torch cord and ensure that it fits properly.

4. Fill the Container

Now fill the container with the coolant and ensure that the pump is fully submerged in the coolant. You must not leave even a portion of the pump unsubmerged. If you were using a basin, then cover the top with a piece of plywood.

Step 3: Powering and Testing the Custom-Built Water Cooler

Now that you have assembled the water cooler, it is time to fire it up.

1. Power the Pump and Radiator Fan

Connect the pump and radiator to the proper electrical connections. You must follow the safety guidelines since both of these pieces of equipment are dealing with water and can cause electrocution or short circuit.

2. Observe the Coolant Flow

Once the system is powered, observe the coolant flow. See if the coolant is smoothly and consistently flowing through all the hoses and back. This will help you confirm that your custom water cooler is functioning properly.

3. Check for Leaks

Inspect all the connections once the coolant starts flowing. You must ensure that there are no leaks and that all the seals are secure. If there are any, power down the system and deal with the issue immediately.

4. Test TIG Welder

Now, it is time to test the TIG welder. Run a test to see if the cooling system is working effectively and dissipating the heat from the TIG welder.

Related: What Gas Does TIG Welder Use? A Guide

Tips and Precautions

Here are some guidelines you should keep in mind while building your own custom water cooling system for TIG welders.

1. Choose High-Quality Components

Invest in reliable, durable, and high-quality parts for better performance and longevity. Yes, it will increase the budget a bit but will be a cost-effective solution in the long term.

2. Keep it Simple

Stick to the basic and easy design that gets the job done. Don’t go for fancy-looking projects which will only make your work more difficult. The simple design will be more efficient and you will be able to make it in no time.

3. Never Compromise Safety

You must always wear safety apparel while working with a TIG welder. There is a risk of electrocution or damage from the excessive heat of TIG welding. So, never compromise your safety and invest in high-quality safety gear.

Why Does TIG Welder Need a Water Cooler?

When the TIG welder is used continually, the Torch handle can become very hot, especially in the area where the cord is connected to the torch.

You will need a constant supply of water to keep the torch handle temperature moderate which can be easily handled by a person.

Don’t worry! You are not cooling down the electrode or arc generation at all. The water cooling system will only cool down the base of the handle and the TIG torch where the electric cord is connected.

It will allow you to hold the torch comfortably and move it around without feeling any fatigue or excessive heat from the tool. If a water coolant system is not used, the power leads might start melting or being damaged near the base of the TIG torch.

The reason is excessive heat generation in a small area continuously, which the power leads are not able to handle.

The water cooler, when attached to the TIG torch, will pass the coolant from the pipes that are beside the power leads inside and outside of the TIG torch. It will allow for efficient heat dissipation and keep the leads cool.

Related: What Can You Weld With A TIG Welder? Ultimate Guide

Frequently Asked Questions

Do I need a water cooler for my TIG welder?

Well, getting one would be good but it really depends on your usage. If you continuously weld on high amperage, then a water cooler is highly recommended to prevent overheating and increase the lifespan of the torch.

Can you use a water-cooled TIG torch without a water cooler?

No, because it will lead to overheating and potentially damage the torch or the power leads that are attached to the torch. The damage can lead to safety hazards and potential risks for harm.

What coolant is used in TIG welding?

There are multiple coolants you can use. You can use cold distilled water, deionized water, or a commercial coolant that is specifically designed for TIG welding. The specialized coolants offer the best performance and protection.

What is the correct temperature of TIG welding?

The temperature will depend on the material being welded and the quality of the weld. Ideally, it ranges from 3,300°C to 20,000°C in the arc zone. However, the exact temperature can only be determined based on the specifics.

Is it OK to cool welds with water?

No, you should not do so. Rapidly cooling welds with water can lead to thermal shock which can cause distortion, stress, and cracking of the weld joint. Hence, it is recommended that you don’t use water and allow the weld to cool naturally.

Wrapping Up!

To sum it all up, a TIG welder requires cooling if you are going to use it at high amperages continuously for extended periods of time.

If you cannot afford a market coolant, you can build a water cooler for a TIG welder at home.

You will need some basic equipment, but building a customized water cooler is very effective and also cost-efficient.

The above guide helps you build the desired coolant system without breaking the bank.

Got something on your mind? Drop it in the comments section below. Happy Welding!

Sheila James

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