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Why Is My Plasma Cutter Not Working?- Here are the Reasons & Solutions

Why is my plasma cutter not working?”- It’s a common question of most DIYers and even some professionals.

I’ve recently received a mail from a fabricator where the sender stated that “I’ve got a plasma cutter. It’s a beautiful machine, and I’m very proud of it. However, for the past few days, I’ve noticed that it isn’t working properly. It cuts poorly and doesn’t seem to be heating up at all. What could be wrong?”

In reply to his mail, I’ve created this post. I hope you’ll also be benefitted from my post.
Plasma cutter is a wonderful machine for cutting through steel and other heavy materials. It is a lifesaver when it comes to cutting metals.

But it can be frustrating if your unit stops working.

Plasma cutter must be handled and operated carefully to avoid overheating, burning parts of your workpiece, and other accidents.

You’ve landed this page, so I assume you’re also having trouble with your plasma cutter.


No worry!

Here are the possible reasons why plasma cutter is not working and what you should do to troubleshoot it.

Why Is My Plasma Cutter Not Working?- The Possible Reasons

If your unit is not working, several things may cause the problem. Your plasma cutter may stop working due to:

  1. Plugged nozzle
  2. The Air compressor can’t keep up
  3. The torch is not properly installed
  4. Dirty electrode or nozzle
  5. Wrong electrode and nozzle installed
  6. The electrode and nozzle are worn out
  7. The power supply is not plugged properly

Plasma Cutter Trouble Shooting- Common Problems and Solutions

Here are the explanations of each cause and their solutions.

1. Plugged nozzle:

A plugged nozzle is one of the most common reasons for a plasma cutter not working. If the nozzle is clogged with dirt, this could be causing problems with charging and cutting.
The process by which you insert your nozzle into the gas source can get stuck, causing it not to work properly or at all.

To check whether or not your nozzle has been plugged:

  • Shut off your machine and unplug it from its power source (you may have to turn off the circuit breakers if there are any).
  • Push out debris inside the cutter’s housing with an old toothbrush or something similar. This will make sure that any existing debris won’t get sucked up into the cutting chamber when you start using it again later on.
  • If there’s still some dirt left in there, remove all those culprits, then say GOODBYE to the problem.

2. The Air compressor can’t keep up.

Your air compressor is not keeping up with the demands of your plasma cutter. There are several reasons why this could be happening.

One of them is that the compressor might be too small for its job. If you have an old compressor and it’s not powerful enough to keep up with your machine, it won’t be able to do its job properly.

The other reason may be that your air supply isn’t strong enough (or far enough) where it needs to be for everything else working onsite at once—such as fans and lights—to work properly as well!

3. The torch is not properly installed

Make sure the torch is installed correctly. If you are using a new torch, it should be installed with the nozzle pointing down and at an angle of 45 degrees to your body (in other words: if you’re right-handed, hold your hand so that it’s facing away from you; then turn it around so that its base is pointing upwards).

4. Dirty electrode or nozzle

Consumables cause the most issues with a plasma cutting machine. Electrode and nozzles are two common consumables of a unit.

The plasma cutter torch will get overheated if the dirt of the nozzle blocks the air passage. Blocked air passages will negatively affect the cutting quality, and you won’t be able to maintain a steady workflow.

So, before the operation, you should ensure the nozzle is clean.

  • Clean the electrode and nozzle. This can be done by brushing it with a wire brush or using an abrasive wheel attached to your drill if you have one. Use caution when working around electrical equipment!

5. Wrong electrode and nozzle installed

.The electrode and nozzle must be compatible and the correct size.

6. The electrode and nozzle are worn out

These consumables may wear out over time and must be replaced before they break or become too short. If your plasma cutter is not working because of a worn-out electrode or nozzle, replace it with a new one before further damage occurs.

7. The power supply is not plugged properly

Make sure that the power source is plugged in properly and that it doesn’t have any loose connections (like loose cables).


These are some common reasons for plasma cutter problems and their solutions.

If these solve your issues, then don’t forget to check my post on how to make money with a plasma cutter.

If you still have problems with your plasma cutter, you may get it checked out by an experienced technician.

You can also leave a comment or mail me; I’ll be happy to help.

Buying a plasma cutter is a big investment. But to meet your metal cutting needs, ensure your machine works properly.

Related search: Why does my plasma cutter keep stopping?, Why does my plasma cutter keeps cutting out?, Common plasma cutter problems