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Welding Dry Rods - Storage Recommendations

Welding rods must be kept dry. Moisture destroys the characteristics of the rod coating. It causes excessive spattering, leads to the formation of cracks in the weld, and causes poor penetration and operating characteristics such as an uneven arc.

Low hydrogen welding rods exposed to humid air for more than two or three hours should be placed in a "Rod Oven." Even a small amount of moisture in low hydrogen welding rods leads to major weld problems. (See chart for proper time and temperature charts.)


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After drying, the rods should be transferred to a portable holding Rod Oven and kept there at proper temperature until supplied to the individual weldor. Do not use rods if any part of the core wire is exposed. Do not bow a welding rod. It can cause the coating to break loose from the core wire or cause tiny cracks that cause poor performance

Low Hydrogen welding rods, such as E7018 and E8018-C3, must be kept very dry because hydrogen induced cracking can easily occur, especially in steels of 80,000 psi and higher yield strengths. Here are some suggestions:

  • Purchase welding rods in sealed containers
  • Do not open the sealed containers until the welding rods are needed
  • When the cans are opened, rods that will not be immediately used should be placed in a welding rod holding cabinet
  • Welding rods should be supplied to the weldors in small quantities that can be used within set time limits
  • Check the standards for welding rods before using because they differ. For example, a E7018 welding can be exposed to the atmosphere for 4 hours, but a standard E11018 welding rod is only good for 30 minutes.

Re-drying Low Hydrogen

When the seal is broken, by choice or by accident, a container of low hydrogen welding rods needs to be re-dried. Even when the rods have been exposed to the atmosphere for a few days, they need to be re-dried. Follow these procedures:

  • To re-dry, remove welding rods from the container and place them in a Rod Oven. Spread the rods out on the shelf. Don't put the container in the oven; the cardboard liners will char the rods
  • When the rods are initially placed in the oven follow the chart on this page for proper time and temperature settings
  • Be sure to check with the manufacturer's recommendations and follow them
  • Do not dry electrodes at higher temperatures. In addition, several hours at a lower temperature is not equivalent to using the specified requirements
  • Discard any welding rods if excessive re-drying causes the coating to become fragile or if it flakes or breaks off while welding. Get rid of welding rods if there is a noticeable difference in handling of arc characteristics such as insufficient arc force.

Storing and exposure, non-low hydrogen

Welding Electrodes such as E6010 and E7014 are not low hydrogen, but it is important that these electrodes also be properly stored to avoid welding defects. Unlike the low hydrogen electrodes that always must be kept dry, most of the non-low hydrogen rods need some moisture in the coatings to work well. If these rods are too dry, they may not function properly. On the other hand, excessively moisture may cause other problems. The following procedures should be followed:

  • Store these non-low hydrogen electrodes from the freshly opened containers in heated cabinets at 100 degrees - 120 degrees F.
  • Do not use higher temperatures. For more information, see the chart on this page for proper time and temperature.

Please review all of our welding rod ovens for the proper storage of your welding rods.

Please Note: Products and specifications shown on website may vary from actual 
product and may contain optional equipment available at additional cost.