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Hot Rods Welding with a heart pacemaker

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by brkile, Aug 4, 2020.

  1. Bird man
    Joined: Dec 28, 2009
    Posts: 568

    Bird man
    from Milwaukee

    Nipple rings can make effective welding grounds.
    Keep us posted!
  2. razoo lew
    Joined: Apr 11, 2017
    Posts: 408

    razoo lew
    from Calgary

    I totally agree with @B.SUTTON ! Your doctor (and mine) are likely darned proficient people, but they may not have the most current information on the capabilities of your device outside of its “heart operation” functions. Consequently, the recommendations provided may keep you safe, but may be overly restrictive. The device manufacturer is in my opinion, a far better source of expert knowledge on the device limitations. Worked for me!!
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  3. donsz
    Joined: Nov 23, 2010
    Posts: 211


    I promised myself I wouldn't post anymore on this board, but this is important and maybe this will help your decision. I had open heart surgery last year (five bypasses) and I feel a sense of community with anyone with heart problems. I'm happy you came out OK with the pacemaker.

    I can see all the points of view presented in this thread. But you may also want to consider when you encounter a "defective" situation. Example:
    Someone wired a 220 TIG welder into the electric panel on my workshop. The welder worked fine. But a couple of weeks later when I tried to use our gas fireplace in the family room (other side of the wall), the fireplace did not work. Troubleshooting, I discovered the electronic control module was non-operational.. Prior to the welder install, it worked fine. What I discovered was that ground wire for the welder connection in the panel was loose. It probably was arcing enough to either corrupt the panel power or transmitting a spurious signal. Apparently it was enough to cause the fireplace module to go bad. I tightened the welder ground connection and replaced the fireplace control module. Everything has worked fine since.

    Just something else to think about. Continued good luck with your pacemaker.
    warbird1, Bird man and kidcampbell71 like this.
  4. Blue One
    Joined: Feb 6, 2010
    Posts: 10,628

    Blue One
    from Alberta

    That’s really funny :D
    Even though it was also on a previous thread on the topic. :D
    Bird man likes this.
  5. My old sheet metal shop had a sign on the spot welder. Remove watch before use or it will only be right twice a day. Never experimented so I don't know if it was true or not.
  6. 37 caddy
    Joined: Mar 4, 2010
    Posts: 351

    37 caddy
    from PEI Canada

    I dont have a pacemaker yet,but i do wear 2 hearing aids,sometimes when i weld i hear them buzzing?.They are adjustable through my phone.At least they keep the hot splatter balls out of your ear drums:eek:.
  7. railcarmover
    Joined: Apr 30, 2017
    Posts: 476


    might have to fiddle with the fine adjustment for the best results,I recommend running DC reverse,just crank it up till you get a good buzz,you snort too much and you wont sleep for days.
  8. GTS225
    Joined: Jul 2, 2006
    Posts: 1,169


    Don makes a very good point here. I always said, as an industrial maintenance tech, that if man can build it, it will break. Your pacemaker may have some very good shielding that allows a certain level of welding, but what if that shielding gets faulty? It'll allow that intense magnetic field to play havoc with the internal circuitry, and thus cause all sorts of heartbeat flutter.

    The amperage one is running has a lot to do with it, but not directly. High amperage causes an intense, localized and fluctuating magnetic field, and a pacemaker has micro circuitry that is easily influenced by that magnetic field. As the welding amp settings go up or down, the magnetic field covers a larger area, and with more intensity, in relation to the settings.
    Remember back in junior high, with the spinning copper coil in the horseshoe magnet, and you caused the little bulb to glow? Works the same way, except the magnetic field is moving, instead of the copper.

    I suggest the best advice has been given. Contact the pacer manufacturer, and ask detailed and specific questions for the best information. Also make sure they know the range of amp settings you'll be using, and maybe even the welder make and model.

    irishsteve and TrailerTrashToo like this.
  9. Bandit Billy
    Joined: Sep 16, 2014
    Posts: 6,755

    Bandit Billy

    The best advice on whether or not a man will die from electric welding with a pace maker is from a welder tech line? And not a Cardiologist? Isn't that a bit like asking McDonalds if their food is recommended on my diet?
  10. GTS225
    Joined: Jul 2, 2006
    Posts: 1,169


    You misunderstood my comments. Ask about the pacemaker's abilities from the pacemaker manufacturer. Make sure the pacemaker manufacturer knows what welder you'll be using.
    I'm willing to bet that, since the question came up way back when somebody got hurt from welding, with a pacer, before anybody had thought of the hazards, they've been studying the pi$$ out of it.

    The pacemaker manufacturer probably knows just how much current you can weld at, with what machine, within how close to their pacemaker.
    Liability lawyers would push them to know, so they can advise the patient.

    Bandit Billy likes this.
  11. 1946caddy
    Joined: Dec 18, 2013
    Posts: 1,689

    from washington

    That makes about as much since as asking GM or Ford if it's safe to drive their cars above the speed limit and expecting them to answer. Pacemaker manufacturers will no put themselves in a position for a lawsuit if even one in a million people die while welding and have a pacemaker. Ambulance chaser lawyers will take the case and get paid a settlement before trial because it's cheaper to have the insurance company pay for the settlement than risk years of litigation which alone will probably amount to more than the settlement.
  12. One important thing to consider when asking a public forum, or even amongst friends, about things that affect a pacemaker is that NOT EVERYONE'S PACEMAKER DOES THE SAME FUNCTION !
    I'm 100% paced 24/7 60 seconds of every minute and DO NOT have a heartbeat without the pacemaker, a friend said his pacemaker hadn't gone off in 5 years, to John Q Public he and I are the same because we both have pacemakers, which couldn't be further from the truth.
    So just because someone says they don't have an issue welding doesn't mean you'll have the same outcome, this also goes hand in hand asking the welder manufacturer or even the pacemaker manufacturer. They are not your cardiologist or pacemaker doctor !
    I was told no welding, I tried a few tach welds with the mig, machine and gun as far away as possible and it was still detected in a pacemaker reading, a variable speed drill got me once too. Needless to say I do not weld anymore, it sucks and makes you have no ambition to even work in the garage, but it beats the alternative. I'm trying to get every day I can and next month I'll be one year past my expiration date, so I'll continue to skip the welder and listen to my physicians and would recommend the same for you.
    RJP, clunker and TrailerTrashToo like this.
  13. TrailerTrashToo
    Joined: Jun 20, 2018
    Posts: 675


  14. 1946caddy
    Joined: Dec 18, 2013
    Posts: 1,689

    from washington

    Quoted from info sent to me from Medtronic, maker of my pacemaker;
    "The intense EM energy generated when spot welding or starting a bead may cause your pacemaker to pause temporarily if it were pacing your heart. If you have a implantable defibrillator, it could detect the EM energy from the welder (especially when spot welding) as a fast heart rhythm causing it to deliver a shock."
    TrailerTrashToo likes this.
  15. Mine is also a Medtronic unit

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