How to Set Polarity on Mig Welder

Setting up polarity correctly on the MIG welder is important to get spatter-free aesthetic welding. But how to set polarity on the MIG welder correctly?

You can set polarity on the Mig welder in two ways: DCEP and DCEN. In DCEN, electrode is connected to negative socket while clamp is connected to positive. On the other hand, in DCEP electrode is connected to positive and clamp is connected to negative point.

One method works opposite to the other. But both methods are effective for spatter-free welding.

How to Set Polarity on Mig Welder
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Why Should You Set Polarity In Mig And Flux Core Welding?

Welders set polarity in mig and flux core welding for a spotless, smoother welding surface. When you are MIG welding with flux-cored wire, it is very important to set the polarity. Otherwise, the ultimate result of your welding surface will be ugly and full of spatters.

When you use a flux core, you need to set the polarity. Solid core wire can be used instead of flux core. In this case, it is important to use mig shielding gas.

Overall, the polarity setting using flux core wire is better than solid core wire with mig shielding gas.

How To Set Polarity in DCEP & DCEN Mode On Mig Welder?

There are two methods of polarity setting in MIG welding. One is Direct Current Electrode Positive (DCEP). The DCEP uses a solid wire core, which is negative, and the workpiece is positive.

On the other hand, the DCEN method is mostly used for gasless welding. In this method, the welding wire works as positive, and the workpiece as negative. Follow the steps below to set the polarity of your machine.

  • Step 1: Put off the MIG welder connection from the power source
  • Step 2: Read the user manual to know the polarity setting instruction
  • Step 3: Choose a welding wire solid core or flux core as per the types of welding
  • Step 4: Inspect the terminals of the workpiece and the welding electrode
  • Step 5: Adjust the cable for DCEP and DCEN. For DCEP, connect the welding electrode with positive terminals and the workpiece with negative terminals. On the contrary, connect the electrode with the negative terminal and the workpiece with the negative terminals for DCEN.
  • Step 6: Reconnect the MIG welder with the power source.
  • Step 7: Test the MIG welder to see if it is working okay

Problems if polarity is not set correctly

  • This reduces the welding efficiency and has the potential to damage the equipment.
  • The joint between the workpieces will be weak and unstable
  • A lot of spatters will be produced on the welding surface
  • Penetration to the required depth will be difficult
  • Wrong polarity will make the arc maintenance tricky
  • It will produce excess fumes, smoke and heat
  • Choosing the wrong polarity can increase the risks when welding


We hope you understand how to set polarity on the mig welder. We have discussed two individual polarity setting methods for MIG welding. Remember that DCEN is best for gasless welding. So, use the correct polarity setting method to make your welding surface smoother and aesthetic.

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