Drive roll tension can also impact wire feed. If the tension is set too low, the wire can slip, resulting in shaving or flat spots on the wire that will produce erratic feed speed and inconsistent arc lengths. If the tension is set too high, it can cause the wire to be flattened and misshapen which can then cause tip clearance issues.
It is important to match the size of conduit with the size of wire being used. For example, using an oversized liner can cause bunching or surging of wire at the contact tip that will affect the weld. Additionally, too small or too hard a conduit can create more friction and drag that also can affect the weld.
Other factors related to wire feed include a worn out conduit, misalignment of the gun at the wire feeder, and the presence of burrs from wire and from the ends of the conduit. Each of these can be avoided just by taking proper care during setup and replacement of the consumables.
Remember, it is essential to be able to identify issues with wire feedability and to know how to fix them. You will find that by doing so, it becomes much easier to become a more efficient and skilled welder, saving yourself time, money, and resources.