Electrodes play an important role in the plasma-spraying process and must be frequently replaced to ensure good coating properties. The purpose of this work was to assess the effect of different plasma gases and oxygen and humidity levels on electrode lifetime. The change in arc voltage over time was recorded during spraying, and the elapsed time for a 5V drop was taken as the electrode lifetime. It was found that variations in oxygen and humidity in Ar-H2 gas mixtures have a major effect on lifetime and that the use of SPRAL22 gas could extend electrode life by a factor of three to four. These and other results are discussed in the paper.