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soldering iron problem Answered

i have a soldering iron which  is  expensive and used to work well but after some time instead of melting the solder it made balls of iron which were still connected to the solder and never stayed on the soldering iron. please help

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steveastrouk
steveastrouk

6 years ago

Clean the tip GENTLY, ideally with some genuine plumber's flux and some wirewool. Heat the flux with the iron, wipe on the wire wool, repeat until solder will wet the surface. Always clean the iron between every few joints with a wipe on a barely wet cloth or sponge.

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seandogue
seandogue

Answer 6 years ago

+1

And by *always, Steve means ALWAYS. This is the primary reason that many who buy soldering irons end up with a wood burner. The tip must be clean to form a solid thermal contact with solder and target.

I usually fire up the iron, then once at temp, I apply some solder to the tip until it melts and adheres somewhere on the tip, then wipe, then reapply, then wipe, then reapply, until the entire surface of the tip will easily accept new solder without beading.

If it's really rosin-blackened and the above does not restore normal operation, and if the tip is replaceable, I'd suggest buying a new tip and replacing the old one so you can start fresh. Truth is, solder irons tips are expendable and do wear out, both due to normal aging and due to inevitable "abuse", and the abrasive qualities of a wire brush or wool will in many cases (imo most) accelerate the degradation of the tip. just fyi. I have a half dozen unopened extras in my tool cases just to make sure they're available when I need them.