extending the life of soldering equipment

Weller Soldering Equipment From time to time we find handy lists of tips and tricks about soldering, and these lists seem to be fairly popular. Since Weller knows soldering, I thought I’d pass on a list we recently found. You may have seen several of these tips in our other posts (here’s a list of articles regarding soldering tips and tips for soldering) but it’s always a good reminder; plus there are a few new ones. This helpful list not only explains what not to do but also why and what could happen.

1. Do not remove the soldering tip from the iron while the power is on…this causes the temperature of the element to rise which results in thermal shock and shortens the life of the heater

2. Keep a damp but not soaking wet iron sponge…using a sponge that is too wet will reduce the temperature of the tip too quickly and cause damage to the tip

3. Avoid disconnecting the iron from the base unit while the power is still turned on…this could cause a short that will damage either the iron or the base unit

4. Keep a nice coat of solder on the working part of the soldering tip…this prevents oxidation which can shorten the life of the tip

5. This is pretty obvious and not always avoidable but do not drop the iron while it’s heated…dropping the iron can cause a bunch of problems from mechanical damage to thermal damage

6. Also common sense and related to number five…do not throw the soldering iron into the stand

7. A soldering iron does not make a good pry tool…using the iron as a crowbar can damage the tip to the point it is useless

8. Using a serrated or sharp object to remove a tip could chip the soldering tip

9. Do not plug a soldering iron that is broken into a base that is working…doing so can cause damage to the base

10. If a station is used on a daily basis, keep the temperature at the lowest setting while it is sitting at idle for extended periods of time…this prevent thermal cycling