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Soldering iron wire

Discussion in 'General Electronics Discussion' started by Karthik rajagopal, Apr 18, 2020.

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  1. Karthik rajagopal

    Karthik rajagopal

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    May 9, 2016
    Hi all,
    Recently while using my soldering iron, I heard a sudden popping sound and the wire started smoking. When I opened the outer case, I found a small black burnt spot on the wire.
    What could be the possible reason for this? Will it be fine if I cut the wire till the black spot and strip and connect the remaining part of the undamaged wire to the heating element? Did not want to take risk as this directly connects to main supply.

    Thanks in advance.
     

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    Last edited: Apr 18, 2020
  2. Harald Kapp

    Harald Kapp Moderator Moderator

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    Nov 17, 2011
    Overheating due to a short circuit within the cable. Possible cause is insufficient insulation.
    Give it a try. Although the chances are high that the cable is of such low quality (it shouldn't have happened in the first place) that this effect will recur. A better repair is to replace the complete cable by a new one of good quality.
     
    Karthik rajagopal likes this.
  3. Bluejets

    Bluejets

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    Oct 5, 2014
    Photo is a sign of a wire break usually due to flexing in the one spot continually and under relatively high current a hot spot occurs.
    As it is a mains cable , then replace it, don't try to rejoin as insulation properties will be voided.
     
    Karthik rajagopal likes this.
  4. Karthik rajagopal

    Karthik rajagopal

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    May 9, 2016
    Thanks for the reply. I have been using this for more than 4 years...so I think it could possibly be the reason for the insulation failure.
     
  5. Karthik rajagopal

    Karthik rajagopal

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    May 9, 2016
    Thanks for the reply. As advised, I will replace the full wire with a new one. Is there any other method to solder circuits as this one needs wire replacement which I cannot do right now as our country is under total lockdown.
     
    Cannonball likes this.
  6. Bluejets

    Bluejets

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    Oct 5, 2014
    Already said it is dangerous to repair mains flex.
     
  7. Karthik rajagopal

    Karthik rajagopal

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    May 9, 2016
    I think you got me wrong. I meant other means of soldering . I will completely replace my soldering iron once the shops are open again.
     
  8. davenn

    davenn Moderator

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    Sep 5, 2009
    buy a new iron, they are not expensive
    go online and order one

    DO NOT attempt a repair
     
  9. davenn

    davenn Moderator

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    not really any other practical and easy way for electronics work
     
  10. Martaine2005

    Martaine2005

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    May 12, 2015
    For future ‘lock downs’, buy a rechargeable soldering iron or a simple battery operated iron. There are also gas powered irons but these are for heavier duty soldering.
    I have also got a 12v car battery iron that stays in my car for emergencies.
    But most people have more than one mains operated soldering iron.. So not normally an issue.

    So, next time you’ll be ready..

    Martin
     
    davenn likes this.
  11. Karthik rajagopal

    Karthik rajagopal

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    May 9, 2016
    Ya sure . Buying a battery operated one seems to be a good alternative . I don't think I can do anything this time but I will be prepared for any such future cases .
     
  12. duke37

    duke37

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    I would chop off the damaged section and connect the remaining piece if it is long enough. Make sure the connections are correct. The break is due to excess bending of the flex adjacent to the soldering iron. I often repair the cable to a smoothing iron which is moved backwards and forwards when in use.

    I used to repair talking books for the blind and some people were keen on winding up the flex when not in use. This could break the connecton sometimes not near the end.

    Make sure the earth wire is good and you have a low amperage fuze to protect the flex.
    A fire and a big lump of copper is the traditional way. Gas fired irons are available from very small to enormous.
     
    Last edited: Apr 18, 2020
  13. Karthik rajagopal

    Karthik rajagopal

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    May 9, 2016
    My iron does not have a fuse in it. What fuse rating should I use for that ? Mine is a 25W 230v soldering iron ..So if my calculations are correct 500mA fuse would suffice .
    And even after connecting the fuse ,will it be safe to connect the damaged wire after repairing it?
     
  14. davenn

    davenn Moderator

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    Sep 5, 2009
    most straight irons done have one, they rely on the main house fuse for that circuit that the iron is plugged into
    usually only ones with a temperature controlled one would have a fuse or 2 in the control box
     
  15. davenn

    davenn Moderator

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    Sep 5, 2009
    several of us have already suggested that that may not be a good idea
    We have no idea of the OP's electrical abilities with mains powered devices
     
  16. Karthik rajagopal

    Karthik rajagopal

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    9
    May 9, 2016
    I have worked in few electrical projects and joining a wire isn't going to be a tough thing ..still I just wanted to zero in on the problem so that I can confirm that it is the soldering iron's wire and not the heating element.
    As it is now clear, will the fuse that I have mentioned in the above message work for the ratings of my soldering iron ?
     
  17. duke37

    duke37

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    Jan 9, 2011
    I did not say what the OP should do. I said what I would do. I presume (s)he has read the other posts.
    The flex cannot be repaired but the damaged portion can be discarded.
    If the house fuse is the only protection, then the system is very dodgy. I use 1A fuses in the power plug for low power devices such as this together with an earth leakage circuit breaker. A 1A fuse will protect thin flex, Lower rated fuses may be adequate but it sounds as if you do not have a fuse so will have to construct some sort of box to contain one.

    The Uk ring main has had many criticisms but I think if far superior with a fuse in the plug to the high power radial system.
     
    Martaine2005 likes this.
  18. davenn

    davenn Moderator

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    Sep 5, 2009
    yes, I realise that, but OP's (whichever ones) will read it as something they can do, OK ? :)
     
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