Learn How To Solder: Repairing Electronics & Appliances

Soldering is a process to join two or more pieces of metals by melting a part of the metal and then adding a filler metal to join them. The filler metal always has a comparatively lower melting point. It's often called a solder. Desoldering is an associated process, which is basically the removal of the solder from the circuit for repairing the circuit.

Soft soldering is the process wherein the melting point of the filler metal is below 400 °C. Soldering is rendered with the help of different types of soldering tools. Some of the soldering tools used include electric soldering iron, hot air guns, soldering torches, soldering copper, and ovens. Electric soldering irons are available in several sizes of tips, ranging from fine heads and chiselled heads to blunt heads. The soldering gun is a tool which expedites the soldering process by providing more power and giving a faster heat up. Hot air guns help in the rework of certain components, which cannot be done with electric irons. Hence, hot air guns are often used in re-soldering processes. Soldering torches are similar to electric irons but the torches use flames instead of a hot iron tip. Generally, butane is used as the flame in soldering torches. Another tool which is often used is soldering copper. It consists of a long handle and a large copper head which is heated in a forge fire and then applied to the metals for soldering. The tools which are used for soldering smaller pieces of metals are hand held infrared light and toaster ovens.

It is very important to prep the soldering components and the metals before the soldering process. For prepping the components which are to be soldered, the components have to be fed through the circuit board holes so as to make the component leads project out from the circuit board’s solder pad side. There are a number of electronic components which are used in soldering. Some of the electronic components used in soldering include IC Holders, DIL sockets, resistors, small value capacitors, electrolytic capacitors, diodes, LEDs, and transistors. In a circuit board, the solders surrounding the base metal is generally melted away but the outer layers of the circuit board is tinned with solder, which allows the flowing of solder very quickly into the new joints. The joints which are soldered also have to be cleaned. Cleaning of joints is sometimes rendered after the joints have cooled.

Some useful soldering tips include keeping the iron tips clean, using an appropriate iron and tip size, keeping the joint unmoved until the solder cools down, and using less solder. During soldering, you should also ensure that the joints are not heated for a long duration. Soldering is a risky exercise since the temperature of the solder often reaches 400 °C. Hence, the mains flex should never be touched. Additionally, you should always work in a well ventilated place because the smoke of the flux can be very irritating. You should also avoid breathing in the smoke. It is important to return the soldering iron to its stand after the soldering work is done, and you should always make it a point to wash your hands.

If you’ve decided to repair your household appliance and it requires soldering of appliance parts, you want to make sure you are knowledgeable on soldering safety. It’s important that you make sure you know how to adequately handle a soldering iron and that you have a proper space to perform the task. Many appliances, like dishwashers, often require soldering to their control boards. You may need to solder the capacitors or transistors, depending upon the repair that you’re doing. If the dishwasher part you have purchased requires this step to fully repair the appliance, you may want to considering calling a repair technician. At PartSelect, we always encourage any homeowner to make sure they are honest about their abilities and only attempt repairs they are confident about. If you’re purchasing Jenn-air parts or kitchen aid parts, you can often avoid this step as these parts are less likely to require any additional steps, such as soldering, beyond the normal repair.

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