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Soldering iron wire

Karthik rajagopal

May 9, 2016
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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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Harald Kapp

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What could be the possible reason for this?
Overheating due to a short circuit within the cable. Possible cause is insufficient insulation.
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?
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.
 

Bluejets

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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

May 9, 2016
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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.
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.
 

Karthik rajagopal

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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.
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.
 

davenn

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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.

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

DO NOT attempt a repair
 

Martaine2005

May 12, 2015
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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
 

Karthik rajagopal

May 9, 2016
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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
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 .
 

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.
 
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Karthik rajagopal

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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.
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?
 

davenn

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y iron does not have a fuse in it. What fuse rating should I use for that ? Mine is a 25W 230v soldering iron ..

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
 

davenn

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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.

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
 

Karthik rajagopal

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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
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 ?
 

duke37

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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

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.
 
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