Why won't my solder stick to copper wire? (2024)

What do you do when solder won't stick?

Short answer: Your tip is so badly oxidized, it cannot do what it is meant to do. Replace the soldering iron tip.

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Will solder stick to copper without flux?

It doesn't matter how much you clean your metal surface, you'll need a flux to make the solder stick. Without this, a solder joint simply will not be strong enough or conductive enough, which is why soldering flux is recommended.

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What causes solder to fail?

According to Rush PCB, there are three main causes for solder joints to fail: Fracture—tensile rupture from overloading. Creep—long-lasting and permanent loading. Fatigue—from cyclic loading.

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What are 3 typical soldering mistakes?

5 Common Solder Mistakes and How to Resolve Them
  • Disturbed Joint. A disturbed joint typically occurs as a result of movement while the alloy is solidifying. ...
  • Solder-Starved Joint. A solder-starved joint is just that: a joint that does not have enough solder. ...
  • Untrimmed Leads. ...
  • Cold Solder Joint. ...
  • Solder Bridge.
Jul 17, 2018

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What is the secret to good soldering?

The secret of good soldering is to use the right amount of heat. Many people who have not soldered before use too little heat, dabbing at the joint to be soldered and making little solder blobs that cause unintended short circuits. Solders have different melting points, depending on the ratio of tin to lead.

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Can I use Vaseline for soldering?

You can technically solder with petroleum jelly but it would be the same as just soldering without flux or petroleum jelly, lol. It gives zero benefit. As far as I'm aware it doesn't have any qualities to make it work as flux. BUt its the SamE consIStEncY aNd meltS LiKe fLUX wHy NO wOrk?

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What type of solder to use on copper wire?

The best solder to use for tinning stranded copper wire is electrical-grade rosin-core solder. This is an acid-free solder that contains a flux in the core of the solder. Never use solder that contains acid to strip and tin wires, as this can damage the wire or its insulation.

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What needs to be applied to copper before soldering?

Apply flux Apply a liberal coat of flux (liquid metal) to the inside of the fitting that the tube will be soldered to and to the outside of the tubing. Place the fitting on the end of the tubing and rotate it so that the flux spreads evenly. Heat and solder the tubing Leave the fitting on the copper tubing.

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Do you need flux for copper to copper?

However, in copper to copper applications, the phosphorus in BCuP alloys acts as the fluxing agent. No additional flux is needed, although a small amount of flux may be used for applications with prolonged heating times to improve the wetting action of the filler metal.

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Do you need special solder for copper?

Buy lead-free solder that's designed for copper water pipes; you'll find it in the plumbing section of the store. Solder with lead is still available, but the lead can leach into your water supply, so don't use it.

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What can substitute for solder flux?

What can substitute flux for soldering? Petroleum jelly is the best effective alternative to commercial flux. Its waxes and mineral water ingredients make it antioxidant thas why you can easily use it as a soldering flux.

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Is soldering paste necessary?

If you are working on PCB assembly projects, solder paste is essential to complete the task. The paste itself is a mixture of minute solder spheres that are held within a specialized form of paste flux.

Why won't my solder stick to copper wire? (2024)
What happens if you get copper too hot?

If the metal being joined is too cool or too hot, tinning cannot occur. Overheating is a major problem when brazing or soldering copper pipe because the flux will burn (become oxidized), stop working, and become a barrier to tinning.

What happens if you solder too hot?

Just as too little heat will cause wonky joints, too much heat will also give you a splitting headache. Overheated solder joints have white solder joints, no metallic luster, and rough surface.

What is the most common problem with soldering?

Here are nine of the most common problems and mistakes that can happen on solders, usually when soldered by an inexperienced worker:
  • Too Much Solder. ...
  • Cold Joints. ...
  • Burnt Joints. ...
  • Tombstones. ...
  • Insufficient Wetting. ...
  • Skips. ...
  • Lifted Pads. ...
  • Webbing and Splashes.
Mar 20, 2020

What temp should I solder at?

600°- 650°F (316°- 343°C) is a good place to start for lead-based solder and 650°- 700°F (343°- 371°C) for lead-free solder. You want the tip hot enough to melt the solder efficiency, but excess heat can damage components as the heat travels along the leads, and it will reduce the lifespan of the soldering tip.

Can you solder without flux?

Yes, you need flux. Solder wire usually has flux in its core, but most still apply additional flux. I would figure out what specification of flux is in the solder wire you're using and buy that type. To obtain the best results, always use extra flux!

Can you solder over old solder?

If there is already sufficient solder at the joint, simply apply flux to it, then use the soldering iron to bond the wire back into the solder. Careful! Don't linger once the solder has melted. Too much heat can melt the insulation around the wire.

Does flux make soldering easier?

Flux aids in soldering and desoldering processes by removing oxide films which form on the surface of metals being soldered. It increases the wetting ability of the solder, causing it to flow more uniformly over surfaces without balling-up (dewetting).

Can I use Krazy glue instead of solder?

Can I use super glue instead of solder? No — super glue doesn't conduct electricity. Solder is metal, and is used to make a connection between components in an electronic circuit.

Can you melt solder with a cigarette lighter?

You can use anything that is able to heat a piece of metal up to the melting point of your solder (between 400°F / 200°C and 700°F / 370°C). Butane lighters work the best.

What temperature do you need to solder copper wire?

In actual practice for copper systems, most soldering is done at temperatures from about 350°F to 600°F, while most brazing is done at temperatures ranging from 1100°F to 1500°F.

What does tinning mean in soldering?

Tinning the tip means covering the tip with a layer of solder. Most modern soldering tips are composed of a copper core (copper conducts heat excellently) encased with nickel-plated iron to repel solder.

Does solder work on copper wire?

Soldering copper is a fairly easy task for the homeowner to complete, providing that they follow a few simple instructions. Begin by laying out all the items containing copper wire that you wish to solder; plug in your soldering iron to let it heat up and put on all the necessary safety gear.

Can you fix a leaking solder joint?

Dry the outside of the elbow and sand (120-grit paper or cloth) around the leaking joint to remove all surface corrosion. Apply soldering flux around the whole joint and apply heat with a torch until the old solder melts. Add new solder until a shiny ring of solder shows all around the joint.

Why must solder not be overheated?

Overheating could burn the flux, which will destroy its effectiveness and the solder will not enter the joint properly.

Is Vaseline good for soldering?

Does Vaseline or petroleum jelly work? No. The main purpose of flux is to act as a cleaner for the soldering process, so that the solder will properly "wet" the joint. Petroleum jelly is a grease - not good for such purposes.

What are the two main causes of poor solder joints?

Most solder joint failures fall under three major categories: 1) tensile fracture due to stress overloading, which is short-term; 2) creep failure due to the application of a long-term, permanent load; and 3) fatigue failure due to the application of cyclical stresses.

Can you over solder a joint?

Repair: Sometimes the excess solder can be drawn off by dragging the tip of a hot iron between the two solder joints. If there is too much solder, a solder sucker or solder wick can help get rid of the excess. Prevention: Solder bridges most often happen between joints with too much solder to begin with.

What are the 10 errors to avoid in soldering?

Therefore, the key to avoiding too much solder is to grasp the timing of solder withdrawal.
  • Solder Balling. ...
  • Cold Joint. ...
  • Overheated Joint. ...
  • Insufficient Wetting (Through-hole) ...
  • Insufficient Wetting (Surface Mount) ...
  • Solder Skips. ...
  • Lifted pads. ...
  • Solder Starved.
Jun 18, 2021

How hot is too hot for soldering?

Sure, solder stations may go up to 900°F, but 750°F is the highest you need to go for a lead-free wire. The extra heat can also unnecessarily stress components, increasing the chances of PCB failure later.

Why won't my solder stick to wire?

This issue is usually caused by the soldering iron being set to an improper temperature, or the iron itself has a wattage that is too low for the solder size you are using. If you notice your solder isn't sticking, check your solder material and compare it to the wattage of your soldering iron.

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