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Thread: Can a soldering iron "burn down"

  1. #1
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    Question Can a soldering iron "burn down"

    Stupid idiot me just realized that I left my soldering iron plugged in all night. Amazingly enough it's not really hot as I tough it would be. (No, I did't touch it, my kitten did. J/K).

    Is it possible that something inside the iron "burned out" causing it to stop from getting hotter? Or does it have a sort of limit when it stops warming up?

    Thank you and please excuse my ignorance in this subject.

    edit: Sorry, I forgot to mention it is a very common 30W soldering iron.

  2. #2
    Raw Wave wizardPC's Avatar
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    they will only get so hot. Its not really a limiting switch, its just that the heating element (especially on a 30W) can only reach a certain temperature.

    Your Iron should be fine, but dont do that again!
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  3. #3
    FLAC
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    some of the higher quality soldering stations, with their own base unit, etc.... often take it o the next level with a temp control and a propper thermostat system.....
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  4. #4
    Maximum Bitrate CrazyLittle's Avatar
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    Actually I'm noticing the same thing with my cheap-*** Rat shack iron =(

    It used to be able to solder just fine, but now it has to completely warm up inbetween each contact. Perhaps cheap ones -do- wear out?

  5. #5
    Retired Admin Aaron Cake's Avatar
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    I'd imagine that the cheap ones could easily burn out. The element will reach a certain temp and stay there, but over a long time it could melt itself, or cause some other weird harm...
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  6. #6
    Constant Bitrate jboy's Avatar
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    Even $400 weller's die after alot of use. But you can just replace the heating element. even some cheapos are replacable
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  7. #7
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    I bought a soldering iron a few months ago just because it was cheap... I have never had an expensive one, I don't see any real advantages between a 200buck iron and a 5buck iron..

  8. #8
    Retired Admin Aaron Cake's Avatar
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    There are major advantages between the two. The expensive one will last longer, heat up MUCH faster, have adjustable controls, and probably a wide tip selection. It will also have things like overheat protection. When you get into complicated soldering (ie. surface mount), the expensive one is a must have. Also, there are the less obvious things, such as a more comfortable grip, better cords, etc.
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  9. #9
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    Believe me -- soldering irons can easily burn down. Don't leave 'em on too long, at least not the cheap ones.

    I managed to forget that my iron was plugged in.. it was on for 6 hours while not in use.. (may it rest in peace in soldering iron heaven)

  10. #10
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    Thats a pretty dodgy iron to die in just 6 hours.. :P

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