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How to clean Weller soldering iron (between the heater element & the tip)?

evalon

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Hi all,

I have a likely quick question that I would appreciate your feedback on, if possible ...

As it is I have a Weller WSP-80 soldering iron and occasionally the contact surface between the heater element and the tip is "scaled" with a grayish layer of "something". I reckon this may limit the heat transfer between the heater element and the tip, however, the user manual - as far as I can see - has no advice on how to remove it without damaging the tip or heater element surfaces.

Any chance someone here knows how to do this safely?

Cheers & thanks for any help in this ;)

Jesper
 

KlausST

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Hi,

It will be some kind of oxidation.
I use Weller, too, and did not experience this.

So either your soldering iron uses a different suface material, or the surface is scratched, or it's just an environment problem.

To remove it: Avoid scratching the surface, avoid strong acid / alkaline ...
Water, maybe a piece of plastics (cold iron!).

Check whether it's caused by the tip, the heater or the combination of both. (electrochemical problem)

BTW: I use distilled water on the sponge and I avoid cleaning the tip with steel wool (even if gold colored)...to not hurt the protection layer.
Once the protection layer is hurt you get those nasty tin spikes. Then the tip should be replaced.
My tips usually last way more than a year..

Klaus
 

evalon

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Hi Klaus,

& thanks for your feedback. However, this scaling cannot be cleaned with any "soft" methods. I think it is some kind of oxidation caused by the heat and the surrounding air - so likely quite natural actually but still a blockage to full heat transfer.

I think I will contact Weller about it - they likely know about the issue and I suppose they may suggest a solution that is not detrimental to the heater element & tip.

BTW - I use an open stainless steel "sponge" for my tips and they also normally last about a year or so (I haven't thought about the exact time, though).

Again - thanks for your feedback & best wishes,

Jesper
 

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