desoldering problem

  john12 02:51 21 Jan 2013

Hi and thanks for reading this post.

I have a bad capacitor on a motherboard and in order to change it i purchased a reel of desoldering wick from ebay, just a generic brand from china.

After applying onto the joint and plenty of heat the wick would not draw up any of the solder, then i used a large blob of solder paste which helps the solder to melt more easily, but nothing.

I was advised that "Goot" is a good brand of desoldering wick so back i went on ebay, when the stuff arrived it was useless.

Has anyone actually purchased desoldering wick which works first time without any of all this hassle i am experiencing, where is a reliable source which will deliver what they advertise and not rip me off.

Many thanks in advance. John.

  Forum Editor 10:51 21 Jan 2013

Transferred to Tech Helproom from Business tech help.

  onthelimit1 10:57 21 Jan 2013

I use a desolderer rather than a wick. It's a little spring loaded vacuum device. Had variable results with it, but have succeeded in changing several laptop DC sockets with its help.

  VCR97 19:26 21 Jan 2013

Maplin N47FX (1mm) N48FX (1.5mm) N49FX (2mm) Length 1.5 metres £3.29

  john12 03:25 22 Jan 2013

Hi. Thanks for the replies, much appreciated.

I have a variable 80 watt weller iron and a good quality desoldering pump, i was really looking for advice on desoldering wick itself, if anyone can help with that please do.

@ vcr97 Have you actually used the maplin's wick yourself, if so how did you use it, did you apply solder or solder paste at first, are there any tricks or tips (angles) you can advise on.

Many thanks. John.

  john12 03:44 22 Jan 2013

Quick update: Here is my technique: Firstly apply a blob of solder onto the joint, place the wick over it, then apply the hot iron. All i get is a cloud of flux rising up and no solder removal even the solder in adjacent joints starts melting because the board go so hot. What am i doing wrong.

Many thanks. John.

  wee eddie 08:44 22 Jan 2013

A quick question. Why do you think that need to remove the old solder?

When you install the new Capacitor, the old solder, once liquid, will be just as effective as it was before, so long as you add a dab of Flux.

If memory serves me, all Flux is, is a powerful Alkali that removes any Oxides that might impede the unification/contact between the two metals.

  VCR97 19:14 22 Jan 2013


Yes I have used the wick. I just put it on the joint and apply heat. The solder then is "sucked" up by the wick. I'm wondering if your stuff has been contaminated so that the solder won't stick.

  woodchip 19:22 22 Jan 2013

Solder pumps are only good for individual joint legs, wick is for IC's You put the Wick over the Solder the Iron on the wick, you may need to put flux on the Wick first for it o work as it should. At Maplins you can now get Solder Iron with pump all in one

  john12 04:04 23 Jan 2013

Hi. Thanks for the replies, much appreciated.

@ wee eddie if i do not clear the hole of solder i have to fiddle around with the new capacitor's leads trying to get them into the throughhole, which i find difficult, whilst holding a hot iron with one hand and trying to find the hole with the other.

@vcr97 I was advised to heat up the solder by placing the iron on one side of the joint, when the solder melts, place the wick on the other side of the joint and it should suck up the old solder. What do you think of this suggestion. I have been placing the wick directly over the whole joint, heating it, then expecting the wick to suck up all the old solder. Was i doing it wrong.

Many thanks. John.

  chub_tor 10:55 23 Jan 2013

80 watts is far too powerful to use on circuit boards, I hope that you have it well turned down using the variable adjustment if not you will lift the track off the board. 45 watts is recommended if you are an expert, 15 watts will do most small jobs.

I am not a fan of solder wicks, I have used them in the past but like many other here I use a solder sucker although for simple jobs like capacitors it is often just as easy to alternately apply heat to each leg in turn while pulling on the capacitor at the same time. It really helps if you can clamp the board vertically so that you can work on both sides at the same time - applying heat and pulling. Once the capacitor is out if the hole is still blocked then I use a pin on one side and heat on the other to clear the hole. Push the new capacitor in (make sure you have + in the right hole) solder and then clip off the surplus wire.

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