Author Topic: Fixing a gas soldering iron leak.  (Read 2457 times)

Offline S. Heslop

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Fixing a gas soldering iron leak.
« on: May 27, 2016, 06:36:51 PM »
I bought a weller pyropen off ebay last week that was listed as not working and figured for the price I might as well take a look at it. From the description I was imagining the tip catalyst had just run out but it turns out the thing is actually squirting out a stream of liquid butane from the jet. I'm glad I noticed that before I tried lighting it!



I've had it in bits and not noticed anything obviously wrong with it (not that I'd know what to look for). I've tried googling about but I guess I don't know what phrases are used to try find information on this sort of problem.

Any help would be appreciated.

Offline trevoratxtal

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Re: Fixing a gas soldering iron leak.
« Reply #1 on: May 28, 2016, 02:16:25 AM »
The wick should have helped the liquid to turn to gas, unless it was over filled.
Also only use Lighter refills only other sources of gas sometimes contains heavy hydrocarbons that do not vaporizer easy.
Camping gas tanks are big culprits.
Trev

Offline S. Heslop

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Re: Fixing a gas soldering iron leak.
« Reply #2 on: May 28, 2016, 10:26:17 AM »
I'm using a butane refill from maplins. I'd never expect their stuff to be good quality though. I wonder if covering part of the wick up near the brass end would help. I could maybe put some shrink wrap tubing around it. Although I'm not sure how well that stuff would survive in liquid butane. Or maybe I could interference fit a bit of brass tube in.

Offline awemawson

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Re: Fixing a gas soldering iron leak.
« Reply #3 on: May 28, 2016, 11:41:43 AM »
I have the exact same model, but can't look at it at the moment as I'm away for a few days.

I seem to remember a sintered plug that the gas defuses through  :scratch:
Andrew Mawson
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Offline S. Heslop

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Re: Fixing a gas soldering iron leak.
« Reply #4 on: May 28, 2016, 12:07:30 PM »
I have the exact same model, but can't look at it at the moment as I'm away for a few days.

I seem to remember a sintered plug that the gas defuses through  :scratch:

Yeah I can see something sort of like that. It's all so tiny it's hard to get a good look. It looks like the iron had been dropped on it's tip at some point, judging by the upsetting on it, so maybe that dislodged something. But I couldn't see anyhting blatantly wrong. Might try digging out my magnifying glass.

Offline S. Heslop

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Re: Fixing a gas soldering iron leak.
« Reply #5 on: May 30, 2016, 12:12:40 PM »
So I had another look at this thing. Took out the brass fitting the wick goes into and gave it a light tap on the desk and out came this little brass disk.



White balance is way off but taking a photo was the best way I could get a closer look since my loupe has gone missing. No idea what that gunk in it is, its only on the one side (but both sides have the grooves). Inside the fitting are a set of matching, for lack of a better word, grill lines. My best guess is that's what stops the liquid butane making its way through, but when the soldering iron was dropped it dislodged this stuff. It might've even been something spongey and compressible since it's what the gas adjustment tap pushes against.

I've tried looking online to see if there are spares for these irons but I haven't found anything but spare tips. Contacting Weller directly would be a last resort since i'd rather try fix this myself, but being gas related i'm a bit hesitant to try anything. Maybe a bit of felt or something might work in its place.

Offline S. Heslop

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Re: Fixing a gas soldering iron leak.
« Reply #6 on: June 04, 2016, 12:19:01 PM »
Tried out a few materials and thicknesses. Felt and some foams. Felt didn't work at all and a denser foam from a camping sleeping mat almost seemed to work but after about 15 or so seconds I guess the liquid starts to creep through.

Still can't find anything from googling about on how the regulator/ vaporizer part works. Just finding loads of articles about smoking weed. Turns out burning hemp rope is the way to go if you don't like the taste of butane in your bowl. Everyone knows the best part of smoking weed is the subtle flavours.

Offline RussellT

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Re: Fixing a gas soldering iron leak.
« Reply #7 on: June 04, 2016, 01:16:50 PM »
I'd be inclined to put the old bit back in.  It's only fallen out - why should there be anything wrong with it?

Russell

Offline S. Heslop

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Re: Fixing a gas soldering iron leak.
« Reply #8 on: June 04, 2016, 02:30:46 PM »
I'd be inclined to put the old bit back in.  It's only fallen out - why should there be anything wrong with it?

Russell

The cold liquid butane was hitting the catalyst so it wasn't glowing much, which I'd wrongly assumed was the catalyst being finished. The tip probably still has some life in it, but the problem is that liquid butane coming out. I might send weller an email and ask if they sell spares at all. But i'm not really convinced this soldering iron is worth the price they charge for it. It's mostly the same stuff as a cheap soldering iron, so I might be able to take the gas regulator out of one of those and machine an adapter.

Offline S. Heslop

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Re: Fixing a gas soldering iron leak.
« Reply #9 on: July 12, 2016, 06:07:18 PM »
I fixed this. I found a little foam plug inside an old lighter (one of those wind proof jet ones with the little catalyst) and was looking at it under the microscope to see what kind of foam it was, and comparing it to foams I had about. Then I realised I could probably just shove that itself into the soldering iron and now it works. The gas regulator is way more sensitive now though, and the high end of the range is proably way too strong. Didn't take any photos but the foam under the microscope looked like lots of... sheets. Kinda like alot of dried snail mucous. Most of the other foams I had looked more like lots of threads making a 3d honeycomb. I guess the sheets compress better to bleed only a small amount of gas through, where as the honeycombs even compressed still have large gaps between the rods.

One thing I think about alot is the amount of threads I find via Google that go nowhere and have no conclusion. But I guess the conclusion to this, if anyone is unfortunate enough to stumble on it, is to try pilfer a foam plug from a lighter.