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How To Solder Wires? – A Complete Guide

While connecting two disjoint wires, it is important to ensure that they conduct electricity after joining them.

The joints created by adhesives will disturb the flow of electricity as adhesives are natural insulators. Even if you use a conductive adhesive, the joints won’t be strong and may break when you bend the wires. So, there is a high chance that this might lead to short circuits.

Soldering rectifies these issues and provides the most reliable and effective way to splice wires. The joints are strong and they do not disturb flow of current.

Below, we have listed the step by step process of how to solder wires,

Step 1: Preparing your Wires

PREPARING WIRESFirst, you will have to strip off the insulator that covers the wires. Then, twist the filaments of each wire tightly to make them orderly.

If you want, you can add soldering resin to the wire filaments. When you are tinning the wires, the resin will help the solder flow smoothly.

Step 2: Tinning your Wires

TINNING THE WIRESTinning is the process of melting the solder around the wires. In this, you have to use a soldering iron and melt the solder into the filaments. The process also helps in the distribution of heat evenly throughout the wire.

You should not apply too much solder. Or else, it will make the wire firm. You want the wires to be flexible so that you can bend them while joining and splicing.

Step 3: Joining your Wires

JOIN THE WIRESBefore you solder the wires, you have to wrap them around each other. The wrapping will ensure the wires remain intact. Here, the solder does not act as a glue that holds the two wires together. Rather, it helps in conducting electricity.

You need to wrap the wires one around the other. Do it in such a way that the wraps do not overlay. The wraps should be adjacent and close to each other.

Step 4: Soldering the Splice

SOLDERING THE WIRESAfter wrapping the wires tightly around each other, use a soldering iron to heat the wrapped portion of the wires. The wires will melt and will get soldered together. The process will form a good solid joint.

You can also apply some solder. The solder will fill the gaps and will increase the strength of the joint.

Safety Tips for Soldering Ways

No matter how experienced you are in soldering, you should never ignore the safety regulations. If anything, your experience should help you understand the importance of adhering to these safety standards.

Below are the safety tips we highly recommend you follow while soldering the wires,

  • Wear eye protection and gloves before starting the process.
  • Perform soldering on a well-ventilated area.
  • Never touch the tip of the soldering iron.
  • Turn off and unplug the soldering iron when not in use.
  • Hold the wires using clamps.
  • Keep a fire extinguisher and first aid kit ready.
  • Replace everything in its original position after use.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. What is tinning and why is it important?

Tinning is the process of applying solder over freshly-stripped wires and melting it. This will cause the wire to melt and fuse smoothly over the other wire while soldering. Besides, it also extends the life of wire by preventing corrosion and oxidation.

2. Do you twist wires before soldering?

Yes, you have to twist and wrap the wires around each other before soldering. This will ensure the wires remain intact and do not drift apart when you are soldering.

3. How do you wrap wires before soldering?

You have to wrap two wires firmly around each other. You should ensure that the wraps do not overlap with each other. Rather, the wraps should be closeby by each other.

4. Can I glue instead of soldering wires?

You can not use super glue to join wires as it does not conduct electricity. Instead, you can use conductive adhesives for joining the wires. Still, it is not as reliable as joining wires using solder.

Conclusion

As you have seen, the process of soldering wires is simple. First, you need to tin the wires, wrap them around each other, and solder the splices. Besides, be sure to follow our safety guidelines to have a safe soldering experience.

If you have any other doubts or queries, you can contact us using the comments section. We will help you out. You can also post your thoughts and opinions in the comments box.

One Response

  1. As an ASE Master Tech since 1978, I work on automobiles. Wires of various AWG do require different approaches. We are not soldering larger than AWG 16 or more. Wire gauges have been increasing being reduced in size with 70% or more carrying 5 Vdc. On many vehicles, the wire breaks inside the insulation due to minor flexing. Also, during the labor intensive task, has created a spot-weld joining of 2, 3 wires (Perhaps More), then covered with standard reduced adhesive “PVC” tape.
    With no solder, smaller cross-sectional copper wire reduce cost and weight creating headaches for service techs trying to diagnose high resistance, voltage drop and open circuits. Fuses are thermal animals and the point at which they open, changes with the location. They will withstand in-rush current as they are cold themselves. The Under-hood fuse-relay center perhaps would expect to see more failures of fuses & a shorter life of certain relays, compared to a similar designs cooled inside by comfort control, mostly A/C.
    We have no choice but to study the schematic and formulate a plan of attack as only certain circuits could cause the customers concern. Once the root failure is found, extra wire may have to be added to bridge the open circuit. Care in the form of a fender cover masking internal plastic parts. Stripping a wire can be done with a finger nail. Twisting the wires after a quality shrink tubing, then soldering. I still have my SnapOn R450B, a soldering gun with 3 tips, still sold, but my 400 Watt tip is usually installed. Once cooled, slide the shrink tubing over and center. Use a heat gun carefully and have a safe place to sit. Tape is fine, but I have this habit of a dab of black weather strip adhesive on the tag end. It will not unravel.
    I understand the use of lead in water pipe, we don’t solder house wiring anymore as they did during the “Knob & Tube” era.
    As auto techs, we are taught to prepare, proper wire exposer, terminal core crimp, insulation crimp then still solder. The only place to NOT be soldered is if the repair in the door jamb. Either side is best practices. When it come to the new solder, I don’t care for the higher temperatures plus it never fails to require some external paste flux. It is too messy and totally unnecessary. Even on copper alloy radiators which maintain authenticity and yes, the cool better. Same with heater cores! Adhesives are designed for specific use, so should solder.
    I am sure groups will say even then, it will end up in ground water and other locations of concern. But it’s like climate change, we called it weather & common sense, but emissions are down to the 80’s levels. Petroleum will always have to be used from vehicles, airplanes and medicines. No one can ever tell me that if Indiana, China and Others pass-gas, the U.S. doesn’t smell it! Not our fault but comes out of our taxes. That is our money & money is our freedom. Life it too short to loose that much freedom / money.

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