After the soldering process, there comes a time when you would like to redo the entire job because it does not sit right or it is faulty. This is where desoldering comes in. In simple terms, desoldering is the removal of solder and components.
In electronics, for example, you can remove solder from a circuit board in order to troubleshoot, repair, replace or salvage. When desoldering, you can use various desoldering techniques like the use of soldering iron, desoldering braid, desoldering pump, heat gun, and compressed air. This will all give you the same results with some techniques being more advantageous than the others.
Nonetheless, we will discuss how to use a desoldering pump. So what really is a desoldering pump? A desoldering pump or a solder sucker is basically a manually operated device which is used to remove solder from a printed circuit board. They come in two types: a plunger style or bulb style.
Tools That Are Used
1. Desoldering pump
2. Heat gun
Step-by-Step Guide Line
Step 1: Preparing the Heat Gun or Smoldering Iron
First and foremost, before using the desoldering pump, it is vital to prepare the heat gun or soldering iron as they go hand-in-hand with the pump. To do this, turn on your soldering iron or heat gun and let it heat up for about three minutes.
At the same time, use a wet sponge to make quick passes from base to tip over the smoldering iron so that you clean it. You may notice a bit of some smoke, but this is normal as it is moisture coming from the sponge.
Step 2: Applying Heat
The next step to take when using a desoldering pump is to apply heat on the solder. This is to help melt the solder and prepare it for the suction. When applying heat, you can use a heat gun. When you are desoldering a circuit board, you should be careful. This is because you can easily ruin a circuit board by accidentally separating the board layers during the soldering process.
Step 3: Positioning of the Pump
After the solder is melted or liquefied, this is the best time to position the head of the pump on the solder that needs to be sucked out. Thereafter, release or discharge the plunger or bulb depending on what type of desoldering pump you are using.
For the plunger type, when you release the spring, the piston will shoot back quickly. This will create a vacuum which pulls the solder up into the pump.
You can get a pump that has a release button so that you do not have to keep holding on to the pump the entire time. Also, melted solder tends to harden quickly so it is best to work with only one terminal at a time.
Hold the soldering iron or heat gun in one hand while keeping the desoldering pump ready in the other to be as efficient as possible.
Step 4: Removal of Solder
You can keep repeating the three steps until all the desired free component has been removed. Keep pressing down and releasing the plunger in a continuous pattern to get rid of the solder inside the desoldering pump.
Step 5: Emptying the Molten Solder
After each use, push the pump down again over the trash can or bin to rearm and clear out the solder. Leaving the old solder inside can lead to leakage as you go to vacuum the next terminal.
Step 6: Benefits of using a Desoldering Pump
Desoldering pumps can come in different designs from manual to electronic type so you have a wide range of types to choose from. Also, when components are removed, they can easily be returned for use again.
As you have seen, it is not that complicated to use the desoldering pump. Once you master the technique, you are good to go. It is advisable to observe safety desoldering precautions during the process.
For example, you should wear hand gloves since you are handling the heat. In addition, a gas mask can be a good addition because heating the circuit board may release harmful fumes that may be detrimental to your health in the long run.