Weller WTCPS Soldering Station model PH1201 Does Not Heat Up Repaired

By on July 19, 2014
weller soldering station

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A friend brought this soldering station to me because he got it from an employee sale where he worked and did not work with something loose inside of the unit. This soldering station does not have a power on lighted switched, so you have to wait a couple of minutes and check for heat from the soldering iron.

 weller soldering station repair

After a few minutes, feel no heat from soldering iron. Since this unit provides 24 VAC to the soldering iron, time to check the voltage out from pins 1 & 2 on the 3-pin connector, pin 3 of this connector is ground. Pins 1 & 2 measured no AC to heat soldering iron.

 

It is time to take unit apart to find out what is loose inside and find problem. You have to remove the plastic footpads in order to get to the four screws that hold the unit together. You will need a thin, flat head screwdriver to work out the plastic footpads. Once out, you can then remove the screws to open the case. It takes a little bit of force to get the plastic footpads out, so be careful.

weller soldering station repairing

The unit comes apart in three pieces and then you can see what is going on. Found the problem and loose part responsible for the soldering station not to work. A loose cable twist was found inside.

 weller soldering station repairings

Because of this, two wires were not connected.

 wellersolderingstationrepair

Picture shows what was found. Since this unit worked fine for years, assembly of the unit is at fault.

 wellersolderingstationrepairs

I used the same wire twist that was found loose inside of the unit to connect the wires together again. To test this soldering station with no visible ‘on’ light, after a few minutes, you will feel heat from the soldering iron if you hold your hand near the iron. However, the best ways to test the soldering iron, is using a little solder applied to the tip, and then see solder melt and that familiar smoke and smell.

 wellersolderingstationrepairing

Now the soldering station is working again.

Note: To keep your soldering iron’s tip in good condition, after every use, you wipe the tip clean on a moist, cloth sponge or your cheap cellulose sponge as seen in the pictures. Then apply some solder to soldering iron’s tip until you get a little ball formed on the tip. Then turn your soldering station off for the day. This way you will extend the life of your soldering iron’s tip. I still have the same soldering tips in my Weller Soldering Stations for over 25 years because of it!

Richard Dekneef  repairs electronic equipment and design custom audio equipment. He also work on video equipment and have a complete TV studio w/green screen capability.

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19 Comments

  1. Robert

    July 19, 2014 at 3:34 pm

    Good job Richard. I also use only distilled water for my sponge to wipe my tips on. Tap water has many minerals & chemicals that can affect your tips. I'm still using the same tip I started with over a year ago. They will last a long time if we take care of them.

    Likes(1)Dislikes(0)
    • Richard DeKneef

      July 20, 2014 at 12:27 pm

      I will say right now that you were instructed wrong about the water used with the sponge. It DOES NOT matter what kind of water that is used for your sponge. Every time you use your iron when done, wipe your iron tip and then apply some solder to it to cover it. If not using again, turn it off.

      The minerals in the water WILL NOT affect your soldering irons tip at all. I have been through soldering classes at a defense company I use to work for and it conforms with what I have been doing for 46 years.

      Just use your water for your sponge and clean your soldering tip every time after using it and then apply a little solder to the tip to form a little ball at the tip to protect it. You must do this every time you use your iron and it will last a long time!!!

      I would complain to whom ever told you this because it is false information.

      Likes(4)Dislikes(1)
      • Robert

        July 20, 2014 at 4:59 pm

        Well the fact is that distilled water is more pure and cleaner, so I'll continue using it regardless. Of course we have to keep our tips tinned. I make sure and tin my tip before I put it back in the holder even if I'm still using it. And my experience shows that my method works.

        Likes(1)Dislikes(1)
        • Robert

          July 20, 2014 at 6:44 pm

          P.S. The link you provided in your article says that tap water can leave mineral deposits on your tip...

          Likes(1)Dislikes(1)
          • Richard DeKneef

            July 21, 2014 at 10:28 am

            Correction, no mineral deposits are left on your tip. You are cleaning the oxidation off of the tip and immediately applying some solder to it. I use well water with no problem. As I tried explaining before, where I use to work in production department, I had to once a year take a 3-day soldering class and then a test. I have been cleaning my iron the same way since 1966 with no problem. The big problem is not cleaning your tip and it will destroy it. If there will be some time before using your iron between repairs, clean and apply solder to the tip and turn it off.

            I'm just trying to clarify this simple soldering iron requirement.

            Likes(1)Dislikes(2)
          • Humberto

            July 22, 2014 at 8:46 pm

            Hi Richard and my friend Robert, I've read an article given by WELLER, April 23, 2013; and it says the following:

            ALWAYS:
            Tin the tip – If not done, tip will oxidize (turn brown or black) and loose heat transfer ability
            Use distilled water to keep sponge damp (not drenched)
            Keep sponge clean
            Use the Weller Dry Clean System WDC
            Higher Temp = Reduced Tip Life
            HOW TO “RENEW” YOUR TIP
            Before tip is oxidized, use the Weller WPB1 polishing bar. When tip is cold lightly polish the tip to remove
            oxides. Immediately re-tin the tip
            In extreme cases of tip oxidation or tip “burnout” use the WPB1 along with tip tinnier. Once tip is renewed,
            re-tin immediately.
            Use the lowest soldering iron temperature possible
            SOLDERS & FLUXES FACTS
            The higher tin content in lead free solders attacks the iron plating on soldering tips.
            Small diameter wire solder often has Flux voids that cause tip oxidation.
            Hard, black smooth coating on tip is burned on flux, not a tip defect.
            Water-soluble fluxes are highly corrosive at high temperatures and especially damaging to soldering tips.
            Wire solder cored with water-soluble flux used during touch-up and rework procedures result in
            accelerated tip failure.
            No-clean fluxes are usually insufficient to clean normal oxides off soldering tips.

            Have both and everybody a good day, Humberto

            Likes(4)Dislikes(0)
      • owais akhter

        October 24, 2016 at 10:26 pm

        Hi Mr. Richard,
        I found that you are little careless while using Hot Soldering Iron Place near Towel & your clothes. Be careful that may cause fire and take you to in really danger. Another thing is nowadays nobody use wet sponges to wipe Soldering Iron Tip because every time it cools Soldering iron tip and gives more job to heater element. Best way to clean tip is Brass shave. No water of anytime will be required and better clean than sponges without heating losses.

        Likes(0)Dislikes(0)
  2. yogesh panchal

    July 19, 2014 at 4:51 pm

    Informative Thanks for sharing.

    Likes(0)Dislikes(1)
  3. John V.

    July 19, 2014 at 5:29 pm

    Cleaning your tips on a wet sponge will cause the tip to become brittle and disintegrate due to thermal shock.A better way is to use either a stainless steel scouring pad.
    See link:
    http://www.siliconfarmers.com/post/2011/06/12/Care-of-soldering-tips-for-long-life-and-easier-soldering.aspx

    Likes(5)Dislikes(2)
    • Robert

      July 19, 2014 at 9:30 pm

      You just want your sponge to be slightly damp, not wet. I use my
      "damp" sponge all the time and my tips have lasted over a year. And
      I only use distilled water for it.

      Likes(2)Dislikes(1)
      • Richard DeKneef

        July 21, 2014 at 10:58 am

        Correct Robert. After getting your sponge wet with water, squeeze the sponge until no more water comes out; now you have a "moist" sponge which will work all of the time and does not affect the tip's heat at all.

        Likes(1)Dislikes(1)
    • Royce Faggotter

      July 20, 2014 at 5:34 pm

      Yes that is the one i use, is a brass pad, clean the tip every time you solder.

      Likes(1)Dislikes(1)
    • Richard DeKneef

      July 21, 2014 at 10:52 am

      I looked at this site and they are right about tinning your tip after every use. A stainless steel scouring pad is just like using sandpaper and will damage the tip; your rubbing two metals together which is not a good thing to do at all. Using a "moist" sponge will not damage your tip at all. Avoid a wet sponge at all costs, squeeze the sponge until no more water drips from it, now it is a "moist" sponge. Wipe tip and then coat with resin core solder, do not use solder with a resin core. The resin core helps clean the surface that you are going to solder. Sometimes you may have to use Kester soldering paste to help with soldering something. Just trying to help clear up a simple process. If you use Weller soldering products, their soldering tips are designed to last if cleaned properly.

      Likes(1)Dislikes(2)
  4. Merlin Marquardt

    July 19, 2014 at 10:45 pm

    Good article on a simple repair.

    Likes(0)Dislikes(3)
  5. Joshua oloo

    July 21, 2014 at 1:32 am

    Thanks for the Article sir.keep it up.

    Likes(0)Dislikes(2)
  6. Humberto

    July 22, 2014 at 9:04 pm

    Anyway, a good repair mr. richard, a lot of arguments is positive here, because you can learn a lot. d not forget to see instructions given by WELLER I posted in starting of criteria given by you and the frien Robert, who is a helpful person.

    Likes(2)Dislikes(2)
  7. Humberto

    July 22, 2014 at 9:06 pm

    Sorry, I forgot saying to you that maybe Power On light may be in the same switch, did you check this?

    Likes(1)Dislikes(2)
  8. Raymundo Saura

    August 27, 2014 at 3:41 pm

    thanks sir great article

    Likes(0)Dislikes(1)
  9. Mahmoud

    September 8, 2014 at 10:46 pm

    thanks good job & great article

    Likes(0)Dislikes(1)

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