Why Is My Soldering Iron Not Heating Up? – How to Fix a Soldering Iron That’s Not Heating

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The soldering iron is an indispensable tool if you usually do tasks that need constant soldering. Therefore, when it stops working, this is a cause of frustration since you now can’t carry out your soldering tasks. If this is something you’ve been struggling with, worry no more.

In this article, you’ll be taken through the exact reasons why your soldering iron might have stopped working. In addition to this, you also get to know how to fix this tool, allowing it to heat up once more and continue with your duties. Consequently, you’ll be able to resume carrying out your soldering tasks and not being unproductive.

Reasons Your Soldering Iron Isn’t Heating Up 

Several reasons may be causing your soldering iron not to heat up. These include the sensing or electrical circuit being destroyed or the ceramic heater being damaged physically. Therefore, once you notice your soldering iron isn’t heating up, it’s advised to go through the user manual to remove the tip, as stated in the user manual.

Consequently, you’ll be able to restore your soldering iron to working condition.

Steps To Follow When Fixing A Destroyed Soldering Iron 

Step 1: Identify The Destroyed Parts

Your soldering iron may be destroyed due to numerous reasons. Therefore, the first thing you need to do is to identify the destroyed parts that need to be replaced. Some of the most common areas which get damaged are the wires or the filament and should use a multimeter or any other suitable method to know which part is destroyed.

If you can’t see any disconnection between the soldering iron and wires plus the outlet is working correctly, the filament needs replacement.

Step 2: Get the Necessary Materials

After identifying the damaged part, the next thing should be getting the materials needed to fix the soldering iron. These materials include;

  • A new filament for your soldering iron. When finding a filament replacement, make sure to get one that has an exact wattage as your soldering iron. For example, if your soldering iron has a wattage of 20 watts, the filament also needs to be of 20 watts.
  • Electrical tape that’s meant to be used at high temperatures.

Step 3: Remove Filament 1

Now that you know the filament is what’s destroyed, this step entails installing the new filament. When doing this, the first thing to do is taking out the filament iron in your soldering iron. You should do this by twisting its handle as well as the soldering iron’s trunk in the opposite direction for the soldering iron to open.

However, the steps of removing a filament vary from one soldering iron to another. If your soldering iron has screws on its filament, you should start by unscrewing it. As you do this, you’ll need to be extremely careful since rust starts forming on the screws over time. This metal also isn’t very hard due to the heat usually generated during the soldering process, so maintain caution to avoid destroying the screws.

Step 4: Remove Filament 2

You should now get cutter pliers to open the soldering iron and take out the filament. This entails cutting the filament’s terminal, which comes attached to the soldering iron wires. After doing this, you should subsequently replace this filament with a new one by fixing the new filament to the exact position where the old filament’s terminal was positioned.

When doing this, make sure to use electrical tapes as they can capably withstand high temperatures to cover a portion of the filament terminals fixed to the soldering iron wires, thereby preventing a short circuit. You should then unplug the old filament and connect the new filament.

Step 5: Test Your Soldering Iron

Once you’ve installed the new filament, start assembling back the parts of the soldering iron. You should do this using the available screws and confirm to install everything back in the correct position. After you’re done with the assembly, test your soldering iron to see whether it’s working. 

If it does, you’re free to use it now to carry out soldering tasks.

Do Soldering Irons Need Maintenance? 

Now that you know the reason why your soldering iron might not be heating up and how to address such an issue, it’s essential to know whether this tool needs maintenance. If this is something you’ve been asking yourself, yes, this tool needs to be maintained regularly.

This is because the tip of the soldering iron gets hot during soldering and, as a result, susceptible to oxidation. As a result, this has a direct impact on its performance since the solder gets affected. Moreover, this device is prone to damage due to repeated heating and cooling.

Therefore, you must put in place appropriate maintenance measures to prolong the life of your soldering iron. This entails cleaning any old solder, accumulated carbon, and similar debris present on the brass shavings or sponge. By doing this, you’ll free the tip of your soldering iron from accumulated deposits, thereby making it clean and shiny.

How Can You Tell Your Soldering Iron Is Damaged? 

Knowing whether your soldering iron is destroyed and necessitates replacement is vital if you don’t want to affect your productivity. The best way to tell whether the tip of your soldering iron is destroyed is by inspecting to see whether there’s any hole or crack on the plating.

If you notice one, this risks the soldering iron’s tip to touch the solder. This leads to the dissolving of copper inside the solder, which affects the integrity of the soldering iron tip.

It would be best if you also examined the tip’s inside to see whether there’s any damage to the cartridge or tips that need to be taken out for replacement. After inspecting and confirming that your soldering iron is clean and free of any damage, you can continue using your soldering iron.


If you’ve been experiencing an issue with your soldering iron not heating up, reading this in-depth article has enlightened you on why this might be happening. You also know of the steps you should take should this happen and get your soldering iron back to working condition. By doing so, you’ll be able to resume your soldering duties without any issue at all. 

About the Author Dan

Just a random guy who likes to build things. Providing tool knowledge, appliance/device testing tips, and DIY project info in an easy-to read & non-intimidating style.