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SMT electronics assembly manufacturing forum.

Solder Pot Draining

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Solder Pot Draining | 20 March, 2013

Hello All, I am wondering if anyone has come up with an easy and safe way to drain a solder pot on a wave solder machine? We are getting rid of an old machine and replaceing it with an newer machine and we want to use as much of the solder from the old machine as possible. We are probably looking at about 1200 lbs. of solder. Thanks Jeff

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Solder Pot Draining | 20 March, 2013

Most pots have a drain system, but that is a scary thing to use. I have seen places that have plumbed it nicely with ball valves and such to control the flow into small containers, but still fraught with danger. I use small metal bread pans. I ladel it into the pans and then place them in a small tray of water to cool. The water depth should be minimal, quater inch or so, and will need to be replenished a lot. You will need at least 10-15 bread pans. By the time you fill the 10th, you should be able to tip out the solder bar formed in the first and use it again. Only fill the pans about 1/4 depth or it will take too long to solidify. Have a place to stack the bars as they come out of the pans. Two of us did a 1600 lb pot in about 6 hours last year. Go slow as it is still dangerous. Keep everyone away from the area. Wear heavy boots and pants. No synthetic clothes that will melt if you splash solder. Once done, you have nice managble bars to put back into the new machine. While you are doing this, take a sample for testing to make sure you do not need to adjust your load.

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barry g


Solder Pot Draining | 19 September, 2013

Hi, we are going to be doing the same here next week. Did u have to put anything in the pans, paraffin wax or such to prevent sticking to pans?

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Solder Pot Draining | 20 September, 2013

We've done the same as what Woodsmt has suggested. Bread pans and a ladle. Slow going but safe. We did not have to add anything to the pans to prevent sticking. Woodsmt, did you have to worry about the pot heaters over heating while draining?

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Solder Pot Draining | 20 September, 2013

We were doing the same a few months ago, it took us 1 shift with 2 persons to drain it (we were repairing a leak), we were disconecting the resistors once they were not in contact with molten solder to prevent overheating...

Here you have a pic of the pump and the pans we made in house


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