When soldering a wire, do you have to cut off the plastic that's covering the wire or does it melt through with the solder?

Update:

I have a very thin wire that I'm soldering but it's so thin that it's hard to cut it to show the wire underneath it. Can I just solder the plastic with the wire in hope it would just melt through and still conduct?

17 Answers

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  • hart
    Lv 6
    2 weeks ago

    I warm the plastic with a lighter and pull it off with a cloth

    • Ray2 weeks agoReport

      that's ingenious but that also contaminates the wire making it less conductive. 

  • 2 weeks ago

    No. the wire has to be stripped accordingly, then an application of rosin flux for cleaning to both wire and what it will be soldered to. Tin the wire and connection first

    Use a multi core solder of needed size(1-2 MM) use a decent 40 watt iron and solder your connection. Get both hot enough the solder flows into the connection, then use alcohol to clean of excess flux.

    Getting good at this is a skill you have to develop with practice, done a LOT of PCB rework in my day but failing eyes are letting me down now. Right in the middle of adding 14 conductor ribbon wire to a circuit board.

    Something like this:

    https://www.tiaowiki.com/wiki/images/thumb/a/a5/36...

  • Frank
    Lv 5
    3 weeks ago

    Nope. BURN off the EXCESS insulation then CLEAN the WIRE left over. If it isn't bare clean metal...the solder WILL NOT STICK. Don't burn it with the soldering iron...ALWAYS KEEP THAT CLEAN as well. Use a lighter.

    • Ray2 weeks agoReport

      man i just used scissors.

  • 3 weeks ago

    I see your add-on. The heat shrink tube is simply to protect the joint, you don't have to use it if you don't need to or if it's impossible for the job you're doing.  If you're going to use it, slide a length suitable to cover the join and any bare wire onto the wire at one side of the joint or the other.  You need to do this BEFORE you make the joint, you can't get it on otherwise!  Once the joint has been made you slide the tube down over it and apply heat. It will shrink tightly over the joint, protect it and insulate it, and make a neat joint.

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  • Anonymous
    3 weeks ago

      Nope.  you got to get the plastic off.  I used my teeth because I did not have stripping pliers handy or a jack knife.  Or you could use a match and burn off the plastic and then pull off the melting plastic which stretches like gum and snaps off to expose some end.  That works.  Soldering is too cold to melt the plastic.  Even 250Watt iron is not hot enough to melt the plastic.  Flame it first so it charcoals crispy and then pull off like taffy

    • Cap'n. America
      Lv 4
      3 weeks agoReport

      Only maybe Teflon insulated or Formvar (Enamel) coated magnet wire--it needs a match  or  scraped off. 

  • 3 weeks ago

    yes, you remove the insulation [the plastic]

  • 3 weeks ago

    If you melt the insulation, the fume are harmful and the melted insulation will compromise the connection.

    • Ray3 weeks agoReport

      Very helpful. is there fume from the wires also? I see smoke coming out from people soldering on youtube.

  • 3 weeks ago

    You have to remove the insulation.

    • Ray3 weeks agoReport

      yeah, i now learned that it's important to do that. Honestly, i would have just melted the insulation if i hadn't asked this question and learned that i can't do that!

  • 3 weeks ago

    You have to strip the wire and then you have to take a piece of sandpaper and sandpaper the ends of the bare wires. Then before you do any soldering you take a piece of heat shrink tubing and you put it over the wire. Then you do your soldering you allow it to cool and you slide piece of heat shrink where are you did the soldering and warm it up will a lighter or a heat gun.

    • skeptik
      Lv 7
      3 weeks agoReport

      The only reason to sand wire *after* stripping is if there's either some insulating residue remaining (like lacquer) or if the wire is oxidized.  If it's relatively new wire, neither of those will be true.

  • 3 weeks ago

    If you don't strip the wire, you'll contaminate the solder joint.  If (and it's unlikely) you get the solder to bond at all, you'll have a bad connection. For a good solder connection, you should first have a good mechanical connection.  That means you *must* strip back the plastic shielding and twist the wires together. Make sure the wires are clean and free of corrosion. Heat the connection until it's hot enough to melt the solder.

    • skeptik
      Lv 7
      3 weeks agoReport

      In that case, you won't need to apply any insulation afterward.  Either heat-shrink tubing, or electrical tape.

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