What’s the Difference Between Plumbing Solder and Electrical Solder?

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Difference Between Plumbing & Electrical Solder

Plumbing Solder vs Electronic Solder
Plumbing Solder vs Electronic Solder

Soldering is a strategy used to bond two separate metals utilizing another metal (or metal alloy) with a low melting point. A heat source such as a soldering iron raises the temperature of the two metals to be joined together. When the solder makes contact with the heated metals, it melts. The molten solder flows over the metals and quickly solidifies, bonding them together.

This melting metal alloy, the solder itself, is available in various varieties depending upon the intended usage. So solder for electrical applications varies from solder used with copper pipes, for example. Historically, lead has actually been a typical element of solder due to its reasonably low melting point. Other metals typical in solder are tin, copper, and silver, among others.

Solder can be split normally into 2 classifications; lead-based solders (generally a mix of lead and tin) and more recent lead-free solders, which utilize tin together with other metals such as silver, copper, bismuth, or antimony.

Electronic Soldering
Electronic Soldering

Electrical Solder 

Electrical solders have a lower melting point (around 360 ˚F), while solders utilized in plumbing have higher melting points, usually well over 400 ˚F. This is why electrical soldering can be done using a soldering iron while a lot of pipes soldering utilizes a gas torch to heat up the metals. Electrical solders likewise tend to be smaller sized gage, which suggests they melt quicker, instead of pipes solder which is usually thicker gage and requires more heat to melt.

Plumbing Solder

Within plumbing applications, another difference is whether the pipelines are utilized in drain or for drinking water. For the previous, lead-based solder is acceptable. However, most local codes require lead-free solder to be used on all drinkable water pipes connections.

Perhaps the crucial distinction between electrical and pipes solder is the kind of flux utilized in each application. Flux is used to clean the metals to be signed up with, removing any oxidation and avoiding any from forming. The flux also helps wetting, helping the solder to flow and bond with the metals more readily.

Normally, electrical solder consists of rosin core flux; pipes solder utilizes an acid-based flux. So it’s not an excellent idea to use plumbing solder for electrical connections because the acid in the flux can harm the electrical wiring and lead to connection failure.

South End Plumbing specializes in all plumbing services, so remember, we are just a click away. We also specialize in leak detection – give us a call! South End Plumbing is one of the only companies that will give you a free estimate. Call us at 704-919-1722 or fill out the form online to schedule a visit.

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