How to choose and use a soldering iron for plastic pipes

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Some time ago, in all apart­ments and hous­es, pipelines were assem­bled every­where from met­al pipes. They were con­nect­ed by weld­ing or thread­ed method. In our time of advanced tech­nolo­gies, an excel­lent alter­na­tive has been found — polypropy­lene pipes, char­ac­ter­ized by ease and ease of use. Plas­tic parts are mount­ed using spe­cial tools and equip­ment. The sim­plest and most con­ve­nient device that allows you to cre­ate a high-qual­i­ty con­nec­tion is a sol­der­ing iron for mount­ing plas­tic pipes. The device is in demand among crafts­men who inde­pen­dent­ly install plumb­ing and heat­ing sys­tems in their homes. Man­u­fac­tur­ers release new mod­els every year, and before buy­ing equip­ment, you need to fig­ure out what it is, how it dif­fers from oth­ers, and what para­me­ters you need to pay atten­tion to.

Mod­el WESTER DWM 1000A

How a soldering iron works and how it works

Almost all mod­els have the same design, with the only dif­fer­ence being the method of attach­ing the noz­zles to the heat­ing sur­face. The sol­der­ing iron itself con­sists of:

  • Enclo­sures with han­dle;
  • Weld­ing heater (placed in a cast met­al cas­ing);
  • ther­mo­stat;
  • A set of spe­cial noz­zles.

The sol­der­ing iron device can be com­pared with an ordi­nary iron. The device dif­fers only in its pur­pose and form. Sol­der­ing irons, how­ev­er, like irons, have 2 key links — a ther­mo­stat and a high-pow­er heat­ing ele­ment built into a flat or round case. It is on the shape of the body that the design of the fas­ten­ing of the work­ing noz­zles depends.

Instruc­tions are attached to each equip­ment, from which the prin­ci­ple of oper­a­tion can be dis­tin­guished: a heat­ing ele­ment con­nect­ed to the net­work heats the stove, and it, in turn, heats the noz­zles. The task of the lat­ter is to soft­en the mate­r­i­al being processed to a vis­cous state, which facil­i­tates the con­nec­tion pro­ce­dure. The ther­mo­stat is designed to main­tain the opti­mal tem­per­a­ture of the noz­zles (about +260 degrees Cel­sius). It con­trols the pro­ce­dure for weld­ing sur­faces, not allow­ing more melt­ing than required. If the work­ing noz­zle gets very hot, it will eas­i­ly over­heat the joint and the polypropy­lene will begin to “flow”, which will reduce the diam­e­ter of the prod­uct or lead to its dam­age.

Noz­zles are an impor­tant struc­tur­al ele­ment

If it is not enough to warm the pipe, then the con­nec­tion will not be tight. An addi­tion­al task of the ther­mo­stat is to pro­vide pro­tec­tion to the heat­ing ele­ment (the met­al head will not melt). It is bet­ter not to con­sid­er cheap mod­els of the device, since their design does not imply the use of a high-qual­i­ty ther­mo­stat, and a lot depends on it.

Sep­a­rate­ly, it is worth not­ing the role of noz­zles. It is rec­om­mend­ed to choose high-qual­i­ty parts that pro­vide a reli­able joint when sol­der­ing. There are dif­fer­ent coat­ings of noz­zles. When choos­ing a sol­der­ing iron, atten­tion is also paid to the thick­ness of the non-stick lay­er. The most durable tips are Teflon coat­ed or met­al­lized Teflon (even stronger). With their help, uni­form heat­ing of the work­piece is done.

Soldering iron selection options

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Power value

When choos­ing a sol­der­ing iron for plas­tic pipes, it is impor­tant to under­stand that the key para­me­ter is pow­er. The size of the con­nect­ed pipes and the heat­ing time of the device depend on it, respec­tive­ly, and the speed of instal­la­tion (if the vol­umes are large, then this item is giv­en pri­or­i­ty).

It may seem that when choos­ing, you can be guid­ed only by the pow­er of the sol­der­ing iron. And now many peo­ple are buy­ing devices whose pow­er varies from 1.5 to 2 kW — this is not a com­plete­ly cor­rect approach to choos­ing.

Pro­fes­sion­als use a sim­ple for­mu­la that allows them to choose the opti­mal pow­er: mul­ti­ply the diam­e­ter of the pipes used (in mm) by 10 — this will be the val­ue of the min­i­mum pow­er.

For exam­ple, to ensure the sol­der­ing of pipes with a diam­e­ter of 50 mm, the pow­er of the equip­ment must be at least 500 watts. Based on this, the mod­els are divid­ed into:

  • House­hold — enough pow­er of 1.2 kW;
  • Pro­fes­sion­al — from 1.8 to 2.2 kW and more.
The pow­er of this machine is 800 W

Used nozzles

A sol­der­ing iron used for sol­der­ing plas­tic pipes, as a rule, is already equipped with spe­cial noz­zles, which great­ly expands its func­tion­al­i­ty. Some man­u­fac­tur­ers have a fea­ture: the mod­els they pro­duce sup­port up to two noz­zles at the same time, due to which the pro­ce­dure for sol­der­ing pipes with dif­fer­ent diam­e­ters is even faster.

Noz­zles can be coat­ed with var­i­ous mate­ri­als.

Impor­tant infor­ma­tion! The most prac­ti­cal coat­ings are Teflon and met­al­lized Teflon. They are char­ac­ter­ized by strength and uni­form heat­ing of the ends of PVC pipes.

Heating temperature

On aver­age, the max­i­mum heat­ing tem­per­a­ture of the equip­ment does not exceed 300 degrees Cel­sius. When choos­ing a device, you should pay atten­tion not only to the oper­at­ing tem­per­a­ture, but also to the abil­i­ty to reg­u­late it. In the course of work, this is very con­ve­nient: after all, +50 degrees is enough to con­nect one mate­r­i­al, while the oth­er needs all +300 degrees. Poly­eth­yl­ene pipes melt at +220 degrees, and polypropy­lene pipes at +260 degrees.

Ask­ing the ques­tion “how to choose a tool”, you need to famil­iar­ize your­self with its con­trols and how con­trol is gen­er­al­ly car­ried out. It is use­ful if a light indi­ca­tion is pro­vid­ed — dis­play­ing the con­nec­tion of the device to the net­work and the lev­el of its heat­ing. Here the task of the built-in ther­mo­stat is to reg­u­late the oper­at­ing tem­per­a­ture depend­ing on the oper­at­ing con­di­tions. Some pro­fes­sion­al mod­els are equipped with a spe­cial dis­play that dis­plays infor­ma­tion regard­ing the cur­rent tem­per­a­ture. These are high-qual­i­ty devices, which are easy and con­ve­nient to work with — after all, in con­ven­tion­al mod­els, the tem­per­a­ture is deter­mined intu­itive­ly by the mas­ter. When con­nect­ing pipes with your own hands, there is always the pos­si­bil­i­ty of over­heat­ing of the device — here a pro­tec­tive shut­down will be a use­ful func­tion. As for con­ven­tion­al mod­els, they sim­ply need a break from time to time, but this affects the pro­duc­tiv­i­ty of the work.

How soldering is done

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Con­sid­er how to use a sol­der­ing iron. The order of work is as fol­lows:

  • Pipes are cut per­pen­dic­u­lar to the cen­tral axis. If the end is curved, this will sig­nif­i­cant­ly affect the qual­i­ty of the sol­der­ing;
  • Cham­fers are removed from the end of the pipe (the cut site is cleared of debris);
  • Noz­zles are put on the equip­ment and it is con­nect­ed to the mains. When turned on, the red light will turn on. When it goes out, this will indi­cate that the device has reached the desired tem­per­a­ture;
  • The parts to be joined are heat­ed. A pipe is attached to one side of the noz­zle, and fit­tings to the oth­er. Warm­ing up takes about 6 sec­onds. The pipeline will begin to melt and it is at this moment that the con­nec­tion is made. It takes less than a minute for polypropy­lene to cool down. Dur­ing oper­a­tion, it is bet­ter not to touch the pipe joint, oth­er­wise all work may be spoiled.

After sol­der­ing, the work­pieces are used for their intend­ed pur­pose. For bet­ter weld­ing, it is rec­om­mend­ed to place pipes in a hor­i­zon­tal plane. The work can be eas­i­ly done alone, with­out helpers.

Part heat­ing

Advantages of a homemade soldering iron

The base of such a device will be a hand-held heater. An ama­teur mod­el is eas­i­ly assem­bled by a per­son who is famil­iar with elec­tri­cal wiring and has basic lock­smith skills. DIY fans can assem­ble a home­made sol­der­ing iron and its key advan­tage is afford­abil­i­ty. The down­side here will be insuf­fi­cient­ly high-qual­i­ty sol­der­ing, suit­able only for an ama­teur lev­el.

A home­made device is assem­bled from:

  • heat­ing ele­ment. An ordi­nary elec­tric iron will do, or rather its sole;
  • Nec­es­sary noz­zles;
  • Nick­el-plat­ed bolt nuts (need­ed to fix the noz­zles);
  • Dig­i­tal mul­ti­me­ter with exter­nal ther­mome­ter;
  • Clamps or oth­er fas­ten­ers.
home­made mod­el

TOP‑5 models of soldering irons for plastic pipes

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Dremel Versatip 2000–6

This mod­el is the leader of the rat­ing, and it is capa­ble of: melt­ing, cut­ting, burn­ing, sol­der­ing and even remov­ing paint. Due to its func­tion­al­i­ty, it is pop­u­lar among both ama­teurs and pro­fes­sion­als. The device uses liq­uid gas (butane) to oper­ate. For con­ve­nience of work the nec­es­sary tem­per­a­ture mode is select­ed. Heats up quick­ly, with­in sec­onds, and cuts and melts plas­tic just as fast.

Gerat Weld 75–100 69110

Man­u­al equip­ment for con­nect­ing plas­tic pipes with two ele­ments. One heat­ing ele­ment includ­ed in the kit is a back­up. The tool has a pow­er of 1.6 kW. The set includes a ther­mo­stat and a set of opti­mal noz­zles. All equip­ment is placed in a con­ve­nient met­al case. This is a reli­able, func­tion­al and pow­er­ful mod­el. Among the minus­es is the rel­a­tive­ly high cost.

BRIMA TG-171 0010291

Rel­a­tive­ly inex­pen­sive and high-qual­i­ty device with a pow­er of 750 watts. It is easy to use and the tech­ni­cal char­ac­ter­is­tics of the TG-171 are not infe­ri­or to more expen­sive mod­els. Due to the rapid warm-up, pipe bond­ing can be real­ized quick­ly. Tem­per­a­ture con­troller includ­ed as stan­dard. Advan­tages: equipped with 6 dou­ble-sided inserts, 2 index­ing lights, easy to oper­ate. Minus: not the most com­fort­able stand.

Mod­el appear­ance

Prorab 6405‑k

Afford­able and pow­er­ful (2 kW) device, which is very pop­u­lar in EU. Equipped with two heat­ing modes and a tem­per­a­ture con­troller. The pack­age includes 6 noz­zles, stand, tape mea­sure and scis­sors. High pow­er allows you to use the sol­der­ing iron in windy weath­er. Advan­tages: func­tion­al­i­ty, acces­si­bil­i­ty, choice of noz­zle.

SPEC PTP-1000 SPEC-3268

Inex­pen­sive mod­el equipped with a stand, noz­zles, a screw­driv­er and a wrench for chang­ing noz­zles. The device has a pow­er of 980 W, which is enough for almost all house­hold tasks. Thanks to the tem­per­a­ture con­troller, it is con­ve­nient to use the device. It fits in a spe­cial case, although it can­not boast of its strength.

Conclusion

A sol­der­ing iron for plas­tic pipes is a nec­es­sary equip­ment that allows you to con­nect pipelines and heat­ing sys­tems. The arti­cle addressed the ques­tion: “which is bet­ter to choose a sol­der­ing iron”, tak­ing into account all the tech­ni­cal fea­tures and para­me­ters, because each mod­el has its own nuances and func­tion­al­i­ty. Keep in mind that dif­fer­ent tasks require dif­fer­ent equip­ment.

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