Friday, 4 November 2016

"Solder creep" and an unpleasant smell...

Just been sat in the workshop doing a few little jobs, and there's a funny small of something getting too warm. I've noticed it on and off for a couple of days, thought it was the wood burning stove in the other room yesterday, but tonight, it's definitely coming from round the computer area.... immediate investigation required.

After a couple of mins I found it.

There's an extension block connected to the output from a UPS. It's warm. Damn warm....

Further investigation shows the neutral has been overheating. I've disconnected it here. The wire has been soldered! Never, ever solder a mains cable (or any stranded cable for that matter) before fitting it into a screw type fitting. The solder "creeps" up the cable, and leaves a resistive loose connection behind.

This lead was carrying less than 500W ... so nowhere near maximum load.

I wonder how many more of this brand I have?

Not many I hope. This one's for the bin...


  1. Odd how often this happens on the neutral connection.

    But, as you say, never ever tin a stranded wire that's going into that sort of screw terminal.

  2. It is odd how it's more often the neutral....

    Also odd how double pole mains switches also fail open on the neutral side more often.