Electronics > Repair

Leaded solder for professional repair in EU/US

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Domitronic:

Hello,

when watching repair videos on YouTube for example from Louis Rossmann or NorthridgeFix i see they are still using leaded solder for fixing notebooks, tablets and so on.

I thought usage of leaded solder is not allowed anymore. Are there exceptions in regulations for repair? And are regulations different in the EU and US? I wonder if we could use leaded solder for repair of electronic equipment as well in the EU.

 

ataradov:
It is your equipment, you can do whatever you want. Same thing with hobby projects. Leaded solder is not outlawed, it is available and some industries still use it even in mass production for reliability reasons.

The goal of the regulation is to reduce the use of lead in mass production. The amount of leaded solder a repair shop would use in a lifetime is meaningless, it literally does not matter.

nctnico:

--- Quote from: ataradov on September 30, 2022, 06:05:56 pm ---The goal of the regulation is to reduce the use of lead in mass production. The amount of leaded solder a repair shop would use in a lifetime is meaningless, it literally does not matter.

--- End quote ---
I beg to differ. There is not just one repair shop but thousands and all of them using leaded solder does at up to a significant source of lead contamination. Louis Rossman should use unleaded solder for equipment that goes into to field (the hands of consumers) like anyone else.

ataradov:
Only tiny percentage of the manufactured devices go for repair. And repair shop modifies a tiny part of the board. The amount of solder they use even if combined is tiny compared to the amount used for manufacturing.

You can dick around with formulations all day long, but leaded solder is still unbeatable for manual soldering.

Domitronic:

Not sure what Louis is using today. I thought in an older video he mentioned that he used leaded on this particular repair. And even in his online store he has leaded solder as affiliate link to Amazon.

But finally my question comes down to professional repair in the EU.  I thought RoHS directive prohibits the use of leaded solder. Is that correct or are there any exceptions for repair? So if i do some repair here and there as a part-time job i assume i can not use leaded solder? I mean unleaded is fine for most things. But sometimes it would be easier to use leaded for really tiny stuff.

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