Common Soldering Problems: Lifted Pads

What is a Lifted Pad?

Lifted Pads are commonly seen in soldering. It is easy to spot as the solder pad detaches and lifts up from the circuit board causing the pins on the circuit board have an improper connection.

How is a Lifted Pad Formed?

This happens commonly on single layered PCB when:

  • excessive heat is applied on the solder joint, as heat reduces the surface adhesion
  • excessive force is used on the solder joint, as it may pull out the components

Although highly unlikely, it is not impossible for lifted pads to form on plated through hole boards. 

How to prevent Lifted Pads?

  • Take single-sided boards off the conveyor or out of pallets very carefully
  • Lift up circuit boards only by the sides and not by pulling on any components
  • Reduce exposure to heat (both in temperature used and length of exposure)

How to fix a Lifted Pad?

Here are some ways to fix a lifted pad:

  • Use a strong epoxy to glue the pad back to the circuit board.
  • Trace the circuit connection starting from the lifted pad out. Stick a copper wire through the hole and solder it to fix its location, and then solder the other end of the copper wire to the component. Cut off any excess wire to prevent short circuits. 
  • Bend the component lead and solder it directly to the track that still has a connection to the board. If the lead is too short, solder an extension onto the lead, then proceed.

12 most common soldering problems (and how to fix them):

  1. Cold Joint
  2. Disturbed Joint
  3. Overheated Joint
  4. Insufficient Wetting of the Surface Mount
  5. Insufficient Wetting of the Pad
  6. Insufficient Wetting of the Pin
  7. Solder Starved
  8. Too Much Solder
  9. Untrimmed Leads
  10. Solder Bridge
  11. Lifted Pad
  12. Stray Solder
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