Common Soldering Problems: Solder Starved

What is a Solder Starved Joint?    

A Solder Starved Joint occurs when insufficient amount of solder is applied, and can be seen when solder joints are deformed, concaved, cold, dull or whitish. It decreases its strength to function as intended, and has possibility of cracking under stress, causing the board to be unsafe for usage.

Problems with a Solder Starved Joint:

  • open solder joints
  • weak solder joint strength
  • short circuits
  • reduced first-pass yield
  • increased inspection required
  • increased rework required
  • field failures

How to prevent solder starved joints? 

When applying to solder to the joint, ensure that there is a uniform band of solder showing across the circuit board. This may seem simple, but to many who recently started their soldering journey, it may be hard to identify how much solder is sufficient. When soldering, the goal is to get a nice concave surface on the joint as per the image below. This is more than enough to ensure a connection and prevent the joints from coming loose. 

How to fix a joint that is solder starved?

Step 1: Preheat the joint with the tip of the soldering iron to melt the solder.

Step 2:  Apply more solder to the joint

Now, the joint would be reliable, strong and safe to use!

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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