Desoldering with a Heat Gun DOESN’T Ruin Electrolytics

After repairing the Alesis monitor speakers by replacing overheated electrolytic capacitors, and then having one break again within a couple of minutes the first time I used it, I started to get a little paranoid about electrolytics and heat. In particular, I wondered, am I baking the electrolyte and ruining the capacitors when I bulk-desolder with my heat gun?

Gave it a little test today. The power supply board from the dead Optoma projector had a bunch of nice electrolytics on it, so I tested their ESR with my Capacitor Wizard, desoldered the board with the heat gun, and tested the caps again.

No perceptible increase in ESR, and I’m really glad to know that I haven’t been (directly) ruining capacitors all along. Yes, the extra heat probably speeds them on their way; but at least it’s not immediately fatal.

One Response to “Desoldering with a Heat Gun DOESN’T Ruin Electrolytics”

  1. Russ_Hensel says:

    I use a propane tourch and the parts seem to survive fine.

    Some other info on salvage, including I think, a link back here at:

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