Plumbing Solder vs Electrical Solder — A Comprehensive Guide to Their Differences

It is known to all, plumbing solder and electrical solder can be considered two vital tools in soldering. As a user, you can use one of them as an alternative to the other. But do you know they are not the same at all?

Well, in this content, I will inform you about plumbing solder vs electrical solder. Moreover, you will be able to identify the differences between electrical solder and plumbing solder.

Besides, you will get to know the details of plumbing and electrical solder, their pros and cons, and the using process of these two instruments.

So let’s start.

Comparing Plumbing and Electrical Solder

Though these two are usually used for soldering, they have separate functions and working processes. They are different from each other. Even their flux is not the same. So a user can’t get the same result from each of them.

Let’s explore something new about plumbing solder and electrical solder.

Plumbing Solder

Plumbing solder is known as acid core solder. It has a wide diameter coil that helps to do soldering perfectly. For this type of tool, you must use acid core flux. And to do soldering perfectly, it requires a propane torch.

Generally, a user uses a plumbing solder to join two metal pieces. But this tool is not comfortable for electrical work.

How to use a plumbing solder

For your plumbing work, you need to use plumbing solder. It’s an obligatory tool to get a leak-free and firm joint. Let’s explore its use.

  • First of all, you need to arrange your instruments.
  • Now clean the metals that you desire to do solder.
  • You need to clean just the outer part of the metals. In this task, sandpaper will help you comprehensively.
  • However, now add the acid-base flux to the cleansed area of the metal.
  • Now, it is time to start your ultimate work.
  • Switch on your torch and begin to heat the metal. Continue this heating until the flux makes a hissing sound.
  • After enough heat, it is high time to seal the solder into the connection of the joint. So do it asap.

Pros of using a plumbing solder

There are many advantages of using a plumber solder.

  • It is an acid core solder that will help to join metals excellently.
  • This instrument requires highly active flux for soldering.
  • Moreover, the plumbing solder is entirely free from lead.

So for your metal soldering, plumbing solder is the best choice.

Cons of using a plumbing solder

Besides many advantages, a plumbing solder has some drawbacks.

  • You can’t use it for electronic components.
  • It contains acid that will destroy your electronic materials.
  • On the other hand, it uses corrosive flux that is also harmful to electronic ingredients.

Electrical Solder

Electrical soldering is an action used for joining two electronic components. To create an electrical connection between two elements, you can’t ignore the importance of electrical solder. It will help you to get perpetual conjunction of electricity. Besides, it will provide you with mechanical strength for your connection.

You need to use an electrical solder for a wide variety of works. However, let’s jump to the process of using electrical solder.

How to use an electrical solder

It is already clear that an electrical solder is primarily used for making an electronic connection. As a soldering worker, you must know how to work with electrical solders.

  • To start the process, you need to clean the whole surface of your metals. This cleaning activity will help you to avoid any kind of danger.
  • Now, place your desired component on another so that they can make a connection.
  • However, it is high time to start the ultimate process of soldering. Turn on your soldering iron and make it heated.
  • Now, heat the electrical wiring or metals with the soldering iron. You will see, the metal is going to melt.
  • At this stage, just let the solder set and make a perfect joint.

Pros of using an electrical solder

There are a lot of advantages to using electrical solder. Let’s be acquainted with them.

  • Electrical solder uses a mild chemical that is not harmful to electronic components.
  • It is a tool for electrical conductivity.
  • Besides, it requires a low temperature of heat that helps to avoid danger.

On the other hand, it uses rosin core solder that is free from acid. We already mentioned that acid is harmful to electronic materials.

So rosin core solder is a functional tool for electronic connection.

Cons of using an electrical solder

Besides a lot of benefits, there are a few drawbacks of using an electrical solder.

  • You can’t use it for metal soldering.
  • On the other hand, electric solder melts at a low temperature.
  • So, it will take additional time.

What are the key differences between plumbing solder and electrical solder?

Plumbing solder and electrical solder are not the same things. There are many differences between these two instruments. Let’s have a look at the differences.

Plumbing solder uses a flux that is different from electrical solder. The plumbing solder flux contains acid that is highly harmful to electrical materials. On the contrary, the rosin-based flux is used for electrical solder, and that is not perfect for plumbing solder.

Electrical solder and plumbing solder contain several melting points. For plumbing solder, the required temperature is above 400 degrees. On the contrary, for electrical solder, this is around 360 degrees.

Usually, electronic components require a low temperature of heat to get melted. But regular metals require a high temperature. So you must use different solder for separate work.

Besides, there are other differences between these two instruments. The differences include diameter size, various materials required for soldering, and many more matters.

Related: Practicing soldering: Step by step process


Using a plumber solder instead of an electrical solder can create a threatening situation. So never practice this. Use electrical solder for electronic components and plumber for regular metals.

However, I hope you have a clear concept now on plumbing solder vs electrical solder. Carry on your soldering regularly with electrical and plumbing solder. But never forget to use personal safety equipment.

Good luck!