Recently, my headphones mic stopped working and I figured it was probably the plug (although I'm not 100% sure). So what I've set out to do is to solder a new plug on. I asked my dad and he said the house had some solder, and even the solder iron. However, there are no lables on the solder, and my dad can't remember what type it is.

How do I identify whether it is the type used for plumbing or the electronic type? And how do I identify whether it has a hollow core of flux in it?

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    \$\begingroup\$ cut it and you can see the flux. put it in a mass spectrometer and you can see what it is made of. \$\endgroup\$ – PlasmaHH Apr 8 '15 at 12:24
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    \$\begingroup\$ It's much more likely to be the cable, near the jack, where it habitually bends. \$\endgroup\$ – Marquis of Lorne Apr 8 '15 at 12:29

Plumbing solder is generally kind of thick - more than 1/8 inch. Electronic solder is usually much thinner - less than 1/16 inch.

You can tell if solder has a core by melting some on a piece of paper - it will leave a greasy, maybe sticky spot if it has a core.

Thin solder that leaves a sticky spot when melted should be electronic solder.

As @EJP says, the problem is usually a break in the cable near the plug. Cut the old plug off maybe an inch from the plug, strip the wires on both sides of the cut. Use an ohmmeter to find out which wire goes to which part of the plug, and solder the wires on the other part of the cable (the part that goes to the headphone) the the correct places on the new plug.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Would I need to buy some flux if it doesn't have a core? I melted some of the solder on paper; it looks a little greasy, but not sticky. I want to play this a little safe since its my first time handling such things as well. \$\endgroup\$ – user2418426 Apr 8 '15 at 13:40
  • \$\begingroup\$ If the solder is thin, and it leaves a greasy spot when melted on paper, the it should have a rosin core. Depending on the amount size of the solder and the amount of rosin in relation, the spot may be sticky (it gets sticky when there's enough that the paper can't absorb all of it.) Since you havea greasy spot, you've got a core, and if the solder is thin it is for electronics. \$\endgroup\$ – JRE Apr 8 '15 at 13:42
  • \$\begingroup\$ If you do try swapping out the plug, there may be one or more wires that look bare, but are actually coated with a thin clear insulation. You can't solder through it, and I've never succeeded in scraping it off. But you can remove it by putting the wire in a flame for a second or two (you'll see it flame as it burns off). \$\endgroup\$ – TextGeek Oct 16 '18 at 14:23
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    \$\begingroup\$ @TextGeek: It usually melts off just fine if you hold it in a puddle of molten solder on the tip of your soldering iron. \$\endgroup\$ – JRE Oct 16 '18 at 14:25

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