Solder Bridging – A Quick Guide

Solder Bridging – A Quick Guide

Soldering can be fun but risky at the same time. If you’re soldering any component on a PCBA, remember not to create a solder bridge or else it can trigger a chain of unlikely events.

If you’re not sure about solder bridging, this article will guide you through the details related to solder bridging that every electronics enthusiast should be aware of.

Table of Contents

What’s bridging in soldering?

When soldering any component, you melt down the solder wire and drop it on the pins to secure it with the PCB via. During such a process, a bridge can occur.

A solder bridging is an unwanted connection between two or more pins that get joined due to solder during soldering.

Solder Bridging
Solder Bridging

As the name suggests, a solder bridge gets created between two annular rings/vias/pins which shouldn’t have happened in the first place. Results can be risky to serious.

Why does solder bridge occur?

Too much solder
Limited solder wire is needed to solder anything and if you surpass that limit, excess molten solder will flow to the nearby regions on the PCB. If the excess molten solder flows and touches any annular ring or pins, then it’ll create a solder bridge. Therefore, you must avoid using excess solder.

Naive soldering technique
Newbies or novice guys tend to create solder bridges way more than any other technician. If you’re a newbie, all you have to do is learn the correct soldering technique first. Due to naive soldering technique, a novice technician ends up using too much solder that results in solder bridging. Therefore, you should avoid following any content that suggests improper ways of soldering.

Insufficient gaps
When there’s literally a reduced gap between two vias, it’s very difficult to avoid solder bridges even for an expert. So, if you think that the annular rings of two vias are too close to each other and suspect possible solder bridges, you should try to use very limited solder or adapt ways to avoid solder bridging. There can be several ways to tackle insufficient gaps when soldering, though.

If your PCB is dirty and has oil residues, dirt, and/or dust, etc., such contaminants can absorb molten solder. The molten solder that gets absorbed in tiny amounts by the contaminants on your PCB can cause solder bridging on your PCB. Therefore, you must clean your PCB surface using a cloth wipe, followed by alcohol wipes and a dry wipe again.

Impacts of solder bridging

Short circuit
Since solder bridges create unwanted connections, there’s a high chance of short circuit if pins get connected inappropriately. The flow of current will get disrupted due to improper conduction, that will trigger a short circuit, followed by a burnt PCB.

Overheating & damage to the PCB
Sometimes, the conduction in the solder bridging is very less, which isn’t capable of short circuit immediately. In that case, the PCB will still get overheated, since the electrons in the PCBA will move through the solder bridge, causing an overheated PCB. This will leave you with a damaged PCB.

PCB and/or component(s) malfunctioning
If the flow of current in the PCB gets abnormal due to solder bridging, then the components are more likely to malfunction, get overheated, and may fail in the worst-case scenario. This’ll leave you with a malfunctioning PCB.

Degraded quality
If your PCB overheats or malfunctions, then of course, it’ll be a degraded quality product. Poor or degraded quality PCBs create poor products that impact the overall image of the product brand. This’ll leave a long-term negative impact on your business.

How to fix solder bridging?

How to fix solder bridging
How to fix solder bridging

What you’ll need
●Soldering iron
●Solder wick (at least 1 meter or more)
●Alcohol wipes and dry wipes (1-2 pairs)
●Solder wire (1 meter or less)

1. Find the bridge: You’ll have to visually check for solder bridges. If you’re not sure how to find the bridge, look for excess solder on your PCB. Remember that your PCB can have multiple bridges. If still no luck, look at the pins and see if there’s any solder moving to any other pin.
2. Heat up the bridge: After locating the bridges, you need to work on each of them individually. Heat up the bridge using your soldering iron. Place the soldering iron tip on the bridge and let it heat up.
3. Eliminate excess solder: You need to use a solder wick that’ll absorb all the molten solder without making a mess. A solder wick will have a good absorbing capacity. Remove the solder wick as soon as it absorbs the solder and it’s still in the liquid form.
4. Clean up: Keep absorbing excess solder until there are no traces left. Once done, alcohol wipe, followed by a dry wipe to clean up the surface.
5. Re-solder (optional): During excess solder elimination, it’s very common to accidentally remove solder from the pins. This might break your PCB’s circuit, and if that happens, you’ll have to re-solder the joints (this time be cautious about the bridge).

How to avoid solder bridging?

1.Use limited solder, so there’s no way excess solder will flow to the nearby pins/vias, resulting in solder bridging.

2.Keep sufficient gaps between the pins when assembling them.

3.Keep the PCB surface clean to avoid contaminants buildup.

4.Try using a properly heated and temperature controlled solder iron.

5.Always inspect the joint right after you’re done with each solder.

6.If you’re a novice, practice soldering before working on the actual PCB. This’ll help you brush up your skills that’ll also help you avoid losing your edge.

How to solder a wire to a bridge?

How to solder a wire to a bridge
How to solder a wire to a bridge

1. Strip around 6mm of insulation off the wire from one end and clean it with a dry wipe.
2. Apply a tiny bit of solder on the bare wire as it’ll help with the soldering process later on.
3. Heat the bridge and once the solder melts, quickly place the wire on it.
4. Let the wire partially submerge the molten bridge and set the wire in the desired position.
5. Remove your solder iron from the bridge and let the solder cool down.


You might be wondering how you can avoid solder bridging in your electronics project. Contact IBE Electronics that’ll ensure no solder bridges in your PCBs. IBE Electronics knows well how to avoid solder bridges and make clean connections without making any solder bridges.


A solder bridging is an unwanted connection between two or more pins that get joined due to solder during soldering.

  • Too much solder
  • Naive soldering technique
  • Insufficient gaps
  • Contaminants

1. Find the bridge

2. Heat up the bridge

3. Eliminate excess solder

4. Clean up

5. Re-solder (optional)

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