Fume Extraction Unit for soldering applications - Review

Table of contents

RoadTest: Fume Extraction Unit for soldering applications

Author: rsc

Creation date:

Evaluation Type: Workshop Tools

Did you receive all parts the manufacturer stated would be included in the package?: True

What other parts do you consider comparable to this product?: HAKKO FA430-16

What were the biggest problems encountered?: Motor on "high" speed slowed down and started "chugging" after about 5min, reset power and same thing happened.

Detailed Review:

The Weller ZS EL Solder Fume Extraction Kit

 

 

  • Unboxing and setup

The unit arrived in a rather large box, nicely suspended inside by quality rugged foam inserts.

The fume extractor top has two input ports for two stations, one covered with a cap.

This unit came with one hose assembly.  I found numerous hose adapters, extenders, t-fittings, and such on the web.

One extra hose/extraction arm is $132.00

http://www.newark.com/weller/0f15/extraction-arm-adjustable-60mm/dp/74Y6448

There is a port on the side for a remote ON/OFF switch, not included in the package.

The remote switch is $22.00  http://www.newark.com/weller/ft91000033/remote-switch-on-off-2m-cable/dp/84Y3755

 

I set the unit next to the soldering station, and ran the hose behind the shelf.

The hose has a nice solid feel, that stays where you put it.

There is a clip included for mounting the hose to a wall or shelf.

The hose seems to be just about the right size for a normal benchtop,

it can expand enough to reach the middle of the bench if needed.

If I located it behind the bench, it could reach both sides without a problem.

Inside the top cover is the filter unit.  The filter is a cardboard box with

two course fiber sheets on top that look like they could be removed and cleaned,

and a carbon/paper/?? sealed section inside.

The product sheet specifies:

The filter replacement cost is $120

http://www.newark.com/weller/t0058762701/particle-prefilter-set-wfe2eszs2v/dp/93X9408

A pack of 10 dust pre-filters is $38

http://www.newark.com/weller/0058735937/accessory-type-fine-dust-filter/dp/79X0794

There is an LED on the side control panel that will change color when it determines the filter is full and needs changing.

The operators manual shows many features on several more elaborate models, it's hard to tell which features are available on this model.

Some models have a display, an RS232 port, a USB port, where speed and filter time can be automated.  This model does not have these features.

There are so many variants to this unit, I've found prices from $583 - $910 just on the Newark site

http://www.newark.com/weller/zerosmogel/fume-extraction-200m3-h-120v/dp/84Y3756

 

  • Operation

The control panel on the side has a button for fan speed, connector for remote switch, and a LED for filter change.

The ON/OFF switch is located next to the power cord.

The unit is very quiet on the slowest fan speed setting, and still ok at high speed (compared to the noise of our HVAC system)

  • Video

Here's a video of the unit operating at full speed.  All of the solder fumes were captured when the nozzle was closer than about 5 inches

from the solder operation.

 

An alternative position for the extraction nozzle is directly above the soldering area.

  • Summary

The Weller Zero Smog EL fume extraction unit is a good solution to remove harmful chemical fumes from your soldering stations.

The price is high for your average electrical hobbyist, who can purchase a benchtop version for $68.00

http://www.newark.com/weller/wsa350/solder-fumesmoke-absorber-120vac/dp/70K9977

However, if you have multiple stations that are used frequently, and don't have industrial fume extraction hoods, this type of system

is a reasonable alternative.

I scored the performance 8/10, due to the motor "chugging" after a few minutes on high speed, not sure what's happening here.

The user manual only has a couple of pages that are useful to this model, the rest are for higher priced, more complicated systems (in 24 languages!)

The price/performance ratio score will be higher for industrial users that can't tap into their HVAC systems for fume extraction.

I'll add more comments to this review after I've used the system for a while.

Anonymous