So I made a big oopsie. I was soldering headers on to the Raspberry Pi Zero W, when I accidentally soldered a run pad shut. I tried removing it with a soldering wick, to no avail.

Did I create some more e-waste, or is it still salvageable?

Thanks in advance.

As you can see one of the pads is soldered


  • Can you attach a photograph?
    – AdminBee
    Jul 3, 2020 at 13:43
  • I added 2 images @AdminBee
    – deinherr
    Jul 3, 2020 at 14:22
  • I'd try harder with that soldering wick...
    – goldilocks
    Jul 3, 2020 at 16:31
  • 1
    I would use a hand drill to (1) "destroy" the through hole, then (2) clean up the messy soldering, (3) repair the destroyed though hole by put a bare wire through the hole and solder at both sides. Or like this: I never use wicks, I always use a powerful desoldering pump, (a) apply plenty of solder at the trouble spot, (b) let the spot happily melts and flows, (c) vacuum suck the whole messy solder lot out:)
    – tlfong01
    Jul 4, 2020 at 1:51
  • 1
    You could also try heating the solder and tapping the board on a cutting mat to drop the solder out.
    – user115418
    Jul 4, 2020 at 20:01

2 Answers 2


Filling the hole with solder is not an issue - they are ‘through holes’ and designed to flow the solder along the pin poking through them.

I would work from the back as it looks like you have a short to the pin next to the hole. The join next to it may also be a bit dry - just heat with a clean iron and let it flow.

You may find that a flux pen will help - often the flux on lead free solder will evaporate so quickly it does not help the flow.

Put the wick on the solder - heat till you see the solder come through, remove iron, remove wick, move wick down and repeat as needed.

I’ve seen some engineers cut the wick after each ‘suck‘ to the remove the risk of it melting again.

  • ++1 - "cut the wick after each ‘suck‘ to remove the risk of it melting again." Jul 4, 2020 at 18:32

A vacuum desoldering pump can often remove larger amounts of solder than a braid. I have only heard some caveats from engineers that on cheaper circuird boards it can "suck" the pads along with the solder, and should be used with care (I would guess the Pi Zero board is not of the "cheap" type, though).

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