Knowledgebase: Technical Support
My Plug N Plate Kit Doesn't Plate
Posted by Lance Caswell, Last modified by Lance Caswell on 24 May 2012 03:38 PM
If your Plug N Plate® kit doesn't plate, check the following things:

  1. Check your connections are correct and tight. The black alligator clip should be on the part being plated, and the wand should be on the red banana plug and tight.
  2. Check the bandage is not wrapped too tightly on the wand. This prevents the plating solution from thoroughly soaking the bandage down to the metal wand, and prevents an electrical connection being made. Loosen the bandage.
  3. Check for "sizzling" at the wand while plating. When you touch the wet wand to the part, it should sizzle and bubble slighly at the part. If not, it indicates a connection problem.
  4. Keep the negative clip close to the part. If plating a large piece, move the negative clip around the part while plating, so that it is no more than a few inches away from the wand at all times. Too far, and the voltage will not conduct through the part to the wand.
  5. Check part cleanliness. Do a waterbreak test to check that the part is perfectly clean. 99% of all problems can be traced back to insufficient cleaning and prep before plating. Use known working cleaning agents, such as our SP Degreaser, Soft Scrub, Dawn dish soap, Simple Green. Using Brasso, Weanol, acetone, lacquer thinner etc. has been known to cause problems. Some of these agents leave a protective film on the part that prevents plating.
  6. Check your metal. Is the part really metal? Does it have a clearcoat or wax that needs to be removed before plating? What metal is it? Use our Pick-A-Kit helper to determine what, if any, types of plating needs to be applied before your final plate. E.g. die cast parts must be copper plated before nickel can be applied. Chrome must be stripped off before anything new can be applied.
  7. Warm up your solution. Warming the solution to 140F speeds the plating reaction slightly. Pour a small amount into a glass container and microwave it for a few seconds.
  8. Is your solution old? All chemicals have a shelf life. Our Plug N Plate® Gold Solution will last 4 months in the bottle. The others will last approximately one year.
  9. Re-read the instructions and watch the video.
  10. If all else fails, contact Caswell tech support.

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