Before we take the next steps in diagnosing the cause of the problem you are experiencing with your American Beauty® soldering iron, remember to never attempt to service your soldering iron unless it is completely cool and unplugged. With that said, a lot can be determined by answering the following question;
Are you getting ANY heat out of your soldering iron?
YES, my iron is generating some heat.
Our Expert Analysis - All American Beauty® heating elements are constructed with resistance wire, tightly wound around a metal spool. In the occasion of a heating element failure, this resistance wire reaches the end of its effective life and breaks. After this break, your iron cannot produce any heat whatsoever, and it is time to order a replacement heating element from one of our authorized distributors. However, since your iron is generating some degree of heat, it is very likely that the cause of your problem is your soldering iron TIP.
Conclusion - If a tip is not properly maintained it will accumulate oxides on the surface of the shank over time. These oxides, if not periodically removed, will greatly hinder the transfer of heat from the element into the tip.
Course of Action - After allowing the iron to completely cool, the tip should be removed and the shank surface lightly abraded. It is also a good idea to lightly abrade the inner wall of the element periodically to remove any oxides that may have accumulated there. You should also make sure the tip is always fully seated in the iron in order to take full advantage of the thermal transfer from element to tip and to avoid a premature element failure. If your tip has never been properly maintained, you may want to start fresh with a brand new Paragon Tip.
NO, my iron remains cold.
Our Expert Analysis - All American Beauty® products run on electricity. Basic principles of electricity dictate that electricity must flow in a circuit. If that circuit is broken, whatever that electricity was powering will no longer work.
Conclusion - When faced with a tool that is producing NO heat, it is almost always a break in the electrical circuit caused by either a heating element failure or a faulty connection within the iron itself.
Course of Action
Check electrical connections while disassembling the soldering iron. It is not uncommon for one of these to come loose over an extended period of time
Perform a continuity test on your soldering iron's heating element. This will let you know whether your element is still "good".
Explanation of Results:
All electrical connections were good, but no continuity registered - Your heating element has expired. Time to order a new one from one of our authorized American Beauty® distributors.
All electrical connections were good and the element did register continuity - Your soldering iron may have an electrical short, time to check out our Repair Service.
Element had continuity, however you noticed a loose or faulty connection while disassembling - When reassembling the iron, ensure that all electrical and physical connections are secure and you should be operational.