- Do not continue to use a laptop or phone with a short in the AC Adapter or plug. Continued use can result in major hardware failure and phone or laptop repairs bills.
- Never stick objects into the AC adapter plug tip or serious injury to you or the AC adapter can occur.
- Avoid knotting the AC adapter wires or you will damage them.
- If your AC adapter cable has a 3rd prong on it and it snaps off it needs to be replaced or damage to the laptop, phone or AC adapter can occur.
AC Adapters – The Basics
Before we start let me explain what a laptop AC adapter is, why it exists and what it’s used for. Because some smaller electronics like laptops simply lack the space needed to house a power supply, manufacturers made what is called AC adapters or also commonly referred to as a charger. Like power supplies in desktops, AC adapters convert the 110V AC current from your wall outlet to safe lower voltage DC current needed for your laptop. A laptop AC adapter is the piece of hardware that provides the laptop with perfectly conditioned, safe power. From one end it plugs into your wall outlet and from the other end into your laptop. Around the middle of those two wire ends will be where all the work is performed within a safe plastic case called the AC adapter.
As the 110V AC current travels from the wall outlet down to the AC adapter wire it reaches the AC adapter block. The AC adapter then converts the dangerous higher voltage (110v) down to the specific volts (typically 16v to 20v), amps and watts needed for your laptop and then the now conditioned power moves on down the wire toward the laptop to be used.
It is rare that two laptops or two of any other small appliance that uses a power adapter will have the same volts, amps and watts which is why manufacturers use many AC adapter plug types to help you avoid plugging in the wrong one and destroying the device. The adapter plug which is the piece you plug into the laptop comes in many shapes, sizes and with both male and female ends. Although some AC adapter plugs made for one device may fit another, this does not mean it’s a safe match and usually will not be.
Over the years we have seen many horrid make shift AC adapters that were so badly modified to keep them working we were truly afraid to pick them up. Not only are damaged AC adapters a threat to you because of possible fire or shock hazard but they are an extreme risk to your laptop! Replace the $50 dollar part before the $50 dollar part destroys the $500 laptop/phone or $150,000 dollar house!
AC Adapter Malfunction Symptoms
In this section we will describe possible AC adapter malfunction symptoms and solutions.
PROBLEM: AC adapter gets unreasonably hot after a period of use.
SOLUTION: AC adapters cool themselves just by air movement in the room so if the AC adapter gets covered it will start to overheat. If the AC adapter was in an open area and still got unreasonably hot then you need to consider replacement.
PROBLEM: My AC adapter outlet wire has a missing bottom prong but it still powers my laptop or phone.
SOLUTION: The AC adapter itself is fine but the detachable outlet wire needs to be replaced or a short to the AC adapter, phone or laptop may occur.
PROBLEM: My AC adapter only powers my laptop when twisted at a certain angle.
SOLUTION: This is a sign of a short in the AC adapter plug tip and the AC adapter should be replaced to avoid fire, shock or damage to the laptop. Having to force the AC adapter plug tip at certain angles is also a sign of a bad DC jack (part inside laptop or phone) and to be certain, further diagnostic work is needed.
PROBLEM: I hear a buzzing or cracking sound coming from my AC adapter.
SOLUTION: Hearing noise coming from an adapter is never a good thing and the AC adapter should be replaced to avoid fire, shock or damage to the laptop or phone.
PROBLEM: Wires are exposed on my AC adapter but it still works.
SOLUTION: Exposed wires on anything that plugs into a wall outlet can lead to severe trouble. Replacement AC adapter or adapter outlet cable should be considered.
PROBLEM: My AC adapter powers my laptop or phone but the tip is loose.
SOLUTION: The tip being loose is a sign the part is soon to fail. This IS NOT something you should wait for as it can cause a short when it finally goes which can knock out the laptop or phone completely or start a fire. Replacement advised.
PROBLEM: My AC adapter works fine but there is a small chip missing from the plastic adapter case.
SOLUTION: Although taping the case with electrical tape may solve the problem and help protect from moisture it is always recommended to replace the adapter when the protective case has been damaged.
PROBLEM: When I use my adapter I smell a burnt smell from it.
SOLUTION: AC adapters should never give off a strange burning plastic or burnt wires scent. If you detect a burnt scent coming from the adapter it should be replaced.
Helpful AC Adapter Tips
– Always wrap your adapter wires with care to get the longest life from them.
– Untangle knots in the wires to avoid damage to them.
– Keep the plug tip and outlet wire tips clean.
Waco iPhones Offered Products & Services
- At WacoiPhones we offer free diagnostic service for those experiencing power related problems with their phone or laptop. If you suddenly have problems getting your device to power on or charge. Stop by our shop for a free test to ensure you are buying the correct part to replace. Should we determine your power adapter is faulty, we carry a large selection of replacement adapters for both phones and Windows/Apple laptops to get you back up and running.
- Should your AC adapter not be the problem with your device, relax your in good hands. At WacoiPhones we have serviced many laptops and phones with charging port related problems and get repair your phone or laptop in record time and back our parts and labor with a complete warranty.
- If your AC adapter is working fine but the separate wire that connects from the adapter to the wall is faulty, we carry them in stock at affordable prices.
- For more information on our phone repair services please visit our services page for Android phone repair or Apple phone repair.
- For more information on our laptop repair services, please see our laptop repair page.