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When you plug in your phone before climbing into bed, you expect to wake and find it fully charged. This doesn’t always happen though because new chargers break so easily. You can learn why chargers aren’t as durable today as they once were along with how to make your charger last longer and when to replace it.
Why Does My Phone Charger Break So Easily?
Every time you buy a new phone, you get a charger in the box with it. Charges today contain two different parts. The first is the charger itself, which looks like a small box. It has a port on the side for the charging cable and metal prongs on the other side that plug into the wall.
You have the option of buying a new charger or charging cable when you need one, but those costs can add up, especially if you go through chargers quickly.
One reason your charger breaks is that you mishandle it too much. Do you have a habit of wrapping up the cord and tucking it in your pocket or backpack?
This may cause the cord or fray or wear down. If you pull the cable out too fast from the charger, you can also cause some damage. Other forms of abuse include moving the charger too often and using too much force.
Age is another factor that can affect the charger. You should buy a new one at least once a year to ensure you get the charging power you need. Some consumers also buy defective chargers.
Even official chargers that come from the top brands can have some defects that keep them from working right out of the box or later.
You may find that you go through chargers faster because you buy cheap models, too. While dollar stores sell cheap chargers that look like the official ones, don’t expect them to last as long.
What are Some Tips to Prevent Phone Chargers from Breaking? (8 Tips)
Though phone chargers can break easier than you thought, you don’t need to keep buying new ones every few months or weeks. Simply check out some of the top tips on how to prevent your phone charger from breaking.
1. Use the Cable the Right Way
One of the biggest reasons why your charger breaks is that you don’t use the cable the right way. When you’re in a hurry, you might pull the cable out of the phone faster than you should. Always hold the cable firmly with two or more fingers on the metal end.
Keep your fingers clasped around this piece as you remove the charger. Pulling the cable out of your phone by the cord can cause a lot of damage and even form cracks that leave the wiring exposed.
You should also use caution when it comes to storing your cable. If you wrap the cable too tight and leave it in the same position for hours or longer, you risk deteriorating the wiring inside, which will keep the cable from working.
Try using a cable clip if you use your phone on the go. These clips attach to the side of your phone and keep the cable safe.
2. Try a Magnetic Adapter
Do you live with kids or animals that tend to run a little wild? It’s easy for them to run by your phone and rip the charger from your phone or the wall. Magnetic adapters help you prevent these accidents. These adapters work with most phone cables and are easy to use.
You place the adapter inside your phone and use the cable to connect to it. If someone pulls the cable out of your phone, the magnetic adapter allows the cable to slide out smoothly without causing any damage. Magnetic adapters are compatible with different iPhone models and Android phones.
6 Other Tips to Try
Why spend a lot of time changing the way you use your cable and storing your charger? Other tips that keep your charger from breaking include:
1. Use a Spring
The same spring that you find inside a ballpoint pen works great to keep your charger safe. Once you remove the clip from your pen, place it on the end of the cable just above the metal end.
Pull the spring up as far as it will go and squeeze the sides to keep it from rolling down. This simple spring will keep the cable intact.
2. Go Wireless
If you’re tired of using cables that you can trip over and chargers that keep falling out of your outlets, choose a wireless charger. This type of charger comes with a docking station that has a plug to use with a nearby outlet.
You simply place your phone on top of the station and let it charge. Though wireless charging is a little slower than traditional charging, it’s a good way to prevent cable damage.
3. Try Embroidery Floss
Do you remember the fun you had making friendship bracelets as a kid? Get ready to have just as much fun when you use the same embroidery floss on your phone charger. Start wrapping the floss around one end of the cable, pulling it as tight as possible.
You can then cut and tie the end to the cable. Try using different colors and designs to create a custom look. The floss wraps around the cable and reduces the risk of it breaking.
4. Consider a Phone Stand
A phone stand prevents damage to your charger because it keeps it in the right position. You can use a phone stand on your desk or a nearby table and let it charge as you use your phone. Phone stands keep you from twisting and bending the charging cord.
5. Invest in a Reinforced Cable
While reinforced cables cost more than ordinary chargers do, they are worth the price. These cables use anodized aluminum, which is the same type of aluminum used in planes. It is more durable than other cables and will last longer, too.
6. Grab a Paracord.
People in the military use paracords during emergency situations, but the same material works great on your phone charger. Grab a paracord and use a knife to cut it open and expose the white string inside.
Pull out that string, which leaves you with an empty shell. You can then wrap this shell around the cable to add an extra layer of protection.
Can You Use Electrical or Regular Tape on Phone Chargers?
Before you reach for a roll of tape to fix a broken charger, make sure that you know the difference between a charger and a charging cable.
The charging cable is the cable that plugs into the charger, while the charger is the box that supplies your phone’s battery with power.
You can use tape to repair a broken charging cable but not the charger itself.
You should use either electrical tape or cloth tape. Electrical tape uses a mixture of materials that will keep the cable from overheating. Cloth tape is similar to the old type of electrical tape and is just as safe to use.
You should only use tape on the cable and only if the cable still works. Unroll a piece of the tape and place it on the cable. Carefully wrap the tape around the cable, making sure that you keep the exposed wires together.
Self-fusing tape is another good choice. This is the same type of tape that plumbers use during emergency repairs to keep pipes from leaking. You can also use heat shrink tubing with a hair dryer or a heat gun.
Find a piece of tubing that is roughly the same size as the cable. Place it on the broken part of the cable and aim the hair dryer or heat gun at it.
As the tubing heats, it shrinks to the size of your cable. As the phone cable produces some heat as it runs, you want to make sure you choose tape or another material that can stand up to that heat.
What are Some Signs of a Phone Charger Going Bad?
A phone charger is a must-have. Whether you work a full-time job, go to school, need to stay in touch with your loved ones, like playing games and streaming content, or spend a lot of time away from home, you need a strong charger you can rely on to keep your phone charged. If your phone charger shows any signs of going bad, you should replace it.
Signs of a Bad Charger
One of the biggest signs that you have a bad charger is that it takes too long to charge your phone. When you plug in your phone, you expect it to fully charge within a few hours. You can check on the phone’s progress bar as it charges to see how long it takes to reach different levels.
If you often wake up and find your phone hasn’t yet charged after hours, it’s a big sign that it doesn’t work. You may also find that your phone says it is fully charged but the battery doesn’t last as long as it should.
Take a look at the charging cable to see if it is in good condition or shows some signs of damage. You need to replace a cable that has rust on the end. That rust often forms because of the humidity in your home or anywhere else you go.
The moisture can settle on the metal and cause it to rust. Another thing to watch out for is a cable that has multiple bends. Do you have a habit of wrapping or rolling the cable when you store or carry it?
Though you might not think twice about getting it out of the way, those simple motions can damage the cable and keep it from working.
The more you bend and twist the cable, the greater your risk is that the cable will split or break. When this happens, you can see the wiring inside the cable.
While using a small piece of tape can fix the charger, there’s no guarantee this will work. Buying a new charger cable is your best option. Don’t forget to check for loose connections, too.
The piece of the cable that plugs into your phone can begin pulling away from the cable.
Do you find that your cable only works when you use it in a certain way or a specific position? This lets you know that the cable is loose and you should replace it.
Charging Port Damage
Your charging cable may have a loose connection with your phone because the phone itself has some damage to its charging point. This can happen because you used too much force to plug in the cable or you pulled it out too fast.
This can bend the prongs inside the port and change the way your charger fits in the phone. You can fix the port yourself or hire someone to replace it, but this can cost nearly as much as buying a new phone does.
While you’re looking at the port, keep your eyes peeled for any type of debris. Lint from your jeans can get inside the port when you carry your phone in your pocket. You may also find debris like cat litter if you have pets or food if you eat around your phone.
Not only can debris reach the port when you drop it, but it can settle in the port as air pushes it towards your phone.
Try shining a bright light inside the port to look for debris. A computer or handheld vacuum helps you remove that debris and get your charger working again.
Another sign of a bad phone charger is a lost connection. When you plug in your charger, your phone will recognize it within a few seconds and start charging. You probably check the connection and walk away to do other things without thinking about the charger again.
If you return and find that the phone is no longer charged, you have a lost connection on your hands. Some of the causes of a lost connection can include damage to the wiring inside the cable and stuck latches.
The latches of the cable are the metal pieces on the end that fit into your phone’s port. Any damage to the latches can cause the cable to lose its connection with your phone.
How Often Should You Replace Your Phone Charger?
Not everyone gets as much use out of a phone charger as others do. Even if you and your best friend buy the same charger, yours might die months or even years before their charger does.
The more you put your charger through, the less time it will last. You should always look at the above signs to find out if your charger is on its way out.
Though phone chargers do not expire, they can go bad. This often happens when you abuse the cable without realizing it or you buy a cheap model. Cheaper chargers usually only last for a few months and can fail within a few weeks.
Even the more expensive official models may fail after a year or two. You should replace your charger once every year and more often if you experience a lot of problems with it.
Other Signs of a Declining Phone Charger
Some of the other signs of a bad phone charger include:
- Your phone runs hot when you use it with a charger or it gets so hot that it shuts itself off.
- You get an alert from your phone that the charger is not licensed/official.
- The phone does not recognize the charger when you try to use it.
- Some features of your phone stop working when you use the charger.
- You tried to use a charger with the wrong amperage for your phone.
Escape the Hassles of Broken Phone Chargers
Phone chargers can last for years with proper use, but they can also break down so fast that you wonder why you wasted money on them. Modern chargers break quickly because you buy cheap and unlicensed models or you put them through too much abuse.
Even if you think you’re careful, you might do a few things that cause your charger to break down. Now that you know why chargers break so easily, you can learn how to prevent damage to yours and keep your phone’s battery full.