Avoid cord chaos: take charge of your chargers
Sandra Hermiston and Ross McLaughlin , CTV Vancouver
Published Wednesday, June 14, 2017 6:00AM PDT
Some problems are unique to modern life, like keeping your gadgets powered up. There are chargers for your iPhone, your tablet and even wireless headphones, and that can lead to cord chaos.
“I have a teenager and my husband that have a thousand gadgets, so the wires are never ending,” said one woman.
Consumer Reports has some dos and don’ts to beat some of life’s most enduring technology hassles.
For starters, skip the inexpensive chargers.
“At the very least, they can void your warranty and they break really easily. But even worse, they can short out your device and they could even start a fire,” explained Allen St. John of Consumer Reports.
Instead, pay a little more for a charger approved by the manufacturer. The U.L. symbol, from Underwriters Laboratories, means it has met certain safety requirements.
And what about keeping track of them?
“They're loose and you take it to your kitchen and forget to take it back to wherever else and you're looking for it in your house,” complained one woman to Ross McLaughlin.
It may seem counter-intuitive, but if you lose chargers all the time, what you need to do is actually buy more of them. Leave them in your office, your car, the bedroom and the kitchen. You're less likely to lose it if you bring the device to the charger.
When you take cords with you, things like those handy wings that flip out, encourage you to wrap the cord the same way, every time. But that repetitive bending can weaken the fragile wiring inside and damage it over time. The best way keep your cord healthy is actually to ball it up randomly and stuff it into your bag.
If your cords are getting old, you should think twice before throwing them out, at least not without a close look. If a cord looks fine, but is not charging your device you may want to inspect the connector with a flashlight. It could be jammed up with lint or other debris.
If that's the case, grab a toothpick which is non-metallic and very carefully remove it. It's a lot cheaper than buying a new power cord.