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Brand New AC Adapter Dead After 1 Month?

This is a discussion on Brand New AC Adapter Dead After 1 Month? within the RAM and Power Supply Support forums, part of the Tech Support Forum category. Hello! I've got a problem. I had this laptop purchased for me a couple of months ago as a gift


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Old 06-30-2016, 05:27 PM   #1
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Cry

Hello! I've got a problem.

I had this laptop purchased for me a couple of months ago as a gift (it's a model that's not even made any more.. I can't find any information on it anywhere, as if it never existed-- Acer Aspire E15 / E5-521-264R). All was well until the laptop's ac adapter started to coil and got multiple kinks in it. Upon trying to repeatedly straighten it out, the repetitive bending and unbending screwed up the wires in multiple spots and it stopped working due to broken connection issues (the black casing around the wires was crappy and broke and exposed these wires).

My grandpa managed to reconnect the wires through soldering to some degree but it still stops working from time to time. Anyway, I got a new power supply maybe 2-3 months ago, and it worked great at first... Until I started noticing it overheating.

It would overheat when I wasn't even doing anything.. And it would randomly disconnect/stop charging. I found that unplugging it and letting it cool completely in front of a fan and trying again an hour later, it reconnected and charged no problem.

But this problem started happening more and more often, with it constantly overheating, and even when it wasn't overheating and was 100% cool, it would randomly disconnect and I'd have to unplug it for an hour and try again afterwards. But now it's not connecting at all. There are also occasionally sparks when I plug it in to one particular area in the house, when it does have power running through it.

It's the same specs as my old one (19V, 40W, 2.1A, same polarity as well), but it's overheating more than my old one and now I believe it's completely dead. It's a different brand than the original. The little blue light I can faintly see through the end of the power brick no longer comes on, which means there's zero power running through it (though it hasn't been checked with one of those tools that checks if there's power running through something). Brand new and it's dead already. Again, this was happening whether I was gaming for hours, just turned the laptop on, or it was sitting stationary with no programs open. :/ I can't afford a new laptop charger right now.

Could it be that it burned out already? Should I try looking into an adapter with a higher amperage so it doesn't "overclock" itself (I'm aware it must be the same voltage and have the same polarity)? I'm using my old adapter (which is working right now, thankfully, as long as I don't bump it) but when playing something like Overwatch, it starts to gradually heat up after a few hours (even if OW is the only big thing open, on low graphics) and I don't want this being a fire hazard or another burn out. Ideas? Where would be the best place to get a good quality charger so this doesn't happen a third time?

tl;dr
Brand new laptop's ac adapter overheating when not doing anything on the computer though it has the same specs, likely burnt out after only 1-2 months of opening/first use
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Old 07-01-2016, 09:17 AM   #2
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Quote:
I can't find any information on it anywhere, as if it never existed-- Acer Aspire E15 / E5-521-264R).
Hmmm, I didn't have any problem finding it. It could be your searches were limited to your part of the world. I found it on this Canadian site.

It is entirely possible your replacement power supply had a manufacturing defect, or was simply of an inferior design and you were just unlucky. I generally recommend trying a genuine manufacturer's replacement first. If you cannot find an original ACER replacement, you might consider a universal power supply.

Quote:
Should I try looking into an adapter with a higher amperage so it doesn't "overclock" itself (I'm aware it must be the same voltage and have the same polarity)?
It is not a matter of "overclocking". Overclocking means it is running "faster" than it's specified clock speeds. AC to DC power supplies don't do that. They run at whatever the line voltage is (50 or 60 Hz) on the input side, then DC on the output. If the new supply has the same current rating (2.1A) as the old supply and the new supply is getting excessively hot, that means either the supply is bad or the notebook's battery/charging circuit is attempting to draw too much power. Either is not good. All getting a supply with a higher current rating does (under normal circumstances) is allow for faster charging. Getting an underrated supply can still charge the battery, but you may not be able to charge the battery and run the notebook at the same time and/or an underrated supply may cause an overheating situation if the supply does not have thermal overload protection.

Quote:
There are also occasionally sparks when I plug it in to one particular area in the house, when it does have power running through it.
That's not good at all. You need to verify the house wiring is correct. Every home and every computer user should have access to a AC Outlet Tester to ensure your outlet is properly wired and grounded. I recommend one with a GFCI (ground fault circuit interrupt) indicator as it can be used to test bathroom and kitchen outlets too. These testers can be found for your type and voltage outlet, foreign or domestic, at most home improvement stores, or even the electrical department at Wal-Mart. Use it to test all the outlets in the house and if a fault is shown, have it fixed by a qualified electrician.

Quote:
I can't afford a new laptop charger right now.
Then you don't really have a choice but to wait until a new charger is in the budget. And if me, I would get a good supply. An "automatic" supply is nice because you only need to attach the correct connector tip. A manual supply requires you manually select the correct voltage and tip. Unfortunately, the one I have is no longer available. I keep it in my tool bad for trouble calls and have had no problems using it with my own Toshiba, as well as several clients’ Dells, HP/Compaq, eMachine, Sony, Lenovo, Acer, and even Apple notebooks. Look for one that is 90W or above, has many power tips to choose from, and a wide range of output voltages (15 - 24V offers the best flexibility). You don't have to spend $100 but I would avoid those that cost less than $20.

Universal supplies do have their downside. You MUST ensure, for example, you have the right tip and it fits correctly. And because the tips come off, they are more susceptible to loss or damage. But generally, they work great.
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