How to fix a charger cord that won't charge

You've probably lost count of how many charger cords you've damaged over the years. Apparently designed to be as thin and flimsy as possible, these cords have a habit of breaking with prolonged use. Unfortunately, it also doesn't seem to matter if you're an iPhone and Android user. Regardless of brand, the charging cables you receive with your products just don't seem to last.

Charging cables tend to break so easily because the connection between the charging head and the wires is often weak. Additionally, many people absentmindedly abuse their chargers, resulting in cracks and breaks that prevent the cable from charging.

The good news is that you may be able to fix your charger cord. This article looks at some of the techniques you can use.

How to Fix a Broken iPhone Charger

Replacing your iPhone charging cable with another official branded Lightning cable is an expensive undertaking. By repairing the cable, you have the chance to save yourself a few dollars while extending the life of your product.

Before focusing on fixing the cable, you must first verify that the cable itself is the problem. Sometimes charging issues can occur due to issues that have nothing to do with the cable you are using. Before implementing a patch, do the following:

  • Check your wall outlet by plugging something else into it. If the new device or charger is not getting power, you may have blown a fuse affecting the outlet. Replacing the fuse and resetting your circuit breaker is the solution in this situation.
  • There may be a problem with your Apple device. If you have another Apple device handy, try using the cable on it. If the second device starts charging, your first device has a problem that you'll probably need a professional to fix.
  • If you are using an adapter for the cable, try connecting another cable to it. If that cable doesn't work either, the adapter may be the problem.
  • Check that the charger is compatible with your device.
  • Examine your device's charging port for any signs of blockage, such as lint from your pocket. Use tweezers to remove the blockage, if possible.

Assuming you have completed these steps and found no issues with any other device, you can focus on the iPhone cable.

There are several ways to try to fix the cable.

The first is to use electrical tape. Examine the cable for any signs of cracks or splits, especially around the connection point between the cable and its charging port. Once found, you can wrap electrical tape around the split to bind it again. Sometimes this is enough to fix the connection, making the cable work again.

If you prefer a more permanent solution, you have two options:

  • Use heat shrink tubing and a heat gun.
  • Repair the wiring using a soldering iron.

Method 1 – Using Heat Shrink Tubing and Heat Gun

This method involves purchasing both heat shrink tubing and a heat gun. Here are the steps of the method:

  1. Buy heat shrink tubing that has a 3:1 ratio. Tubes with a 2:1 ratio are generally less expensive. However, they are also not strong enough for the typical iPhone charger.
  2. Buy a heat gun. Try to choose one that is compact and easy to hold, as precision is key when working on an iPhone cable.
  3. Use scissors to cut your heat shrink tubing to the appropriate length. The tubing should cover a small portion of the charging head to ensure a solid connection. However, it should not cover the entire head as this can lead to an insecure fit. The tube should also cover the slot in the cable with room to spare.
  4. Using pliers to hold the heat shrink tubing in place, apply heat using your heat gun. Keep the setting low and rotate the cable so the tube retracts evenly.
  5. Keep shrinking until you have an even, secure fit around the charging head and cord.
  6. Let cool and set for a few minutes.

In many cases, this method will repair a damaged connection similar to the electrical tape solution. However, it also reinforces where the cable is weakest, making it more durable.

Method 2 – Use a soldering iron to fix the wiring

If the connection between the charger head and the cable is not the problem, you may have a faulty wire inside the cable. Typically, this is a problem that would lead to buying a replacement. However, you may be able to fix the problem if you can use a soldering iron.

To follow this method, you will need the following tools:

  • A cutting tool
  • A soldering iron
  • A solder wire
  • A glue gun

Assuming you have the necessary tools, do the following:

  1. Gently use your cutting tool to cut the magazine head housing in half. Cut horizontally down the middle of the head making sure you don't cut so deep that you cut the wire inside the feeder head housing. Take your time with this process to make sure you don't cause further damage to the wires.
  2. Pull the two parts of the charger head away from each other to expose the wires inside. Again, do this gently so you don't damage the wires or further damage the charger head.
  3. Take note of the yarn sequence. From left to right, the wires should be red, white, green, and black. The red and black wires transmit power, the white and green wires are responsible for data.
  4. If any of these wires are loose or separated from the wire harness inside the charger head, you can use your soldering iron. Heat the iron and use it, along with your soldering wire, to repair the connection between the broken wires.
  5. Use a glue gun to insulate the wires so they don't touch each other.
  6. Tie the two parts of the cable head together. You can use electrical tape, your glue gun, or the shrink tube method mentioned earlier.

This technique requires some skill with the soldering iron. It also won't work if a broken internal wire isn't the problem preventing your charging cable from working.

How to Fix a Broken Android Charger

Although Android charging cables are more generic than Apple's Lightning cables, they work the same way. As such, some of the fixes discussed above will also work for an Android Cable. For example, insulation tape and heat shrink tubing solutions are equally effective for Android cables. Either way, you're using the solution to strengthen the connection between the wires while repairing a crack in the cable.

Similarly, the soldering method described for an Apple charger can also work for an Android charger. However, the main difference here is in the color of the cable's internal wires.

With an official Apple cable, the wires will always be red, white, green, and black. However, Android chargers may not follow this pattern, especially if you are using a third-party charger. This means that extra care must be taken to ensure that you connect the correct wires when soldering.

Complete the patch

Whether or not you repair your charger cable may depend on the extent of work you need to put into the task. If you can repair the cable using insulation tape or heat sink tubing, you get an inexpensive and quick repair that can extend the life of the cable by several months.

The soldering method offers a more permanent solution. However, this requires you to own several tools, in addition to having the soldering expertise to gently reconnect the thin wires inside your charging cable. You may find that this solution is too much work, leading you to the decision to just buy a new cable.

Ultimately, the choice is yours.

So, would you try to fix your device's broken charger cable? Or would you just replace it and throw the old one away? Do any of these solutions intrigue you enough to try them? Maybe you even have your own solutions that we haven't covered here. Whatever the case, let us know in the comments section below.

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