General Question

Hawaii_Jake's avatar

Why do charging cables go bad?

Asked by Hawaii_Jake (32736points) July 11th, 2016

Perhaps the question should be how. I don’t know how it happens. I have a tablet that’s 2.5 years old. I just plugged in the 5th charging cable. They simply stop charging after a while. Why?

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15 Answers

MrGrimm888's avatar

Could be a manufacturer defect in the tablet. Could be a problem associated with that precise model. Could be the outlet to which you plug it in. If you have used, say, the outlet by your bed this whole time, perhaps you could have an electrician evaluate your wiring. Many older dwellings have substandard wiring for the power needs of today’s technologies. A friend of mine bought a 60 yr old house 6 yrs ago. Unfortunately he had to invest a substantial amount of money in replacement of out outdated, unsafe wiring.
I would contact the company that makes both the tablet and the charger. They may have run across this before, and present advice, or suggestions.
Good luck.

Strauss's avatar

Disposability and planned obsolescence.

elbanditoroso's avatar

It’s usually not the tablet. Keep in mind that the conductor in the charging cable is really, really thin – a couple of twisted strands. They get kinked, pulled, twisted, stressed… and they stop conducting electricity.

Buy the name brand and you will probably have better luck. Compare the diameter of an off-brand and a name brand cable.

Call_Me_Jay's avatar

My guess would be thin wires break as described by @elbanditoroso.

I highly recommend for cables of all kinds. They are cheaper and better than what you usually get. A lot cheaper and a lot better, it really is true.

ARE_you_kidding_me's avatar

If you are not using the original charger you may also be using one that does not supply enough charging current and you are just killing them prematurely because they are running at 100% all the time. If you mistreat the cables then they go bad quickly too. I don’t know why manufacturers have settled on that crappy micro usb connector…. worst idea ever.

Call_Me_Jay's avatar

Re: Charging current

That is a good point. These days it’s best to by a 2 amp charger.

10 years ago they were typically 0.5 amps. 1.0 amps is common. But the bigger 2 amp will charge tablets and may charger your phone faster.

It might also be rated in milliamps.
2000 mA is the same as 2.0 A

I notice Monoprice’s cheap charger is bumped up to 2.4A (2400mA.)


Hawaii_Jake's avatar

Thank you, all. This is great information.

@Call_Me_Jay, I should have asked last week. I just bought 3 new cables (they came in a set) from Amazon.

NerdyKeith's avatar

Perhaps a fuse has gone in the charger. It depends on the brant as well. I find that some tablet manufacturers supply chargers with cables that are far too short. Shorter cables are going to get damaged very easily.

Hawaii_Jake's avatar

For anyone who might be interested, here’s the issue.

The tablet has very few to zero operating issues. It has worked almost flawlessly for 2.5 years. I regularly charge the battery to only 80% since that has been reported in several different places to maintain optimal battery health over a longer time frame.

There have been periods when I would notice the tablet required many more hours to charge than it had in the past. At these times, I change only the cable, and the problem goes away. I do not change the plug at the outlet. I do nothing to the tablet. It’s just the cable I change. This morning, it took 3 hours to add 10% battery, so I plugged in one of the new cables I just got from Amazon, and it increased an additional 20% within 1 hour. It’s clearly the cable.

For those who are even more curious: it’s a Samsung Galaxy Tab Pro 8.4 inch, WiFi only. It’s a fine machine. I’m very happy with it. Generally, it stays on but asleep 24 hours/day. I have to restart it about once a month to clear up a few issues I may notice.

YARNLADY's avatar

Use only the charger recommended by the original manufacturer. Plug directly into a household receptacle, do not use an extension cord.

ARE_you_kidding_me's avatar

Try swapping back to one of the cables you think is bad when it happens again. Think you’ll find they are ok. Change the charger and also do a battery calibration on your tab.

janbb's avatar

I blame the parents.

RedDeerGuy1's avatar

Planned obsolescence. Evey year I need to buy a new charging cord. Priced between $50 and $100. each. Also the same with my smartphone cord.

SmartAZ's avatar

The connector is so small that there is not enough room for an adequate thickness of metal. So after a while it breaks. The biggest danger for my old phone is that the cats like to claw the cord.

LuckyGuy's avatar

It is humidity and the resultant galvanic corrosion between the pins.
I used to keep a charging cable for my device in the bathroom. One day it stopped charging. I looked at the cable connector with a magnifying glass and saw it was coated with a white and blue powdery build up.
I had been leaving the charger plugged in all the time, and every shower I took deposited moisture on the connector causing it to react and corrode.

Unplug the charger from the wall when you are not using it and blow some compressed air in the device connector socket to get rid of any crud that got in.

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