Monday, August 9, 2010

Good deed of the day: can I replace my broken power adapter with a used one?

Most of you may be using a laptop to read this, and if you do you may already ran into the annoying issue of a broken power adapter. You don’t have to be an IT person to know that this is a critical part of your computer, but what many people out there don’t know is that you don’t have to get a brand new charger when this happens.

This post is aimed to all those people wondering “can I use a different brand or model charger to replace mine?” the answer is: yes, you can and you should!

Why you should? Well it is very common to hear from people that they want to help and do something good for the world but they either don’t have the time or the energy to join an NGO or a project that works in the area, but it is in our everyday decisions where we make the biggest impact on the world and reusing and old adapter instead of buying a new one is a perfect example of how you can contribute to having a better and more sustainable society.

Now just keep in mind the following rules before doing your good deed of the day:

  • -Check the adapter jack and make sure that they are almost the same diameter and length to make sure that there is a good connection.
  • -Check the label on your adapter and find the voltage and amperage.
    • -The voltage can’t be too different from the original one, e.g. I just replaced a 19.5V adapter with a 19V one without any problems.
    • -The amperage has to be the same or higher than the original one, e.g. replacing a 3.34A for a 4.70A won’t hurt.

Drawbacks of this? Some adapters won’t recharge your battery if they are not from the same brand and model as the original one, but it is very likely that by the time your adapter breaks your laptop has been already been used for a couple of years and the battery is useless anyway.

Just for the records, I replaced a Dell Inspiron 1501 adapter with an Acer adapter (model AP12AD02) and it works perfectly.