My laptop charger cord sparked slightly, should I toss it?

It has been shorting out for a while. I have to twist the cord near that box (I don’t know what you call it) to get my computer to charge, sometimes. The other day, little sparks came out near it, when I twisted it.

I cannot afford another cord ($80!!!), can I just put duct tape around that area? And no, I don’t see any exposed wires.

You can put electrical tape around damaged insulation, but that’s not what you’ve got going on here. In your case the wire itself underneath is broken. If you know someone who is handy with a soldering iron they can cut out the bad piece and reconnect the wire. Otherwise you need to buy a new cord.

On some laptops the cord and the power supply are separate and you can just buy a replacement cord. On others, the cord from the power supply to the laptop is permanently attached to the power supply and you need to buy the entire power supply (the AC cord is still usually separate). If it costs $80 I suspect you are buying the entire power supply.

Worst case, your existing one could catch fire, and it could damage the laptop or possibly burn down your home. You need to fix it or replace it ASAP.

if you see sparks or need to twist the wire you are risking your laptop.

i agree you are also risking a fire.

wires that used to have insulation around them need to be separated and reinsulated with tape. wires should work without special movement and positioning.

Is it the cord from the wall outlet to the brick that sparks, or the cord from the brick to the laptop? The first is a fire hazard. I don’t think the second is much of a fire hazard, but it can burn out the brick, and then you can’t fix it by just fixing the cord.

Certainly a fire hazard, time to replace it. If I might make a suggestion. I purchased a few years ago a charger made by I Go. The one I purchased can be found at their site here: When I purchased it I paid $119, however they have made a new one and are selling remaining stock of them for $59.99 The reason I recomend this one is I have had it for about 3 years now and it has worked flawlessly. It comes with different plugs called smart tips. These are specific to different laptop models and ensure the correct voltage. With the multiple tips it is possible that this will be the last charger you will ever need as it can be used on so many different laptop brands and models.

I have used it now on 3 different laptops. It seems that the OEM chargers only last about a year before they do what yours is doing. Hope this helps.

Yes. At once.

Pick up a cheap one from eBay.

Check Amazon too – not five minutes ago I spent $20 on a replacement OEM power adapter, whereas the list prices was $80 and Worst Buy charges $100.

What kind of PC do you have? Check the spare part number on the cord, and search for that at Amazon. Caution though; two of the ones I bought would heat up to unsafe temperatures. I got a refund and bought two different ones.

As others have said, you can get replacement chargers from off-brand companies for a lot less if you shop around a bit online. Amazon in particular will often have customer reviews so you can see if a $15 laptop charger works consistently or if it has a slight tendency to cause computers to overheat slightly before exploding. :smiley:

I am currently using an off-brand replacement charger for my Dell laptop. Only visible difference is that there is a blank circle where the Dell logo would be, along with some details on the information label on the back. It’s the second replacement cable I have though, as the original cable ended up being visibly frayed the day before I was leaving to go on vacation. Ended up dropping $100 at Best Buy for a replacement universal charger (which itself lasted about two years before it too crapped out). If I had time to shop around and wait for delivery, I would have gone for one of the cheaper knockoffs.

My charger was slightly broken and i whipped it around a bit… It got very broken. While whipping it around I noted several sparks coming out of the cord in various colors so I unplugged it. while unplugged I decided to examine it and for some reason it still shocked me pretty good. it hurt a lot… I think the reason it still shocked me is because the wires are bound together and as I examined it I might’ve rubbed the wires in a way that made it spark. I plugged it in and it stopped… Idk what’s wrong but something is.

I assume you’re referring to the AC cord, i.e. the cord that plugs into the wall? Am guessing what shocked you were the capacitors on the AC side of the charger. They get charged up to a pretty high voltage. They’re supposed to quickly bleed off after you unplug the cord. Am further guessing you touched the exposed conductors within a couple seconds after unplugging the plug from the wall.

At any rate, an electronics tech can easily splice in a new AC cord if the cord is integral to the charger.

I’m guessing that after 8 years the issue has been resolved …