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We respect your privacy. All email addresses you provide will be used just for sending this story. And cords. Many, Asian electrical power cord color code cords. A power cord for my laptop tangled with cables for my mouse, and my monitor, and my cellphone. At home, it gets worse, because my family has three different types of Apple MacBooks—each with a similar white charger with the same MagSafe attachment.

But each brick supplies a different wattage, which makes it all too easy to plug in a laptop with a power cord that only appears to be charging it. To find solutions, we talked to two authorities. First up, an expert on getting electricity from an outlet to your devices, John Drengenberg, consumer safety director of Underwriters Laboratories, also known as UL, who explained the technical aspects of power cords.

And, second, Jennifer Lava, a professional organizer in Austin, Texas, who helped out with ideas on keeping your cords neat and easy to locate. Your phone was probably expensive.

But the cheapie chargers may not have undergone stringent testing by UL. They could damage your device while voiding the warranty and even, on rare occasions, start a fire. In general, the UL symbol on a product is a good start, but be warned some super-cheap chargers have been sold with counterfeit UL marks. The same issue arose with hoverboards last year. One way of minimizing power-cord anxiety and clutter, according to Lava, is to move the device to the cord rather than the other way around.

Your laptop's power brick is getting warm. Make that actually hot. Among the many components in a power brick are the tools needed to step down the voltage from the wall outlet and to convert current from AC the alternating current that flows through your home's wiring and powers many large appliances to DC the direct current that charges batteries in a phone or laptop.

That process produces waste heat. It's also normal for the lithium-ion batteries in a phone or laptop to get warm. So heat is normal. Of course, if the brick or your device starts smoking or smells like it's burning, that could be the sign of a rare but serious malfunction. But aside from the convenience factor, most outlet strips have a built-in surge protector. It can protect your Porn pregnant before and after from a power surge caused by something as spectacular as a lightning strike or as seemingly innocuous as the elevator motor in your building kicking on.

And yes, you do want that protection. Let's say your cord looks fine, but it's just not charging your device. Dengenberg had this problem with his iPhone. So he inspected the connector with a flashlight.

As devices have gotten smaller, so have their power connectors, led by the tiny USB Type-C plugs that have been showing up in smartphones and laptops.

And that means that it takes only a small amount of debris to foul these smaller female connectors. The solution? Grab a toothpick—which is nonmetallic—and very carefully remove the schmutz.

The best strategy for keeping tabs Asian electrical power cord color code your cords depends on the situation, Lava says. It gives a good Samaritan a way to contact you and return your lost cord. Finally, Asian electrical power cord color code keep track of a larger—and more expensive—laptop charger, it can be helpful to attach a small tracking tag like a Tile or TrackR. The device will help you find your charger whether it's been misplaced Asian electrical power cord color code your home or elsewhere in town.

These systems communicate with your smartphone using Bluetooth. If you're nearby, you can use a phone app to make the device sound an Asian electrical power cord color code. If you're out of range but another user of the product is nearby, a community feature kicks in: The other user's phone can send along your tracker's location, without that user ever being aware of it.

The location will show up on a map in the device's app on your phone. According to Drengenberg, this is Asian electrical power cord color code quick route to breaking an otherwise healthy-looking power cord. Those delicate copper conductors can break when you repetitively stress them by bending them again and again and again.

If you must roll up your cords, loop them loosely to avoid crimping the delicate wires. And try to wrap them differently each day, to avoid repeatedly stressing one section. Is this one for the camera? Or was it the cordless speaker? Maybe some old phone? The problem: Increasingly, adapters use universal plugs—some flavor of tiny USB that plugs into the device and a more standard USB connector that plugs into the brick.

Use the wrong charger and the risks range from damage to your device to fire or electric shock. No luck? I believe that technology has the power to change our lives—for better or for worse.

For me, there's no better way to spend a day than talking to a bunch of experts about an important subject and then writing a story that'll help others be smarter and better informed. Sign In. Become a Member. Remember Me. Not a member? Need further assistance?

Please call Member Services at Tips for Avoiding Power Cord Problems. Do's and don'ts to beat some of life's most enduring technology hassles. By Allen St. February 25, Sharing is Nice Yes, send me a copy of this email.

Send We respect your privacy. Oops, we messed up. Try again later. When you shop through retailer links on our site, we may earn affiliate commissions. Learn more. And this is only one of the Asian electrical power cord color code points of confusion that power cords add to modern life.

Here are some dos and don'ts for power-cord management. Do Double Up on Your Cords One way of minimizing power-cord anxiety and clutter, according to Lava, is to move the device to the cord rather than the other way around. Is this cause for concern? No, Drengenberg says. Do Use a Power Strip It seems so old school, plugging your device into an outlet strip.

Parachute pants? Allen St. John I believe that Asian electrical power cord color code has the power to change our lives—for better or for worse. More From Consumer Reports. Show comments commenting powered by Facebook. Make a Donation Newsletters Give a Gift.

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