Charging cord chaos, tips to take care of your chargers

Posted at 6:00 AM, Jun 15, 2017
and last updated 2017-06-15 06:00:22-04

Some problems are unique to modern life and can generate frustration day after day.  Like the complications of keeping track of your chargers. Consumer Reports has some do’s and don’ts, to beat some of life’s most enduring technology hassles. Experts at Consumer Reports suggest taking charge of your chargers.

Start, by skipping inexpensive chargers. At the very least, they can void your warranty and they break really easily. But even worse, they can short out your device and they could even start a fire. Pay a little more for a charger approved by the manufacturer. The U-L symbol, from Underwriters Laboratories, means it has met certain safety requirements.

Now that you’ve spent more –– how do you actually hang on to it? It may seem counter-intuitive, but if you lose chargers all the time, what you need to do is actually buy more of them and leave them in your office, your car, the bedroom and the kitchen. You’re less likely to lose it if you bring the device to the charger, rather than the other way around. 

When you take cords with you, things like those handy wings that flip out, encourage you to wrap the cord the same way, every time. But that repetitive bending can weaken the fragile wiring inside –– and damage it over time. The best way keep your cord healthy is actually to ball it up randomly and stuff it into your bag. Tell people Consumer Reports made you do it.

And, it seems old school –– but make sure you use a power strip, with a built-in surge protector. Consumer Reports says it will not only protect your device from something as improbable as a lightning strike –– but also against any other electrical surges that can damage your device.