technology safety Georgetown TXHave you ever tried to fix/repair a broken power cable or adapter for an ipad/ipod or a laptop computer?

You can do much more damage than the cost of a new adapter.  In some cases, you can even cause an office or home fire. Repairing a cable as simple as a USB powered cable that is plugged into a computer vs a wall socket, could even start a fire.  The USB hub on a computer has enough power over a long period of time to heat up a broken cable to the point of ignition, which can result in a big-time disaster for you or your company.

Here are the most common do it yourself fixes we have come across in the IT lab:

1. Frayed cable – usb or laptop power. 

This can get frayed by a vacuum or an animal using the cable as a play toy. Most common fix is to use electrical tape or some other form of tape to cover up the exposed wiring.  This simple fix has the potential to cause a lot of damage. If it doesn’t cause an electrical fire, it will probably damage the device by overloading it with a power spike.  Do not ever try and fix these issues, purchase a new cable.

2. End of the connector is loose or close to falling off.

I personally have come across this instance a lot lately with one using shrink tubing to try and keep end on the cable. It was a ipad charging cable, I plugged it into usb and within several minutes it was hot to the touch, a huge problem in the making. Again, purchase a new cable, fire or damage to the device is very possible with this kind of a DIY fix.

These are the two most common issues and can cost you way more in the long term than the purchase of a replacement.

Now when it comes to that purchase of the replacement cable, ensure you are buying a manufacturer approved cable. Off branded and cheaply made cables from overseas can do as much damage to the device as the broken cable. I suggest using a reputable retailer to purchase the cable, they generally do not sell the cheap knock off cables and adapters. Most cables are stamped on the packaging if its approved by the manufacturer of your product.

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By Josh Wilmoth
CEO, Central Texas Technology Solutions