We’ve all experienced the unpleasant smell of burning at some point in our lives.
Usually it’s the comforting crackle of a cozy fireplace, or the wake-me-up jolt of slightly burnt toast.
A scorching scent emitting from a power outlet or charger can be particularly unpleasant- and of course also very alarming- for the owner of the attached device!
And if the smell is emitting from our phone or laptop charger, it becomes a matter of even greater concern and panic as we want to ensure our device isn’t damaged.
The smell to look out for from a burning charger is a pungent mixture of plastic, metallic elements, and smoke.
The saving grace of this situation is that the searing scent of an electrical port is always so strong and sharp that you’ll typically notice it very quickly and be able to take immediate action to protect your device and the surroundings!
So, why does your phone charger smell like it’s burning?
One major factor that may lay behind a burning port is a faulty charger that either has issues with its connections, insulation, or electrical panel.
Some chargers heat up very quickly due to the fact that electricity conducts heat, and cheaper or malfunctioning chargers can attain very high temperatures during the charging process.
When an electrical port has a poor connection, the charger can easily become overheated, and the internal circuitry and insulation can become irreversibly damaged.
There are also other potential reasons that may also contribute to this situation.
For example, some chargers are designed for fast recharging, which can initially be a very helpful feature.
However, if used incorrectly or made subject to a faulty electrical port, this feature can partially destroy a phone’s battery and become a primary cause of a charger overheating and burning.
In this article, we’re going to take a deeper look into this issue and the possible causes behind it.
The following sections will cover the most frequently asked questions that people have in regards to burning smells coming from phone chargers- as well as what you need to do in these scenarios!
Very occasionally, phone chargers may heat up and begin to smell like it’s burning.
This burning smell is something that a careful mobile phone owner should immediately take action over and never make the mistake of ignoring!
Sometimes, it’s only the USB port that gets a bit hot and causes a smell of electrical burning.
At other times, it is the charger itself that gets heated up and emits a burning smell.
The worst situation of all is when you notice smoke coming out of the port or USB cable.
If this happens you should take action to remove your device quickly (if safe) and protect your belongings.
Below are some reasons that your charger may become hotter and begin to smell like burning:
Substandard chargers and batteries can often get hot and emit an unpleasant burning smell.
Since they are made from lower quality materials, they are more likely to fail or damage your phone- and some can even explode when plugged in!
A broken USB cable may be another reason why your charger is hot and has a burning smell.
If your charging cable is broken or damaged at any point along the wire, this may lead to a short circuit.
One particularly noticeable symptom of a short circuit is a charred scent!
In most cases, if it is the cable that is faulty, you will feel it getting hot to the touch while the charging brick itself remains cool.
Particularly low or high voltages can be dangerous and can destroy your phone charger and phone battery.
Chargers require a stable level of power connection.
Whenever you experience an imbalance in power supply, there is a good chance that your charger will be damaged as a result.
Any damage or quality compromise to the charger cable insulation can also be the reason for a burning smell.
The insulating material in substandard cables can easily allow the wires to come in contact, creating dangerous electrical problems and fire hazards.
A burning smell can also be an indication of poor-quality electricity panels.
This problem can be effectively solved by installing a modern electrical panel replacement.
While such panels can be expensive, they will protect your electrical devices and help to ensure the safety of your home.
Electrical breakers protect electrical devices in case of a power surge.
As such, households that are not equipped with modern, high-functioning electrical breakers are at an increased risk of their electrical devices being damaged.
A faulty electrical breaker might also be why your charger is getting hot and emitting a burning odor.
Phone batteries, as you might already know, contain chemicals.
If there is a problem with those battery chemicals leaking, it can lead to a charger’s untimely demise!
Sometimes overheating of a phone can induce the battery to release an unpleasant odor as chemicals leak in the interior of the block.
In this case, the problem is with your phone battery and not the charger itself.
Above, we’ve discussed the multiple reasons as to why your phone charger might be getting hot and producing a pungent burning smell.
As you’ve seen, this situation can be an alarming safety hazard in some cases, and at other times only a minor issue.
A burning hot charger is always a matter of concern for both the health of the phone and the charger itself.
You should be very cautious if the USB end port is so hot that you can’t touch it!
If you ever see fumes and flames coming out of the port and switch, the situation calls for immediate attention as it can easily damage your phone and become dangerous- not just for your phone, but all the belongings in your home as well!
A charger getting a little warm should normally not be a cause of panic. However, if it gets decidedly hot and starts burning, you need to take rapid action.
If a charger is excessively hot and has a burning smell, here are some steps you should take:
The first thing to remember is to never delay in taking immediate action.
Quick response is vital in limiting the potential damage whenever you notice a strong burning smell around your phone charger.
Immediately remove your device, as your phone and your home could potentially be in great danger!
Once you notice something is wrong, the first thing to do is to unplug your phone charger.
In the case of a power surge or an electrical short circuit, the consequences can be very harmful for the connected devices.
If for some reason you cannot unplug the charger, you should switch off the power connection at the source.
Do not attempt to reconnect the charger until you are certain it is safe!
(And don’t plunge it into water to try to cool it down, either!)
If there is a problem with the electrical panel and charging port in your home, don’t delay in contacting a qualified technician.
You should also consult with a mobile phone expert to find out whether there may be some other issue with the phone battery or even the phone itself.
If a charger continues to emit a burning smell and gets hot every time you plug it in, then it’s time to get rid of that charger and try using another one to solve the problem.
If the phone starts heating up even with a brand new charger, you’ll need to consult with a trained technician as the problem may lie with your electrical outlet or smartphone.
It may be helpful to try charging your phone elsewhere to confirm if the issue is really with your electrical connection.
Sometimes, the phone itself can be the source of the problem.
It’s important to note that a faulty phone can sometimes heat up the charger as you charge it.
This can be caused by a low-quality battery, faulty internal components, or short-circuiting within the device.
The burning smell can be from the phone itself and not the charger at all! Therefore, before you take any definite action, be sure to confirm where the smell comes from.
To avoid further damage, check if there is any chemical leakage from the battery that could be producing a metallic burning smell.
If there is, you should consult a technician immediately as that is a sign of impending damage to your device.
Install modern electrical panels and equipment switches in your house to protect other devices and chargers from overheating and burning.
If the issue persists with the same device, it’s better to consult an expert!
Knowing about the risk factors and potential damage that can be caused by overheating chargers and burning USB ports will allow you to carefully assess the proper actions you need to take.
A warm charger is normal, and should not cause excess panic. However, if it gets too hot to the point where you can’t touch it, something is definitely wrong!
Overheating chargers can easily damage your battery, phone, and even cause a fire if left unattended.
Always make sure that you have modern equipment and electrical breakers installed in your home.
Being alert and conscious about such electrical issues is crucial when it comes to protecting yourself and those around you.
Remember: Never ignore any smells or minor electrical burning issues that you may spot, as these problems can easily spiral out of control!