Replacing Power Adaptors

This is a more common occurrence than what you what expect. Quite often we get calls from people saying that their dog has chewed a laptop power lead, they’ve tripped over it – or is suddenly just stopped working.

In most circumstances if you haven’t damaged the DC connector of your laptop this is a relatively easy and affordable thing to fix. However there are some things to be aware of.

Volts and Amps Of Your Charger and Device

Nearly all DC chargers will have printed on them somewhere, the voltage that they use and the amps that they draw. Before you go out and purchase a new adaptor, make sure you locate this information and write it down first. Below is an example of the numbers you are looking for – be aware though this varies between devices.


The other thing you can test before going to buy another adaptor is that your adaptor has in fact completely failed. Now, if the cords have been chewed through or completely snapped it’s safe to say its time for a new one. If the device seems relatively intact though it is best to check whether or not the device has voltage by using a multimeter. If you don’t know how to do this I’d recommend taking it to a reputable computer shop for them to confirm.

If you can not see the voltage and amp requirements on the power adaptor itself – you can check on your device. Sometimes they may be in a strange place (some we have seen under batteries for example) but you should find a listing on them somewhere.

The Connector Type and Total Current Draw

Many electronic retailers such as Jaycar stock several different power adaptors. The differences between them normally are:

  • The types of connectors they come with
  • The voltages they support
  • The amps/current they support

Most boxes will list what models they support but if possible ask that you can confirm that the connector will plugin to your laptop. Total current draw we should already know from when you got the details off your laptops power supply or the laptop itself (it’s the number that has A after it. e.g. 4.74A)

Buying a suitable adaptor

This is where a lot of people get caught out – so here are the rules to follow:

  • Voltage needs to be the same as your current devices, if you are buying a multiple voltage device be 100% sure you’ve selected the right voltage before connecting it to your device or you can permanently damage your device
  • Amps: the amps need to be equal or greater than your current device. You do not need it to be the exact same, however always make sure that the new charger you are buying has equal or greater amps than the original. If it does not have greater or equal amps you will find that your battery will not charge and the device may behave inconsistently.
  • Keep in mind the size of the adaptor,  lot of replacements will be larger than your existing device
  • Be sure you’ve tested the connections properly before buying if it comes with multiple connectors
  • This is not too common but ensure that your new device has the same centre pin polarity as the old. This is generally indicated by a diagram that has a + and – symbol and a circle in the middle

If you own a newer Macbook

If you own a newer macbook that uses the Magsafe 2 connection type there is currently 3 adaptors that Apple sell for those devices. They are a 45W adaptor, and 60W adaptor and a 85W adaptor. If you are like me and may need to use the adaptor on several devices, buy the 85W adaptor. Because remember, you can use a device of equal or greater amperage with no issues as the device will only draw the amps that it requires to operate.

Otherwise if you want a specific adaptor apple have a great article on finding the right adaptor here – you can also find the details of the adaptors written on them as well if you are having trouble.

Due to the design of Magsafe you don’t need to worry about centre pin polarity, simply find the right adaptor and you can replace with confidence.

There are generic Magsafe adaptors available for lower costs than direct from Apple, however if you choose to buy one of those try to ensure that they comply with Australian standards or they may be unsafe.

If you need assistance with replacing your adaptor don’t forget you can contact us here