How to Fix an Overheated AC Adapter

By Anthony Diaz de la Vega

Electric current runs through AC adapters both to amplify it before it is sent to your electronics, and to protect the current from electrical surges. Some of the electrical energy is lost in the form of heat, which causes adapters to heat up slightly while in use. Overheated AC adapters pose a serious fire risk, especially if they are left near flammable objects in a poorly ventilated area.

Things You'll Need

  • Desk fan
  • Electrical tape
  • Wire cutters
  • Soldering iron
  • Solder

Step 1

Touch your adapter every couple of hours to ensure it is not getting too hot. Unplug your AC adapter at the first sign that it is overheating.

Step 2

Place the overheating adapter in an open, cool area. Use a fan to increase the airflow around the adapter.

Step 3

Plug the adapter into your electronic appliance and back into a power outlet. Check the adapter every five minutes or so to see if it becomes warm. Keep the adapter away from any flammable materials when plugged in, and unplug it immediately if it feels hot to the touch. Contact the company that manufactures your electrical appliance if the adapter consistently overheats.

Step 4

Check the adapter cable for any sections where the insulation may have become worn down. Exposed wires are a common cause of an overheating adapter. Cut the wire on either side of the break and strip back the insulation to expose the copper wires. Solder the the new copper leads together, making sure not to accidentally cross the wires. Wrap electrical tape around both newly repaired wires to insulate them from one another. Test the AC adapter and monitor it for excessive heat.

Tips & Warnings

  • Never attempt to repair an AC adapter while it is plugged into a power source or an electrical appliance. Doing so could result in serious electrical shock.