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Why is My Phone Charger Making Noise? – 6 Main Causes

Silent Home Hub Charger Making Noise

Seeing your phone flash a “20% battery left” warning can make you panic.

Something that can make it worse is if your cell phone charger is making a high-pitched crackling noise once it’s plugged in.

When you hear a hum or a crackle, you should start to wonder why your charger is making that buzzing noise.

In this guide, you’ll learn about the possible causes for a charger making noise and the corresponding solutions to these.

Table of Contents

Should I Worry If My Phone Charger is Making Noise?

There are several possible causes as to why your charger is noisy. You can solve some of them easily, but others may need some help from a professional.

If worse comes to worst, you might need to buy a new charger.

In some cases, charger noise might not be a cause for concern. The buzzing you hear might be because of the charging method of your device.

But it’s best to take the NECESSARY PRECAUTIONS. Find out the cause behind the charger making noise as it may be a bigger issue.

Observe the high-pitched sound coming from your charger as some types of noises might be a sign of:

  • a charger damaged beyond repair
  • damaged device battery
  • unusually high electrical consumption
  • fire hazard
  • possible electrocution

It’s important to differentiate which noises are normal and which are not. To do so, you need to determine the charger you’re using and the sound that you’re hearing.

Sometimes It’s Normal

Not all phone chargers work silently. All chargers make noise, but in some cases, the human ear cannot detect it due to its low frequency.

Fun fact: Humans can detect sounds with a frequency of 20 Hz and above. Something with an exceptionally high frequency may be harder for older adults to hear.

If you can clearly hear a high-pitched buzzing noise coming from your charger, don’t jump to conclusions yet. Its components might be designed that way.

Some phone chargers have their transformer convert current through their electromagnetic plates. This results in a sound produced via vibration from the magnetic fields.

And yes, this also happens with laptop chargers, camera chargers, and other device chargers. Not just for phone chargers.

How Will I Know If It’s Normal?

It’s difficult to determine if the high-pitched buzzing noise is a problem or not. When you buy a new charger, observe if it’s making noise or not.

Check on the sound of a new charger and try to compare it with the current sound. This way, you can find the answer and figure out if something is off. If anything, it might just be normal.

If you’re sure that your charger has always been silent whenever you charge your device, then that might be a case to investigate.

Sometimes It’s a Problem

Some noises are normal. However, there may be some instances when chargers make an unusual noise. This can be concerning, and you must find a solution to it ASAP.

Though, one should not jump to conclusions after you hear a simple whine or hum.

The sound might just come from the transformer. Just like a noisy fridge, it might just really come along with the device.

But if it comes to the point where you start hearing more disturbing sounds like buzzing, scratching, sparking, crackling, or anything similar, it’s time to question if there’s something wrong with the components of your charger.

You’ll have to attend to these issues as soon as possible no matter what types of sound you hear.

How Does It Become a Problem?

These sounds are usually heard when the capacitor is starting to fail. The capacitor is in charge of reducing the current that goes into the battery to prevent it from overheating.

In the case the capacitor is failing to do its job, the charger can become a fire hazard and lead to an even bigger issue.

Another category of noises you should look out for is irregular noises. This means it has an irregular pattern.

If this is the case, you should check if any of its components are damaged.

Causes and Solutions for a Charger Making Noise

Now that you’re sure that the noises from your charger are something to worry about. What’s next?

The next thing to do would be to find out the cause.

Here’s a list of possible causes and the corresponding solution that you can do to each case.

1. Off-Brand Charger

Using off-brand chargers can be RISKY. They don’t always have the correct voltage for the corresponding device.

Some replicas are POORLY DESIGNED. They don’t always follow the required key safety features and quality standards.

This can cause them to fail and, in some cases, become a hazard.

Is This the Cause?

A lot of off-brand chargers DON’T HAVE SAFETY MARKINGS and AUTHORIZATION STICKERS. You can easily determine the cheap quality of the material it’s made out of.

You can tell by the get-go the difference between an original charger from those off-brand chargers. All you need is one glance.

These chargers are often UNUSUALLY LIGHT due to some missing components.

The thing to look out for with these chargers is that they don’t carry the voltage they claim. These can damage the battery life of your device even with short-term use.

If you’re sure that your charger isn’t the original, it’s better to use a voltage meter to be sure of the voltage it carries.

What You Can Do

The best option for this is to replace it with a brand-new charger that’s not off-brand. A branded device might cost more, but it’s much safer to use.

Not only is it safe, but you also get to save repair costs for your device battery in the long run too!

Better to invest in the real deal than a cheaper one that’ll lead to more problems.

2. Old Charger

Chargers all wear out eventually as time goes by. It’s inevitable. A charger is bound to break down eventually and might not supply enough power to your device.

Most of the time, the internal parts get worn out due to the repetitive use and the heat the device generates. Sometimes, it can also cause the battery of the device to wear out.

Is This the Cause?

If you’ve been using your charger for more than one or two years now, there’s a good chance the device is wearing out.

If you start hearing any of the noises listed above, this might be the cause. It means a part of the charger is already loose or non-functioning.

A very common case is when the charging port gets loose or when the cable is always bent. The power from electricity isn’t able to reach the device.

What You Can Do

Again, it’s BETTER and SAFER to BUY A BRAND NEW ONE to replace it. Repairing it might just cost you more and might expose you to more hazards.

You can easily find a replacement charger for your old charger from any store.

Just make sure it’s the real deal and not an off-brand one. Or else you’ll end up facing the same problem again.

3. Damaged Charger

Let’s face it, a lot of us get careless about how we use and store our chargers.

Cables are left on the floor, twisted and tangled inside a bag, left plugged in a wall outlet. These careless habits can damage your charger over time.

Is This the Cause?

A sudden sound being produced is often a sign of a damaged charger. Check if your charger has any physical damage.

It can be a cracked AC adapter, frayed cable, bent cable, or an exposed cable.

What You Can Do

You have the option to patch it up yourself, but it’s likely not going to last long.

UNPLUG IT and DON’T USE IT for a bit because the noises might signal some problems with your device. When in doubt, buy a new one.

It usually depends on the type of charger that you have. Some charger brands allow you to replace only the damaged component.

If your charger’s main problem is the cable, you can simply REPLACE the cable. You can do this instead of buying a whole new set with the adapter.

4. Faulty Outlet

Sometimes it’s not the charger that produces weird sounds. You need to check if it’s your outlet.

Over time, an old wall outlet can have loose wires that result in a humming or sparking sound.

This is one of the important things to look out for as it may be a SIGN OF FAULTY WIRING at home.

Faulty wiring can lead to fire hazards if not handled properly. It’s especially common for roadside transformers.

Is This the Cause?

If you’re not sure, try plugging your charger into a different wall outlet. If it’s quiet, the power outlet must have too much or too little power.

If the sounds persist, try testing the other outlets in your home. There might be a PROBLEM WITH YOUR WIRING.

Do take note that you need to make sure the sounds come from the power outlet and not the charger. That might be one whole other problem.

What You Can Do

If the problem is the power outlet and wiring, you can continue using your phone chargers. But, you must immediately do something about the electrical wiring of your house.

You need to fix these things as soon as possible as it might damage your other devices and appliances.

This can also lead to POWER PROBLEMS and FIRE HAZARDS, especially if your outlet is prone to sparking.

5. Broken Part of Charger

The basic parts of a charger are:

  • Diode(s)
  • Rectifier
  • Transformer
  • Capacitor

Some models also have resistor and regulator chips, depending on the device that you have.

Most of the time, when one of these parts is worn out or loose, they produce odd noises.

Is This the Cause?

Determining if any of these things are the issue can be tricky unless you are a trained professional.

You can bring it to a shop for an expert to take it apart and determine what’s wrong with it.

An alternative you can do is to use a multimeter. This will check which section of the charger is faulty.

What You Can Do

You can have it repaired in a shop. But the safest option is always to buy a new one.

6. Faulty Capacitor

The one component that you can determine and repair by yourself is the CAPACITOR. You don’t need to open the device to fix it.

Is This the Cause?

You can USE A MULTIMETER to measure the cable output and check for voltage fluctuations. If there are any, it’s most likely a problem with the capacitor of the device.

What You Can Do

Changing the capacitor of your device can be done easily with some applications of basic electrical engineering skills.

Here’s a quick tutorial on how to replace one:

You can buy one online, but it’s mostly sold in sets with many other pieces.

If you’re not confident with your skills, you could always TAKE YOUR CHARGER TO THE REPAIR SHOP.

But to be on the safe side, it’s better to buy a brand new one.

How to Properly Take Care of Your Chargers

When a charger is faulty, the best option is to replace it with a new one.

If you don’t want to keep buying replacement chargers for your device, you need to learn how to take good care of it.

Here are tips you can follow to take care of your charger:

Keep Your Charger Away from Extreme Temperatures

  • Never leave your charger under direct sunlight.
  • Also, don’t store it uninsulated in the cold. Extreme temperatures can damage its internals.
  • Prevent the power adapter from overheating and make sure it’s PLACED ON A HARD SURFACE when in use. Overheating can melt some parts of it.

Protect Your Charger From Moisture and Water

  • Always avoid moisture and water! Moisture and water can damage both the power adapter and the cable. It doesn’t automatically destroy devices, but it triggers problems.
  • This is also a reason why you need to avoid extreme temperatures. Humid environments can cause moisture.
  • Water will react with metal due to the ions in it. This causes corrosion and damages the device. Keep it in a waterproof bag if you often carry it with you outside.

Avoid Bending Cables

When putting the charger away, we instinctively twist and bend the cord. This can do more harm than good to your cable.

A way to prevent this is to have it stored in a loose coil.

  • Invest in a cable holder or a travel bag to keep it intact. Just carelessly stuffing it in your bag can get the cords tangled.
  • You can also set up a cable organizer at home to keep them from getting tangled with each other.

Always Unplug by the Head

One of the most common mistakes that most people make is unplugging it by the cable. Doing this regularly damages the cable.

  • If the cable is separate from the AC adapter, always unplug the AC adapter first.
  • Try using magnetic adapters instead to prevent wear and tear from your cable.

Invest in a Surge Protector

It’s uncontrollable, but power surges actually do a lot of damage to your devices and appliances.

The sudden spike in voltage can cause an overload. This can lead to your fuse box exploding, especially when you have faulty wiring.

A surge protector will help regulate the voltage distribution in your home.

If you live in an area prone to outage or voltage spikes, use a surge protector. It’s affordable and can save your devices and appliances from getting damaged.

Unplug Your Charger When Not in Use

It’s very tempting. And as humans, we can get very lazy. But always unplug your devices when they’re not in use.

A plugged charger is active even if there’s no device connected to it. It will continue to consume electricity. This causes the charger to wear off sooner.

You can USE EXTENSION CORDS WITH ON-AND-OFF SWITCHES. Unplug it to save electricity and for more longevity.

Final Thoughts on a Charger Making Noise

Woman inside a car pointing to her fully charged smartphone

A phone charger making noise can be completely harmless. But it’s ALWAYS BETTER TO BE CAUTIOUS. Especially if it’s a buzzing noise.

A noisy charging device might damage the battery or even become a fire hazard.

Be observant. Try to determine if the crackling or high-pitched noise is there. If it is, maybe it’s time to replace it with a new one.

We hope this guide got to answer your question! A charger making noise has many causes but it’s very easy to solve the issue.


Changelog:

July 12, 2021 – updated external links, removed affiliate links

June 15, 2021 – added changelog, fixed article format, updated internal linking, optimized content

About the Author

andrea_adams

Andrea has always been bombarded by the hustle and bustle outside her home. Living in the city doesn’t get any quieter. The never ending noise from construction, traffic, and dogs barking on the streets day in and day out drove Andrea to a breaking point.

For 3 years, Andrea committed herself to studying DIY hacks, performing soundproofing experiments, and installing noise-free solutions. Now, she lives a quiet life free of the stress from noisy environments.

She hopes to share this knowledge so that others don’t have to endure the noise reigning in their ears and live a peaceful, stress-free life.