How to Test a Battery Charger

Published: 24th May 2010
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Testing your battery charger cannot only help you troubleshoot problems with your electronic device, but can ensure a proper battery charge, and increase the longevity of your battery. Testing your battery charger is easy, but remember to work safely.

Tools and Materials Needed



* Outlet

* Charger

* Electronic Device with battery to be tested

* Multimeter or receptacle tester



Step 1 - Safely Using Your Multimeter



An important part of using a multimeter or receptacle tester is safety. Overloading a multimeter or setting it to the wrong settings can cause immediate damage to the multimeter and even cause an explosion of the device. To safely test an outlet you need to have a category III (for use on appliance outlets) multimeter. Categories are determined by the CEN EN61010 standard. Receptacle testers must also be handled with care. They can also be overloaded and the user must be careful not to touch any of the prongs when testing an outlet.

Step 2 - Ensure Outlet Is Working Properly



For a multimeter: First, set up your multimeter by attaching pointed probes and turning on the multimeter and setting it to the AC Volts setting. Then insert the probes into the two vertical slots on the outlet, keeping in mind that type B (NEMA 5-15 or North American standard) outlets have the neutral slot on the left and the live slot on the right, along with a grounded slot on top or bottom. If your multimeter reads 110 - 120 volts then, your outlet is properly working. If it does not read 110 - 120 volts then, find a new outlet and repeat step 2.



For a receptacle tester: Insert your receptacle tester into the type B (NEMA 5-15 or North American standard) outlet. If the tester indicates a properly working outlet, then continue to step 3. If your tester indicates a broken or faulty outlet, then find a new outlet and repeat step 2.

Step 3 - Insert Battery Charger into Outlet



Check the charger's prongs. If the any prongs are missing, or the prongs are bent the charger should be replaced or fixed by a professional. Also, make sure there are no breaks in the wire or the wire's protective plastic coating. If the wire is broken or any plastic covering is missing do not plug in the charger. Have it replaced or fixed by a professional.

Step 4 - Connect Device to Battery Charger



Connect your battery charger to the electrical device's power jack. If the device is receiving a charge, the battery charger is functioning appropriately. If you're not sure whether or not your device is receiving a charge, consult the owner's manual for signs of charging (LED signals, powering on when connecting to a power source, audio signal etc.). If your device is not receiving a charge then, it needs to be replaced or repaired by a professional.



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