Many companies discourage consumers from interchanging chargers because of the threat the practice poses. But what happens if you use the wrong charger? What if the amperage is too high or too low? Can I Use Charger With Higher Amperage?
Modern battery packs have protection circuitry that prevents a charger with a higher amperage from overwhelming the device. If you have a choice in the matter, stick with chargers that have the same amperage as the battery. But the charger will still work even if the amperage is higher so long as the voltage is the same.
Look at the voltage on the adapter and compare it to the information on the battery. If the voltage is the same, you’re good to go.
The only other notable consideration is the polarity. Make sure the polarity matches.
What Happens When You Use A Charger With A Higher Amperage?
Your home supplies AC power, which a charger converts into DC power for your device.
AC (Alternating Current) power is called so because the current changes direction. DC (Direct Current) power differs because it always moves in one direction.
DC power is more consistent, hence its use in electronic appliances. AC power, on the other hand, comes out of your outlets. Every charger on the market is compatible with the 120V AC outlets you find in most homes.
Chargers have specific ratings that reveal the amount of energy they can receive and transmit. You don’t have to match the charger’s AC input to the proper outlet. You can use any outlet in your home. The more significant concern is the charger’s DC output.
When you buy a charger, look for the voltage and amperage on the adapter. This will tell you whether or not the charger is a suitable match for your phone or laptop.
Voltage is the most important consideration here. The voltage is comparable to the pressure that forces water through a pipe. It drives the electrons in a conductor. The voltage of a charger should match the voltage of the battery.
Otherwise, you risk destroying the device in question. A charger with a higher voltage can produce devastating results. That includes blowing a fuse and ruining the circuit boards. Even if your device survives, the higher voltage will shorten its lifespan.
This doesn’t happen every single time. Manufacturers expect the voltage in any given power supply to fluctuate. The devices they make can accommodate those fluctuations. In other words, your phone or laptop may tolerate a charger with a slightly higher voltage.
It is important to understand the danger chargers with a higher voltage pose to electronic devices.
Many consumers confuse ‘Higher Amperage’ with ‘Higher Voltage’ where chargers are concerned.
They usually use terms like ‘Stronger Charger’ or ‘Larger Charger’ to refer to both options. They think that ‘Higher Voltage’ and ‘Higher Amperage’ chargers are the same, but that is not true.
‘ Amp’ is a unit of measurement that reveals the current your device uses. Some people prefer wattage to amps. But you can change the wattage to amperage and vice versa, depending on your preference.
Higher voltage is dangerous because it pushes electrons the same way pressure in a pipe pushes the water. Therefore, it can harm your electronic device. Amperage is different because the current is an element your device pulls.
The charger won’t push 5 amps into your equipment. The equipment will pull 5 amps out of the charger. For that reason, higher amperage is not a threat. If your charger is rated for 8A, it won’t destroy a 5A phone by forcing the device to accept 8A. The phone will only pull 5 amps.
Pros Of Using High Amperage Charger
A higher amperage charger doesn’t have inherent benefits. The fact that electronic devices can use higher amperage chargers is advantageous because it simplifies access. When a consumer’s charger stops working, they don’t have to obsess over finding an exact replica with a similar amperage.
Any charger they find on the market will work as long as the voltage rating is the same. But you won’t necessarily benefit by seeking out a high-amperage charger.
A higher amperage charger may charge your device at a faster rate because it offers more amps. But you should keep three factors in mind:
- Fast Charging – Some devices don’t offer fast charging. If your device doesn’t support fast charging, it won’t charge faster, even if the charger has a higher amperage.
- Quality Charger – The quality of the charger matters. Don’t expect cheaper low-quality chargers to provide fast charging, regardless of their amp rating.
- Original Charger – If your phone supports fast charging, the original branded charger will probably charge your device just as quickly as a high-amperage charger from a different brand. Therefore, you have no reason to take a chance on a high-amperage charger. In fact, a low-quality high amperage charger may harm your phone. It isn’t worth the risk.
Cons Of Using A High Amperage Charger
Like the pros, there is no significant disadvantage associated with this practice. A high-amperage charger won’t harm your device unless the charger is low-quality. Some people argue that a charger with a high amperage can lower the lifespan of the device and its battery.
But many experts dispute that claim. Until evidence comes out to support the dangers people associate with high amperage chargers, you can ignore the naysayers.
What About Using Charger With Lower Amperage?
Low amperage is more dangerous than low voltage. A charger’s amp rating shows you the maximum amount of power it can transmit. This is why high amperage is not a problem. Just because a charger has an 8-amp rating doesn’t mean it will transmit 8 amps. A 5A device will use that 8A charger to pull 5 amps.
But what if the device in question is 12amps? As you now know, the charger won’t push the current into the machine. Instead, the device will pull the current out of the charger. In the case above, a 12A device will draw 12 amps out of a charger that should only handle 8 amps.
The adapter will overheat. If the charger cannot provide the 12 amps, the device may refuse to start because it doesn’t have the current required. Low amperage chargers do not have any advantages.
The best option is a charger that matches the rating of the device. But if you’re forced to choose between a high amperage charger and a low amperage charger, take the high amperage charger.
What About Using Low Voltage Charger?
Low voltage will influence your device’s operations. Some items won’t work. They won’t start. Others will power on, but their operations will become erratic. You also have equipment that starts and then shuts off because the voltage is insufficient.
Low voltage is bad, but it won’t necessarily harm the device or lower its lifespan. Although, low-voltage chargers are still discouraged.
5 Things To Consider To Choose The Best Charger
Use Quality Charger
Where possible, stick with the same manufacturer that made the phone. If you trust a brand to make your phone, you can also trust them to make a high-quality charger. A charger with the correct rating can still destroy your phone or laptop if the quality is poor.
Pay attention to reviews from previous customers. Avoid chargers from brands with an overwhelmingly negative reputation.
Match The Voltage & Amp Rating
This goes without saying. Make sure the voltage and amp ratings of the charger match the voltage and amp ratings of the device. You can get away with higher amperage but not a higher voltage. A higher voltage will destroy the device. A lower voltage will prevent the device from operating optimally. Use the recommendations from the phone’s manufacturer.
Identify The Port Type
Does the charger’s cable match the charging port of the device? A charger that doesn’t match the size and configuration of the charging port is useless. For instance, many modern smartphones use USB-C ports. But if you have an older model that doesn’t offer USB-C, identify the port type before you buy the charger. Take the phone to the retailer and show them the charging port. They will find a matching charger.
The plug Should Match The Configuration Of Your Sockets
For instance, a charger with a three-prong plug is useless to you when your sockets have two slots. You can use an adapter to overcome this barrier, but it makes more sense to buy a charger with two prongs.
Make Sure The Device And Charger Have Similar Charging Protocols
For instance, if your phone has a fast charging feature, look for a charger that works with that fast charging protocol. Otherwise, the fast charging option may go to waste.