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AC adapters - Using a different voltage on a laptop - is there a risk of frying it?

Posted on 2011-09-06
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Last Modified: 2012-05-12

Ive a box of acs.

A friend needs a spare.

Presuming that the laptop is european and all acs are european can I still potentially fry his laptop with the worng AC?

Like a laptop getting 19 volts instaed of its original 17Volts.

Problem here is the original ac is missing so its guess work.

What say you?
 
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Question by:fcek
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by:fcek
ID: 36488576


Pls excuse the spelling there.........
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LVL 96

Assisted Solution

by:Lee W, MVP
Lee W, MVP earned 400 total points
ID: 36488590
Yes, you can fry the laptop - if the voltage is wrong or if the polarity is wrong.

Go to Ebay and buy the CORRECT adapter.  Or go to a computer/office supply store/web site and buy a replacement adapter.  

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LVL 12

Assisted Solution

by:asidu
asidu earned 400 total points
ID: 36489319
You should be able to find the excat voltage used by the laptop in question from the laptops website.

Ebay is a good source to get the specifications as suggested by leew.

It will be good if you give the details of your laptop so that you could get a right solution/advise.

If you plug in a AC adapter which is  higher than the voltage you could fry up the circuitry in the motherboard. A underrated supply will not fry your system and it may work. It may work if the polarity is correct.

 
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LVL 12

Assisted Solution

by:coredatarecovery
coredatarecovery earned 400 total points
ID: 36492380
eBay, the Chinese ones are about $10.00

I'd recommend getting the exact one instead (Usually $20)

Most laptops do have a voltage regulator section and will deal with the voltage being out of range by up to 20% so 20% of 17v is within 3 volts of 19 V.

Lower voltage is more dangerous than higher in general as it pulls more current.

Polarity is critical, I recommend you check the polarity of his current unit.

Unless he is just flat broke and won't spend $10 don't try to use the wrong adapter, usually the biggest issue is current rather than voltage.
the power supplies you generally will have laying around won't put out enough current flow to keep the devices running, typically.
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LVL 12

Accepted Solution

by:
Grant1842 earned 400 total points
ID: 36492614
Most all laptops will list there working voltage on the bottom, find the working voltage first.

AC Adapters


If it is not putting out the correct amount of watts. It may power the laptop, but will not charge the battery, so check to make sure your adapter has the proper wattage. In some cases, the wattage will not be listed, but that's OK, because you can use some simple math to see if the AC adapter is putting out correct watts:

V x A = W .

Where V is the number of VOLTS, and A is the Amperage (amps). So, Voltage x Amperage = WATTS.
Now take the watts and compare it to your laptops Specifications.

Make sure the AC adapter you are using has the correct DC Volt output that your laptop requires.
The amps can be higher but the Volts has to be the same (With in point 2 of a volt is OK) . The amps can not be lower than what your laptop needs.
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LVL 92

Assisted Solution

by:nobus
nobus earned 400 total points
ID: 36493905
look on the bottom the input voltage range, normally it is 100-240 V AC
look also in the laptop manual what DC voltage it needs, most are around 19 V, but there can be some differences

since voltage tolerances are  5% - you could use input voltages between 18-20 V for a 19 V nominal unit
and best compare the Amperes it delivers also, if too low, it will take forever to charger the battery...
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