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Power cord replacement

By gr7070
Feb 12, 2012
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  1. I have a Dell Inspiron with an extended life battery that sticks out the back a little. The power cord is dying - works intermittently. I have a potential replacement cord that came with a different laptop I’d like to use. However, I am uncertain if this may cause problems or even be unsafe.

    First concern:
    The current, non-working, power cord has a hexagonal (cross-section) male end that plugs into the laptop. The replacement cord has the more typical round (cylindrical) end. The replacement cord does fit in the laptop and it is not apparent, physically, that it is a problem.

    Second Concern:
    The current, non-working (hexagonal), cord input matches the input on the replacement (round) cord, as expected since they're U.S. cords meant for U.S. power sources. However, the output is not the same.

    current, non-working (hexagonal), cord output: DC 19.5V 3.34A
    replacement (round) cord output: DC 19.5V 4.62A

    Will the higher amperage of the replacement cord cause a problem, especially a potential safety issue? The laptop is left plugged in for long periods of time, unattended. I’d hate to start a fire.

    Can someone with more electrical knowledge let me know if my concerns have merit or is my little, but more than zero, knowledge of electricity creating a concern where there should be none.
  2. cliffordcooley

    cliffordcooley TS Guardian Fighter Posts: 11,049   +4,769

    If the cord will fit the plug without changing polarity, you don't have a problem there.

    As long as you operate at the same voltage and supply enough current you will be fine. Same voltage as in DC or AC and the same number value for the amount of voltage.

    Current values (3.34A) can be higher as long as the are not lower, your device will only draw the current it requires. If the device requires more current than is available, this is where problems start to arise.

    I could go into more details but I will spare you the other un-known language. LOL

    I'm not going to tell you that it's not possible for it to start a fire but it's highly unlikely. The most common effect would be frying components on the inside of the power supply or PC. You might smell the components afterward but usually nothing more. As long as you stick with the same voltage and the same or more current, you shouldn't have any issues.
  3. raybay

    raybay TS Evangelist Posts: 6,908   +10

    If the cord fits, and it is not abraided or damaged, it is OK to use.

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