A dumb electrical question

Discussion in 'Gadgets & Gear' started by cockroachfarm, Aug 24, 2008.

  1. cockroachfarm


    Jan 6, 2001
    Now that we have a house full of small electronic gadgets that require transformers to charge, etc. I'm wondering if there's any reason to unplug them from the AC outlet after your gadget has been fully charged? I was taught to unplug everything after I had finished charging, but my kids and wife just unplug their cellphones, iPods, etc. and leave the transformer/charger plugged into the AC outlet until the next charging session.

    Is there any reason NOT to leave it plugged in?
  2. Dave P

    Dave P

    Nov 21, 1999
    Yes, they suck up a bit of power and generate some heat even if you are not using them. Also a small chance of causing fires (like all electrical appliances).
  3. Bufford

    Bufford Gold Member Gold Member

    Mar 13, 2006
    Put all the stuff you want unplugged after use on a power bar that has a switch. Once the appliance is charged up simply switch the power bar off, much easier than having to plug and unplug all the time.
  4. Gollnick

    Gollnick Musical Director

    Mar 22, 1999
    Many of them such a lot of power for what they do. These chargers cost the consumer about ten bucks. That means that wholesale is maybe five bucks. That means that the material cost is may two bucks. The biggest, most expensive part is the transformer which is basically an iron core with copper wire wrapped around it. Have you seen the prices of iron and copper these days? The result is that these chargers use the cheapest transformers out there and they're very inefficient. The "magnitizing energy", the amount of energy consumed by the transformer itself even when there is no load, is very often five Watts in one of these little chargers. So, as soon as you plug this thing in, before you even hook up the cell phone -- or whatever -- that charger itself starts drawing five Watts. If you have ten of these things around the house, it's equivalent to leaving a 50W lightbulb burning all the time.
  5. Ken C.

    Ken C. Jack of all trades, master of none. Staff Member Super Mod

    Jun 14, 2000
    All of my portable electronics chargers (cellphone, iPod, camera, etc.) are on a power strip. They are also centrally located so nothing gets misplaced. I turn off the power strip when everything is removed from the chargers.

    Attached Files:

  6. Absintheur

    Absintheur Banned by Moderators Banned

    Jan 31, 2008
    Only thing I charge daily is the cell phone and it gets charged at night while I sleep. The IPod eigher charges in the car when I am using it there or in the boombox I have for it. The phone charger stays plugged in 24/7 simply because it would be very inconvenient to unplug it, the plug is behind my headboard. Everything else tho such as the charger for my batteries for my cordless tools are unplugged when finished.
  7. cockroachfarm


    Jan 6, 2001
    Thank you! :thumbup:
  8. macdo


    Jan 20, 2006
    Hmmm, looking at the bird's nest behind the computer desk I see ten plugs of which half a litrle transformers. Two computers plus network plus audio kit. I've rearranged the transformers onto one power bar so can turn off easily. Course phone base and answering machine stay on.
  9. 65535


    Mar 14, 2007
    Not that I advocate leaving them plugged in I find that for personal use it's just not practical to unplug them, and I don't have a single spot in the house where I can locate them. It shouldn't hurt too much, but if it's practical do unplug them.
  10. skunked


    Sep 25, 2004
  11. UffDa

    UffDa Gold Member Gold Member

    Sep 11, 1999
    Many of the new chargers use switching power supplys and do not use any power unless they are in use. The wall warts that are fairly heavy for their size do have transformers and do use power when not used. These should be unplugged.

    If your charger weighs almost nothing, you can leave it plugged in.
  12. cockroachfarm


    Jan 6, 2001
    I always unplug mine. It's the rest of the family members who...forget. ;)

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