Don’t get burned by a cheap wireless charger
TL;DR – Always check if the manufacturer has overheat protection built in. If you’ve had a wireless charger “lock up” and require being unplugged and plugged back in before it will charge again return it. If your charger is hot, unplug from the wall not the base of the charger.
Let’s set the stage for why my left hand is hurting and my right thumb is burned – no, it’s not this unfortunately timed press release. This morning my series of alarms started. I have two device alarms that slowly turn the room to brightly lit quite a bit before I have to get up, one that plays some cheery music 10 minutes into the light barrage, then the BEDDI 2 sounds in with music.
Finally my phone plays a little ringy tone and I reach over to the phone, slide the alarm off, and realize that there’s no way I’m getting out of the day at this point, snooze for 4 more minutes and then hit the world like a wrecking ball.
Everything went normally, I reached over and turned off my phone alarm and slid it slightly off the charger, picked it up and put it back down on it.
About four minutes later I heard an alarm I’ve never heard, a couple of chirps then nothing. As a parent, an IT director, and landlord, anything abnormal throws me into analysis mode because a chrp can mean fire, a drip can mean $2000 in repairs, a thud can mean I’m taking a kid to the doctor for stitches.
That’s when I started smelling what I believe is superheated Pledge. Something was up. I sat up, looked around, inhaled, nothing. I reached over to grab my phone and pretty much chucked it into the bed because it was so hot.
I checked later and Battery Monitor Widget claimed 45.1C / 113F, I’m going to say that was probably a little low as it felt hotter. Because it’s morning and I am stupid in the morning I attempted to unplug the wireless charging pad and burned my other hand on it.
Chucking the burning disc into the bed I made my way to the HTC or Samsung USB adapter that the thing was plugged into. It was not hot. Panic mode subsiding I looked at the table the disc had been on and it looked a little like when you set a hot item down and the wax changes color for a day or two.
All of this happened immediately after I repositioned the phone. Charger had been exhibiting somewhat unusual behavior like if the power flickered you would have to unplug it and plug it back in. I didn’t think much of that as power flickers are rare and weird to begin with, but at least two times it just stopped and required the same thing.
Anyway, moral of the story, don’t trust a cheap one, don’t place it on wood, unplug from the wall if you’re dealing with a hot one. I totally dumbassed it this morning but I was not away at that point.