A problem that plagues laptops is a weak or broken power jack. Unfortunately, this is a problem that mobile devices seem to inherit. Good news though – repairing it is simpler than you might think!
Often, the problem isn’t the laptop power jack but is instead its connection to the mainboard. You’ll have to determine whether your jack is damaged.
Disclaimer: This job will require dismantling your laptop and soldering directly to the motherboard – if you are uncomfortable with this, please seek professional help from a laptop repair service.
How to repair your laptop power jack
Follow these steps:
- Take apart your laptop. Keep tubs for the screws and write down where they go. Sometimes searching Google for instructions on taking apart your particular model comes up with some stunning results.
- Remove the mainboard entirely from the casing.
- Turn the mainboard so that the power jack is in the bottom, giving you access to the joints.
Now that you have access to the power jack, you can check its joints.
As you can see in the illustration to the right, a power socket many joints. Joints to the side are supports that hold the socket in place. Anything else provides power to the laptop. The solder on the joints should look like a little silver mountain, if there are any cracks or spaces then you might be able to get away with resoldering the joints.
Here’s what you’ll need to resolder the joints:
- A 25 watt soldering iron. We don’t want anything too strong because it could damage the board.
- Rosin solder.
Here’s how to resolder the joints:
- Plug the iron in and let it heat up. Give it a couple of minutes. To test it, try to melt a small piece of solder.
- Once the iron has heated up, place it on the joint you want to resolder.
- Pull out some solder so that you have a long piece several inches long.
- Wait 5 seconds while it heats up the joint – you have to heat the joint so the solder flows on to it.
- Push the end of your long piece of solder on to the iron close to the joint. The solder should melt and flow on to the joint. Once you have a small mountain of solder, remove the iron and wait several seconds for the solder to cool down.
- Continue to do this with the other joints.
Now you can put your laptop back together and test the power jack. If it still isn’t working, you’ll need to replace the jack itself. You can find replacement laptop power jacks at www.dcpowerjacks.net.
In addition to the equipment you need to resolder joints, you’ll also need:
- Desoldering braid
- Tooth brush
To replace your laptop power jack:
- Pull out some of the desoldering braid. Place it across a solder joint.
- Place the iron tip on the joint with the desoldering braid between the two.
- The solder should be absorbed by the desoldering braid. If it isn’t, you might need to resolder the joint with some new solder and then try again – sometimes old solder doesn’t melt easily.
- Repeat the desoldering process for each joint.
- Once the jack is loose, pull the jack off the board. It should come off easily, be careful not to force it because it could damage the landing pads that make the electrical connection work.
- With the old jack loose, put the new jack in its place.
- Place the iron on a solder joint, and then with a length of solder put the end to the joint to make a small mountain of solder.
- Repeat the soldering process for each joint.
That’s it. There’s not a lot involved, but remember – if you feel like it’s too risky you can always send your laptop to a laptop repair service.