Can I Leave Chargers Plugged In All The Time? (Explained)

These days, our cellphones are less of a communication tool and more of an extension of our overall lives. A phone battery dying on you can sometimes feel like the worst thing in the world.

This leads many of us to leave our chargers connected to power and ready to charge whenever we need it in an effort to avoid a dead battery.

But, can you actually leave your phone charger plugged in at all times? You can leave your charger plugged in whether it is in use or not. However, there are some things to keep in mind before you pick your phone charger’s permanent spot in your home. Here is what we found out.

Here’s If You Can Leave Chargers Plugged In All The Time:

You can leave your phone charger plugged in all the time. Most chargers are designed to handle the stresses of being plugged in all the time, it can wear down the internal components over time. This is especially true if you have a cheap charger or one that’s older than three years.

Hand holding many chargers for gadgets

Is it Safe To Keep Chargers Plugged In When Not In Use?

It is perfectly safe to leave your phone charger cord and power adapters plugged in when you are not charging your phone.

The main reason for this is that there will be little to no electricity running through the power cords. This is because there really is only power running when the cord is actually plugged into your phone.

However, there are some cases of chargers and power adapters going haywire when left unattended. So, while it is perfectly safe to leave them plugged in, always be aware of where they are plugged in. Most importantly, pay attention to the area surrounding where your charger is plugged in.

The first thing you want to look for is a water source. If you are planning on leaving your phone charger unattended, make sure that you are doing so without creating a dangerous situation.

Chargers that are too close to heat or water sources like sinks and stoves, may get damaged which will not only affect how they work but can also lead to a dangerous situation.

Lastly, you always want to make sure to use the proper power adapter that is meant to be used with your specific charger cord. All power adapters are not created the same, especially when it comes to how much power it is designed to hold. Using a power adapter that is not meant to charge certain electronics like phones, should not be left along plugged into a charger.

Does Unplugging a Charger Save Electricity (and Money)?

Unplugging a charger from a power source can absolutely save electricity which over time can save you money. However, it is not at all what you think.

First, let’s talk about chargers that are plugged in that are not currently charging. Most phone chargers are designed to stop the flow of electricity when they are not plugged into a phone to charge.

But, there will always be a tiny bit of electricity flowing whether or not the charger is currently plugged in and charging your phone. Most people refer to this as “background energy” because while there is a small amount of electricity in use, chaced are you will never notice.

The amount of energy that is used in a charger that is currently not in use is so small that you more than likely won’t see any changes to your electricity bill at the end of the month. This is vastly different from phone chargers that are in use.

A plugged-in charger that is currently charging a phone puts out 98% more electricity than a charger that is not charging a phone. This is because that energy is being directed to fill your phone’s battery.

Unplugging a charger that is charging a phone from a wall will reduce your energy bill, but you are charging your phone for a reason so unless you like your phone to die on your often, don’t give up on charging it.

Should You Unplug Chargers When You Go On Holiday?

While your chargers that aren’t connected to anything won’t be putting out much power, I am a big believer in unplugging them when you leave for an extended period of time like on a holiday.

This has little to do with the safety of your home and much more to do with the health of your electronics.

Having a power adapter left unused but still connected to the electricity will only drain those power cells held within the adapter over time. These are the power cells that work with electricity to charge your devices. Once these power cells are defeated, the power adapter itself is rendered useless.

The other thing to consider is if you are leaving your chargers plugged into a device while you’re gone. It is truly only a holiday if you don’t have to take your laptop with you. However, if you are planning on leaving your personal devices, like laptops. home, always unplug them.

Especially if you plan on being gone for more than a few days.

The main reason for this is that you want to protect your device in case of a breaker trip. If a breaker trips in your house while you are gone, all of your devices that are currently hooked up to the electricity will trigger a power surge within the device.

Power surges should only be triggered on rare occasions and are there to protect your device from overheating or overloading.

If you are not there to trip the breaker back on, your device will stay in this mode until you get home. While it doesn’t hurt your device the first or second time, if left in this state too many times, your device’s inner power cells will start to weaken and drain which can damage your device in the long run.

Do Chargers Last Longer If Left Unplugged?

Since phones are so essential for our everyday life, we are constantly spending money on the accessories we need in order to keep our phones up to date and working.

If you’re like me, you are burning through phone chargers every month and over time, those costs can add up to a pretty penny.

So, does leaving your phone charger unplugged when not in use mean that your charger will last you longer? Unfortunately, it does not. In fact, experts say that whether or not your phone charger is plugged in for an extended period of time will not change the lifespan of the charger.

However, this doesn’t mean that there won’t be any extra stress or damage to your phone charger by leaving it this way. It just means that this one action will not make your charger burn out quicker. But, it is a different story when it comes to power banks or adapters.

The adapters that are meant to be plugged directly into a power source do experience some slowing if they are left unattended for too long. This is because it puts extra stress on the power cells.

So, if you find that your phone is not charging the way it used to or even at a slower speed, perhaps it isn’t the phone charging cord that is the problem but instead the actual adapter itself.

Read our blog here about should you unplug computers when not in use?

You can leave your phone charger plugged in all the time. Most chargers are designed to handle the stresses of being plugged in all the time, it can wear down the internal components over time. This is especially true if you have a cheap charger or one that’s older than three years.

Is It Bad To Unplug Your Charger?

There is nothing bad that comes from unplugging your charger. The only negative thing that may happen is that you forget it is unplugged so when you go to charge your phone, it won’t actually charge. Don’t be embarrassed, we have all been there.

Waking up from a full night’s sleep and rolling over to gran your phone only to learn that it hadn’t actually been charging up all night is frustrating.

But, other than the minor inconvenience of having to re-charge your phone during the day, there is nothing bad that you expect.

However, the exact opposite can happen if you leave a charger in for way too long. Even though there is very little energy running through the charger when not in use, it can still short out because after all, it is an electronic device so it should always be used with some sort of caution.

So, if you worry about any damage that may be caused to your phone, charger, or even your home, you are totally within your right to unplug it as often as you want to. After all, there is nothing wrong with exercising more caution in your life.

Can It Hurt To Unplug a Charger Every Night?

Unplugging your phone charger each and every night will not cause any damage. People worry that constantly removing it from a power source will wear out the power cells faster.

However, that simply just isn’t the case. In fact, if you worry about burning out your charger, you should consider unplugging it each night.

Since it is perfectly safe to unplug your phone charger at night or when not in use, are there any situations where you should actively unplug your phone charger? Yes, there are! Staying on top of when you should unplug your phone charger can be your first defense in case of an emergency.

The first event that you should be vigilant of when unplugging your phone charger is the case of severe weather. This is especially true when it comes to electrical storms. Electrical storms are when there is an excessive amount of friction and electricity in the air that can make the electronics in your house go a little bit funky.

The sudden surge of power can burn out devices like power cords and phone chargers which will quickly destroy the power cells and make them pretty much useless. Also, in very rare cases, weather like this can cause the charger to spark which can lead to an electrical fire.

Another time that you may want to consider unplugging your charger is when your phone is fully charged at 100%. It can be easy for us to leave our phone chargers plugged into our phones even after they have completed a charging cycle. This can reduce your phone’s battery life over time.

While many newer phones have an “auto charging shut-off” that regulates when your phone stops charging, not all phones are created equal.

Final Thoughts

The main reason why we stress so much about plugging and unplugging chargers is that we are so closely tied to our phones. After all, they have all of our personal data and life planned out on those tiny screens so the thought of living without them is almost unbearable.

But, you should find some peace of mind in knowing that whether you leave them plugged in for a couple of days or even unplug them regularly after every use, you will more than likely be just fine. So, keep doing what you are doing but stay informed when it comes to knowing what will affect your phone.

Our advice? Unplug your chargers when you leave for an extended period of time and when there is a fairly bad storm. Other than that, you should feel comfortable leaving your chargers plugged in for the majority of the time. 

Read this other blog of ours about do extension cords damage chargers?

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