Power banks and portable chargers can be lifesavers for those on the go or who regularly go on long business trips. However, portable charger or power bank not charging, it can be extremely frustrating.
A common problem reported by portable charger users is that their LED light indicators might blink in a different pattern than usual and they don’t know what this means.
Erratic light blinking however can be linked to a problem with your portable charger such it not charging itself and this article will take a look at what these LED light indicators mean, as well as common causes of charging problems and possible solutions.
LED Light Indicators
You will find a lot of power banks and portable chargers are equipped with four small LED power indicator lights and these provide information regarding the charging state of the battery.
Although you might come across some portable chargers with only two LED lights or none at all, high-quality reliable portable chargers are usually found to have four.
When you plug your power bank into charge, one of the LED light indicators will start to blink. This indicates that the power bank is starting to take up charge.
Each LED indicates a different stage of charging.
For example, if the 1st light is blinking, this means the power bank is charged between 0%-25%, if the 2nd light is blinking, it is charged between 25%-50%, if it is the 3rd, it is charged between 50%-75% and if it is the 4th light that is blinking, it is charged between 75%-100%.
These lights will always blink as the portable charger recharges but they will also blink if you want to see how much power the power bank has left.
To do this, you will need to press down the power button and if you see that all 4 lights are glowing steady, the portable charger is fully charged.
The LED light indicators will also start to flash when you plug your mobile phone in to charge.
When they are flashing when the power bank is connected to a phone, they tell you how much charge is remaining in the battery.
If all 4 lights are blinking, the portable charger has around 75%-100% charge remaining, if only 3 are blinking it has 50%-75% charge remaining, if only 2 are blinking, it has 25%-50% charge remaining and if it is only 1 light that is blinking, this means it has between 0-25% charge remaining.
If you find only 1 light is blinking when you are charging your phone from a power bank, you should disconnect your phone so that it does not discharge completely.
Letting your power bank completely discharge might damage the battery, especially if this is done over and over again.
Sometimes, you might find that the power bank is not charging when you have plugged it in, yet the LED lights are still blinking.
Other times you might wait several hours, or even a full day for your power bank to charge to find out it’s still out of charge when you unplug it.
Or it might only charge up halfway or somewhere in between, even though the LED light indicators suggest it is fully charged.
Although this can be annoying, don’t give up and throw your power bank away. It might not always be the case that the power bank has completely died and finding the cause of the problem sometimes means there is a simple fix.
Below are some potential causes and troubleshooting issues so that you can self-diagnose and address your charging problem.
Causes Of Power Bank Charging Problem
The problem might only be a minor fault and in this case, it can be fixed at home easily. However, if it is more serious, it might require professional repairs.
However serious the issue is, it could be down to one of the following problems:
The Power Cable Is Not Inserted Properly
This might happen when you do not fully insert the power plug into the charging port and this will create a faulty connection as a result.
Double-check the plug and ensure that it fits the socket as it should. You should also check the power connector on the power bank to ensure it is properly inserted into the socket.
Have a look to see if there is any debris in the charging port such as sand, dirt, or dust for example. Sometimes, impurities get lodged in the socket and this can cause a bad connection.
Make sure you do this gently though so that you don’t break any pins.
Poor-Quality Power Cable
If you have checked the connections are they seem to fit snugly, you should not encounter any issues with charging the power bank and it might be the case that the actual power cable is the issue.
A low-quality power cable made of cheap material affects how fast it can charge your portable charger, or even if it charges it at all.
If your power bank requires fast charging technology, it might also be the case that the cable does not support this and this is why it is not charging properly. If this is the case, switch up the power cable and try again.
If you are using an adaptor that is faulty or only outputs a low value, this could be why your power bank is not charging. Switch up the adaptor and see if this improves.
If it does improve, you should replace your charger right away to avoid any future charging problems.
You Are Using A Laptop USB Socket
To ensure your power bank is charging properly, you need to be using a wall socket and charging your power bank from a main electric power outlet.
If you do not do this and charge it via your laptop instead, you could find your laptop does not have enough power to charge the power bank as it is usually only around 0.5A.
The Power Bank Is Dead
If your power bank is not charging but you only know this due to the lack of LED light indicators that have been switched on when you connect it to a power source, this might mean your power bank has an internal failure.
An internal failure is also indicated if your phone does not charge when connected to your power bank.
A failure such as this occurs sometimes from a hard shock such as a large fall or if it was left in temperatures that were extremely high for a long time. This could cause the internal circuits to fail.
If you have used your power bank a lot, the batteries might have run their cycles as they only have a life of around 300-1000 power cycles. This depends on the model and brand, however.
What To Do When Your Power Bank Dies
If your power bank has died and you are sure there are no other possible problems that could be affecting charging your power bank, the following steps should guide you through what to do next.
Check Your Warranty
Most power banks come with a warranty that lasts around 12-36 months and you may even be able to get your power bank replaced with a new one if this is the case.
For this to work, however, you will need to have kept the receipt you were given when you purchased the power bank, and sometimes you might have to present a warranty certificate too.
Check With The Company You Bought It Off
Big companies such as Anker, Aukey, and RAVpower have websites and client service centers that might help you out if your power bank has died.
Try to get in touch with these to see if you might be able to get your power bank replaced or repaired.
Smaller companies and producers however such as Protable Juice, Mophie, or BlackWeb do not have such reliable service networks but it might still be worth a try getting into contact with them.
Take Your Power Bank To A Local Electrical Repair Shop
If your company will not replace your power bank, you do not have a warranty, or you have passed the time on your warranty, then many local repair shops in the area should have the facilities to fix your power bank within a few hours.
This solution is much better than buying a completely new power bank and could be cheaper too, especially if your power bank is of high quality.
However, if you were still under warranty at the time, once the power bank is looked at by a third-party service, you will lose any warranty rights.
Dispose Of Your Power Bank
Sometimes, this is unfortunately the only option you have left, but at least you might get to treat yourself to a brand new power bank.
If you do end up disposing of your power bank, ensure you do so in an environmental-friendly way as batteries contain plenty of toxic substances and these can harm the environment.
To dispose of it in a way that will not harm the environment, ensure you go to a local recycling center and this should have a dedicated service for processing batteries.
Helpful Tips To Keep Your Power Bank Working
- Avoid charging your phone at the same time as you are loading and charging your power bank up from a power outlet at the same time.
- Only charge phones and other devices which are suitable and intended to be used with the power bank you own
- When charging your power bank, only use the cable that is supplied by the vendor. If this is not possible, make sure you use a high-quality USB cable.
- Do not leave your power bank in a hot place such as a parked car when temperatures are extremely high.
- Do not overcharge or fully discharge your Lithium-ion batteries in your power bank.
As mentioned above, you should never overcharge or completely discharge Lithium-ion batteries and this is because of the way that they are designed.
They are built to only be charged slightly under their full capacity before they reach full voltage.
They can also discharge up to a particular voltage below which its circuits inside stop any further discharging and this protects the batteries from being damaged.
The overall lifespan of Lithium-ion batteries will be reduced if they are constantly being overcharged or fully discharged.
If the batteries in your power bank are discharged due to any reason and the voltage drops below a certain threshold, it might be tricky to recharge them again.
In this case, allow it more time to be connected to a power source, until it slow trickle charges to a threshold level. It then starts its normal charging sequence all over again.
When the LED light indicators are blinking but it is not charging, this might be a sign of a malfunction in your power bank and if it is down to none of the problems we have listed in this article, it might be time to take it to a professional for a repair.
However, don’t always jump to this conclusion and try some of the solutions we have suggested in this article first, it could even just be a result of a wrong power-bank charger pairing.
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