Charging/melting problem

I used the phone for about half a year (March 2020). I used the /e/OS and was quite satisfied. It even got a life on it’s own after a while. Sometimes it opened apps or the menu-bar from the top. The support-team called it “ghost touches”. That was a minor issue and only anoying sometimes.

Sadly after one night of charging, I wanted to unplugg the cable of the phone and it got MELTED (picture).

The Support Team said " After checking the Cordon system, it seems the technicians considered your phone out of warranty, as the charger seems to be the cause of the issue. " They want me to pay about 60€ to fix it.

I used a charger from AMAZON (Input: 100-240V~0.3A 50/60Hz | Output: 5.0V - 1.8A) and a cable from germany “High speed USB3.0 cable 80°C Heitech Promotion GmbH, Krefelder Straße 562, 41066 Mönchengladbach CE”

Advice: You really need to check out your charging devices! In my opinion I used standard stuff (which worked fine for a couple of months), but it seems that’s quite dangerous!

conclusion:

I’m impressed. But I wouldn’t blame the charger just yet.

You may have old and/or incorrect wiring in the house, old and/or faulty circuit breakers, and/or faulty equipment.

In such case I would advise to invest in a surge protected extension lead.

2 Likes

@timarg
Pretty serious issue. Is the damage to the phone only plastic, can you charge it from another cable?

There was either a short in the cable or poor contacts causing sparking, the latter unlikely if it was plugged in reasonably.

If the phone isn’t working or unable to be charged then there is an issue with the phone.

I doubt a surge would do that as the mains plugin should fail first.

If the phone is electrically damaged, not just housing, then either the mains adapter produced, too much voltage which can be checked or the phone power unit failed drawing too much current.

Given the above i do not see how the Cordon system would know unless you have already sent the phone and mains adapter.

Unfortunately I am with the support team regarding this case. There is so much electronics crap available on Amazon that should be banned due to serious security flaws! A consumer cannot rely on CE conformity anymore, some Chinese manufacturers even fake that sign, too.

OTOH, € 60 is rather cheap. If I were you, I would order the repair and give it another try, but with a quality charger of course.

4 Likes

There’s lots of reports like this on Amazon on different USB cables, unfortunetly, so that would be my guess here; might be more probable than pointing at the charger, but to be sure maybe check the charger with a multimeter?

2 Likes

Regarding @swhcz testing mains adapter you should find about 5.1V on a quality charger maybe 5.2 on not so good etc. It is difficult to check the voltage at the usbc end but if the charger is a separate unit you can just about check the pins. If you still have the charger you used previously you could check ig to see if is a bit duff. If it is you could try and claim against the supplier, but if it’s ok then . . . . .

Does the charger itself have a fuse? If so it might be faulty. If it was connected directly to the socket outlet there would be no fuse to protect against overcurrent. The breaking capacity of the circuit breakers at the consumer unit I assume are between 20 to 30 amps.

The phone still worked with 5% battery. So luckily i was able to make a backup before i send it in.

I’m afraid to test the cable though. I brought it at the same month with the FP3 (March 2020):
Here’s the link:

The charger ist still working fine.

The idea I’m presenting is the charger plug rectifies ac and then drops the voltage. If the mains voltage increases the rectifier may fail, if it doesn’t then the dc to dc converter, will either cope and still output 5V or fail. A mains voltage increase should not get past the dc to dc converter. However as the unit is still working I would imagine there was no mains spike and the fault lies seemingly at the usbc end of the cable. Maybe the vendor of the cable could be contacted for their ideas.

Of note is also that it requires quite a lot of current to increase the heat to cause damage as shown and it isn’t really possible for the dc to dc converter to output much more than 5V and if it did i would expect the phone to cut off to protect itself.

I’d say this depends on the resistance in the cable, and if it was very high, say due to a poor connection between cable and plug, all energy is converted to heat, in a small area and confined space. Can easily be enough to melt plastics…

My bet is on the cable being crap, I would not even bother to contact the vendor - they likely just buy in the thousands somewhere in China and redistribute, and may not even be able to answer helpfully.

Maybe that was just one of the 0.5% faulty cables of that vendor… I’d say (a) be happy your place did not burn to the ground* and (b) your phone can be repaired, I’d bet it doesn’t get better than this…

(* this is why I never charge any phone, anything with cheap cables or any Lithium battery overnight, unless unavoidable…)

4 Likes

Without I want to offend you.

But that doesn’t look like something quality like, that is just no name stuff.
And heitech-promotion.de… really? For some years the market in germany (europe?) is flooded with asian companies selling here directly… especially in amazon and co.
The only way to get better stuff is to take products from brands that care about their brand and not the ones that if they disappear tomorrow nobody cares.

3 Likes

Yes that’s my concern as it’ll be difficult to get the cable vendor to take responsibility

1 Like

Nah, no worries :slight_smile:

I don’t know the vendor, but you know what loops Fairphone jumps to get production under control, my guess is not many, especially non-huge companies, cab afford to control the factory in China that produces the cable. You’ll find this error, based on what I’ve read on Amazon reviews, with all brands, some more some less.

Nevermind, now that the damage is done, it’s no good speculating, maybe. And you’ll need a new cable anyhow…

To be on the safe side, I bought 2 of the official cables when I bought the FP3+ in September

Hi just bought some of these https://geizhals.eu/huawei-ap52-adapters-usb-c-3-0-plug-usb-3-0-micro-b-socket-04071259-a1633148.html to then I can continue using all my cables I already have.

Thanks for your thoughts,

I’ve never paid any attention to what kind of cable or charger I used for the last 25 years. Eighther it charges or it does’t, but melting after using it for months… I’ve never seen/heard that one before…

And let’s say I’d buy an official Cable and Charger from Fairphone. I’m not taking it with me all the time… what happens, if i want to charge it at a friends house?

I just paid the money to repair the device. I’m going to sell it, when it comes back. Sorry, but I lost my trust in that phone. I really hope it doesn’t happen again with the next person who buys it!

1 Like

What you say it a bit strange as I doubt the phone could draw enough current by a short to cause the melting, so it should be ok to use any charger, it’s just that some may not charge very efficiently, certainly not damage the phone. If a charger has too high a voltage it could overload any phone.

Selling the phone also doesn’t make sense if you think there is something wrong with the phone, do you want to sell a phone that you think it would be the cause of melting cables and theoretically start a fire???

I empathise with your emotions but your stated actions are not very logical. You could ask Fairfone if they will buy it back, they could check it over and resell it. Fairphone angels also need phones for spares so maybe there is another option.

Further to the dangers of selling dubiously safe electronic equipment, the seller is liable for any future damaged caused by sub-standard goods. !

I have, today, read a recent report where the blame is on a battery pack, different goods but the outcome shows what can happen.

What I don’t really get:
You got a kind of chain

  • Charger -> Cable -> Phone

How do you know, that the phone is the culprit for the melting?
Did you get any info from support on the reason of this failure, that mentions the phone?

Otherwise: When a cheap USB cable is melting while charging, I would normally conclude, that I got a crappy cable. Especially since such devices are much more prone to damage than a phone socket. One carries such cables in pockets, bags etc.; usually loose and not stored in a special sack/bag/wallet. The cable is flexible and the connection to the plug therefore could break quite easy. Even more so, when the soldering has been defective, which - again - is more likely to happen with penny-stuff like cables than it is with phones.

I dont’t mean to say, that it can not have been caused by the phone.
But - to me - the way more likely cause of this troubles would be the cable/charger.

Still, if you have lost the trust, it would do no good, to keep the phone.
Just to play it safe, don’t use that charger and cable anymore as well.

4 Likes

This topic was automatically closed 180 days after the last reply. New replies are no longer allowed.