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How Do I Know If My Camera Battery Charger Is Working? 

 September 19, 2021

By  Phil Borges

One problem anyone who owns a digital camera will face at one point is having no way to get their battery charged when it's almost dead-and they have nothing on them but the device itself. If you are lucky enough to have a spare charger, then you can use your old one as an emergency backup. But what if you don't?

Many people assume that it will automatically start charging if they put in a new battery, but this isn't always true. If your charger has been acting up, how do you know if the battery charger works appropriately?  

We will show you here how to tell if everything is functioning correctly and will let you know if the camera battery charger is still working or not.

How Do I Know If My Camera Battery Charger Is Working?

A camera battery charger is a necessary tool for people who use their cameras often. They are also handy for those on vacation, work, or business trips and need to charge the camera batteries during the day.

A good charger makes sure the batteries are in their best condition and perform as such. But because sometimes it is a matter of pricing, you end up with cheap and unreliable chargers. It is essential to know when the charger is failing you so that you can step in and save the cam battery as well.

Common Problems Of A Battery Charger 

There are different telltale signs that will help you determine if your charger is still functioning or failing. Problems that can make the battery charging stop if not attended though or if just ignored. The battery charger must function properly, and this will help you avoid a lot of hassle. 

Let's check each of these issues and see how to fix them quickly and easily without purchasing an entirely new charger.

1.The charger is not plugged correctly, missing an adapter, or the cable has been unplugged. 

Before you jump into testing the battery charger, you must know if the problem is with the wall socket or the battery. Sometimes the sockets don’t cooperate. You don't want to decide to purchase a new one right away only to find out that it wasn't the charger. If it doesn't work, then you must test the charger. You won't be able to use the camera if battery is dead.

Check the battery if attached securely to the charger with no dust or debris obstructions, this can happen anywhere from inside of your laptop, a camera bag, purse, etc. Make sure to take out any plastic film or stickers on the wires which could interfere with electricity flow. 

2.The indicator light tells you something.

The indicator light is a big hint to whether or not your charger is working.

Typically, camera battery chargers have a series of lights that tell you the status of the battery’s charge. These are usually in a range of amber, yellow or red. When the lights turn blue or green, it means that the battery is fully charged.

If the indicator light is blinking, it might mean that there is an error. Sometimes, you need to check batteries if they're being charged. This differs from one manufacturer to the other. That’s why understanding the light codes of your charger, which are mentioned in the user manual, is essential.

You must also know whether if they are meant to be solid or blinking. These are all critical indicators. If you notice that your indicator lights are being funny, disconnect the charging battery from the outlet immediately and take the battery out. If you don’t, you might risk damaging the camera or the battery you are trying to charge. Then you have a whole new problem on your hands.

3.There is a burning plastic smell when plugged in.

This one is easy to recognize. Just don’t confuse it with the bit of odd smell you get when you use the charger for the very first time. That’s quite natural, but only the first time. 

If you detect a burning smell when plugged in, this is usually an indicator of something wrong with the battery charger. To check if it smells like a burning rubber or plastic, unplug the charger immediately and turn off your camera to avoid any risk of fire.

4.The charging sequence is acting strange.

The battery charger's way is to charge your camera batteries in a particular sequence and stop if they are full.

There can be instances when this doesn’t happen – like the process never going to 100% or stopping at 50%. This usually means that there was an error during charging, which might mean you don’t have a working battery charger.

It would help if you immediately got the user manual to find out the known and proper sequence to get your battery charger working.

In some cases, it just means that the process was interrupted, and the batteries were damaged to the extent that they can no longer charge to their 100 percent capacity.

5.The physical condition should be intact.

One important check is to see if there are any cracks on the casing of your camera charger. Cracks could mean that it has been damaged and rendered useless for charging. You can verify this by looking at the other ports – like a USB port, power plug, or adapter hole, and how securely they fit in their sockets.

Check the physical condition of the charger to make sure that the cables are intact and without any cracks or holes in them.

You should not be able to see any of the metal wirings inside the cables. If the plastic parts of the charger have any deep cuts or even scratches, that is trouble too. If you put the battery or a battery pack into these charger units, you risk battery life and cause fire hazards.

How Do You Troubleshoot a Battery Charger?

The process of diagnosing a problem varies from manufacturer to manufacturer. Let’s look at one example here.

  1. If you charge the battery of a Nikon camera, check if the charger’s indicator light is on.
  2. If it doesn’t, check the charger’s connection to the wall socket. Check the socket with another device to double-check that the socket is not the problem.
  3. If it is, try another wall socket to make sure that’s not the problem.
  4. Clean the charger contact points on the battery charger with a dry cloth.
  5. If the indicator light is still not on, you know that the charger is the problem.
  6. If the indicator light blinks rapidly when the battery is in the charger, it means the problem is with the battery. To make sure that is the case, try testing it with a second battery if you have one. If the second one is fine, the problem is with the first battery. If not, the problem is with the charger unless you have terrible luck and both your batteries are busted.

Side Note: By the way, if the indicator light is completely lit in the color of full charge for an empty battery, you are dealing with a faulty battery that is no longer able to charge to its full capacity. If you continue charging when battery is plugged in, its performance can get worse.

Safety Precautions To Remember

  • Not all chargers work for all camera batteries. This means you must try not to mix and match even when you are looking for replacements. To check this, look for the one your camera’s manufacturer has approved. 
  • You must avoid charging camera batteries in extreme temperatures. This ranges from below freezing digits to about 100 degrees Fahrenheit. If you want exact numbers, check whether your user manual has a temperature range for your battery charger.
  • Once the camera battery is charged, it is important to let it cool. Do not place it in the camera while it is still hot. This might be a bit much for the camera to handle. The result will be that it won’t operate.
  • Make sure that when charging is done, unplug the charger first before removing any batteries from it. This will avoid any risk of fire hazards.
  • Be careful not to overcharge the camera's batteries. Overcharging can reduce the battery's lifespan and adversely affects its ability to draw power in the future.

Frequently Asked Questions

How to tell if my battery charger is reaching its end life?

This usually depends on how often you use the charger. If you are a professional photographer, this will not last as long compared to someone who is just operating their camera for personal occasions or events like weddings and birthdays. The lifespan of a camera battery charger can be anywhere from 18 months up to two years, depending on usage frequency.

When I'm charging my camera battery, nothing happens. What seems to be the problem?

If the battery is no longer usable, it is necessary to dispose of it in the right way. This way, you are not risking a fire hazard. If it has been depleted even when the camera is fully charged, do not dispose of it with other batteries or in regular trash cans. It must be recycled properly to prevent any possible harm to the environment and for safety purposes.

What's the best care for my battery charger?

Unfortunately, digital cam battery chargers are not as resilient as the batteries themselves. This is because they have more electrical components and can easily be damaged if you do not take care of them properly. Be sure to avoid any accidents like dropping or spilling liquid on a charger when it’s plugged in.

It is vital to know how your camera charger works. It can help you troubleshoot when the battery doesn’t charge and find out any dangers associated with charging batteries.

This blog post has been a brief overview of the different signs that can indicate whether your camera battery charger is working correctly. We hope that the information stated in this article has helped you better gauge your decision if it’s time to replace your old device, perform some troubleshooting or purchase a new one.

About the author

Hi, I'm Phil Borges.. thanks for reading.. My wife says I can't shut up about batteries so to save my marriage I've started this blog .. where I'd be ranting about batteries! Please leave a comment if you have any questions, I'm happy to help!

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