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One Tech Tip: How to repair an electric toothbrush



One Tech Tip: How to repair an electric toothbrush
Google News Recentlyheard

Google News Recentlyheard

LONDON (AP) — Toothbrushes was once easy, powered solely by your hand so that they by no means broke down. These days, rechargeable electrical toothbrushes are more and more widespread as a result of they make brushing simpler and simpler, however they’re a headache after they cease working correctly.

Inside an electrical toothbrush’s waterproof housing is a battery that powers a tiny motor which quickly rotates or vibrates a replaceable brush head. The batteries are often rechargeable however don’t final without end. The query of their longevity, and toothbrush repairability as an entire, is the topic of many on-line boards.

If you happen to’ve ever owned one, you’ve most likely seen recharging intervals turning into an increasing number of frequent. Sooner or later you may resolve to throw it out, including to the world’s rising pile of digital waste.

However all isn’t misplaced. You may pay another person to restore it, or — with some on-line assist — do it your self. Listed here are some pointers:


Based on the producers, the reply is often no. They warn folks in opposition to disassembling the gadgets, saying it’s harmful or that it’s going to void the guarantee. However that doesn’t imply you may’t do it your self, restore advocates say.

Yow will discover web sites and YouTube channels dedicated to exhibiting folks how one can repair their battery-powered brushes.

Toothbrush producers will say the gadgets are usually not “person serviceable” however it’s “blatantly unfaithful,” mentioned Shahram Mokhtari, lead teardown engineer at iFixit, a right-to-repair advocacy group. “A few of these gadgets have very replaceable batteries,” and normally, it’s only a matter of getting contained in the gadget and studying how one can do some little bit of soldering or taking it to somebody can do it, he mentioned.

DIY fixes may quickly be commonplace apply. The European Union, a pioneer of worldwide tech laws, is drafting guidelines to promote the restore {of electrical} gadgets, whereas a number of states have launched right-to-repair laws.


Each mannequin is barely totally different however fashions from Oral B and Philips Sonicare — two of the most well-liked manufacturers — will be dismantled utilizing the identical basic process.

Most Oral B brushes will be opened by holding the toothbrush and the charging stand collectively, after which twisting the stand to pop the underside cap off. On some fashions, you may as an alternative have to make use of the stand as a lever to pop it off.

Philips Sonicare fashions are a bit trickier. You’ll want one thing to pry off the underside cap, corresponding to a small flathead screwdriver or a plastic instrument often called a “ spudger.”

Regardless of the mannequin, if it’s too tight some web sites advise softening up the plastic housing by putting the comb in sizzling water for a couple of minutes.

As soon as it’s off, you’ll want to slip the digital innards out of the housing. You may must first take away a steel or plastic ring on the comb head spindle. Then push the spindle in opposition to one thing arduous to slip the motor meeting out the underside. You may must pry open some plastic tabs first. Once more, every toothbrush is totally different so it’s greatest to seek the advice of, if doable, the information to your particular mannequin on iFixit or different restore web sites.


On some fashions, the battery isn’t really easy to take away as a result of it’s soldered to the circuit board. However should you really feel helpful, you can do it your self, Mokhtari mentioned. You’ll need a soldering iron to undo the wiring connection and then you definitely’ll should re-solder a brand new battery in. If you happen to’ve by no means carried out it earlier than, there are movies. Watch out, the soldering iron is sizzling.

“We’d encourage folks to be taught that talent as a result of it’s not a troublesome factor to be taught,” mentioned Mokhtari. The soldering course of for toothbrushes are typically comparable, and will probably be “a bit bit delicate” and “a bit bit troublesome,” he mentioned.


Sure, however you’ll have to verify it’s the appropriate measurement. It’s often a cylindrical cell just like the Energizer or Duracell AA batteries in your TV distant, however don’t assume it’s the identical.

It may could possibly be longer, shorter or have a unique diameter than an ordinary AA. Some have steel tabs that have to be soldered to the circuit board. Regardless of the sort, it needs to be obtainable on-line.


Oral B is making it simpler for customers to do DIY repairs with their IO line of toothbrushes, which will be fastened with out specialist instruments. Some variations even include a round charger that’s particularly designed to be used as a instrument to twist off the underside cap when turned the other way up. After sliding out the mechanism, merely pop the battery out.

The draw back is that IO fashions, and their brush heads, are dearer than different Oral B mannequin strains, in keeping with the U.Okay. web site, which has a purchaser’s information rating electrical toothbrushes by their ease of restore.

Some upstart manufacturers like Suri and Quip spotlight their repairability as a part of their sustainable enchantment. Suri, nevertheless, says homeowners ought to ship them again to be fastened and shouldn’t do it themselves, and provided that they’ve signed up for a brush head subscription plan.

Different sorts might range. Mokhtari demonstrated for the Related Press the process for taking aside a model new Philips Sonicare 6100 mannequin. It took him greater than quarter-hour to get the underside cap off and take away the electronics, then sort out a posh desoldering course of.

“That is simply not shopper pleasant. This isn’t restore pleasant.” he mentioned. “We’re already manner past what could be cheap for a DIY restore job.”


Is there a tech problem you need assistance determining? Write to us at [email protected] together with your questions.

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