We are often contacted by customers whose Electric Toothbrush has stopped charging. A charging problem is quite common and can sometimes be mis-diagnosed as a faulty charger/faulty battery when the opposite is true. This can lead to frustration and people buying a whole new toothbrush when replacing a part is a cheaper alternative.
Below we run through how to tell if you have a faulty battery, a faulty charger or other problem with your electric toothbrush. This applies equally to Braun Oral-B, Philips Sonicare and Colgate Omron rechargeable toothbrushes.
Diagnosing Charging Problems
Is the Charger Working?
Firstly, is the charging light on your toothbrush lighting up or blinking as usual? If there is light activity when placing the brush on the charger then you can assume the charger is working and that the fault lies with the toothbrush itself – either with its internal circuitry or its battery. You can skip to the next section heading if the charging light is working normally.
If no lights come on when you put the brush on to charge, even after an hour on charge, has the charger and/or bottom of the toothbrush been getting slightly warm? In normal use the charger or toothbrush will be slightly warm to the touch after charging for a few hours. If there is no warmth check that the charger is plugged in to the wall socket firmly. If it is, also check the wall socket by plugging a lamp or other electrical item into the wall socket to verify that the socket is live and switched on. You can also try plugging the toothbrush charger into a different wall socket that is known to be working.
Assuming that the wall socket is live, if you have access to a spare charger via a friend, relative, colleague or neighbour then try putting your toothbrush on their charger. You can also try their toothbrush on your charger.
If you have now deduced that it is your charger at fault, head over to our Oral-B chargers page or Philips Sonicare chargers page to find a suitable replacement charger. Otherwise, continue below for help fixing the toothbrush itself.
Internal Toothbrush Fault
There are two main causes for charging faults inside the toothbrush, either damaged components for example from being dropped or from water seeping inside, or a failed battery.
If you have dropped your electric toothbrush or knocked it onto the floor then an internal solder connection might have cracked causing a bad connection. Upon opening the toothbrush handle carefully inspect the PCB (Printed Circuit Board) and the solder connections to other parts of the toothbrush such as the motor, battery and charging coil. You can find guides to opening your toothbrush on our website. Any cracked solder joints can be repaired by reheating them with a soldering iron. The fine copper wires from the PCB to the induction coil in the bottom of the handle can easily break too.
Inspect the PCB for any evidence of water ingress such as corrosion, staining or crystal formation on either side of the PCB. Philips Sonicare brushes in particular have very fine tracks on the PCB which are easily damaged by corrosion. New Sonicare PCBs are available through our Sonicare parts page along with replacement seals to stop future water ingress.
Over the years the performance of your toothbrush’s internal rechargeable battery will gradually deteriorate. This means that you will get fewer brushing sessions out of a charge and will need to recharge the toothbrush more frequently. Once you find you are recharging the toothbrush too often it might be time for you to replace the battery in your toothbrush. We have published photographic guides for replacing the battery in various Philips Sonicare, Braun Oral-B and Colgate Omron toothbrushes in the Guides section of our website here, so take a look at replacing the battery in your toothbrush to restore it to full power again.