Hair straighteners are amazingly effective yet fairly simple devices that utilise the bare number of parts required to get the job done. Despite this, the environment they operate in is severe for a consumer product, in that there are extremes of temperature, high voltage and current, and ample opportunity for twisted and kinked cords. The Chi hair straightener is no exception, and due to both its great performance and dear price, it is likely worth disassembling and attempting a repair before simply throwing it away.
- Skill level:
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Things you need
- Flat work surface
- Towel or rag
- Safety glasses
- Small flathead screwdriver
- Small Phillips-head screwdriver
- Two medium Phillips-head screwdrivers
Unplug the straightener from the outlet and verify that it is cool to the touch. Do not attempt to disassemble a hair straightener that is above room temperature. Place a towel on the work surface so that neither the straightener nor the work surface will be scratched.
The Chi hair straightener design features a strong hinge that is hidden by two covers. Insert a small flat-bladed screwdriver into the gap between one of the hinge covers and the plastic body of the straightener and pry the cover out. Repeat this process for the cover on the opposite side.
Use two medium sized Phillips-head screwdrivers to simultaneously loosen the screws on the opposing sides of the hinge. Short, stubby screwdrivers work best and the process may be simplified by having an assistant hold the straightener above your work surface while you loosen and remove the screws. Set the screws aside and carefully separate the hinge while wearing safety glasses, as an internal spring in the hinge is under tension and will pop out.
Unscrew the four small visible Phillips-head screws once the halves of the straightening iron are separated. Two of the screws secure a plastic cover that hide the circuit board, and the other two secure a clamp that retains the rotating power cord.
Slide the rotating power cord lead out of its socket. This connection is a common point of failure unique to the Chi's rotating cord design since there is no solid conductor for the AC electricity to pass through. Use a fine wire brush, eraser or emory cloth to remove corrosion or tarnish from any suspect electrical contacts.
Remove the circuit board by loosening two additional small Phillips-head screws. Inspect for obvious problems: a failed circuit board component such as a diode or switch will have charring, carbon traces, and may still smell like sulphur or burning plastic. If you are confident in your electrical component identification and soldering abilities, you should be able to replace any damaged components on the circuit board. The resistor-heating plates of the straightener can also be removed but are not repairable if damaged.
Tips and warnings
- If you have never soldered or disassembled an appliance before, solicit the help of an experienced friend before starting the project.
- Always wear proper personal protection equipment when working with tools.
- Never begin work on any appliance or electrical consumer good without unplugging it.
- Do not attempt to defeat any of the safety features of consumer equipment, as you may not be the only person who uses it.
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