My fiance mentioned this morning that her imitation "Chi" was borked' after less then a year of use.
For those of you who aren't in the know ( aka male ), the Chi is a highly regarded flat-iron that many women claim are known to be reliable.
Where's that scientific data when you need it eh?
When I bought the generic flat iron for my fiance, I did so because I couldn't justify the expense of a CHI. ( It just figures that I drive a Honda S2000 ). Anyways, I was able to repair the flat iron and I have detailed how to perform the repair below.
WARNING / DISCLAIMER: If you don't know what a soldering gun is or better yet don't have one, steer clear of performing this repair. Bottom line is I am not responsible what-so-ever for your actions. By continuing beyond this point you agree to the above terms.
Great, so I see you agree. Let's get to it.
The problem at hand with most flat irons "breaking" is that once the thermal fuse goes (ie. Excessive heat from being left on all day / overnight / etc), the circuit is open, the ceramic plates will not heat and you will have a broken flat iron.
Wire Crimps or a Soldering Iron & Electrical Solder
Thermal Cutoff Fuse (depends on Iron. See details below)
To begin, we need to confirm that the issue is the thermal cutoff fuse. The thermal cutoff fuse is a little electrical component fuse that will open the circuit when a certain temperature is exceeded.
This is what it looks like:
Taking apart the imitation CHI is fairly simple and straight forward. As you get it apart you'll find that the ceramic plate has a plastic backing that slips on and in the space between the thermal fuse is housed. In the picture below, you can see the thermal fuse inside a protective (plastic??) housing with thermal paste pressed against the back plate. In the picture below, I have taken of the plastic backing and exposed the thermal fuse.
To test the fuse, I set my volt meter for continuity and tested the thermal fuse. As you can see below, no continuity.
From here you need to identify what the flat irons thermal fuse specifications are by reading the part number and googling it. In my case, the thermal fuse was available at the local Radio Shack.
I soldered it it and was good to go. My thermal fuse was SEFUSE SF226E rated for 227°C, 10A and 250V~.
My soldering gun is battery powered and is just below what the fuse is rated however I would recommend using crimps instead as an extremely hot soldering iron will destroy the fuse before your wife / girlfriend / mother get's a chance to use it.
UPDATE: Over at JoeDotCom.Com there is a great write up on fixing a switch of a flat iron.
Tell me what you think?