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I’m very disappointed

Why can I not change the battery myself in my toothbrush!?

I have a Triumph Professional Care toothbrush with Smart Guide and it no longer holds charge for more than a couple of days - i have seen on the internet how to source and change the battery but it looks complicated - does Braun offer a service to either replace the unit or replace the battery - it was a really expensive toothbrush surely in these times of recycling I am not expected to just throw it away and pay again ?? - i have looked at the service site £54.99 for what is in effect just a battery replacement is very poor- surely there must be a better way ? Thanks Paul
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  • I’m frustrated
    ....and there I was feeling frustrated with myself because my Braun toothbrush won't keep a charge beyond a 2 minute brush and I could find no way to replace the battery. Now I see I am part of a huge community of frustrated Braun toothbrush owners.

    I think the message is simple, please re-design the product, charge a premium for the battery if you want so that you make the profit and bring in new better models every so often if you want to encourage people to upgrade, but don't force your customers to replace their toothbrush just because of a battery. Building up a loyal and happy customer base must be better than annoying your customer....
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  • This reply was removed on 2014-01-29.
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  • Chris (Official Rep) January 29, 2014 12:23
    Hi Mark.

    I’m afraid I have had to delete your post. We definitely do not encourage any activities which we would see as dangerous, and as the manufacturers we know that this isn’t something which we can recommend. You are always welcome to post, however please keep away from encouraging anything which is potentially dangerous advice to other consumers.
    • Braun UK is a joke as it's use of the word "dangerous".

      It is quite clear that Braun UK isn't recommending changing the battery as a DIY activity, I mean why would they want anyone to see that it's possible when they and their associates can charge £50+ for a replacement handle or better still £100 - £200 for a device which has a manufactured lifetime of 2-3 years
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  • As a physicist I have some understanding of what is involved and changed a battery myself. The voltages are very low, namely 1.2 volts and the electrical risks are minuscule. I can't imagine what the mechanical risks are. As you say this is a deliberate ploy to try to. force you to buy a new brush. I believe that if you took them to court you could have a chance of winning as the machine is not of merchantable quality because the battery has a limited life and can't be changed by the user.
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  • I’m Frustrated and angry
    I'm in a similar position; battery not holding its charge beyond a few days. I would argue very strongly that this product is not fit for purpose if there is no reasonable way of replacing a defunct battery. Rechargeable batteries by their very nature will often fail after numerous charge cycles. However, the issue here is that it is very difficult to find a replacement without an exorbitant price tag. The toothbrush was hailed as the top of the range by the company. Is this really how they wish to treat their loyal customers. Shameful. I will ensure that I inform everyone that I know, personally and on social media, to avoid this product and company. Nothing better than a horror story to save people spending their hard earned money on a product that is not fit for purpose.
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  • I think we need to keep this all in perspective.

    Whilst i agree that if you feel you are able to change the battery yourself, then it may be worth giving it a go, being aware that you may damage the toothbrush beyond repair in the process.

    To say that it is dangerous from an electrical point of view is not really true, as I and others have mentioned before, but I do understand that Braun can't endorse the DIY approach because they don't want to be liable for any mishaps (eg. you burn yourself with the soldering iron or blow up the lithium battery etc.)
    No other manufacturer would endorse this kind of thing either!

    I don't think it is a money making ruse...

    The product is actually very fit for purpose - ask yourself whether you liked it before you had battery issues? It is beautifully designed and works really well.

    Batteries do naturally wear out as they do in other sealed consumer items like iPads and iPhones etc. and replacing them can be quite a skilled and time-consuming task which needs to be performed by someone with the right training and experience - hence the cost. Most mobile phone batteries start fading after 1-2 years but as most people upgrade, nobody moans.

    Maybe Braun could charge a little less but it is not that expensive considering the time and care it takes. It is on par with what other companies charge (eg. iPhone @ £55 + shipping)

    NB. I am not affiliated with Braun in any way and I will be changing my own battery as I have the engineering experience and feel confident doing it.
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  • Have to disagree Kee sorry.
    Mobile phones have very strict limitations in order to try save literally millimetres and each additional g.
    For a device of this type, that sits at home and is used for 4min/day, designing it in a way that made changing the batter possible by a simple twist of the bottom and popping in a new battery would in no way compromise the device.
    I have a gilette razor, it has a battery as it is one of the vibrating ones.
    They have 'magically' managed to design it so that a simple half twist removes the bottom and I can pop in a new battery.
    I shave in the shower so it gets wet regularly. I am yet to be electrocuted by the 'super dangerous' couple of V battery.

    This is deliberate on the part of Braun in order to make people have to purchase a new one every few years.
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  • Yeah I have one of those too but I think the power requirements are probably different. The tiny motor in the shaver doesn't have to do too much 'work' so is happy to run off a single 1.5V battery.

    The much more powerful motor (relatively speaking) in a toothbrush needs more power than a single 1.5v AA battery can provide it would seem, so 2 have to be used.

    I suppose a 3000mA rechargeable NiMH AA cell could possibly be used in a screw open type of arrangement but battery contacts are notoriously unreliable over time (compared to soldered connections), especially in low voltage/high current applications, and may develop problems too soon, leading to unhappy customers.

    In any case, Braun do make toothbrushes with replaceable batteries as well so why not buy one of those? The handles are a bit fatter to accommodate the 2 AA batteries required though, making them look a bit Teletubbies!

    I think the sleeker rechargeable ones fit better in the hand ... but hey, you pays your money and takes your choice as the saying goes.

    I just think all this ranting is a bit misplaced, seeing that other companies use sealed batteries as well (eg. Sonicare) and there is technical merit in this.

    As I mentioned previously, there is no danger of electrocution from a 1.2V battery although other mishaps could occur during the replacement process.

    Edit - I stand corrected - Braun appear to make single AA powered ones as well. Never tried one so can't comment on performance.
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  • Just thought I'd add in to this topic. Whilst on one hand I completely agree with a lot of the coments posted here about the lack of ability to easily replace the battery. However, there is a flip side to this arguement as the product is inately rechargeable the manufacturer would need to ensure that the user could not replace the battery with a non-chargeable type as this could be dangerous. So you get in to requiring a caddy or similar to house the battery so it is specific to the product. (For those that don't know a lot of batteries are made up from standard sized types like AA. especially in the NiCad and NiMH types).
    I have a Braun type 3756 sold as Oral-B Professional Care 1000 in the UK. For about £30 (RRP £60). I imagine a replaceable battery version, whilst retaining the chargeable ability would cost more.
    In the current situation the battery is relatively easily replaced. My brush is from the 'Professional' range which all appear to have the same handle design with different colours for the rubber grip. The battery inside in a single 4/5 AA NiMH. This is practically safe to handle. The design in faily compact inside and requires a fair bit of disassembly to get at the battery. The plastic housing will accept a standard size AA (with small modification), so I wonder if the 'better' models have larger capacity batteries. If you can handle a soldering iron and have a some experience with disassembly then this should all be straight forward.
    With regards to breaking the water seals. The top is a clamp arragement between the pastic assembly inside and a clip in ring on the outside, using the rubber handle grip as the gasket. The base uses a molded in rubber section in the bottom cap. This appears to be the same material type as the rubber grib. Both are suitable for opening and resealing. The part that does break a little in disassembly are the clips that hold in the base in place. But if one is careful this isn't a big issue.
    Replacing the battery took me less time than it did to write this post and less research, and I could replace the battery from stock. But then I do work with electronics for my job.
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  • I’m confident
    3
    Well I had a read around the matter and decided that I had nothing to lose by trying to replace the battery in my fantastic Braun toothbrush because even if I fail and damage it the brush was going to be recycled anyway!

    I found a guide for opening my Braun Vitality and when I opened it discovered it uses a round NiMH battery 49mm long and 14mm diameter with solder tags on the ends. I got a replacement battery for the toothbrush from toothbrushbattery.com for a few pounds and fitted it successfully following the guide.

    The toothbrush now charges up fine, though I was a bit worried when the new battery was first fitted because I thought it was dead! I'm glad I tried and did it myself, it feels very satisfying. It's a shame Braun don't make it easier but I think that's partly deliberate on their part for good reliability of the original toothbrush.

    Let me know if you guys have any questions,
    Steve
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  • This reply was removed on 2014-02-13.
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    • Hi Kee

      I’m afraid I have had to delete your post. We definitely do not encourage any activities which we would see as dangerous, and as the manufacturers, we know that this isn’t something which we can recommend. You are always welcome to post, however please keep away from encouraging anything which is potentially dangerous advice to other consumers.
  • Hi Chris
    Why have this forum at all then? ... I was just relating an experience like many others have. Not sure it is really that dangerous.
    Poor show!
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  • I’m unsure
    I have one of the latest 3756 models like Nick. I measured up the battery and it is about 4.2 cm long. However, the metal tag from the + terminal extends through a lot of empty space inside the brush. Braun could have easily fitted a 5cm or bigger battery in there! Well, maybe they do put a bigger (and thus longer lasting) battery in the more exoensive models...
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  • My toothbrush too is just outside the 2 year warranty and the battery doesn't hold its charge anymore! This is the most expensive toothbrush I have ever purchased and now it goes in the bin? Really? I do not think I will be buying anything from your company ever again! Regards, Steve
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  • My toothbrush too is just outside the 2 year warranty and the battery doesn't hold its charge anymore! This is the most expensive toothbrush I have ever purchased and now it goes in the bin? Really? I do not think I will be buying anything from your company ever again! Regards, Steve
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  • This reply was removed on 2014-02-21.
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  • Dear Braun Reps,

    I bought my husband a new Oral B toothbrush in November 2013 and already it has stopped charging. Unfortunately I don't have the receipt. Will I be able to get it repaired as it is still very much under warranty ??

    Thank you
    Kate
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  • Hi Kate... I'm not a Braun rep ... just one of many a disgruntled customer complaining the toothbrush has run out of charge after 2 years. If yours has done so after 4 months and is still within warranty, it sounds faulty and yes... Braun have no option but to replace it under the 1 yr warranty. Even if you send it to them without receipt, they will be able to tell from the model number and other branding on it, that it's within a year (at least that's what they told me when I asked them about sending mine back). They can tell how old the model is without receipt so should replace it for you for free. You should also ask them to refund your postage costs too. You can email them first at the address supplied on their "contact us", complaints/customer service. If you're lucky, their rep in here responsible for looking after the forum will get to you first and give you more relevant information. Good luck but I have a feeling you shouldn't need it as you've only had yours for a few months so it's a genuine fault.
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    • Chris (Official Rep) March 03, 2014 08:17
      Hi Tony.

      I’m afraid I have had to delete your post. We definitely do not encourage any activities which we would see as dangerous. You are always welcome to post, however, please keep away from encouraging anything which is potentially dangerous advice to other consumers.
    • Hi, seeing as it is for "our safety", please explain the huge dangers we would face from a 5V or 12V battery. Having studied advanced level physics, I am unaware of any dangers or adverse side effects if "electrocuted" from this low a voltage. I am obviously wrong though do please educate me and everyone else as to the that it poses.
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  • Hi Kate and welcome to the forums!

    I am sorry to hear of the problems you have had with your toothbrush.

    As Celine has already said, even without your receipt, we can work out the age of the toothbrush from the production code, as long as this is within two years, it will be replaced free of charge.

    Don't worry about the postage though, our service centre Olympic have a freepost address. I would recommend getting, proof of postage when you send your toothbrush!

    You can contact Olympic on 0115 965 7447, between 9AM-5PM, Monday-Friday. Or if you wish, you can download a returns form here.

    I do hope that you mange to get this sorted! 
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