...and how to claim a replacement under guarantee!
There is a different Phillips Sonicare charger for each model of Sonicare brush.
So if you want to replace your charger, make sure you are getting the right one!
The only Sonicare brush that does NOT have a charger is the Xtreme. It has 2 AA batteries, which you can replace as needed. They are NOT rechargeable, and the brush does not come with a charger.
The Sonicare Essence and Sonicare for Kids both have rechargeable Nickel Cadmium batteries.
The Sonicare FlexCare, HealthyWhite and DiamondClean models all have a rechargeable Lithium-ion battery.
Remember that Sonicare electric toothbrushes do not come fully charged. You need to charge them up for 24 hours the first time around. After that, they will hold a charge for a week or two, but Phillips recommends using the charger as a docking station - a handy place to keep your brush!
There are basically four types of Phillips Sonicare charger available;
All Sonicare electric brushes (except for the Xtreme) have an indicator on the handle that indicates the level of charge.
The Healthy White and Essence models have a simple recharging indicator. When you put the brush handle on the charger, you get a blinking green light on the toothbrush. The light stops blinking when it's fully charged, and just remain lit up. When the toothbrush needs charging again, the light will start to flash yellow.
The FlexCare models have a more advanced charge indicator; it shows HOW MUCH the battery has charged, according to the level of the green lights.
In a class of its own is the Sonicare DiamondClean brush. This is the latest model from Sonicare, and uses "induction" technology for recharging the battery. Sonicare has designed the charger to look like a small glass tumbler. It looks like you could use it to rinse out with - and you can! But it's also the charger. Just drop your DiamondClean into the tumbler after brushing, and it will start to recharge.
The DiamondClean also has a compact travel case with a USB connection. This lets you recharge your brush from the USB port on any computer! I'm not aware of any other brush that offers this feature.
How to get the right Sonicare charger.
All charger bases have the model number on the bottom. To identify the type of toothbrush you have, you can look at the shape of the brush head and the cleaning mode buttons it has. Essence brushes have narrow necks that are bent at an angle, and there is ONE cleaning speed.
HealthyWhite models have a Clean & White mode, while the FlexCare models have additional brushing programs, such as the MaxCare and GoCare options.
Replacement Phillips chargers for Sonicare brushes are only available through Sonicare customer service, or through online auction sites, such as eBay.
If you are in the United States, you can order a new charger by calling Sonicare customer service on 1-888-666-5765. When you call, remember to have both your toothbrush AND your charger right beside you. Then the customer service agent can make sure that you are getting the correct charger for your Sonicare.
If your Sonicare charger stops working within two years of purchase, it might still be under guarantee. If you still have the proof of purchase, call Sonicare customer service at 1-800-682-7664 for a replacement.
If you're looking for an alternative SONIC toothbrush, I recommend the Cybersonic. Read my review of this brush here.