Attempting to repair a Chi Flatiron

The Chi Flat Iron is an expensive device. When my Wife’s Chi broke, a little web research showed that problems with the power cord seem like a pretty consistent complaint. However, i could not find any good tutorials on how to fix the cord problem.. or even how to take the Chi apart. In the end, my problem was not related to the cord. I took photos as I dissembled the Chi in the hopes that some other poor husband who takes this on can have an inside look at the Chi before deciding to ‘dig in’

Are you planning on taking your CHi apart? Send me photos!!!
Since I wrote this article there have been many followup questions asked about getting the hinge screws out and circuit board details. If you are taking your Chi apart, please take some photos for me and let me know in the comments. If I use your photos on this page I will definately give you photo credit.


ANOTHER UPDATE! We have added another page for user submitted photos. Of you are looking for more photos / inspiration for digging into your broken Chi…
look here.

Using a knife or small flatblade screwdriver, remove the hinge cover on both sides of the Chi.

WIth the covers removed you will see the two screw heads that go through the hinge. using two screwdrivers carefully remove the screws. Use caution when removing and finally separating the two sides of the Chi, there is a spring in the hinge that may leap out at you.

You may find the process of removing the screws easier if you can gently clamp the Chi to a table or workbensh so it does not get away from you.

The Chi hinge and power conectorHere is the chi with the sides seaprated. I put the screw back in the hinge to avoid losing it.

The Chi with the cord removedThe Chi with the cord removed. From what I read, this is a big point of failure with the Chi. While I had the cord out, I used a small wire brush to clean the contacts seen in the photo here.

The rotating cord
The rotating cord

The backside of the circutboard, note the charring

the fried switch
the fried switch.

I removed the fried switch and then soldered a small piece of wire across where the switch was located, closing the circuit that was originally interrupted by the switch. So, now the Chi is on at all times when it is plugged in. Which is not a problem because my wife always keeps it unplugged anyway.

UPDATE 2009.12.31: Over 6 months later and the CHi is still going strong!  🙂
Also, I found an article by Nicholas Colyer dealing with troubleshooting and replacing the thermal fuse on a knockoff Chi, I read the article and it looks like the same information could be applied to an actual Chi. Check him out:

UPDATE 2011.02.14: It has been over a year… the Chi is still going strong. Also, we have added another page for user submitted photos. Of you are looking for more photos / inspiration for digging into your broken Chi… look here.

171 thoughts on “Attempting to repair a Chi Flatiron”

  1. So, I go to turn on my chi this morning and it won’t turn on. Then later I closed it an held the plates together really hard and the light came on and apparently it only works when I hold the plates tightly together! What’s wrong with it?

  2. Anyone have any experiences with the U-Smooth brand of flat iron?
    My wife has 2 of these that have failed almost the same way.
    Neither one will hold the temperature correctly. The temperature will usually slowly decrease or bounce around, they should hold around 450 degrees. One of the irons will actually show a “ERR 01” code on the display. I took one of the irons apart and found no obvious burnt components. Pretty sure the power cords are OK. Anyone know if these irons have a thermal fuse? If so, where is it located?

  3. Hi Joe!

    Quick question! While I may not have a chi, I’m assuming most models are about the same in respect to how they run and blah. But my question to you is, well I have a loose spring in my straightener and I’m scared to open it up. How will i know what position my spring has to be in?



  4. I need to replace the cord because it’s making noise. I removed it no problems ,but where do you find a cord with this type of plug on the end?

  5. For those wondering about replacing a cord with a bad swivel connector, I simply removed the swivel connector and soldered mine straight through. I had a cable gland with strain relief leftover from an old project that I used to keep the cord from falling out or pulling on the solder joints.

    Also, when a switch goes out and you bypass the switch to make it permanently “ON”, you can use the GFI mechanism to turn it OFF and ON if you really feel it’s necessary.

    I wish I had known years ago about the thermal fuse. My wife owns a salon and we go through two or three a year. For the ones that didn’t have a problem with the cord or switch, I’m betting the thermal fuse was the problem.

  6. I came across your website while searching for solutions about my real CHI flat iron. Mine is overheating and I can only use it for the first 5 mins tops upon heating up other wise it fries my hair and if I leave it on too long it is so hot to even touch the casing. But I can not figure out if I should look into replacing the power cord, or the thermal fuse? Maybe its the thermal fuse and just hasn’t actually burnt out yet, or I read the power cord can be the culprit too. I think my husband is pretty handy to tackle this. Any suggestions on which avenue I should start with first? Thanks so much!

  7. I have not one but 2 chi irons that broke. The same thing with both, the on/off button broke. If they had broke in the “on” position it’d be ok but they didn’t. Any idea how to fix that? Please haha

  8. I followed your instructions on fixing the switch on the circuit board inside the iron. Still doesn’t work. I have checked all connections & am stumped on all other troubleshooting. Any ideas for me?

  9. I don’t see answers to anyone questions. My problem is the same as several others where the cord needs to be positioned just so for the light to come on and heat up the iron. And I have the same problem as the ones who can’t get their screws out even when it’s clamped in. But I don’t see answers. Please help, I can’t afford a new CHI.

  10. How can I replace the switch or where can I purchase the switch & one more question is it hard to replace?

  11. Unit worked intermittently. LED would turn on and off when rotating cord at end of unit. Disassembled. Cleaned cord probe and contacts with electrical cleaner. Reassembled. Functions properly.

  12. Hi everyone, I got the chi royal gold digital, when i turn the iron on it shows me the next error ” 69 hours used” and it turns off. Does someone know what this is?? Thanks!

  13. Just bought this ifon friday.. I went to use it twice… today it was on and I noticed the light wasn’t on.. Turned if on and off many time with no power coming back on.. I’ve tested and reset it many time.. what can I do to fix it

  14. Hi Joe,
    The plastic hinge on my CHI flat iron was damaged and partially broke off in my suitcase while traveling. The flat iron still turns on fine, however, the plats are not connected properly because of the broken hinge. I still have the broken off plastic part and thought maybe I could glue it back in place (the pieces still fit together but do not stay in place). Might this inhibit the flat iron from rotating? Do you have a type of glue you would recommend?
    Any advice is very appreciated!

  15. I’ve popped the hinges off. I can’t get the screws out bc they keep turning so I used a flat head to hold the one side and a Phillips on the other but it still won’t budge! Any ideas?

  16. Why when I try to plug my chi straightner in the outlet and it’s sounds as though I’m going to electrocute myself or it’s possibly going to catch on fire? It makes a crackling noise, or more like a buzzing sound. Is there anything I can do to save it

  17. I can’t seem to remove the little tiny screws. I was using an eyeglass screwdriver and it actually got bent trying to remove the tiny screws. Help! Please.

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