Philips Sonicare 4700 Toothbrush Fails

After using the previous generation of the Sonicare toothbrush for at least 10 years, I bought two new Sonicare 4700 brushes for myself and my wife less than a year ago. I bought them at my dentist, which probably made them more expensive than if I had gone to Costco. I paid about $100 each.

In the last few days, mine started failing. The brush shaft became loose and wobbly, and since the effectiveness of an electric toothbrush is based on vibration, it simply did not work anymore.

I was going to invoke my warranty, but the Philips website was not very helpful, and I had no idea where my receipt was. Who expects a toothbrush to fail and registers it after the purchase? Not me! I didn’t keep a file on my toothbrush like I would on a car or a computer, for instance.

Enter YouTube. The first video I found was from deependstudios. It described exactly how to open the toothbrush. Without it, I would never have figured it out.

I gave it a shot, what did I have to lose? 

Here is the toothbrush removed from the housing and the tools I needed. Yes, there is a hammer there, and to understand why, watch the above video. Unlike the deependstudios guy who ended up ruining the charger while trying to open it, I was able to avoid his mistake and fix my toothbrush like new – thanks to his video and instructions.

It all comes down to one screw, seen here in the center of the picture.

The Sonicare is made in China, who would guess, and it seems it’s all made out of Chinesium. This screw, which holds in the vibrating shaft, had come loose. Who would design a toothbrush where the most critical functional component that makes it work is attached by a tiny screw that comes loose with vibration?

I had to make a trip to Home Depot to get some thread lock, I put a tiny dab on the tip of the screw and fastened it tightly. I needed to use my computer grade tiny screw driver set to do that. My normal tools were too large.

All new! My toothbrush is back in business. I am sure this happens a lot to these units. I am amazed that Philips isn’t coming up with a better design.

All thanks to this video by deependstudios.

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