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hajime

macrumors 604
Original poster
Jul 23, 2007
7,855
1,290
Hi, just like previous models, I got minor electric shocks touching the MacBook Pro 16". Some mentioned that using a power extension cable with a ground would solve the issue. Is that true? Can I use the cable which came with my MacBook Pro 2010 17" on the new MacBook Pro 16" 2019? Apple chat agent said that old cable is different from the cable being sold individually nowsaday as they use a different connector so I need to buy a new one.
 

bsbeamer

macrumors 601
Sep 19, 2012
4,311
2,704

This is basically the same that shipped with MBP's dating back to at least 2008 with the first unibody MBP. You take the wall plug end off the power brick and swap the cable. The newer cable has the same connection as 2008, but is often slightly gummy/sticky and almost coated in a material. It's a long complaint from many users.

As for your power issues, that sounds like a wiring issue. A bad cable COULD contribute to this as well. I'd start with at least assessing the ground on your outlet and main to determine if there is a broader issue. If you don't know what you're doing, bring in a certified electrician.

Do you have the same issues within an Apple store location or anywhere else outside of your home?
 
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hajime

macrumors 604
Original poster
Jul 23, 2007
7,855
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This is basically the same that shipped with MBP's dating back to at least 2008 with the first unibody MBP. You take the wall plug end off the power brick and swap the cable. The newer cable has the same connection as 2008, but is often slightly gummy/sticky and almost coated in a material. It's a long complaint from many users.

As for your power issues, that sounds like a wiring issue. A bad cable COULD contribute to this as well. I'd start with at least assessing the ground on your outlet and main to determine if there is a broader issue. If you don't know what you're doing, bring in a certified electrician.

Do you have the same issues within an Apple store location or anywhere else outside of your home?

The Apple chat agent said the connector of the new one is different so they are not physically compatible. From his answer to my other questions, looks like he did not know what he was talking about.

Thanks for mentioning the gummy/sticky texture in the new cable. I certainly want to avoid that.

I recall that I had the same power issue with other former MBP in different locations as well. From the internet, some users got the issue solved using that extension cable but some users still have the issue.
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Crash0veride

macrumors regular
Oct 10, 2016
221
143
Cincinnati
The Apple chat agent said the connector of the new one is different so they are not physically compatible. From his answer to my other questions, looks like he did not know what he was talking about.

I don't know about shocks, but I can say I use two of my old extensions (one 2009, one pre 2009) on new chargers (16 MBP 97w charger, 30w apple charger, and 12w iPad chargers) and they fit perfectly, though slightly off-white from age.

I guess the apple chat person might have been confused and thought you were talking about MacBook connecting end instead of the outlet end, which has changed.
 
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bsbeamer

macrumors 601
Sep 19, 2012
4,311
2,704
I guess the apple chat person might have been confused and thought you were talking about MacBook connecting end instead of the outlet end, which has changed.

It does not help that Apple is only listing the current version of the extension cable as compatible with these models:
  • MacBook (Retina, 12-inch, Early 2015 - 2017)
  • MacBook Air (Retina, 13-inch, 2018 and later)
  • MacBook Air (13-inch, Early 2015 - 2017)
  • MacBook Air (11-inch, Early 2015)
  • MacBook Pro (13-inch, 2016 and later)
  • MacBook Pro (Retina, 13-inch, Late 2012 - 2015)
  • MacBook Pro (15-inch, 2016 - 2019)
  • MacBook Pro (Retina, 15-inch, Mid 2012 - 2015)
  • MacBook Pro (16-inch, 2019)
 
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hajime

macrumors 604
Original poster
Jul 23, 2007
7,855
1,290
It does not help that Apple is only listing the current version of the extension cable as compatible with these models:
  • MacBook (Retina, 12-inch, Early 2015 - 2017)
  • MacBook Air (Retina, 13-inch, 2018 and later)
  • MacBook Air (13-inch, Early 2015 - 2017)
  • MacBook Air (11-inch, Early 2015)
  • MacBook Pro (13-inch, 2016 and later)
  • MacBook Pro (Retina, 13-inch, Late 2012 - 2015)
  • MacBook Pro (15-inch, 2016 - 2019)
  • MacBook Pro (Retina, 15-inch, Mid 2012 - 2015)
  • MacBook Pro (16-inch, 2019)

Yes! This was the first thing I checked.
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I've owned Apple notebooks since 2002 as well as a wide variety of desktop systems (both Apple and Wintel -- including desktops I owned long before the notebooks) as well as handheld devices and I don't recall ever getting an electrical shock plugging a system in the numerous places I've lived and visited: various office buildings I've worked, and the countless coffee shops, airport lounges, hotel rooms, conference facilities, convention centers, libraries, friends' houses, B&Bs, etc.

This includes two-prong ungrounded wall warts as well as three-prong grounded cords and power supplies.

The sensible course of action would be to verify that your building's wiring is correct with a simple GFCI tester like this one:


You should have one anyhow in general (not just for your new computer) for safety reasons. The building's wiring could be faulty or just certain outlets. Verifying the state of the electrical connection at each point is the sane approach.

The chat agent suggested me to call the Apple safety department!
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bsbeamer

macrumors 601
Sep 19, 2012
4,311
2,704
It's the same connection for many iBook/PowerBook models too. It's been WAY too long for me to reliability trust one of those cables for daily usage, however. For $5-$20 I would 100% recommend buying a new one. There's WAY too many part numbers for this same cable over the past 20 years:





Also believe AirPort Express could use the same cable, in addition to many (all?) Apple issued USB chargers for iPad.
 

hajime

macrumors 604
Original poster
Jul 23, 2007
7,855
1,290
It's the same connection for many iBook/PowerBook models too. It's been WAY too long for me to reliability trust one of those cables for daily usage, however. For $5-$20 I would 100% recommend buying a new one. There's WAY too many part numbers for this same cable over the past 20 years:





Also believe AirPort Express could use the same cable, in addition to many (all?) Apple issued USB chargers for iPad.

How to tell which does’t have gummy/sticky texture? Are all current ones sticky?

I just noticed that the cable I have is two-pronge. Threw away some old ones as Apple used to include a new one with each MBP.
 

fs454

macrumors 68000
Dec 7, 2007
1,980
1,865
Los Angeles / Boston

Anybody knows what the author means by "2 pin connection", "10mm stainless steel stud"?

Pull your 2-prong piece from your power adapter, you'll see the 2-pin barrel connector and then a metal "stud" that the plug rides on when sliding in and out of the connector. On the long 3-prong cable, the ground connects to this stud. I've been using the same 3-prong extension since my Late 2013 model, and I've currently got three 87w USB C bricks and the one new 96w, no change between them.
 
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hajime

macrumors 604
Original poster
Jul 23, 2007
7,855
1,290
Pull your 2-prong piece from your power adapter, you'll see the 2-pin barrel connector and then a metal "stud" that the plug rides on when sliding in and out of the connector. On the long 3-prong cable, the ground connects to this stud. I've been using the same 3-prong extension since my Late 2013 model, and I've currently got three 87w USB C bricks and the one new 96w, no change between them.

Thanks. So when looking the square power adapter from the side, it is the T-shape metal stud. What am I supposed to do with it? I don't see any protective plastic. I bought the 3-prong extension cable and the MBP in Canada.
 

hajime

macrumors 604
Original poster
Jul 23, 2007
7,855
1,290
I've owned Apple notebooks since 2002 as well as a wide variety of desktop systems (both Apple and Wintel -- including desktops I owned long before the notebooks) as well as handheld devices and I don't recall ever getting an electrical shock plugging a system in the numerous places I've lived and visited: various office buildings I've worked, and the countless coffee shops, airport lounges, hotel rooms, conference facilities, convention centers, libraries, friends' houses, B&Bs, etc.

This includes two-prong ungrounded wall warts as well as three-prong grounded cords and power supplies.

The sensible course of action would be to verify that your building's wiring is correct with a simple GFCI tester like this one:


You should have one anyhow in general (not just for your new computer) for safety reasons. The building's wiring could be faulty or just certain outlets. Verifying the state of the electrical connection at each point is the sane approach.
I've owned Apple notebooks since 2002 as well as a wide variety of desktop systems (both Apple and Wintel -- including desktops I owned long before the notebooks) as well as handheld devices and I don't recall ever getting an electrical shock plugging a system in the numerous places I've lived and visited: various office buildings I've worked, and the countless coffee shops, airport lounges, hotel rooms, conference facilities, convention centers, libraries, friends' houses, B&Bs, etc.

This includes two-prong ungrounded wall warts as well as three-prong grounded cords and power supplies.

The sensible course of action would be to verify that your building's wiring is correct with a simple GFCI tester like this one:


You should have one anyhow in general (not just for your new computer) for safety reasons. The building's wiring could be faulty or just certain outlets. Verifying the state of the electrical connection at each point is the sane approach.


I recall that last year, I used a GFCI Outlet Tester to test an outlet in my room. It passed the test. Let's call this Outlet A. When I posted this thread, I connected the AC adapter directly to Outlet B which is near Outlet A. Even I bought the Apple 3-prong extension cord, I got that kind of electric sensation when having it connected to Outlet B. For the past two days, I connected the extension cord to Outlet A. I only experienced a minor sensation once. I need more testings. Could it be that Outlet A is properly grounded but not outlet B even they are in the same room and close to each other (about 80cm apart)?

I mentioned about issue in connecting Apple Keyboard to my MBP 16" to a staff in Apple Store. He said "Wait for a software update". When I mentioned about the electric shock, he also said "Wait for a software update". Doesn't seem he knows what he was talking about.
 

4sallypat

macrumors 68040
Sep 16, 2016
3,504
3,313
So Calif
ha ha software update to fix a hardware issue ?

I use the Apple MK122LL/A 3 prong cord for all my adapters (45W, 60W, 85W, USB-C: 29W, 87W & 100W)

I noticed that when there is a ground fault, the high frequency charger signal has caused that shock sensation.
 

hajime

macrumors 604
Original poster
Jul 23, 2007
7,855
1,290
Just like the one who laughed at me when I told him that Apple Magic keyboard bent straight out of the box.

Just got the 2nd shock sensation when the laptop is plugged into Outlet A. The one I bought from Apple Online store is: MK122LL/A Power Adapter Extension Cable Model A1689.
 

bsbeamer

macrumors 601
Sep 19, 2012
4,311
2,704
Outlet testers do NOT detect all issues, including over/under voltage and poor ground conditions. Get a certified electrician to inspect.
 

profcutter

macrumors 65816
Mar 28, 2019
1,480
1,199
I recall that last year, I used a GFCI Outlet Tester to test an outlet in my room. It passed the test. Let's call this Outlet A. When I posted this thread, I connected the AC adapter directly to Outlet B which is near Outlet A. Even I bought the Apple 3-prong extension cord, I got that kind of electric sensation when having it connected to Outlet B. For the past two days, I connected the extension cord to Outlet A. I only experienced a minor sensation once. I need more testings. Could it be that Outlet A is properly grounded but not outlet B even they are in the same room and close to each other (about 80cm apart)?

I mentioned about issue in connecting Apple Keyboard to my MBP 16" to a staff in Apple Store. He said "Wait for a software update". When I mentioned about the electric shock, he also said "Wait for a software update". Doesn't seem he knows what he was talking about.

Never overestimate the competence of whoever installed the electrical outlets in your home. I'm going through outlets one by one and finding all the stupid decisions the previous owners made in this house. At least in the basement it's easier to fix, but they really hated grounding for some reason.

Also, when I've traveled to places with 240v, I have often gotten that annoying zap when I touch my machine.
 
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