Burned/Frayed Magsafe 2

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by notablenews, Apr 2, 2015.

  1. notablenews macrumors newbie

    Apr 2, 2015
    Last week, my wife noticed her Macbook Air wasn't charging. We found a small fray in the cable near the brick, and I immediately covered it with electrical tape. A few minutes later, she noticed it was also frayed near the Magsafe connector, so I covered that with tape as well.

    As the days went on, it was harder and harder for her to charge her Macbook. I found that if I twisted or bent the area near the brick, I could make it work. A day later I was doing just that when I was burned. That spot was really hot and had melted through the electrical tape. I've attached pictures. Last night it shocked my wife when she was trying to get it to work.

    I've read this is a fairly common issue with these chargers. I plan to go to my local Apple Store today and complain, but as her computer is two years old, I don't think they will capitulate and give me a new one.

    Who can I complain to about this? Wasn't Apple sued for a similar issue with the old Magsafes? I'm really frustrated and don't want to pay $80 more for an inferior product.

    Attached Files:

  2. Samuelsan2001 macrumors 604

    Oct 24, 2013
    $80 is standard

    If you have apple care it'll be covered I believe...

    $80 is the standard cost of just about all well made power supplies for laptops go to anyone elses website and search for a laptop charger.


    If it has frayed like that it is because it is getting bent or wrapped up to tightly. I have a charger from 2010 and I have never wrapped it up, it is perfect. I have one from 2013 same thing no issues at all. Not a sign of an inferior product a sign of improper use. (I do realise they have those little flip out bits for wrapping them up, this is a mistake on apples part as that is too tight for the cord to remain unfrayed.)
  3. MarvinHC macrumors 6502a

    Jan 9, 2014
    Well made and Lenovo in one sentence is a bit of a stretch these days...

    But coming back to the OP: Give it a try at the Apple store. This is indeed a weak spot and they might give you a replacement for free but indeed it is not certain. I would ask in a friendly but determined way and see where this gets you.
  4. notablenews thread starter macrumors newbie

    Apr 2, 2015
    Thanks for the reply.

    She never wraps it around the brick. It usually stays in the same place in our house.

    I've seen threads about this exact issue on this forum and others, and it has happened to chargers less than a year old. While ours is two years old, it should not melt through like it did. Look at Apple.com and read the reviews for this charger. 1.5 stars and 173 one-star reviews out of 215 total.
  5. newellj macrumors 603

    Oct 15, 2014
    Boston, MA, US
    Try salting your very polite but disappointed plea for help with a few instances of "house fire" and "electrocution," preferably mixed (if true) with words like "small children in the house" and see what happens. Being polite but letting them connect some dots could go a long way. Unless you have Apple Care, in which case you should just ask for a replacement. :)
  6. motrek macrumors 68020

    Sep 14, 2012
    Of course it should melt. The wires were frayed and you were twisting them together. Anyone with the most basic understanding of electronics knows this will short out the charger and probably cause melting, smoking, a fire, etc. You're very lucky nothing caught on fire and that you didn't destroy your laptop. I mean, what were you thinking??

    Once you see exposed/frayed wires on something that you plug into the wall, you should stop using it immediately.

    Apple uses some kind of soft rubbery compound on their cables to make them flexible and convenient to use but this also seems to make them fragile. It's a trade off. You do have to be more careful with them. Now that you know this, you can be more careful with the next one you get.


    Does it? The pictures you posted show a charger that looks like s***. It's super dirty and scratched to h***. They don't look like this from sitting undisturbed in one place.
  7. newellj macrumors 603

    Oct 15, 2014
    Boston, MA, US
    Just to amplify a point, wrapping electrical tape or doing equivalent "repairs" on the outer insulation does nothing to prevent a potentially catastrophic short circuit if the insulation on the individual conductors that are in the outer sheathing become exposed. :(

  8. notablenews thread starter macrumors newbie

    Apr 2, 2015
    Took it to the Apple Store today. Apparently, her Macbook Air was under some special Warranty Quality Program for another issue and they replaced this for free. Now to get her screen issue fixed...
  9. newellj macrumors 603

    Oct 15, 2014
    Boston, MA, US
    Excellent news! :apple: Best luck with the screen.
  10. Airboy1466 macrumors 6502


    Feb 23, 2015
    What is wrong with her screen to be exact
  11. Richdmoore macrumors 68000


    Jul 24, 2007
    Troutdale, OR
    I have never seen this on any MagSafe chargers my wife and I own, but there is a product that may help I saw on Amazon.

  12. tmarks11, Apr 4, 2015
    Last edited: Apr 4, 2015

    tmarks11 macrumors 6502a

    May 3, 2010
    You do realize that the magsafe power supply has a fuse in it to prevent the scenario you just described? The fuse would blow before the charger draws enough current to catch on fire.

    The problem is usually that the twisting at the strain relief location causes individual wire strands to break at that point in the wire, which causes a high resistance point in the wire. This high resistance point causes localized heating of the wire, leading to the charred appearance of the white outer coating, causing it to break down and than flake off. The individual wire insulation inside has a much higher melting point, and is not as prone to damage as the soft outer coating.

    The insulation of the inner wires usually seems to remain intact, although in your case your trying to twist the connection to cause the separated wire strands to touch probably did in what was left of the insulation.

    Since the charger is only putting out 15VDC, the "electric shock" isn't really a personal safety concern (but don't lick it... you would be sorry).

    Apple is notorious for their poor strain relief on their power supplies. This has been a problem for 6 years, yet they keep pumping out power supplies with the "elegant understated strain relief solution" which is non-functional at best. Form does not beat function. I have replaced 4 power supplies on two MBA in the last 5 years because of this. The last one I bought I wrapped self fusing tape around that point on the brand new power supply to try to extend the life of the cable a bit. My problem has always been the magsafe end rather than the power supply end (which is much harder to repair yourself).
  13. motrek macrumors 68020

    Sep 14, 2012
    Ah yes, good point, I forgot about fuses.

    In any case, I still have no idea why anybody would take bare wires coming out of a charging cable, twist them together, and expect anything good to happen.

    I agree that Apple cables are delicate but if handled with some care I think this is a non-issue. In my last 8 years of using only Apple products, I've never had an Apple cable come apart on me. Maybe it's because I almost always hold the connectors to attach/detach something instead of the cable itself. I mean, why grab and yank anything by the cable when the connector is only inches away?

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