Concerning shock problem

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by Jimmy Guphanti, Jun 17, 2018.

  1. Jimmy Guphanti macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Mar 29, 2011
    #1
    I have a 2017 15" MacBook Pro. Today I noticed that in the bottom right of the lower case, to the right of the trackpad, when touching that area with one's hand or fingers, a palpable electric static effect can be felt. It's kind of like when your hair stands up when you go near a static-y blanket. If I touch it for more than a few seconds, it feels like a small shock. I asked someone else to feel it to see if it was just me, and they also confirmed it feels that way on that side.

    However, this only happens when the laptop is plugged in and charging. It's feels normal/no sensation when it is not plugged in.

    Normally, when the computer is plugged in and charging, it's because it's on my desk where I use it with the lid closed with a monitor and mouse/keyboard, so I wouldn't notice it. This is one of the few times where I have had it plugged in someplace else, hence me noticing it. No idea how long it has been like that.

    Any ideas?

    Thanks.
     
  2. deeddawg macrumors 604

    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2010
    Location:
    US
    #2
    Try it with different power outlets in other places. See if it's just that one place or everywhere.

    There's a fair chance you have a miswired outlet, or some other electrical problem going on.
     
  3. 537635 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Mar 7, 2009
    Location:
    Slovenia, EU
    #3
    This again... Happens with every non-grounded non-insulated metal-covered piece of electronics and is most pronounced in dry environment. Look up this issue on Google. There are tons of these topics.

    Summary: Get a cable to connect the power brick with the electrical socket. Every Apple Store has them. It has three pins. It grounds the power brick and it grounds the Macbook. No more "buzzing" or "shocking". Been using this for years now.
     
  4. Rapp, Jun 18, 2018
    Last edited: Jun 18, 2018

    Rapp macrumors member

    Rapp

    Joined:
    Apr 1, 2011
    Location:
    England
    #4
    This is a good bit of advise! :) I have the same issue when using a socket in the bedroom, using a socket tester showed the Earth was missing (sounds like Sci-Fi B Movie!). I happen to have a electrician coming today to check it out, I've checked the wiring and all wires are secure in the back of the socket and I've replaced the front - still has a fault.

    A socket tester can be found on Amazon for £5-£10, just plug it in an see what lights up. I used it to check all sockets in the house and everything else checks out ok.

    UPDATE : The Earth wire had broken in the junction box under the floor, easy to fix. No buzzing anymore when laptop plugged into mains.
     
  5. deeddawg macrumors 604

    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2010
    Location:
    US
    #5
    In many older buildings in the US, there may not actually be a grounded outlet. Can't plug a three-prong cord into a two-prong outlet.

    Or the "grounded" outlet might not even be connected to ground (ground wire not attached).

    So while the advice to use a three-prong cord is good, the situation is often not so simple as you tritely make it out to be.
     
  6. 537635 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Mar 7, 2009
    Location:
    Slovenia, EU
    #6
    That's true, might be the lack of grounding in the building. Still with Apple removing the grounded charger with the 2016 revision, it makes sense that this is the problem and not the wiring.

    Surprised this is still an issue in the States. Last time I saw this level of sketchy wiring, was is in rural Lebanon...
     
  7. deeddawg macrumors 604

    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2010
    Location:
    US
    #7
    Building codes change over time, something built forty or sixty years ago isn't going to be at today's code though. Building inspections are typically on a county or city level, and there are certainly lots of rural counties that have little or no building code enforcement.

    At one time, two-prong outlets were the norm here and even if the electrical cabling had a ground wire it often wouldn't be attached to anything, especially in stuff like bedroom outlets where folks would just plug in a lamp. I've seen plenty still in place in older homes I've bought/sold. Then you have the cases where the old two-prong outlet wears out or breaks and the homeowner just puts in a new three-prong grounded outlet... without attaching ground, and often getting polarity wrong. Or they add an outlet or something and mess up the wiring. You can take the homeowner to HomeDepot but you can't make him do the work right.

    In Slovenia, do they randomly and/or regularly come inspect the wiring in old homes and force the owner to rewire the house to current code even if the owner is making no renovations?

    If not, how do they force out old style wiring from decades ago? Since you've only seen old wiring in rural Lebanon that must mean all places in Slovenia are fully up to current code. What is the mechanism that forces those updates to all homes?

    Here forced code updates pretty much only happens if you're renovating the home, and even then only applies to the portions you're renovating. (of course there may be exceptions, it's a big country and I can only speak to my experience)
     
  8. 537635 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Mar 7, 2009
    Location:
    Slovenia, EU
    #8
    I would say that it also has something to do with the fact that you've had electricity longer than us. So wiring in average is more modern here.

    I might have been a bit too quick before on blaming solely the charger. Although it is a more widespread issue with Apple because of the unibody aluminum design collecting static charge on the surface. Same goes for their mobile phones pre-X.
     
  9. deeddawg macrumors 604

    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2010
    Location:
    US
    #9
    Yes, that would definitely lead to having less legacy old-style infrastructure. What was once fine is sometimes later deemed to be not as okay... example being old knob-and-tube wiring which still exists in some really old homes. Yet when hidden by walls people don't know until something reveals the issue to them, such as with a metal-covered computer.

    I agree with you that best-practice is to use a three-prong cord for your home or primary desk location. The cords are easily obtained and you can simply leave it in place, switching to the two-prong for when you need to take the charger with you.
     

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8 June 17, 2018