iPad charging issue, possibly dangerous?

Discussion in 'iPad' started by oliver5893, Aug 15, 2010.

  1. oliver5893 macrumors newbie

    May 11, 2010
    I've noticed that when I'm charging my iPad, when I hold it or put my hand on it, I can feel an electrical current on the case; it feels like a tingling sensation. Apparently, this is only an issue with the UK chargers which don't have an actual grounding plug.
    I'm starting to think that this may be dangerous? In the same way that a metal kettle must be grounded in case there's a short circuit, surely the iPad, with it's aluminium body, should be? Apparently, if the transformer in the power brick fails then a full amperage could be conducted through the iPad, and, if I'm holding it, through me? :eek:
    Should I be alarmed at this power adapter problem?
  2. ChiltonWebb macrumors member

    Apr 9, 2004
  3. MrWillie macrumors 65816


    Apr 29, 2010
    Starlite Starbrite Trailer Court
    Wow, I read that thread. I thought people that wrote on the maximum pc and zdnet forums were total idiots...

    Dude, if you are not a troll, take it to an Apple store and have it checked out.

    Edit: Crap, I just let the cat out of the bag. I admitted to reading zdnet articles. I promise I only do it once every two weeks... Seriously..
  4. Battlestar macrumors 6502

    May 9, 2010
    The outside case should be insulated from the components within.
  5. wackymacky macrumors 68000


    Sep 20, 2007
    38°39′20″N 27°13′10″W
    What? Are you sure it's not you're carpal tunnel syndrome palying up?
  6. tallyho macrumors 6502a


    Aug 15, 2004
    Right. I can duplicate this odd issue on an old 12" Aluminium Powerbook. It happens if I use the 3 pin UK plug adapter which docks directly onto the transformer block (so that the transformer is effectively plugged into the wall socket. This produces a weird "tingling" effect on the metal body of the powerbook. More like it is vibrating than giving you an electric shock.

    If I use the alternative plug (the one with a few feet of cable) so that the transformer is not plugged straight into the wall but is half way along a cable (mains cable from plug to wall; small DC cable leading to the powerbook) there is no tingling effect.

    Answer: don't use the all-in-one plug, but use one with a length of cable.

    There is no question of mains ac reaching the iPad metal shell, and there's no need to worry about earth in this instance. Look at dc adapters for any other gadgets you have (phones etc) - you will see that the earth pin on the plug is usually plastic. Lots of countries don't even have earth pins as standard on their domestic plugs (ever noticed how US and EU plugs have two pins instead of three like ours?)

    I'm absolutely no expert at all, but as I say I think I have observed what you mean, but with a much older Apple laptop.
  7. sparkie1984 macrumors 68020

    Dec 20, 2009
    a small village near London
    I wouldnt worry mate, usually if something has a plastic earth pin its double insulated and doesn't require an earth, as said above you'll be surprised at how many things take this route nowadays!

    Also the plastic pin is on there as you can't plug something into a uk socket without a grounding pin it's a safety feature! But you shouldn't earth a double insulated appliance so that's how they get round it :)

    The charger is also fused for safety. :)
  8. TheBritishBloke macrumors 68030


    Jul 21, 2009
    United Kingdom
    The top pin is usually the earth on UK plugs.. And there's even a fuse in the plug.. I suggest calling Apple as I have zero problems like this.
  9. jzuena macrumors 6502a


    Feb 21, 2007
    Lexington, MA, USA
    We do have a third grounding pin in the US, but plugs for lower wattage devices are not required to use it. If plastic pins are allowed on the ground pin in the UK, it sounds like it is the same case there.

    And to the OP, I would definitely have Apple take a look at your iPad just to be sure something isn't wrong with it.
  10. ray648 macrumors regular

    Jan 10, 2008
    I had this on my macbook air. I don't know if this is the same with the ipad charger, but the macbook ones only have an earth pin when you use the long extension cable. I'm not sure if the ipad charger has the metal contact pad that allows this to work though. I do find it a bit strange that the small plug piece that allows you to plug the charger directly into a socket doesn't have the earth connection.
  11. chrono1081 macrumors 604


    Jan 26, 2008
    Isla Nublar
    I had the same thing with two of my laptops and they too were using ... not sure what type of plugs but its whatever Iraq uses. It was three big prongs.

    I thought it was either A. My imagination or B. The ****** electrical work where I was at since we used to get shocked on USB and monitor ports fairly often.
  12. oliver5893 thread starter macrumors newbie

    May 11, 2010
    Okay, I've swapped the duckhead plug that came with the iPad to one of the long cable ones that I had from a MacBook power adapter and the problem goes away. So this must mean that these long cables are earthed and the duckhead ones aren't, as I thought. I'm going to talk to a genius at an Apple store, hopefully soon, about this. But, for the meantime, this solution works.

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