MacBook Pro Electric Shock Problem

scorpio8977

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Aug 25, 2006
17
0
Kuwait
Hi guys. I've got a 2 month old Macbook Pro which has an electric shock problem. When it's charging, it feels like there's an uncomfortable static electricity shock coming particularly from above the cd/dvd drive, but all over too. It's fine when it's running on the battery, and sometimes when it's fully charged it's ok, but when it's charging it's like it's live. I've got it on a 3 pin (fully earthed) plug, without any un-necessary extensions, and it's on a surge-protected 5 plug extension board so it's definately NOT an earthing problem.

The issue I've got is that I've bought the laptop (new) from the apple dealer here in Kuwait and as a franchise, they're proving very bad at giving ANY back-up at all (refusing to return calls, saying it'll take 12 weeks to turn around as they have to ship it to USA, and a host of other excuses to put me off getting them to do anything about it).

Is there a simple fix I can make myself to resolve this or is it terminal? It's getting to the point where I'm going to bin it and go buy a 17" and hope that one doesn't give me the same problem. This is my first apple since moving from windows and so far my experience has been great other than this hiccup. Any advice?

Matt :confused:
 

Super Macho Man

macrumors 6502a
Jul 24, 2006
505
0
Hollywood, CA
I remember something like this from the TiBook days. The solution then was to reverse the power plug at the wall (unplug it, spin it 180 degrees, plug it back in) which would change the polarity or something(?). My TiBook came with a 2-prong power adapter, though, and I think newer ones might come with a 3-prong? And I don't know if the outlets in Kuwait are different than they are in the U.S., which might inhibit your ability to do that.
 
Comment

scorpio8977

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Aug 25, 2006
17
0
Kuwait
Super Macho Man said:
And I don't know if the outlets in Kuwait are different than they are in the U.S., which might inhibit your ability to do that.
Yes, they're 3 pin plugs like the UK, so you can't reverse them. I've tried plugging the 2 pin euro / USA end onto my power block and reversing it but it didn't make any difference, it still feels like it's trying to electrocute my wrists!!
 
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miles01110

macrumors Core
Jul 24, 2006
19,261
31
The Ivory Tower (I'm not coming down)
Very strange, it sounds like a grounding problem but if you say your plug is grounded then it probably isnt. Are you sure that the wall socket or whatever you are plugging into is grounded? Otherwise it kind of seems like you have a loose connection or something somewhere inside. I think your best option is to take it to an Apple store and see if they will let you plug in to one of THEIR power outlets. If you still get the shock, then it's something wrong with the computer and they should replace it.
 
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NATO

macrumors 68000
Feb 14, 2005
1,691
28
Northern Ireland
Is it more of a tingling sensation when you lightly brush your hand/fingers across the surface of the palmrests? I get that too, Powerbook did it too, I think it's normal.
 
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scorpio8977

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Aug 25, 2006
17
0
Kuwait
NATO said:
Is it more of a tingling sensation when you lightly brush your hand/fingers across the surface of the palmrests? I get that too, Powerbook did it too, I think it's normal.
No, it's like an "Ow, ouch, J*sus that stings, can't touch it, feels like like I'm putting my wet fingers in a plug socket" kinda thing.

Having said that, I've switched to a 2 pin plug set up and it seems to be behaving itself. See how long it lasts. If it misbehaves I'll take it into the store, when they tell me "It's normal for them to do that" I'll tell them to type a paragraph with their hands in contact with the metal next to the trackpad and watch their hair stand on end.

Found a few things on google about it, seems it's not a rare problem.
 
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FullmetalZ26

macrumors regular
Jun 12, 2006
159
0
Have you tried using the grounded plug at a different location, preferrably a different building? Perhaps there's something wrong with the how the grounding is set up in the building that is causing problems (especially considering it went away when the ground connection was removed.)
 
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dobomode

macrumors newbie
Jan 22, 2008
27
0
My very MBP 2.2 GHz has been electrocuting me constantly as well! If I leave if for more than 5 minutes, and come back and touch the keyboard surface *anywhere* I get a small electric shock. It's not really anything life-threatening but it certainly is really annoying!!

Anybody else experiencing this?
 
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MIDI_EVIL

macrumors 65816
Jan 23, 2006
1,320
13
UK
My PowerBook is off being repaired/looked at, for this same issue... It could be down to a faulty power supply, because my power supply is also broken and has coincided with this static type shock.

It seems to be discharging and it's not comfortable.

If for example, I am holding my iPod, and I touch the PowerBook I will get a stinging shock wherever I touch the machine.
 
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welshy1812

macrumors member
Jul 5, 2007
67
1
Glasgow, Scotland
My very MBP 2.2 GHz has been electrocuting me constantly as well! If I leave if for more than 5 minutes, and come back and touch the keyboard surface *anywhere* I get a small electric shock. It's not really anything life-threatening but it certainly is really annoying!!

Anybody else experiencing this?
Yep, get the same thing with my MacBook Pro, I thought it was just me !
 
Comment

krye

macrumors 68000
Aug 21, 2007
1,606
1
USA
Yeh, that's a grounding issue. Make sure none of your power plugs, power strips, or sockets are jimmy-rigged in any way.

I was jammin' at my friends house one day. We both kept getting zapped off our guitars. It hurt. We soon discovered that we plugged our amps into a power strip that had the ground pin broken off.
 
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ThirteenXIII

macrumors 6502a
Mar 8, 2008
720
55
even having a dehumidifier in the same room as my macpro with a grounded secure connection i get shocked/static electricity from my MightyMouse touching the scroll ball or fromy ACD display when turning it on.


@_@
 
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TheThirdMan

macrumors regular
Nov 14, 2007
119
0
London, UK
Is it more of a tingling sensation when you lightly brush your hand/fingers across the surface of the palmrests? I get that too, Powerbook did it too, I think it's normal.
Yeah, i had that with my PowerBook and MacBook Pro...
 
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blues3

macrumors newbie
Apr 3, 2008
3
0
Hi

i have the same issue on my macbook pro, febr 2008... I measured the voltage between me touching the mbp with one hand and the mass with the other hand, it's between 0.3 and 0.5 V, either plugged with the 3pins plug or on the battery.


I hope there's no harm, the mbp is awesome otherwise
 
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John H

macrumors newbie
Jun 23, 2008
1
0
Gothenburg, Sweden
Same "problem" here, if I connect my MacBook Pro to a non-grounded socket I get this tingly feeling when I touch it. Called Apple support today and they said that it's completely normal, in fact every MacBook Pro out there has this issue. Simple solution: Use a grounded socket and plug :)
 
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phalewhale

macrumors 6502a
Jun 10, 2007
666
0
Same "problem" here, if I connect my MacBook Pro to a non-grounded socket I get this tingly feeling when I touch it. Called Apple support today and they said that it's completely normal, in fact every MacBook Pro out there has this issue. Simple solution: Use a grounded socket and plug :)
I used to get this problem until I stopped wearing nylon boxers...
It appeared I was charging myself up whenever I walked anywhere.
;)
 
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cathyy

macrumors 6502a
Apr 12, 2008
727
1
Just found out about this problem today. I used to get this tingling sensation from my boyfriend, but it was only today that I decided to investigate further. We kept rubbing our skin against each other until he finally realized that the electricity was flowing through my Macbook Pro. We played around a little more, and it turns out that he didn't feel anything initially as his feet were in the air whereas my feet were on the ground, and hence electricity flowed through him to me, then into the ground.

I'm using a 3-pin plug, but I'm using one of those...multi..extension..plugs...whatever you call them...so it may not be properly earthed.
 
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BigJoeW

macrumors newbie
Sep 6, 2008
1
0
MacBook Pro 15"

I as well have a brand new MacBook Pro, and can feel the shock.. the legs of the chair i sit in are metal and i can actually feel the circuit being completed when i have my legs resting on them or against the metal heating unit when my hands or wrists touch the case of my laptop.. he's not crazy it's there
 
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RP3000

macrumors newbie
Sep 30, 2008
2
0
Not Grounding Issue

I just returned my 2nd new MacBook Pro because of stray voltage in the case. I'm not confident that the 3rd will be better from all I've read about power problems.

I don't think this is a grounding problem. Grounding is a safety feature whereby, if there's a problem within the computer which causes voltage to go to the case, that voltage will go through the ground circuit instead of into the user. Current shouldn't normally be flowing through the case to ground, even if you can't feel it.

Whether or not your house electricity grounding is working right, there's a problem in the computer if there's voltage in the case. This is Apple's responsibility, and I'd suggest people experiencing vibrations or shocks have Apple fix or replace their computers before the warranties expire.

I'd speculate that it's related to the MagSafe connector.
 
Comment

nanofrog

macrumors G4
May 6, 2008
11,719
2
I just returned my 2nd new MacBook Pro because of stray voltage in the case. I'm not confident that the 3rd will be better from all I've read about power problems.

I don't think this is a grounding problem. Grounding is a safety feature whereby, if there's a problem within the computer which causes voltage to go to the case, that voltage will go through the ground circuit instead of into the user. Current shouldn't normally be flowing through the case to ground, even if you can't feel it.

Whether or not your house electricity grounding is working right, there's a problem in the computer if there's voltage in the case. This is Apple's responsibility, and I'd suggest people experiencing vibrations or shocks have Apple fix or replace their computers before the warranties expire.

I'd speculate that it's related to the MagSafe connector.
Laptops aren't connected to safty earth (ground). The only time they could be, is when plugged in to charge. Not sure with the power adapter you have, but I would suspect it doesn't. :(

Does the shock only happen when plugged in?
 
Comment

RP3000

macrumors newbie
Sep 30, 2008
2
0
I've felt a vibration in the case and luckily haven't been shocked, but I've read that many people have been. This happens when it's plugged in and charging, regardless of whether the computer is on. It doesn't appear to happen when plugged in and not charging or when not plugged in (although I'd be interested in putting a meter on it in those cases).

Because of this, I think the problem has to be somewhere between the connector and the battery. I was speculating that it's the connector because it's naturally in contact with the case, supposedly insulated, and the new MagSafe design might not have all bugs worked out yet.
 
Comment

nanofrog

macrumors G4
May 6, 2008
11,719
2
I've felt a vibration in the case and luckily haven't been shocked, but I've read that many people have been. This happens when it's plugged in and charging, regardless of whether the computer is on. It doesn't appear to happen when plugged in and not charging or when not plugged in (although I'd be interested in putting a meter on it in those cases).

Because of this, I think the problem has to be somewhere between the connector and the battery. I was speculating that it's the connector because it's naturally in contact with the case, supposedly insulated, and the new MagSafe design might not have all bugs worked out yet.
This seems reasonable. :)

It may also be transferring from the pcb (power plane) through a screw, and to the case. In either case, it can be insulated. I doubt Apple's designers thought about this, as most laptops use plastic cases, and is a non-issue. :eek:
Slipped through the cracks I guess. :rolleyes: ;)
 
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gzusdpndnt

macrumors newbie
Oct 15, 2008
1
0
sad face

my macbook pro power supply cord burn through, so i bought a new one on ebay..... but its not apple brand. i have never had this problem in the previous 2 years of my old charger but its happening now with this dodgy new one! grrrrrrrrrr the buzz under all surfaces, and occasional real zaps that hurt.
im sending the freakinh thing back to china where it belongs and getting an apple brand one!! :apple:
 
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nermal0

macrumors regular
May 31, 2006
138
29
Germany
I used get this tingling sensation when I touched the hand rest of my MBP. Since I use the grounded power cord instead of the small, 2 prong clip-on plug, the electric current I felt is gone.
 
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