Magsafe Burn marks

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by sshhoott, Jul 23, 2012.

  1. sshhoott, Jul 23, 2012
    Last edited: Jul 24, 2012

    sshhoott macrumors 6502

    sshhoott

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2010
    #1
    About one inch of the white wire from the end of the L shaped magsafe connector appears to be brown.

    Are these marks from burn or malfunction? Does anyone else have these?

    This magsafe works 95% of the time. The other 5% of the time, the light doesn't come on and is often fixed by unplugging and repluging the connector. The actual connector part of the MBP and the gold connectors appear to be in perfect condition.

    Does this condition of burn marks indicate that the life of my Magsafe is shortening?

    Also, I don't have a warranty anymore. This magsafe is just 1.5 years old and is always treated with special care. Was wondering if this would be covered in Canada, especially considering it can be a potential fire hazard. Thanks for answering.:)
     
  2. Macman45 macrumors demi-god

    Macman45

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    #2
    Is the cable itself getting hot? If that wire is heating up I'd replace it...You don't want damage to your Mac, even though from the second shot it seems to be charging okay....I've got 2 of them and they are a year or so old now too...never seen that before though.
     
  3. sgtcasey macrumors newbie

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    Jan 5, 2012
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    New Mexico
    #3
    I've seen this on one of the charging cables for my iPhone 4. Shortly after the brown spots appeared the cable came apart. I eventually just replaced it to be on the safe side.

    Dave
     
  4. sshhoott thread starter macrumors 6502

    sshhoott

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  5. paul117 macrumors regular

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    Feb 17, 2012
    #5
    i had this on my old magsafe charger.... it eventually turned blue like bruised.... and eventually started to split... and my charger too worked only 95% of the time.
     
  6. wethackrey, Jul 23, 2012
    Last edited: Jul 23, 2012

    wethackrey macrumors 6502

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    #6
    It's odd that there are "burn" marks yet the cable doesn't get hot. The MagSafe cables have had an issue where flex at the top of the strain relief would eventually cause the insulation to crack and the conductors to short. The cable itself has a braid over the inner conductors and, with the insulation cracked, the conductors can short to the braid or to each other.

    It may be that the cable isn't hot when you've touched it, but that the problem is intermittent. In fact, that's usually how cable failures start. Frankly there's probably no other explanation for the cable discoloration except heat. And the place yours is getting discolored is right at the top of the strain relief, which is where the cable is most likely to fail.

    You might try holding the discolored section while you flex the cable around. You may feel it suddenly getting hot. The charge light will probably go out then as well. Keep in mind that, if this is the problem, the cable will eventually fail and that flexing it too much may make it fail sooner. If I were you I'd buy a spare sooner rather than later.

    I had a MagSafe cable that failed at the top of the strain relief. Eventually the outer insulation sheath cracked completely. It wasn't long after that that the conductors began to short out from time to time. You could actually hear it and see the spark. Needless to say the insulation turned very dark very quickly. I replaced it before if caught fire.

    The newer MagSafe adapters have much different cable than the earlier one I described above. The cable insulation seems much harder and less prone to breakdown. The trade-off being the newer cables are stiffer and a bit more difficult to coil up.

    --
    One other note... I think officially the power adapter is considered a consumable item. It's a least arguable that the problem may have been caused by the user. (Yes I know, you've been very careful). Whether you can get it replaced under warranty will depend entirely on what you say and the mindset of the Apple rep you say it to. If you take it into an Apple store and tell the manager that you're afraid the thing is going to catch on fire, you'll be far more likely to get it replaced under warranty. Especially because they'll be able to look at the condition of the thing and evaluate if it was abused or not. You'll have less luck over the phone. In either case though, it won't be so much about whether it's in warranty as whether Apple wants to be liable for burning your house down, along with whatever kittens, puppies or babies may live there.

    This is the line I'd use: "The twins are only four months old and, now that they're finally home from the hospital after their long, painful battle against that flesh-eating bacteria, I'm worried that my Apple power adapter is going to catch fire and I'll have to throw them from the eighth story window to keep them from being burned alive."

    But then you might not be quite as warped an individual as I am.
     
  7. waw74 macrumors 68030

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    May 27, 2008
    #7
    did you get applecare? as long as your laptop is covered, so are all accessories that came with it, or you that purchased at the same time. (at least in the US, may be a bit different north of the border)

    also, any chance it's been in a bag? maybe it got up against something, and that part of the cord is a bit more susceptible to staining than the others.


    also give it the "wiggle test" try moving and bending the cable around, while plugged in, and watch to see if your mac stops charging, if it does, i would stop using the charger immediately, i had one of the older style shoot out a nice shower of sparks as it went once.
     
  8. Macman45 macrumors demi-god

    Macman45

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    #8
    "The twins are only four months old and, now that they're finally home from the hospital after their long, painful battle against that flesh-eating bacteria, I'm worried that my Apple power adapter is going to catch fire and I'll have to throw them from the eighth story window to keep them from being burned alive."


    :D Classic, I just wouldn't have the nerve...I have a buddy you'd get on with famously...He pulls insane stunts like yours and gets all kinds of stuff free...:)
     
  9. Queen6 macrumors 603

    Queen6

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    #9
    The frank and obvious answer: Go to Apple buy a new one, at the end of the day it`s connected to your expensive notebook should it fail completely, you may end up paying a great deal more than the cost of a MagSafe.

    btw: It will only be a fire hazard, if you continue to use it and ignore the warning...
     
  10. theSeb macrumors 604

    theSeb

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    #10
    Even if you don't have apple care, I would take that to an Apple store and show them the charger. I believe there is a high chance of getting a free replacement.
     
  11. sshhoott thread starter macrumors 6502

    sshhoott

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    Feb 6, 2010
    #11
    wethackrey and waw74, thanks for your help :)

    @wethackrey, I tried to bend the cable from the 'burnt" section of the wire and it actually sometimes doesn't work. So, I guess the shorting problem is confirmed.

    @waw74, Yes I carry the Magsafe in bag many times, and for many months, I was under the impression that this is some kind of food stain (Maybe I handled the connector with dirty fingers). But dramatically bending the wire from that area does sometimes turn off the light.
     
  12. wethackrey macrumors 6502

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    Redondo Beach, California
    #12
    If you bend it and the light goes out and it does not get hot, it may be that the frayed strands of the internal conductor that caused the burned insulation actually vaporized (like a fuse) where they touched the other conductor. It think it's pretty clear the cable is failing.

    Time to pack up the twins (or rent a pair) and go to the Apple Store.
     
  13. TibookAktive macrumors member

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    May 27, 2010
    #13
    Given my past experiences with Apple, I'm pretty sure that if you either call up Apple customer support or take the adaptor into a retail store - they'll swap it for a new one pretty immediately. Apple rarely stick to quoted warranty periods (other than for major repairs e.g logic board failures) - once took an iphone 3gs into a store that was 10months out of warranty because the small mute switch dropped off and they gave me a new phone on the spot...

    A faulty power brick that could potentially cause a fire in the future will be instantly replaced IMHO - not worth the potential future liability for something so cheap to Apple.
     
  14. miles01110 macrumors Core

    miles01110

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    #14
    Just have Apple replace it. They'll do it for free.
     
  15. Eliz macrumors member

    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2012
    #15
    dents on cable

    my magsafe adapter (about 2 years old) recently stopped charging for a while. But, after a dust-off, it's working good again. But now, I am starting to worry about it coz the cable looks dented at parts and it's also dirty... should i change my adapter or wait till it frays or stops working??
     
  16. spt macrumors member

    Joined:
    Oct 27, 2009
    #16
    It is extremely dangerous to keep using it, as the Magsafe adapters have a design flaw (insulation too thin) that results in a relatively high risk of fire. Hence the replacement program.

    Recently the Magsafe adapter of my 2009 MBP started burning (did include sparks and smoke, but it took me only a few seconds to pull out the plug after which it stopped); in the weeks before this happened I noticed the exact same issues as you are describing.

    I would recommend you to try to get a new one from Apple. If they refuse a replacement (as in my case, as the replacement program is US only), you can either remove the bad wire section or buy a new Magsafe adapter.

    ----------

    Ah, I see I was replying to an old post. Please consider starting a new thread for a new topic/question.

    If your Magsafe adapter was dirty, and removing the dirt fixed the problem, it is likely that your problem wasn't caused by damage to the wire. Hence, I see no reason to replace it.
     
  17. Dark Void macrumors 68030

    Dark Void

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    #17
    I don't believe that you what you are seeing are burns, they are - for lack of a better term - marks, caused by the activity of removing and inserting the MagSafe adaptor into the port so often.

    I have an older MagSafe model but I have these marks inside of the port and on the sides (outer portion) of it as well. The pins (or connectors? Not sure on the technical term) inside are not damaged though and the unit still charges properly of course. If you could get around to uploading some pictures I could possibly confirm that they are simply marks that can be cleaned or lifted away.
     

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