Mid 2011 iMac vibrates, and "stings" when touched...

Discussion in 'iMac' started by aPple nErd, Nov 30, 2013.

  1. aPple nErd macrumors 68030

    aPple nErd

    Feb 12, 2012
    Jailbreaks/IOS Hacks
    ok so i have a 2011 imac 21.5. every time it is even plugged in, it vibrates if i touch it. and it sometimes shocks me. if i have a usb cable from my iPhone plugged in, and i happen to accidentally have my have on the dock connector, it stings my hand... like it's shocking me. it hurts badly. is this normal, or should i take it in to the apple store?
  2. Intell macrumors P6


    Jan 24, 2010
    That sounds as if it isn't grounded properly. Is the socket it's plugged into properly grounded? Have you or are you able to try another socket in another part of the house?
  3. aPple nErd thread starter macrumors 68030

    aPple nErd

    Feb 12, 2012
    Jailbreaks/IOS Hacks
    that's what i initially thought. i have tried 3 different outlets. my house was rewired in the 1980s, and the outlets were upgraded to 3 prong about 15 years ago. so, i don't think it's that, because my mom's 2011 and also her 2012 iMacs neither did this.
  4. steve123 macrumors 6502

    Aug 26, 2007
    Sounds like a serious issue. Unplug the iMac immediately to eliminate the potential hazard and arrange to take it to the Apple Store and have it looked at.
  5. smithrh macrumors 68020


    Feb 28, 2009
    Concur with the others, this is a ground loop or worse. Not normal.

    May be an issue with the mac, or something has happened with your wiring since it was redone. The first step is to take your Mac back to the store. You can also buy inexpensive outlet testers at most hardware stores to see if there's a fault in the outlet.

    To be clear - it's not "vibrating," you're actually getting some voltage through your fingertips when that happens. You're feeling the AC current frequency.
  6. hfg macrumors 68040


    Dec 1, 2006
    Cedar Rapids, IA. USA
    Most hardware stores sell cheap "AC Socket Testers" which are easy to use (just plug them in to the outlet) and use lights to show faulty wiring. It might be worth it to try one of those first ...

    But it does sound like your iMac isn't grounded properly!
  7. Shane1905 macrumors regular

    May 21, 2012
    Defiantly unplug it now and take it back to the store as soon as you can. It's not actually vibrating when you touch it, that's a small electrostatic charge passing between your mac and you. If there is an earth fault with this it could electrocute you or someone else in your house if fault becomes worse. Hopefully it is a simple fix for them if it is some badly connected earthing. But it could also be a fault with the wiring in your house. It may be worth getting someone qualified to carry out a simple test on the earthing of your home if your replacement mac has the same issue.

    Qualified Electrician
  8. etichi macrumors newbie

    Aug 1, 2012
    How about try another outlet before hauling your computer to the store? unless you have used the same outlet for previous computers.

    -- nevermind. see you tried that..
  9. chrono1081 macrumors 604


    Jan 26, 2008
    Isla Nublar
    Definitely sounds like a grounding issue. I used to run into this all the time overseas and at my parent house. At my apartment however I don't have this issue.

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