Thunderbolt port sparks?

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by joevaughan26, Aug 24, 2014.

  1. joevaughan26 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Aug 24, 2014
    #1
    hi, i recent brought a macbook air 11inch 2014 about 4 days ago. i had a third party thunderbolt to hdmi cable laying about so i decided to hook it up to my 24inch monitor. but... when i plug the thunderbolt to hdmi cable into the thunderbolt port on my macbook air it makes green sparks???.

    could anyone please tell me why this happens and if there is something wrong with my macbook or the cable?




    many thanks...
     
  2. joevaughan26 thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Aug 24, 2014
  3. DeltaMac macrumors 604

    DeltaMac

    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2003
    Location:
    Delaware
    #3
    A spark can happen when there is a difference in electrical potential between the two devices.
    I can't say one way or another if you should be concerned about it.
    Call AppleCare, or talk to an Apple "Genius", whatever is more convenient for you.
    Also, you have a 14-day window to return your MBAir, and you don't really need a reason to return it.
     
  4. joevaughan26 thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Aug 24, 2014
    #4
    Okay Thankyou for your reply :). So it's nothing really to worry about?
     
  5. DeltaMac macrumors 604

    DeltaMac

    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2003
    Location:
    Delaware
    #5
    No, I did not say that you should NOT be concerned - I DID say that you should ask Apple if you are concerned about that. Let Apple decide, not someone here who hasn't seen your problem.
     
  6. ApfelKuchen macrumors 68020

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    Aug 28, 2012
    Location:
    Between the coasts
    #6
    It could be something to worry about. A "difference of potential" can mean that there's an issue with one device being improperly grounded. It may be harmless under most circumstances - maybe just a couple of volts, but no assurance there, because it could be indicative of a larger issue (a mis-wired wall outlet, using a 3-prong to 2-prong adapter incorrectly, etc.). There could be a lethal shock hazard (or not), depending on the nature of the fault.

    There could also be a fault in the cable. That's the easiest thing to check, as all you have to do is get your hands on another cable.

    Arcing is not a good thing. Even if no other harm is done, it can gradually erode the electrical contacts involved. That can get expensive down the road.

    I'd check to see if a different cable
     
  7. abbeybound macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2014
    #7
    The macbook air is by default not grounded. I would try hooking it up while the air is on battery power, and see if the light show stops.

    The power supply is only grounded when the high voltage extension cable is snapped in, not just the 2 prong adapter.
     
  8. joevaughan26 thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Aug 24, 2014
    #8
    hi, thanks for your reply :) , i tried hooking it up on battery power and theres no sparks! but when i have my macbook on charge using just the normal lead and not the extension cable and also the uk 3 pin adapter there is sparks. so is there ment to be a few sparks when charging because the battery is grounded? and also would i have to worry about it catching fire or something?


    many thanks....
     
  9. Newtons Apple Suspended

    Newtons Apple

    Joined:
    Mar 12, 2014
    Location:
    Jacksonville, Florida
    #9
    Sounds like it only happens while on AC. If you have any doubt, I would take it to the Apple store and see what they think. They will not like the extension cable.
     
  10. joevaughan26 thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Aug 24, 2014
  11. abbeybound macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2014
    #11
    By extension cable I mean the grounded Apple provided snap in extension. The one that many people never use.

    Personally, I would not be worried about it. There seems to be a simple grounding differential fault, most likely in the monitor. There is a slight chance of possible implications, but you ought to be fine. Don't play with your thunderbolt cables while pumping gas.
     
  12. joevaughan26 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Aug 24, 2014
    #12
    okay thankyou for your reply, ill just leave it for now then.
     

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