What happened to my 2015 MBP power cord?!

puggles

macrumors regular
Original poster
Jun 9, 2010
195
24
So the cord on the left is the cable that came with my 2015 15" MBP. I bought the one on the right to use at work which is where my MBP is usually plugged in. I use the cable on the left maybe once a week on the weekends. I was cleaning next to my bed where the cable has been for basically 3 years with barely any use and noticed it was extremely yellow and seems to be bulging. I can't even move the the little cable holder on the end. What could cause this?
 

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Falhófnir

macrumors 68040
Aug 19, 2017
3,748
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the Magsafe cords are notorious for perishing, splitting or disintegrating, particularly towards the ends, so a little discolouration is at least comparatively benign... It's nice the USB C cords can be replaced independently of the power brick!
 
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Painter2002

macrumors 65816
May 9, 2017
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Austin, TX
Is there air pollution where you are?
Do you smoke?
I was literally about to type this question too.

If there is any smoke, air pollution, or even incense/candle smoke in the air in your home where the cord is stored/used the cable will discolor faster. For some reason the cables on Apples power cables seems to absorb body oils and surrounding contaminants in the air really easily and will quickly discolor as a result.
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I wouldn’t use it if it were mine. High chance of it spazzing out and wrecking your MBP. No reason to take any unnecessary risks. Especially with a great machine like the 2015 model
I don’t think it’s an issue in this case. So long as it is a genuine Apple power cord, it’s just the plastic sheath that is discolored and brittle. The cabling and power brick itself should be fine.
 

puggles

macrumors regular
Original poster
Jun 9, 2010
195
24
Is there air pollution where you are?
Do you smoke?

The only air pollution I can think of is I have a couple chinchillas in the same room but I also have a couple air purifiers running 24/7.

Not cigarettes but once in a while I smoke CBD.

So you think it's just discolored and not damaged? The cord seems a lot thicker than the one I use at work.
 

Painter2002

macrumors 65816
May 9, 2017
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Austin, TX
The only air pollution I can think of is I have a couple chinchillas in the same room but I also have a couple air purifiers running 24/7.

Not cigarettes but once in a while I smoke CBD.

So you think it's just discolored and not damaged? The cord seems a lot thicker than the one I use at work.
It is possible that the CBD smoke is causing accelerated discoloring and aging. You’d be surprised, as it may not seem like there is anything in a the air but any kind of smoke contaminants will linger in the air for a while and can affect rubber/plastic products.

In this case though it looks like just discoloration. So long as the internal cabling is not exposed (I.e. the plastic sheath isn’t breaking down and showing the internal metal cords), it is totally fine to keep using the old power cord... it just won’t look as pretty as the new one.
 

theapplehead

macrumors 6502a
Dec 17, 2018
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Chapel Hill, North Carolina
I don’t think it’s an issue in this case. So long as it is a genuine Apple power cord, it’s just the plastic sheath that is discolored and brittle. The cabling and power brick itself should be fine.
You’re probably right, but I’d still feel uncomfortable with it. Then again, I have a friend who’s power cord for his Mac frayed to the point of tearing and he just put some electrical tape on it and he still uses it. So honestly, it probably is fine. I guess I’m just a little paranoid about stuff like that. Lol
 
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AppleHaterLover

macrumors 68000
Jun 15, 2018
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I've seen this happen with literally dozens of 2+ year old Macs using the MagSafe connector. It's normal. Usually this only does not happen when the cable ruptures first (so you throw it away before it has the chance to become all yellow and disgusting).

TBH I think it's related to the same reason why the things are so fragile - Apple does not use a few toxic chemicals to make the wires that other companeis do - so in their quest to save the environment from one, sturdy but toxic at the factory cable, they're creating 4x the e-waste since the cable has to be replaced numerous times throughout the life of the device.
 
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Painter2002

macrumors 65816
May 9, 2017
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Austin, TX
You’re probably right, but I’d still feel uncomfortable with it. Then again, I have a friend who’s power cord for his Mac frayed to the point of tearing and he just put some electrical tape on it and he still uses it. So honestly, it probably is fine. I guess I’m just a little paranoid about stuff like that. Lol
Well I’m the same why to a certain extent. Considering that some of these machines cost more than a mediocre second hand car, your paranoia is well warranted... lol.

My personal policy is this... ONLY Apple chargers for my MacBook (with the exception of the newer quality USB-C docks from caldigit or Anker chargers), and if there is any sign of fraying, or exposed cords I would say you need to replace the cord immediately. Cheap off-brand or damaged power cords should be a no go on a MacBook Pro or any expensive cord.

But in OP’s case it just looks like discoloration, which should be fine.
 
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