Electric shocks when using laptop while being charged

labadcloyd

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Dec 5, 2020
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everytime i use my laptop while charging I always get these very mild but noticeable electric shocks. I noticed that if my feet don't touch the ground it goes away but as soon as I drop them it comes right back. My charger uses a 3 prong outlet and in the Philippines, we only use 2 prongs, so I had to use a universal adapter because the laptop came from the US. I noticed this one tiny metal thing sticking out of the universal adapter and when I touch it at the same time touching my laptop, the electric shocks disappear. Is this because of grounding or is my charger just faulty? may I know if this would damage my laptop?
 
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That tiny "Metal Thing" is a way that you discharge your static electricity when you touched it.
If you feet doesn't touch the ground it's possible that you are taking in the static electricity and discharging it normally into the air through your skin.
This is because your charger was meant for another country that has a higher default voltage and so using a bad universal adapter will still carry the high voltage as "shocks".
Since your laptop is taking in higher than standard voltage, it needs a place to put it all, so it electrifies the metal casing of your laptop. This is why when you touch it, and your feet are on the ground, it shocks you a tiny bit from the extra electricity.
This wouldn't damage your laptop directly, since it's not broken yet, but it will reduce its lifespan. I suggest getting a proper charger for your country's voltage or just dealing with the small shocks, your laptop will still function normally.
 

labadcloyd

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Dec 5, 2020
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That tiny "Metal Thing" is a way that you discharge your static electricity when you touched it.
If you feet doesn't touch the ground it's possible that you are taking in the static electricity and discharging it normally into the air through your skin.
This is because your charger was meant for another country that has a higher default voltage and so using a bad universal adapter will still carry the high voltage as "shocks".
Since your laptop is taking in higher than standard voltage, it needs a place to put it all, so it electrifies the metal casing of your laptop. This is why when you touch it, and your feet are on the ground, it shocks you a tiny bit from the extra electricity.
This wouldn't damage your laptop directly, since it's not broken yet, but it will reduce its lifespan. I suggest getting a proper charger for your country's voltage or just dealing with the small shocks, your laptop will still function normally.
thank you for your reply, I just want to know by what margin does it lower the lifespan? is it a huge margin? or a low one?
 
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It depends on the shock and on the model of laptop, if it's a tiny spark then it's not much to worry about. However if it is one that you flinch then you might need to consider getting the proper charger for your country because the more powerful the shock is the higher chance your computer might break every charge.

It's impossible to give an accurate estimate but I will roughly guess a 3 month cut for a small spark but around a year's cut if it is a decent sized shock.
 

labadcloyd

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It depends on the shock and on the model of laptop, if it's a tiny spark then it's not much to worry about. However if it is one that you flinch then you might need to consider getting the proper charger for your country because the more powerful the shock is the higher chance your computer might break every charge.

It's impossible to give an accurate estimate but I will roughly guess a 3 month cut for a small spark but around a year's cut if it is a decent sized shock.
thank you for the reply again, I just noticed that if my laptop is charged but not turned on it doesn't give me shocks when my feet touch the ground, does that mean anything?
 

Gr3iz

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Hello and welcome to TSG!!

First of all, what I've found online indicates that the Philippines does, indeed, use a 3-prong, grounded circuit. At least that is what the NEC (National Electrical Code) specifies. The same is true here in the States. However, older construction which preceded the code is grandfathered in, so that you may still have 2-prong outlets in older houses. Any new work or additions will need to be up to code, however.

That said, hopefully the electrical boxes (that the outlets are mounted in) should still be grounded. That little metal piece on the adapter is the grounding lug. You should use the screw that holds the outlet in the box to ground that tab. Like this:
1607311022656.png

It should not be damaging your laptop, but it is not a safe situation. If the screw is, in fact, grounded, that should eliminate your shocks. If not, there may be something wrong with the laptop.

Alternatively, you may be able to find a power supply in your country for your laptop, one that uses a 2-prong AC power plug.

I don't know where TET333 was getting his/her information, but it is not true.
 

labadcloyd

Thread Starter
Joined
Dec 5, 2020
Messages
8
Hello and welcome to TSG!!

First of all, what I've found online indicates that the Philippines does, indeed, use a 3-prong, grounded circuit. At least that is what the NEC (National Electrical Code) specifies. The same is true here in the States. However, older construction which preceded the code is grandfathered in, so that you may still have 2-prong outlets in older houses. Any new work or additions will need to be up to code, however.

That said, hopefully the electrical boxes (that the outlets are mounted in) should still be grounded. That little metal piece on the adapter is the grounding lug. You should use the screw that holds the outlet in the box to ground that tab. Like this:
View attachment 283092

It should not be damaging your laptop, but it is not a safe situation. If the screw is, in fact, grounded, that should eliminate your shocks. If not, there may be something wrong with the laptop.

Alternatively, you may be able to find a power supply in your country for your laptop, one that uses a 2-prong AC power plug.

I don't know where TET333 was getting his/her information, but it is not true.
whoa okay thank you so much! Hope that it will work
 

Gr3iz

Mark
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Good luck and keep us posted.
 

labadcloyd

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Good luck and keep us posted.
Hello!
An update on my situation: I recently bought a type c charger and when I plugged it in, it still gave me electric shocks but this time not as obvious as before. its the same plug outlet where I plugged my ac charger before. Should I be worried about my laptop's lifespan?
 

Gr3iz

Mark
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Can you try another outlet, preferably on a different circuit?
 

plodr

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You should be worried about destroying anything you plug into an outlet that is NOT properly grounded.
 

managed

Allan
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Is it always when using the laptop or do you ever get similar shocks by just touching something metallic, like a metal doorknob ?
 

labadcloyd

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Dec 5, 2020
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Is it always when using the laptop or do you ever get similar shocks by just touching something metallic, like a metal doorknob ?
no it only happens on my laptop when I'm using it while its being charged
 

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