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Is There A Fix For My Shorted Out Wall Chargers?

2609 Views 37 Replies Latest reply: Feb 27, 2013 7:58 PM by Bandit7 RSS Branched to a new discussion.
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Feb 15, 2013 8:28 PM

Static electricity is extremely common in my house during the winter. I noticed after I touched my ipad while it was plugged in, that following the static shock I received, that my wall charger adapter failed to charge anymore. The cable still functions though. After mistakingly repeated this shock process with 3 other spare wall charger adapters, I now resort to "de-shocking" myself on something metallic first. But, are all those shorted out adapters trash or can they be salvaged somehow?

Wall Charger Adapter
  • Bandit7 Level 1 Level 1 (60 points)

    Are you plugging these power adapters into the same wall outlet every time one of them fails? Or are you plugging those adapters into the same wall outlet using power strips and or extension cords?

     

    I am asking you about this since I have a decent amount of experience dealing with inverters, rechargeable high capacity batteries, building my own stand alone 400 watt solar system, etc..

     

    I just have not heard anything like you are describing happening before. But don't get me wrong, I don't doubt what you wrote, I just know enough about grounding to earth. So I am wondering if there may be another factor involved other then static electricity. First if your body could generate the level of static electricity it seems you do, and you are touching the IPad first, then the Power Adapter would be the last thing to be affected by any static electrical power surge. First would come the IPad, with its many sensitive features.

     

    Then the next gateway would be your apple power and data cable, then it finally goes into your charger, and then into whatever you have the charger plugged in to on your AC Mains Electrical System and house wiring. I would suggest plugging your next adapter into a tested for ground fault wall outlet or into a heavy duty three prong power strip

    with surge protection.

     

    What comes to my mind the most is if this static electric shock is strong enough to blow three or more chargers, how come you haven't blown the antennae circuitry on your IPad first for example. I ask because that is a very sensitive part of any device.

     

    Also what kind of discharge are you feeling? Also does this happen in other rooms that are wired into separate circuit breakers on your Mains Electrical circuit breaker box?

     

    As for your chargers I am afraid to have to tell you that they are fried and cannot be fixed. Even if you found a place to fix them, the repair would be way more then buying new replacements. However, I am very curious about how you can burn the charger but nothing happens to your IPad nor its cable! It's your charger that is the strongest unit of the three.

     

    It would be helpful to me if you could update me once you find the solution.

     

    I would also recommend checking your outlets with a ground fault outlet tester that plugs into each outlet. They are sold on Amazon and are very reasonable. It may be possible that the surge that is burning out your chargers is coming through your house wiring and that the two events that occur seem to be correlated, but then correlation is not causation. Or it could be both of these factors combined.

     

    Here is the name of the outlet ground fault outlet tester. It is called 3-wire Receptacle Tester, made by GE, and it has a model number on front of the package which is 50542. Just copy and paste what I gave you into Amazons search bar.

     

    Cheers!

  • Bandit7 Level 1 Level 1 (60 points)

    Hi, yes, my thoughts on this were that this was being caused on the AC side of your charger (the side going to the wall outlet ) and that it couldn't be happening on the DC side which is the cable connecting your IPad mini to the charger.

     

    So the solution is to definitely move to a more heavy duty extension cord, a three prong cord. I find that whenever I plug my IPad charger into a regular household extension cord the charger gets much hotter then it does when I switch it back to the heavy duty extension cords. Heat issues simply dissipate.

     

    If you think about it in the old example of using a thin garden hose attached to the proverbial outdoor water valve, turning the spigot on to full would result in over pressure through that thinner garden hose, causing the water to either start leaking at the spigot connection, or in the rupture of the hose itself. So to fix that you attach a wider garden hose and now the water under pressure has the extra room in that hose to flow faster without any "blowback"

     

    It's pretty much the same thing here. So all you have to do, is buy a 3 prong heavy duty 9-12 foot extension cord, PLUS

    a heavy duty power strip with (and don't allow yourself to be misled here, as the really cheap power strips claiming they have surge protection are misrepresenting the product) so power strip has to have surge protection as well.

     

    Then it's just an issue of first plugging the power strip into your wall outlet, then the heavy duty extension cord into power strip and then the adapter charger into the heavy duty extension cord that has only one outlet at its end. Make it a dedicated extension line just for your charger.

     

    In other words we are creating that larger garden hose in the example above. This will result in giving your charger and your IPad a much larger flow line capacity and this way touching it would simply result in the surge flowing through the wider pathway and into your household system which has two ground paths built in to it. One is the negative wire behind your walls and the other is a third wire that is also behind your walls. This third wire is present in all coded household electrical systems and it is connected to your mains circuit breaker box and from there it goes to what is termed a ground connection to earth. Which is usually a grounding, thick solid copper rod driven into the ground itself at least 5-7 feet deep and has a connector attachment to it that is connected to that extra ground to earth wire that is coming out of your mains circuit breaker panel.

     

    You have that or some variation of that. And upping to the heavy duty cord plus power strip will give your IPad plus your adaptor that huge larger flow through capacity. The third prong is what will now conduct your static electric charge correctly passing it and patching it right through and into your earth ground circuitry. So no more blown chargers.

     

    Also surge protesters come with models that have 6 feet cords. Here are a couple of links on Amazon that will get you back up and surge protected.

     

    http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000UD4LIY/ref=oh_details_o07_s00_i01?ie=UTF8&p sc=1

    Tripp Lite TLP606B Surge Protector Strip 120V 6 Outlet 6ft Cord 790 Joule Black

     

    http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B003E46M74/ref=oh_details_o02_s01_i02?ie=UTF8&p sc=1

    Stanley 31526 Heavy Duty 6-Foot 125V Extension Cord, Beige

     

    So these are what I use for myself. I perfectly understand using extensions to be able to use your IPad while lying down and relaxing. I do it all the time! I hope this helps. Also lastly though I am sure you know this, make sure the wall outlet has three prong receptacle. The power strip I linked you to has a dedicated ground functioning light built into it, so you can see that your wall receptacle is doing fine. I included the product descriptions in case you don't like Amazon. If you have any other questions just let me know. Cheers!

  • Bandit7 Level 1 Level 1 (60 points)

    I thought I would make one more suggestion. I know you just went through 3 chargers in a row, and that it may seem tempting to buy a cheaper charger then you would get from the Apple Store. But don't use those chargers. They are really not compatible as they claim, and will damage your IPad over time. So once you are set up with the two heavy duty items I sent links to, make sure to order your next charger directly from the Apple Store and make sure it is the right one made specifically for your particular IPad.

     

    I know the Apple Store seems ridiculously expensive, and they are, but you need their charger. So get the original from apple but don't plug it into that regular household extension cord. Use it once you have the strip and heavy duty extension hooked up.

     

    Also it would not be a bad idea to run a few of those heavy duty extensions out of that surge protected strip I recommended. I would run them to your computer if possible, and any other sensitive devices you may have. The IPad needs the heavy duty stuff just for the additional grounding path, and other devices would benefit as well. Just watch your wattage usage. As a basic principle when calculating wattage used from your house wiring there is a short cut to doing it. Watts divided by Volts=amperage. Amperage is also called Current, and the symbol is I.

     

    But you don't need that stuff. The short cut is to just figure every 100 watts is 1 Amp. Just figure for example that every 100 watt light bulb=1 Amp. That's at 115volt household current.

     

    So these power strips and your household outlets are sized to comfortably carry about 7-8 amps. They say they can handle up to 15amps but I always like to be on the cautious side when it comes to electrical power.

     

    An ipad2 charger is 10 watts. A 60 watt light bulb is just a bit more then 1/2 an Amp. A laptop computer is about 40-60 watts so figure it is a bit more then 1/2 amp. I am just giving you some general tips to get you started on comfortably calculating about how much of a power draw you can connect to heavy duty power strips.

     

    And if you are looking at your toaster, the usual wattage is around 1200-1400 watts per hour. So to covert that to amps, it's very simple. Wattage divided by voltage equals amperage. So we round the voltage downwards to 100 volts instead of actual 115 volts, and now you can see quickly that a 1400 watt toaster is about 14 amps. Okay?

  • Bandit7 Level 1 Level 1 (60 points)

    Correction. I misquoted the IPad 2 Charger Specs. I gave you the 10 watt 5 volt specs that are going into the ipad2.

    But from your house line the charger, it is drawing 50-60 watts at 110 volts! So now we see why they get so hot on regular household extension cords. And that's just for the IPad 2.

  • Bandit7 Level 1 Level 1 (60 points)

    Hey, glad to have helped solve your problem. And thanks for your kind remarks. And Yes, you should switch back to the approved actual Apple chargers. I think that using any substitutes will void your warranties.

    Plus since you definitely are pretty tech savvy, and i can come in from the electrical side of this issue ( as you discerned)

    I thought you might find the following of some interest.

    if you knew all of the major differences between well made Apple chargers, and their cheaper substitutes, regarding the actual quality of the converted electric power that they output, you would never use a substitute again.

    There are different levels of purity of the electrical wave form output when it comes to any inverter/charger.

    Con Ed power when hooked up to an oscillator will always be a flowing sine wave. Any major electrical utility company will produce this level of purity.

    This is called a True Sine Wave Power output. You get this type of problem a lot when hooking up stand alone solar power systems.

    People think that all solar Inverters output the same type of quality electricity. But that isn't the case. There are cheaper inverters called modified sine wave inverters. Hooked up to an oscillator they show up as a sawtooth line. With 90 degree angles and short saw tooth like non-wave readings. These substitutes are always included in all cheaper solar system sets.

    And they will corrupt and eventually destroy any and all  of your equipment hooked up to them.

    So for solar systems, you would need to buy only True Sine wave power Inverters. It is the same for chargers. When you buy those non Apple Chargers you wouldn't think to hook up an Apple one or a substitute ones output cable to an oscillator, but if ya did, you would see pretty much the same differences in their outputs as with solar inverters, which is exactly the point that I am trying to convey.

    Since you are definitely Tech Savvy, ( which I am not so versed in ) I figure you would understand this really quickly and hopefully it will help you in the future.

     

    Also if the 12w USB Power Adapter that you mentioned is the one that Apple issues with their Mini IPads, then yes definitely use it. But in electrical terms it is the Voltage that must match up pretty close! That is the most important.

    An IPad like IPhones or any other smartphone or pad, uses industry standard 5 volts. Wattage comes next. While wattage can vary, voltage can't. So you can use the 5 volt 5 watt apple charger even on your mini, it will just take longer to charge it but if they sell it with the 12 watt then use that one too. I usually alternate between the 5 watt and the 10 watt for my IPad 2. It's good for the battery to slow charge it occasionally. Fast charging (above what Apple provides per device) can lead to lower battery functioning and capacity though.

    So I wrote another thorough reply!! I am working on getting them down to size.... One of these days. Cheers!

  • Bandit7 Level 1 Level 1 (60 points)

    That was a really good question! Because I went back online to check out the real life battery capacities of the iPads and they are different then Apples listed capacity. Apple only lists capacity in Watt Hours. So I have to translate that into Amp Hours.

     

    The Apple IPads operating voltages are about 3.8 volts. I thought it was a bit more. The power cubes are 5 volts but then the charger's voltage must always be a bit higher then the batteries voltage in order for the power to flow into the battery. but the 3.8 usage number, that's what I found out at several really good sites. Apple never states this.

     

    The rest is technical if you want to know how to convert WH to capacity you divide WH (watt hours) by voltage. So knowing the right voltage is important for me.

     

    So now I have revised my own apple battery capacities so that they are much more accurate. So thanks for asking that question!

     

    So Do Not use a 12 watt charger on your Mini IPad! You will severely burn out the battery. It has about 4400Mah or 4.4AH of capacity. The IPad2 has about 6800Mah or 6.8AH of capacity. For comparison sake the IPhones have about 1420mah

    Or 1.4AH in capacity.

     

    The IPad 2 comes with a 10 watt 5 volt charger and your mini IPad battery is about one third smaller then an IPad 2 battery. It is about 3 times larger then an iPhone battery which comes with a 5watt and 5 volt charger.

     

    There is no in between chargers. So I would stay with the 5 watt charger as your mostly used charger and pick up at maximum, a ten watt apple charger for when you are using the Mini and you also don't have a lot of time to charge it slowly. But I would limit using that 10 watt charger to only 1 out of every 5 charges. Maybe 1 out of every 3 charges. But only use it while you are running the mini, and charging at the same time. AND its really not a good idea to plug a 10 watt charger into the mini for overnight charging. While its off. It's too powerful at 10 watts. Hope this helps.

     

    Anyway

     

    Here is a link to Apples Spec Page on the Mini

     

    http://www.apple.com/ipad-mini/specs/

     

    And here is the link to the IPad 2 Specs

     

    http://www.apple.com/ipad/ipad-2/specs.html

     

    http://www.ifixit.com/Teardown/iPad+2+Wi-Fi+Teardown/5071/1

     

    The last link is very interesting. They tear down an IPad 2 piece by piece.

     

    Cheers!

  • crh24 Level 3 Level 3 (920 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Feb 21, 2013 12:52 AM (in response to Bandit7)

    Bandit7 wrote:

     

    <...>

     

    So Do Not use a 12 watt charger on your Mini IPad! You will severely burn out the battery. It has about 4400Mah or 4.4AH of capacity. The IPad2 has about 6800Mah or 6.8AH of capacity. For comparison sake the IPhones have about 1420mah

    Or 1.4AH in capacity.

    <...>

    Please don't post information that is a pure guess on your part. Your paragraph above is about as incorrect as it can possibly get.

    Bandit7 wrote:

     

    <...>

    There is no in between chargers. So I would stay with the 5 watt charger as your mostly used charger and pick up at maximum, a ten watt apple charger for when you are using the Mini and you also don't have a lot of time to charge it slowly. But I would limit using that 10 watt charger to only 1 out of every 5 charges. Maybe 1 out of every 3 charges. But only use it while you are running the mini, and charging at the same time. AND its really not a good idea to plug a 10 watt charger into the mini for overnight charging. While its off. It's too powerful at 10 watts. Hope this helps.

    <...>

    As is this one.  There is absolutely no reason to charge in the manner you describe above.  Using the 12 W charger on your iOS device, no matter which one it is, will in no way harm the device.  Period.

     

    The only thing the ampere rating of the battery affects is the charge time. The current draw from the charger is determined by the device up to the point where the device asks for more current than the charger can provide.  The maximum current draw available to the device is determined by the charger.  This means that using the 5W charger on an iPad (except for the mini) will result in a much longer charge time, but, as long as the 'off' current requirements of the device is less than the current available from the charger the device will charge when 'off'.  It may not charge when 'on'--it depends upon the iOS device and it's 'on' current requirements.

     

    Plugging the 12W charger into an iPhone, iPad 1 or 2 or 3 or 4, mini-iPad will in no way harm the device unless the charger is defective.

     

    If you look at the compatibility list for the 12W charger you will find that it is compatible with virtually all iOS devices.

    iPhone 5, iOS 6, iPad '4' 64GB AT&T (2), iPad 2
  • Bandit7 Level 1 Level 1 (60 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Feb 21, 2013 3:03 PM (in response to crh24)

    While I do appreciate and welcome any feedback, I do not agree with you. Nor do I think that I am "guessing" when it comes to AH Capacity and using the appropriate powered charger. There is a direct relationship between size of battery and its optimal rate of charge.

    It is very important to take the battery capacity into account when charging it up with higher wattage chargers. This is called rapid charging, am I correct?

     

    If you google effects of rapid charging in lithium polymer rechargable batteries, you will find many articles written about how repeated rapid charging of any battery will reduce that batteries life span and also drastically reduce the number of times that it can be cycled.

     

    The recommended charge rate for these batteries is anywhere from .2C to .3C where C equals batteries Capacity as rated in AH, or Mah. So i am going to stand by everything that I have written before. I have a good number of years of working knowledge that I go by. I never make a statement unless I am sure of it, and to be sure of it, means I have researched it first hand. Some people will say that charging upto .5C is safe for these batteries but there are many more who go by that .3C per hour rate. So any battery being charged at .3C will be fully charged in 3&amp;1/2 hours. Unless it is in use during charging. Assume the IPad Mini has 4AH capacity. That is 4,000Mah. Charging it at optimal .25C would require 1 amp per hour for four hours. So that would be the 5 watt power cube. Using a 10'watt charger would give a full charge of 2 amps per hour in two hours. That is written as .5C. Some people don't mind the long term negative  effects this will result in. Other people are more conservative. Considering there is a new IDevice cycle of one every 6 months,

     

    Anyway, reading what you wrote carefully I see that what you are writing must also include some version of the corollary statement of what you wrote along the lines of "each IDevice must and does have a highly sophisticated and semi intelligent computer subsystem which must have capabilities that would require enough "smart" circuitry that would and must be capable of not only continuously monitoring the devices internal battery's constant SOC but would also postulate this computer system having power input control filters, input monster filters as well as delta V termination of charge abilities, and computational prowess at making these "power draw" micro second decisions while also being able to not only include the power or load drains of an actively used while charged IDevice. Am I correct?

     

    Such sophisticated systems are most likely not included in most if not all of Apples IDevices. I personally ( and this is just my opinion ) do not think that this technical capacity exists yet. I would not trust any of my own IDevices to turn

    "Off" charging at any time they are connected to a charger. In fact Apple itself warns NOT to leave IPhones plugged into chargers all night as that will result in overcharging the battery's! It certainly overcharges my Iphone4 and my IPhone 4S. And the battery life drops for the next few days until I just keep it topped off which seems to negate the ill effects of overcharging.

     

    Cheers.

  • Bandit7 Level 1 Level 1 (60 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Feb 21, 2013 4:11 PM (in response to Bandit7)

    I wanted to add that in your reference to Apples Compatibility List you may have confused compatibility with capacity.

    If you google Compatibility in the context that Apple is using this word, you will find out that in the context of the link you sent me Compatibility=Voltage.. Not wattage. Yes all of Apples IDevices are compatible with each others chargers as they all use the 5 volt system.

     

    But if you imagine an airfield with two dozen different jets parked all in a row, the attendant might say "yes, all of these jets are compatible" meaning that all of these jets will all use the exact same grade of aviation fuel. But just as you would not simply say thank you, and jump into one of the jets and simply take off satisfied that your jet runs on the exact same grade of aviation fuel as the remaining parked jets do too, you would definitely be very sure to ask that jet parking attendant the following question. "Okay so my jet is compatible with all of these other jets, they all run on the exact same fuel, but just how large are the gas tanks on each one? especially mine!!"  -:)

     

    Apple is simply referring to Voltage Compatibility here. In lithium polymer batteries after voltage compatibility is established, it becomes a case of, "Size Really Does Matter!"

  • crh24 Level 3 Level 3 (920 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Feb 21, 2013 10:47 PM (in response to Bandit7)

    Bandit7 wrote:

     

    I wanted to add that in your reference to Apples Compatibility List you may have confused compatibility with capacity.

    <...>

     

    When Apple says it is compatible it means it will work equally well with any of the iOS devices listed.  It is you who have the compatibility definition wrong.

     

    While some devices can be 'fast charged' by using a different charger that does not apply to any of the iOS devices using Apple chargers that are compatible with the device.  The iOS devices do not charge faster by using a charger with a higher current capacity unless the lower rated charger doesn't meet the minimum requirements of the device. 

     

    Using a 5W charger on an iPad will charge the device slower than a 10 or 12 W charger because it does not meet the minimum required charging current of the iPad.  An iPhone will not charge any faster with an Apple 10 W or 12 W charger than it will with the Apple 5 W charger.  The 5 W charger has a current capacity high enough to provide the maximum current the iPhone utilizes.  The amount of current drawn from a 10 W or 12 W Apple charger when plugged into an iPhone is exactly the same as that drawn from a 5 W charger.  Using the 10 or 12 W charger on an iPhone will definitely not 'fast charge' it.

     

    The only reason to use a 5W charger is lower cost and smaller size.  If lower cost and smaller size is not an issue get the 12 W charger.

    late-2012 27&quot; i7 iMac, 32GB, 3TB Fu, OS X Mountain Lion, iPad '4'; ATV3; mid 2012 MBA;
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