9 Replies Latest reply: Jun 12, 2013 4:29 PM by ScottWeckel
ScottWeckel Level 1 (0 points)

If I don't abandon Mac alltogether, I will now have to buy my third power charger. This has reached a level of ridiculousness tha makes me think mac might just not be worth it anymore. At 80.00 dollars a pop, my $1000.00 Macbook is now up to 1240.00.


This computer never leaves the desk, power charger never gets moved. no surges, no spike or outages etc. No damage to the cord on any of the bad chargers.


Any thoughts, or any chance Apple will stand behind an inferior product and replace it.


I like mac and want to continue using then but at what cost??


Thanx for any input.

MacBook, Mac OS X (10.5.2)
  • laundry bleach Level 5 (6,915 points)

    The AC adapters you purchase come with their own one year warranty. I feel sure that Apple will honor that.


    As this seems to be a repeating issue for you, you may want to look at environmental factors, such as the quality of the power supply coming in.

  • ScottWeckel Level 1 (0 points)

    Unfortunately, the warrnty conveniently expires before the chargers do. I do a lot of computer repair and seldom see this kind of problem with other chargers for Sony, HP, Dell etc.


    Having so many computers in the house at any given time, I installed a whole house surge suppressor unit at the service panel. Consequently, i know that i have no problems at the electrical end.


    I have researched this a couple times now and it seems that this is an ongoing problem with Apple laptop chargers.


    I now sit here with a a great computer that is virtually useless to me for the third time.


    I can only hope that God really does take care of poor fools like me.


    Thanx for the responses

  • John Galt Level 8 (45,968 points)

    ScottWeckel wrote:


    Having so many computers in the house at any given time, I installed a whole house surge suppressor unit at the service panel. Consequently, i know that i have no problems at the electrical end.


    Don't be so quick to draw that conclusion. Surge suppressors address only one specific power quality problem.


    Given the large number of switching power supplies that you report having in your home, it is likely that you are suffering from neutral harmonics that will absolutely drive you up a wall trying to resolve. A whole house surge suppressor does exactly nothing to protect against that phenomenon.


    The fact that you have had so many power adapters fail is not normal, and suggests power quality is a likely contributing factor. I use Macs in many different environments and have had the opportunity to observe how they react to varying and unpredictable power, yet I have never experienced a single failure of a genuine Apple power supply, not one. What's interesting is that sometimes a power adapter may become uncomfortably hot for no apparent reason - same Mac, same state of charge, same power adapter, same activity. What changed? Clearly, the delivered power is the only variable, and you should regard your house power with some suspicion. It is difficult to diagnose the presence of neutral harmonics without fairly sophisticated test equipment. Resolving it may involve expensive rewiring, but you may be able to cope by using different branch circuits for your electronic equipment.


    There are few certain cures for solving power quality problems such as this at a reasonable cost, but a true online UPS may be a worthwhile investment for you, given your complaint.

  • Mike Sombrio Level 6 (14,955 points)

    John Galt, I'd not heard of neutral harmonics before, thank you for causing me to do some research!


    ScottWeckel, found an interesting presentation regarding the topic here http://ewh.ieee.org/conf/tdc/eliminating_Harmonic_Neutral_Current_Problems.pdf

  • laundry bleach Level 5 (6,915 points)

    Mike Sombrio wrote:


    John Galt, I'd not heard of neutral harmonics before, thank you for causing me to do some research!

    Agreed, I knew there was more to it than just surge protection but did not know what. Your information provided my education for the day.



  • ScottWeckel Level 1 (0 points)

    Thanks to all who are looking into this for me, much appreciated. I found the harmonics info interesting, tho some of the electrical theory is over my head.


    I do have an APC 350 ups with my mac rig, just an FYI.


    Now for the update, last nite i plugged in the charger again and it lit up and is operating. I did give it 3 days before ( last week when this started) and plugged it in and nothing happened. Unplugged it and gave in an other 4 days, i think, and bada bing, it lit last night and is working ok for the moment.


    Now the issue is, what caused it this time ? (It did not feel hot when it quit working last week). What can i do to prevent it from happening again? Or at least diagnose the root problem.


    As i mentioned there are more than a couple laptops in the home, and no issues with any of those or desktops for that matter.


    thanx again, scott

  • John Galt Level 8 (45,968 points)

    Apple's power adapter may have a self-resetting circuit breaker which would explain the reason it resets itself. What causes it to trip could be an overcurrent condition caused by a number of factors. Excessive heat may be among them.


    The APC 350 is a fine UPS, but bear in mind that it is not running off its batteries constantly. It will switch very quickly in the event power is interrupted, and provides adequate surge protection, but can do nothing to protect against phenomena such as harmonics that could explain your premature and frequent power adapter failures.


    Obviously Apple will honor their warranty but you may benefit from power conditioning provided by a so-called "true online" UPS. They are expensive and overkill for most people but given your circumstances I'd at least familiarize yourself with what they do.


    You may also want to determine if your residential power is a causal factor. I think a competent electrican with the appropriate measurement equipment ought to be able to advise you on that possibility at a reasonable cost. If something is wrong you may have more expensive equipment at risk than an $80 power adapter.


    Power quality was never a concern when the typical residential loads were lights and motors, and home electronics used robust linear power supplies with iron transformers. Everything was a purely resistive load. Just about everything you buy today is far more complicated and delicate, and it's not just computers, printers, TVs, and home theater equipment... it's refrigerators, air conditioners, toasters, and CFLs. Even magnetic ballasts for fluorescent lights have been discontinued in favor of delicate electronic ones that don't last. Add regulatory demands for energy efficiency, and the result is millions of homes filled with nonlinear loads that never existed before.


    The problem is not getting any better, and you may just be on the leading edge of it


  • ScottWeckel Level 1 (0 points)

    thanx for your time and effort on this issue. I will now bide my time while looking into some of the suggestions. Will see how long this holds out.


    thanx again, scott