How to prevent power adaptors from fraying
It is a well known issue for all notebook computers, but thanks to the
limitations of the technology, power adapters for them are more prone to
fraying and overheating issues. The Mac Mini also has a non-standard
power cord which may also have similar issues. This guide will be
updated as time avails, and if you have further suggestions to add to
this guide, please e-
Careful. Magsafe 2 is NOT the same as Magsafe original. The voltages may be the same, but the port size is
different. Check with Apple support before buying new adapters!
Apple has acknowledged now to some extent how to prevent the problem.
There is an article on the knowledgebase How To 1630
(link to article) which covers the basic steps for preventing issues.
Additional solutions are posted on: Apple
Troubleshooting article 1713.
If you find after following the steps below and above you still have a
AppleCare. If you are out of warranty check the Exchange and
Repair programs to see if Apple has one for your Mac model (a link that helps
identify your Mac model) that is available out of warranty.
of the most common power issues which may look like an issue with the
power brick is actually one with the MacBook
MacBook, iBook, or
Sometimes if you purchase the power
adapter with a credit card the credit card company may have insurance or
a warranty that covers accidents with computer power adapters, or your
home owners insurance might as well, but be careful, as applying to
either such program may limit, increase your insurance costs, or
eliminate your insurance, so ask if using such a plan does or not for
such small claims before actually requesting a claim be processed. If
there isn't any insurance, warranty coverage, or extended repair plan
available, and you are having an issue out of warranty, please send Apple Feedback so they know it
is an issue that these tips can't resolve and consider an extended
repair plan. In addition, for those issues that Apple will not cover
because their warranty doesn't cover user inflicted damage most of the
time, getting notebook insurance such as Safeware is wise. Apple has a tip
article that can be helpful:
Troubleshooting iBook, PowerBook G3 & G4 and
MacBook, MacBook Pro, and MacBook Air power adapters.
(which should only be cleaned when the power adapter is not connected to anything):
I've written some tips that should help prevent such issues from
happening for most people. However, there is no guarantee that this
will help everyone:
1. Never let the power cable bend more than 10
degrees at any of the joints. This 10 degree "rule" is bendable, only
in as much the cable has a natural tendency to bend when loose. Any
more bending than that by anything stronger the metal wire that thin
inside the plastic casing could potentially cause fraying. It is not
the bending of the plastic which determines if it is bent too much, but
how much it is bent within the plastic.
2. Never use the L shaped
ends that pull out of the brick to wrap the cable around.
sure to store the cable in a plastic bag that is clean and impossible to
penetrate if taking it with you outside the house. Debris that gets into
laptop bags can get into the connector and cause it to short.
the 3rd prong adapter cable to plug it in a grounded outlet with three
holes. Do not defeat the purpose of electrical ground.
moving across a room, especially with wet shoes, touch the desk before
touching the computer so that you are electrically grounded and don't
shock the computer.
6. Note the clear plastic shrinkwrap wrapper
that comes on some of the bricks, and remove this if it is there. That
may affect the brick's performance.
7. Never detach by pulling the
cable, and only detach it by pulling it at the end nobs.
the cable before moving the computer! This goes without saying, but many
try to move their computer before unplugging it!
9. Do not leave the
cable in the path where anyone could trip over it, including pets and
Some issues with power supplies which affect the ability of the power
adapter to be seen are detectable by Apple Hardware Test. This test is
found on Intel Macs
on their restore discs, and PowerPC Macs
on their restore disc or a stand alone hardware test CD, except
certain Macs that are G3 and older. If you know which Macs don't have
the hardware test CD or restore hardwre test volume, please e-
mail me. If you should choose to replace the power adapter with a
third party power adpater, read Apple's Intel-Based Apple Portables:
Identifying the right power adapter and power cord--US, PowerPC-Based Apple Portables:
Identifying the right power adapter and power cord--US and use my
article to Identify your Mac as
a guide to be sure you get the correct power adapter. These third party
vendors typically have cheaper power adapters:
Otherworld Computing which sells a variety of third party adapters,
iFixit has power adapters
and a variety of parts for repair of Macs, Macwizards, Fastmac MCE
Electronics, and Madsonline.