Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 15 of 22

Thread: Shocking Laptop

  1. #1
    New Lounger
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    Glasgow, Lanarkshire, United Kingdom
    Posts
    22
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts

    Thumbs up

    When I use my laptop in India I get electric shocks and anything connected i.e. my camera becomes live. I use a HP Pavilion laptop. I understand this laptop is double isolated from mains voltage by the Laptop power pack and that only produces 14 volts to charge the Laptop battery so why do I get shocks?
    This does not happen in the UK. The power just has the normal two pin plug top.

    Have a happy and pros porous new year
    Jimmy

  2. #2
    Plutonium Lounger
    Join Date
    Nov 2001
    Posts
    10,550
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 7 Times in 7 Posts
    Quote Originally Posted by jamesjimmystew View Post
    ...
    The power just has the normal two pin plug top.
    ...
    What do you mean by a "normal two pin plug top". The normal plug for use in the UK has 3 pins, so I assume that yours is intended for use in a different country.

  3. #3
    Plutonium Lounger Leif's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2000
    Location
    U.K.
    Posts
    14,010
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
    Quote Originally Posted by jamesjimmystew View Post
    When I use my laptop in India I get electric shocks...
    Have you experienced this in any other country, or is India the only foreign country you have tried it in?

    ...and anything connected i.e. my camera becomes live....
    You do mean 'live' as in connected to the mains, and not just giving you static shocks?

    I understand this laptop is double isolated from mains voltage by the Laptop power pack...
    In practice, any step-down power supply should be isolated from the mains, and the country you use it in should not make any difference. If you use a 3-pin connector to connect to the mains supply, it is common for the 'earth' pin to not be used, and the mains lead will frequently connect to the power pack with a 2-way 'figure-8' plug. If the power pack has a moulded lead, it is possible the earth connects to the power pack for safety purposes, but I think this unlikely if it is double-insulated.

    I would say that if you are getting a mains connection through your power pack, the power pack is faulty and should not be used.

    Can you confirm when you get 'electric shocks', there are no other connections to the laptop? - e.g. network or modem cable?

  4. #4
    New Lounger
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    Glasgow, Lanarkshire, United Kingdom
    Posts
    22
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
    Quote Originally Posted by StuartR View Post
    What do you mean by a "normal two pin plug top". The normal plug for use in the UK has 3 pins, so I assume that yours is intended for use in a different country.
    When I use the Laptop in the UK the plug has 3 pins the earth pin is plastic. The mains cable has a 8 plug for the power pack
    When I use the laptop in India I use a 2 pin plug as used in Europe. The mains cable has a 8 plug for the power pack and I get some electric shock (not lethal )

  5. #5
    New Lounger
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    Glasgow, Lanarkshire, United Kingdom
    Posts
    22
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
    Quote Originally Posted by Leif View Post
    Have you experienced this in any other country, or is India the only foreign country you have tried it in?

    No I only experience this in India the only foreign I use the laptop no Problem in the UK


    You do mean 'live' as in connected to the mains, and not just giving you static shocks?

    It is not static as it is continues if I stand on wood it stops


    In practice, any step-down power supply should be isolated from the mains, and the country you use it in should not make any difference. If you use a 3-pin connector to connect to the mains supply, it is common for the 'earth' pin to not be used, and the mains lead will frequently connect to the power pack with a 2-way 'figure-8' plug. If the power pack has a moulded lead, it is possible the earth connects to the power pack for safety purposes, but I think this unlikely if it is double-insulated.

    I would say that if you are getting a mains connection through your power pack, the power pack is faulty and should not be used.

    Can you confirm when you get 'electric shocks', there are no other connections to the laptop? - e.g. network or modem cable?
    It happens with no other connections to the laptop if I connect my camera it be comes live. I don't think it is mains voltage or I would not be writing this and my laptop & camera have not exploded and work fine her in the UK

  6. #6
    Plutonium Lounger Leif's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2000
    Location
    U.K.
    Posts
    14,010
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
    Quote Originally Posted by jamesjimmystew View Post
    It happens with no other connections to the laptop if I connect my camera it be comes live. I don't think it is mains voltage or I would not be writing this and my laptop & camera have not exploded and work fine her in the UK
    From what you say, I would suspect an insulation breakdown within your power-pack. It makes no sense (to me) that you have the problem only when using a different mains cable.

    I assume it is the camera that is becoming 'live', rather than the laptop? (I'm guessing the laptop is plastic but the camera has a metal case which is electrically connected, possibly as a screen.)

    Unless there is some strange phenomena I can't think of, or you are experiencing very high humidity in India, I strongly urge you to get the power-pack replaced, or at the very least tested. If there is some capacitive breakdown, there may be only a limited current leakage at present (hence you still being around to post!) - but this could deteriorate....

  7. #7
    WS Lounge VIP
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    Earth
    Posts
    8,191
    Thanks
    48
    Thanked 985 Times in 915 Posts
    Any mains leakage can be lethal. You should not risk it, get a new power pack.

    cheers, Paul

  8. #8
    Plutonium Lounger
    Join Date
    Nov 2001
    Posts
    10,550
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 7 Times in 7 Posts
    If a replacement power pack is expensive and you want to check first then ask around in the UK to find someone who does PAT (portable appliance testing). This is a requirement in every organization so it should not be too hard to find someone with the correct testing equipment. They will be able to confirm that the powerpack is faulty.

  9. #9
    New Lounger
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    Glasgow, Lanarkshire, United Kingdom
    Posts
    22
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
    Quote Originally Posted by P T View Post
    Any mains leakage can be lethal. You should not risk it, get a new power pack.

    cheers, Paul
    I don't think the problem is with the power-pack at there is no problem with it in the UK

  10. #10
    New Lounger
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    Glasgow, Lanarkshire, United Kingdom
    Posts
    22
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
    Quote Originally Posted by Leif View Post
    From what you say, I would suspect an insulation breakdown within your power-pack. It makes no sense (to me) that you have the problem only when using a different mains cable.

    I assume it is the camera that is becoming 'live', rather than the laptop? (I'm guessing the laptop is plastic but the camera has a metal case which is electrically connected, possibly as a screen.)

    Unless there is some strange phenomena I can't think of, or you are experiencing very high humidity in India, I strongly urge you to get the power-pack replaced, or at the very least tested. If there is some capacitive breakdown, there may be only a limited current leakage at present (hence you still being around to post!) - but this could deteriorate....
    When used in the UK the mains lead has 3 pins the earth is plastic. When in India I use a two pin European type plug. The mains cable to the Power pack is the normal 8 plug.
    Plastic case is OK but the audio in and out is on the front of the lap top touches bare skin I get a stinging sensation. In the UK with the same Power Pack this does not happen I am sure the Power Pack would test OK in the UK
    In India often the voltage appease to be less than 240 volts at times as tungsten light bulbs light out put turns yellow. However, my Laptop is not affected. The Laptop has no battery.
    I am using the laptop to post this in the UK and no shocks

  11. #11
    New Lounger
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    Glasgow, Lanarkshire, United Kingdom
    Posts
    22
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
    Quote Originally Posted by jamesjimmystew View Post
    When used in the UK the mains lead has 3 pins the earth is plastic. When in India I use a two pin European type plug. The mains cable to the Power pack is the normal 8 plug.
    Plastic case is OK but the audio in and out is on the front of the lap top touches bare skin I get a stinging sensation. In the UK with the same Power Pack this does not happen I am sure the Power Pack would test OK in the UK
    In India often the voltage appease to be less than 240 volts at times as tungsten light bulbs light out put turns yellow. However, my Laptop is not affected. The Laptop has no battery.
    I am using the laptop to post this in the UK and no shocks
    I have just been told by a Indian friend when in India using any computer laptop or Tower "You must wear rubber soled shoes"

    Jimmy

  12. #12
    Plutonium Lounger Leif's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2000
    Location
    U.K.
    Posts
    14,010
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
    Quote Originally Posted by jamesjimmystew View Post
    In India often the voltage appease to be less than 240 volts at times as tungsten light bulbs light out put turns yellow. However, my Laptop is not affected. The Laptop has no battery.
    I am using the laptop to post this in the UK and no shocks
    It is likely that your power-pack is designed for worldwide use and will therefore work from anywhere between 90VAC and 240VAC, hence it not being affected by fluctuations in supply voltage.

    In the UK, you are connecting to Live and Neutral. Neutral is at Earth potential and if the 'fault' is between the DC side and Neutral you should not get any shock (other than static). If the 'fault' is to Live (nominally 230VAC), and the leakage current is low enough, you would not feel anything.

    In India, if neither side is grounded (Earthed), the 'mains' could theoretically be at a very high potential relative to ground and any 'fault' leakage current - even one that may be considered safe in the UK - could cause the 'shocks' you are experiencing.

    I still think it may be worth getting your powerpack safety-checked as Stuart recommended. Additionally, you could use an Residual-current device in line with your mains connection in India.

    ++++++++++++++++++++++

    Quote Originally Posted by jamesjimmystew View Post
    I have just been told by a Indian friend when in India using any computer laptop or Tower "You must wear rubber soled shoes"
    I've just checked with an Indian who works for me and he tells me that domestic wiring in India is notoriously bad and things like this do happen. He also confirmed that the mains may not be tied to ground as it is in the UK. Time to dust off those brothel creepers, methinks....

  13. #13
    WS Lounge VIP
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    Earth
    Posts
    8,191
    Thanks
    48
    Thanked 985 Times in 915 Posts
    The power pack will be double insulated so it doesn't matter how bad the wiring is, you will be OK. As it is OK in the UK I think the PP is OK.
    Does the problem occur when the laptop is plugged into the LAN / Internet?
    Is it OK stand alone?

    cheers, Paul

  14. #14
    New Lounger
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    Glasgow, Lanarkshire, United Kingdom
    Posts
    22
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
    Quote Originally Posted by Leif View Post
    It is likely that your power-pack is designed for worldwide use and will therefore work from anywhere between 90VAC and 240VAC, hence it not being affected by fluctuations in supply voltage.

    In the UK, you are connecting to Live and Neutral. Neutral is at Earth potential and if the 'fault' is between the DC side and Neutral you should not get any shock (other than static). If the 'fault' is to Live (nominally 230VAC), and the leakage current is low enough, you would not feel anything.

    In India, if neither side is grounded (Earthed), the 'mains' could theoretically be at a very high potential relative to ground and any 'fault' leakage current - even one that may be considered safe in the UK - could cause the 'shocks' you are experiencing.

    I still think it may be worth getting your powerpack safety-checked as Stuart recommended. Additionally, you could use an Residual-current device in line with your mains connection in India.

    ++++++++++++++++++++++


    I've just checked with an Indian who works for me and he tells me that domestic wiring in India is notoriously bad and things like this do happen. He also confirmed that the mains may not be tied to ground as it is in the UK. Time to dust off those brothel creepers, methinks....
    I think this the case as you have pointed out "very high potential relative to ground and any 'fault' leakage current" With a RCD I think it would keep tripping Your friend is correct they have a Caviller attitude to power supply. Now where are those brothel creepers
    Thanks Jimmy

  15. #15
    New Lounger
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    Glasgow, Lanarkshire, United Kingdom
    Posts
    22
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
    Quote Originally Posted by P T View Post
    The power pack will be double insulated so it doesn't matter how bad the wiring is, you will be OK. As it is OK in the UK I think the PP is OK.
    Does the problem occur when the laptop is plugged into the LAN / Internet?
    Is it OK stand alone?

    cheers, Paul
    I can not connect direct to the internet with my laptop I have to use internet café's but don't have shocks from there tower PC's However, I have used a tower in a house and it was the same as my laptop little live.

Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •