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-   -   Power cord question (http://www.diychatroom.com/f18/power-cord-question-42189/)

bucksone 04-10-2009 04:19 PM

Power cord question
 
My daughter was unplugging her laptop's power cord from an outlet in her room. It's a three-prong plug and the center prong broke off and was stuck in the outlet. I was able to remove it safely, but my question is this. Can she continue to use the power cord safely with just the two remaining prongs? She would prefer to not have to buy another power cord because they're kind of pricey and hard to find for her laptop. The laptop company, Tangent, went out of business which is why the cords are hard to find. She plans to replace the laptop itself in a few more months when she graduates from college and becomes gainfully employed. (Aren't I the optimist!) Any feedback will be appreciated.

jbfan 04-10-2009 04:24 PM

It is not safe to continue to use the cord.
I would replace the cord.

Yoyizit 04-10-2009 04:36 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by bucksone (Post 257929)
Can she continue to use the power cord safely with just the two remaining prongs?

She'd have to be grounded, and have an internal short between the [metal] computer case and the hot side of the line for her to get a shock. If there was such a short, the computer would have tripped the breaker.
And if the now-ungrounded computer is plugged into a GFCI outlet it is even safer.

Why not just put a grounded plug on the end of the cord, available from any h/w store?
http://images.orgill.com/200x200/2849271.jpg

When you make the repair, pay attention to what color cord wires go to which prongs (ground, short slot[hot side], long slot[neutral]) of the existing plug so you can duplicate the connections. The conductor colors might be white, black and green.

Scuba_Dave 04-10-2009 05:01 PM

Post a pic of the end plug
Might be a good idea to put a new end on it

The only exposed metal on my laptop is the screws that hold things together

I myself would not be concerned with using it for a few more months

Yoyizit 04-10-2009 05:03 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Scuba_Dave (Post 257941)
I myself would not be concerned with using it for a few more months

And to skip the risk lecture, don't click on the link below:laughing:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zero-risk_bias

Chemist1961 04-10-2009 05:09 PM

Tangent probably was using a generic cord. If it's detachable post a pic of the machine end...if it's just a straight cord or if it's part of a battery charger it may also detach. Send us a pic and drop the model number in if you decide not to replace the plug.

Scuba_Dave 04-10-2009 05:11 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Yoyizit (Post 257942)
And to skip the risk lecture, don't click on the link below:laughing:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zero-risk_bias

I skipped it

wrangler 04-10-2009 08:32 PM

I was going to repond to this, but decided, no. Lets just see where common sense leads to.

Bigplanz 04-10-2009 08:33 PM

Remember that one of the reasons there is a ground prong is to protect the circuitry. Probably not that big of a deal, but I'd just get another cord.

hayewe farm 04-10-2009 08:45 PM

One of the problems with a missing ground on a computer is that the noise filtering built into the computer is no longer effective. Chances of getting shocked is very slim because the 120 vac only goes to a power supply not the body of the computer.

Yoyizit 04-10-2009 09:02 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by hayewe farm (Post 258047)
One of the problems with a missing ground on a computer is that the noise filtering built into the computer is no longer effective.

With no ground, line to line transients should still be suppressed, but these might be in the minority.

InPhase277 04-10-2009 09:07 PM

Come on folks! Let's be realistic. The ground on the plug likely runs to a shield around the power supply circuit board, and no further. I would say that there is ZERO electric shock hazard from this particular lost ground. The ground is likely included to reduce noise generated by the switching power supply. So without, grandma's AM radio is a little buzzy. No one is going to die if some static drowns out Rush Limbaugh.

hayewe farm 04-10-2009 09:15 PM

Component created electrical noise, static, and induced signals are also filtered to ground in a computer. The loss of ground removes that filtering and can lead to data corruption. Line noise is generally taken care of in the power supply. This is the only real problem with lose of ground and definitely not a safety issue for the user.

InPhase277 04-10-2009 09:19 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by hayewe farm (Post 258066)
Component created electrical noise, static, and induced signals are also filtered to ground in a computer. The loss of ground removes that filtering and can lead to data corruption. Line noise is generally taken care of in the power supply. This is the only real problem with lose of ground and definitely not a safety issue for the user.

Right, but a laptop is designed to operate on a battery, with absolutely no connection to ground, so a laptop without a ground is fine. A desktop without a ground is another matter, IMO.

hayewe farm 04-10-2009 09:37 PM

Unless it has in internal power supply which is not used while the battery is in use. If it has an external power supply you may be correct.


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