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Thai man dies after alleged electrocution from charging iPhone 4S - Page 2

post #41 of 71
Quote:
Originally Posted by carmelapple View Post

I learned a lesson about cheap knock-off chargers/cables...nothing terrible happened to me, but my friend bought a 10' charging cable for his iPad for mere cents off eBay from China. A month after getting it, one night he smelled smoke and then saw the cable shoot a few sparks and burn out at the 30-pin connector. Thankfully the iPad is ok and the cable replaced with a much shorter genuine Apple cable.

He bought it so he could charge his iPad and watch movies at the same time in bed and the nearest outlet to his bed was too far for the standard length Apple cable. He'll just have to charge it to full and watch movies unplugged from now on.

Or your friend could buy a $5 extension cord. Good lord.

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post #42 of 71
Quote:
Originally Posted by DavidW View Post
 

What i find fascinating is that a USB cable that was designed to deliver 5V and maybe 1A was able to survive intact the voltage (up to 220V) and amperage that was enough to kill  man. One would think there would be signs of overheating, even if the deadly voltage/amperage was brief. 

 

The USB cable is fake too.

post #43 of 71
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Originally Posted by SpamSandwich View Post


How about your proofreader?

Yes, I suppose Safari needs a Grammah app update.

post #44 of 71
Quote:
Originally Posted by SpamSandwich View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by carmelapple View Post

I learned a lesson about cheap knock-off chargers/cables...nothing terrible happened to me, but my friend bought a 10' charging cable for his iPad for mere cents off eBay from China. A month after getting it, one night he smelled smoke and then saw the cable shoot a few sparks and burn out at the 30-pin connector. Thankfully the iPad is ok and the cable replaced with a much shorter genuine Apple cable.

He bought it so he could charge his iPad and watch movies at the same time in bed and the nearest outlet to his bed was too far for the standard length Apple cable. He'll just have to charge it to full and watch movies unplugged from now on.

Or your friend could buy a $5 extension cord. Good lord.

Indeed; that was stupidity to the max.
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post #45 of 71
Quote:
Originally Posted by lkrupp View Post
 

Is this article a reprint or did an AI staffer write it? Because if it was written by an AI staffer they should be let go. The first sentence is misleading and could have been written by Samsung itself.

 

Another iPhone electrocution...” should have been “Another third party charger electrocution...” The iPhone, assuming it was indeed being charged by a knock-off charger, didn’t electrocute anyone. The charger did. Does Apple have to suffer at the hands of so-called friendly blog sites too?

I'm not sure that's correct.   Looking at the burns on the iPhone, it seems to me that while the third-party charger was the source of the problem, the metal on the iPhone becoming live probably caused the electrocution.    Maybe Apple should start including a fuse into the power jack so it will blow before high current is passed.    And even with a third-party defective charger, how did the case become live?   Does one of the power pins on the Lightning connector attach to the case?    Did the third-party charger pass AC instead of DC because of a rectifier failure?    What is it that drew all the current?

 

And I also am bothered by the fact that Apple's power chargers don't have a third pin.    It's not like it's a smaller power plug - the big square thing could certainly have easily included the third pin.   Of course that wouldn't have made a difference in a country that doesn't use the third pin grounding or someone who is using a third-party adapter.     Also, why are so many people using third party adapters if one is included with every phone?     And as much as I hate legal disclaimers, I think Apple's got to place a big sticker right on the phone that says (in an appropriate language) "USE OF THIS DEVICE WITH UNAUTHORIZED THIRD PARTY POWER ADAPTERS MAY RESULT IN ELECTROCUTION".  

post #46 of 71
Quote:
Originally Posted by zoetmb View Post
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by lkrupp View Post
 

Is this article a reprint or did an AI staffer write it? Because if it was written by an AI staffer they should be let go. The first sentence is misleading and could have been written by Samsung itself.

 

Another iPhone electrocution...” should have been “Another third party charger electrocution...” The iPhone, assuming it was indeed being charged by a knock-off charger, didn’t electrocute anyone. The charger did. Does Apple have to suffer at the hands of so-called friendly blog sites too?

I'm not sure that's correct.   Looking at the burns on the iPhone, it seems to me that while the third-party charger was the source of the problem, the metal on the iPhone becoming live probably caused the electrocution.    Maybe Apple should start including a fuse into the power jack so it will blow before high current is passed.    And even with a third-party defective charger, how did the case become live?   Does one of the power pins on the Lightning connector attach to the case?    Did the third-party charger pass AC instead of DC because of a rectifier failure?    What is it that drew all the current?

 

And I also am bothered by the fact that Apple's power chargers don't have a third pin.    It's not like it's a smaller power plug - the big square thing could certainly have easily included the third pin.   Of course that wouldn't have made a difference in a country that doesn't use the third pin grounding or someone who is using a third-party adapter.     Also, why are so many people using third party adapters if one is included with every phone?     And as much as I hate legal disclaimers, I think Apple's got to place a big sticker right on the phone that says (in an appropriate language) "USE OF THIS DEVICE WITH UNAUTHORIZED THIRD PARTY POWER ADAPTERS MAY RESULT IN ELECTROCUTION".  

 

It does look like the iPhone case went mains high, but including a fuse in the charging circuit probably wouldn't help much, since the design-mode charging current is already much higher than the threshold current for fatality.

 

As for how the case went high - that's probably due to component breakdown in the phone when the charging circuit saw 220 V AC rather than a few volts DC.

 

If that is what happened, then it's probably because the switching transistor in the charger failed short circuit and passed the full supply voltage to the output.

 

I think there are several reasons for not including a ground pin. Firstly - notice that the Apple laptop power supplies are two-pin if used via the integral plug, and three-pin if the power cord is used - probably a compromise to allow their use with two-pin outlets. The iPhone chargers don't come with power cords, so they just have the regular two-pin plug.  Secondly, ground pins are primarily designed to protect users from a fault mode that takes the conductive casing of a device live, which is why most non-metallic appliances don't have them. Since the charger is non-metallic, and only intended to provide a low-voltage output, a ground pin is not required.

post #47 of 71
Quote:
Originally Posted by monstrosity View Post

I bought a fake Thai charger by mistake last time I was in the country. Totally had me fooled....until it started falling apart 1 month later. The Power cord perished at a rapid rate with the outer insulator literally crumbling away in front of my eyes.

It was probably made in China.

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post #48 of 71
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Originally Posted by Suddenly Newton View Post


It was probably made in China.

 

It could've been China, Thailand, Vietnam, India... any number of places.

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post #49 of 71

The father believes his son may have been talking or lying on the iPhone while it was charging, ....

 

Talking .... ok I understand that .... but why he was lying on his iPhone while charging?!?!

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post #50 of 71
Quote:
Originally Posted by Disturbia View Post
 

The father believes his son may have been talking or lying on the iPhone while it was charging, ....

 

Talking .... ok I understand that .... but why he was lying on his iPhone while charging?!?!

 

It's quite possible (and I'm speculating without any verifiable evidence whatsoever) that he was sitting or laying on the floor, was shocked, then fell on top of the iPhone.

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post #51 of 71
Quote:
Originally Posted by MalcolmTucker View Post
 

 

Great point,  But likely he was holding it improperly.  That said, however...  I wonder if the 4S has the same PMIC chip as the 3G/3GS did.  My 3GS had spilled coffee on it.  Three weeks later, the Power Management Chip shorted out, and the battery fully discharged within 5 minutes.  I replaced the battery with a full one, and quickly synced it to get my photos and data off the bad phone.

 

I think there's something funky with the PMIC chips Apple manufactures.  Again, this happened three weeks after coffee was spilled on it.

 

I wonder how many phone batteries you'd have to link together to get enough voltage and amperage to kill a person by electrocution?

 

At a guess, I'd say it would be more than one.

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post #52 of 71
Quote:
Originally Posted by SpamSandwich View Post


Or your friend could buy a $5 extension cord. Good lord.

 

Obviously this friend would have to get out of bed to turn the light off, having nowhere to plug a bedside lamp in.

 

Maybe a power board and extension lead would make a good Xmas present for such a friend.

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post #53 of 71
Quote:
Originally Posted by DavidW View Post

What i find fascinating is that a USB cable that was designed to deliver 5V and maybe 1A was able to survive intact the voltage (up to 220V) and amperage that was enough to kill  man. One would think there would be signs of overheating, even if the deadly voltage/amperage was brief. 

1 amp doesn’t sound like much but it is. You can have 100 gallons of water (high voltage) come out of a pipe at a slow rate (low amps, milli amps) or 20 gallons of water (low voltage) come out of the same pipe at a very fast rate (high amps, 1), which would most likely be deadly?
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post #54 of 71
Quote:
Originally Posted by SpamSandwich View Post


But where did you buy it and how much did you pay? Was it at an authorized reseller or from some random street vendor?

I paid standard prices (Same as if I had bought in Apple store) in a shop which certainly gave the impression of being an authorised dealer in Pantip Plaza Bangkok.

post #55 of 71
Quote:
Originally Posted by monstrosity View Post

I paid standard prices (Same as if I had bought in Apple store) in a shop which certainly gave the impression of being an authorised dealer in Pantip Plaza Bangkok.

Yes, that is a problem.

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post #56 of 71

This is an "shocking" article! LOL!

post #57 of 71
Quote:
Originally Posted by Harry Wild View Post
 

This is an "shocking" article! LOL!

Someone died. I don't see how that's funny.

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post #58 of 71
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Originally Posted by ibrahim cohen View Post

Someone died. I don't see how that's funny.

It isn't funny.

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post #59 of 71
All one has to do is to touch the 2 plug prongs when plugging or unplugging any plug. This can be done with a lamp, a printer, a phone, any type of device. Don't believe it, then touch the two (2) prongs with your fingers when carelessly plugging / unplugging a device. Don't believe this, then plug a pair of eyebrow tweezers into a wall outlet and see what happens. I know. As a kid, I did this and it burned the ends off of the metal tweezers & knocked me down. There is no law against being stupid; this I know for certain. Only a few microamps thru the heart will kill someone. Note the heart shock paddles deliver only a small amount to start the heart. Want to stop yours, then don't stand clear when the paddles are energized.
post #60 of 71
Quote:
Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post

For instance, how does their AC power differ from other countries? How do their plug designs differ? Is it inherently more or less dangerous? IOW, do any of these a factors increase the odds of injury in a way that would not occur in another country even if using the same wall charger?

I thought most countries outside North America use 220-240VAC. More kick for the mule.

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post #61 of 71
Quote:
Originally Posted by GTBuzz View Post

All one has to do is to touch the 2 plug prongs when plugging or unplugging any plug. This can be done with a lamp, a printer, a phone, any type of device. Don't believe it, then touch the two (2) prongs with your fingers when carelessly plugging / unplugging a device. Don't believe this, then plug a pair of eyebrow tweezers into a wall outlet and see what happens. I know. As a kid, I did this and it burned the ends off of the metal tweezers & knocked me down. There is no law against being stupid; this I know for certain. Only a few microamps thru the heart will kill someone. Note the heart shock paddles deliver only a small amount to start the heart. Want to stop yours, then don't stand clear when the paddles are energized.

 

Here the ends of the pins, where they join the plug are insulated with plastic, meaning it is virtually impossible to touch the live part of the pin, it's called a safety standard, some countries have and enforce them.

 

Thailand is obviously less strict when it comes to protecting it's citizens.

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post #62 of 71
Unprotected & protected plugs in Thailand:

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post #63 of 71
Quote:
Originally Posted by dasanman69 View Post


1 amp doesn’t sound like much but it is. You can have 100 gallons of water (high voltage) come out of a pipe at a slow rate (low amps, milli amps) or 20 gallons of water (low voltage) come out of the same pipe at a very fast rate (high amps, 1), which would most likely be deadly?

I understand that it's amperage that kills and it doesn't take a lot of it to kill. But voltage does matter. 1 amp at 5V will not kill you. Otherwise there would be more people being electrocuted by the mishandling of the end of a USB cable that is plugged into a 5V USB power source. But as little as .1 amp at 110V will. Voltage is not volume, it's pressure. 100 gallons of water (Amps) coming out at 100 PSI (high voltage) is more deadly than 100 gallons of water (Amps) coming out at 1 PSI (low voltage). And if the water pipe (wire) can't handle the pressure, it burst.

 

At least two things had to fail in this charger for someone to get electrocuted. The first is that part of the rectrifier circuit fails and sends 220 VAC into the 5V line. The second is that the device that limits the amperage at 1A at 5V failed. This device, be it a fuse, fusable link or some sort of thermister circuit that shunts the voltage away from the 5V line, all works off Wattage. (Volts X Amps) In other words, when too much heat builds up, the voltage is cut off. The voltage cut off limit should be around 5W. (5V X 1A) If 200V when through, then this device should have cut off the voltage at around .025A (25 milliamps) That's because 200V X .025A = 5W. And the voltage should have been cut off instantly as the person was lying on a cement ground, no shirt and most likely wet from sweat because he was essentially ground for the current. In other words, almost a short.

 

Now if this device failed, then the USB cable should have shown signs of damage as the current wasn't going to stop just because the person may have already been dead with the first few 10ths of an amp. If he was on top of the iPhone, then the current should have continued until the USB cable melted or some other plastic parts of the charger. Even at 1 amp at 200V, that's 200W. So if this device failed or wasn't present at all, then the USB cable (or other plastic parts) should show signs of damage. Now if this device was present and didn't fail, then the cable would still be intact, but the person mostly likely would have ended up with a bad shock as only about 25 milliamp got through for what should have been a very, very brief time.  But for sure, lying on a cement floor, no shirt, sweaty, clutching the phone (and most likely in his left hand) and having voltage up to 220VAC , when the charger failed, didn't help in this case.

 

Another way this charger can fail is that some how 220VAC is sent through the negative (ground) line.(-5V) This would bypass the fuse (or other current limiting device) as most fuses are only on the positive line.(+5V). In this case the outside metal covering the pins of a USB connector is becomes hot. Which means the metal on the outside of the iPhone 4s is now hot when it's connected by the 30 pin Apple connector because the metal shield covering it's pins is now hot. (I don't think the lightning connector has a metal shield around it.) But the amount of current (amps) that will pass through in this case would have surely melted the charger or cable and the most likely parts of the iPhone itself, in a very short time.  

post #64 of 71
Quote:
Originally Posted by hill60 View Post
 

 

Here the ends of the pins, where they join the plug are insulated with plastic, meaning it is virtually impossible to touch the live part of the pin, it's called a safety standard, some countries have and enforce them.

 

Thailand is obviously less strict when it comes to protecting it's citizens.

Actually the most dangerous safety feature missing from Thailand electrical plugs is that you can put a two prong plug in the socket either way. Over here, we have a wide pin and narrow pin. The plug will only go in the socket one way. The reason for this is that the hot (narrow pin) will anyways go to the switch (when the device has an on/off switch). This way, when you switch off an appliance, it's the hot side that is disconnected from the device. So you won't get electrocuted when you accidently stick your finger (or if your young kids purposely stick his finger) into an empty light bulb socket, after you turn off the switch. In Thailand, if you plug a lamp in the wrong way (50/50 chance), the socket can still be hot, even if you turn off the switch to it. That's because, if it's plugged in the wrong way, it's the neutral (common) that gets cut off with the switch. The socket will still be connected to the hot side. 

post #65 of 71
Quote:
Originally Posted by DavidW View Post

Actually the most dangerous safety feature missing from Thailand electrical plugs is that you can put a two prong plug in the socket either way. Over here, we have a wide pin and narrow pin. The plug will only go in the socket one way. The reason for this is that the hot (narrow pin) will anyways go to the switch (when the device has an on/off switch). This way, when you switch off an appliance, it's the hot side that is disconnected from the device. So you won't get electrocuted when you accidently stick your finger (or if your young kids purposely stick his finger) into an empty light bulb socket, after you turn off the switch. In Thailand, if you plug a lamp in the wrong way (50/50 chance), the socket can still be hot, even if you turn off the switch to it. That's because, if it's plugged in the wrong way, it's the neutral (common) that gets cut off with the switch. The socket will still be connected to the hot side. 

How does this work with Apple's wall chargers in the US since they are ungrounded NEMA connectors that don't have don't have a thick pin?

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post #66 of 71
Quote:
Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post

How does this work with Apple's wall chargers in the US since they are ungrounded NEMA connectors that don't have don't have a thick pin?

I believe it's because the charger drops down the voltage considerably plus iDevices don't have a traditional on/off switch.
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post #67 of 71
Quote:
Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by DavidW View Post

Actually the most dangerous safety feature missing from Thailand electrical plugs is that you can put a two prong plug in the socket either way. Over here, we have a wide pin and narrow pin. The plug will only go in the socket one way. The reason for this is that the hot (narrow pin) will anyways go to the switch (when the device has an on/off switch). This way, when you switch off an appliance, it's the hot side that is disconnected from the device. So you won't get electrocuted when you accidently stick your finger (or if your young kids purposely stick his finger) into an empty light bulb socket, after you turn off the switch. In Thailand, if you plug a lamp in the wrong way (50/50 chance), the socket can still be hot, even if you turn off the switch to it. That's because, if it's plugged in the wrong way, it's the neutral (common) that gets cut off with the switch. The socket will still be connected to the hot side. 

How does this work with Apple's wall chargers in the US since they are ungrounded NEMA connectors that don't have don't have a thick pin?

 

It makes no difference in a switched-mode power supply, since the input stage of the circuit is symmetric and decoupled from the output. It doesn't care whether it is single phase (live-neutral), two phase (live-live, symmetric or asymmetric), polarity, frequency or voltage, as long as frequency and voltage are within certain limits.

post #68 of 71
Quote:
Originally Posted by DavidW View Post
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by dasanman69 View Post


1 amp doesn’t sound like much but it is. You can have 100 gallons of water (high voltage) come out of a pipe at a slow rate (low amps, milli amps) or 20 gallons of water (low voltage) come out of the same pipe at a very fast rate (high amps, 1), which would most likely be deadly?

I understand that it's amperage that kills and it doesn't take a lot of it to kill. But voltage does matter. 1 amp at 5V will not kill you. Otherwise there would be more people being electrocuted by the mishandling of the end of a USB cable that is plugged into a 5V USB power source. But as little as .1 amp at 110V will. Voltage is not volume, it's pressure. 100 gallons of water (Amps) coming out at 100 PSI (high voltage) is more deadly than 100 gallons of water (Amps) coming out at 1 PSI (low voltage). And if the water pipe (wire) can't handle the pressure, it burst.

 

At least two things had to fail in this charger for someone to get electrocuted. The first is that part of the rectrifier circuit fails and sends 220 VAC into the 5V line. The second is that the device that limits the amperage at 1A at 5V failed. This device, be it a fuse, fusable link or some sort of thermister circuit that shunts the voltage away from the 5V line, all works off Wattage. (Volts X Amps) In other words, when too much heat builds up, the voltage is cut off. The voltage cut off limit should be around 5W. (5V X 1A) If 200V when through, then this device should have cut off the voltage at around .025A (25 milliamps) That's because 200V X .025A = 5W. And the voltage should have been cut off instantly as the person was lying on a cement ground, no shirt and most likely wet from sweat because he was essentially ground for the current. In other words, almost a short.

 

Now if this device failed, then the USB cable should have shown signs of damage as the current wasn't going to stop just because the person may have already been dead with the first few 10ths of an amp. If he was on top of the iPhone, then the current should have continued until the USB cable melted or some other plastic parts of the charger. Even at 1 amp at 200V, that's 200W. So if this device failed or wasn't present at all, then the USB cable (or other plastic parts) should show signs of damage. Now if this device was present and didn't fail, then the cable would still be intact, but the person mostly likely would have ended up with a bad shock as only about 25 milliamp got through for what should have been a very, very brief time.  But for sure, lying on a cement floor, no shirt, sweaty, clutching the phone (and most likely in his left hand) and having voltage up to 220VAC , when the charger failed, didn't help in this case.

 

Another way this charger can fail is that some how 220VAC is sent through the negative (ground) line.(-5V) This would bypass the fuse (or other current limiting device) as most fuses are only on the positive line.(+5V). In this case the outside metal covering the pins of a USB connector is becomes hot. Which means the metal on the outside of the iPhone 4s is now hot when it's connected by the 30 pin Apple connector because the metal shield covering it's pins is now hot. (I don't think the lightning connector has a metal shield around it.) But the amount of current (amps) that will pass through in this case would have surely melted the charger or cable and the most likely parts of the iPhone itself, in a very short time.  

 

I agree with you that dasanman69's water analogy was not quite right, and I'm impressed that you went to the trouble to try to explain it better. However, I'm afraid that you have also misunderstood the fundamental principles involved here.

 

Firstly, it is current that kills.  Current is all that matters physiologically.  That does not mean that voltage is unimportant, but only because the voltage is what drives the current, as described by Ohm's Law (V = IR for a purely resistive load).  A functional USB supply will not kill you, not because it cannot supply enough current (less than 50 mA AC or 500 mA DC can cause fibrillation and death), but because the resistance of the human body (specifically due to skin resistance), even when wet, exceeds 1000 Ohms which, at 5 V will only sink 5 mA. That's DC current too, which is much less effective as noted above.

 

Secondly, you seem to have misunderstood how a fuse works, and its implications for circuit protection. In a simple series circuit, the conserved quantity is current. Here the water analogy works well - current = flow rate (e.g. gallons per minute) - and, just like water flowing through a set of pipes of varying diameter and length ( equivalent to different resistances), the flow rate is the same at all points in the system. Voltage, on the other hand, varies through the circuit according to the resistance of the circuit components and the current - again according to V = IR.  In a simple circuit with a supply, two conductors and a load, most of the voltage drop is across the load (high resistance), with very little across the conductors (low resistance). A fuse is a simple component that is designed to fail when the current through it exceeds a pre-determined value (and technically for a pre-determined time). The fuse knows nothing about the overall supply voltage, except in the case of a total short of the load, at which point it will become the highest resistance in the circuit, nor does it know anything about the total power being dissipated elsewhere in the circuit.

 

Power dissipation is, in general, different in each circuit component (including the conductors) since (again in a purely resistive circuit) it is given by the product of voltage (across that component) and current (the same everywhere in the circuit). So P = VI ( and also, trivially P = I²R = V²/R by substitution), but that V is not the supply voltage, except approximately for the load in a good circuit in which the conductor resistance (and thus voltage drop) is low. Thus, in a well designed circuit, most of the power is dissipated in the intended load.

 

So, even when the switching voltage regulator in the power supply fails, and 220 V AC is fed into the output down the USB cable, the cable will still happily transport 1 A. It's a low resistance conductor, and it is not dissipating 220 W - that would be dissipating in whatever load (which would need to be around 220 Ohms to draw 1 A) it was feeding. Short it out, and then far more than 1 A will flow, but a human body is not a short - it's typically between 1000 Ohms (wet), which would give around 220 mA AC (fatal) and 100,000 Ohms (very dry) which would draw about 2 mA AC (not fatal).

 

That is why a fuse cannot protect against electrocution in any circuit designed to carry more than about 20 mA AC or 200 mA DC - it cannot distinguish a fault mode dumping current into a human body from design mode into the intended load. Hence the use of ground fault circuit interrupters, which detect when the current flowing from the power supply (start of the circuit) is different from the current flowing back to the power supply (end of the circuit). The assumption is that the missing current is flowing to ground somewhere that it should not (maybe through a person), and the circuit is rapidly interrupted. These devices detect a current mismatch of as little as 5 mA  - well below the AC or DC threshold for electrocution.

post #69 of 71
Quote:
Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post

How does this work with Apple's wall chargers in the US since they are ungrounded NEMA connectors that don't have don't have a thick pin?

Having a wide and narrow pin so that the plug can only go into a socket one way is only critical on devices that has a switch that turns it off. Devices like lights, toasters, ovens, fans, heaters, etc.. With devices that don't turn off, it doesn't really matter which line going is hot or neutral. So devices like clocks, DVD players, TV, laptop chargers and powernbricks may have two narrow pins because they are never turned off. Even when you turn off a DVD player or TV, the power transformer inside is still receiving power. Otherwise, you would lose the time and all your channel data after a certain amount of time of being with no power.

Don't confuse AC hot and neutral with DC positive and negative. With AC, there is no polarity. It really doesn't matter to the device which line is hot or which is neutral, in order for it to work. But from a safety stand point, if it has a switch, you want that switch on the hot line. It's for the safety of the consumer using the device. Not form the safety of the device itself.

So an Apple charger don't need to have a wide pin. Both pin are narrow because it does't matter which side is hot and which side in neutral. And there's no on and off switch.
post #70 of 71
Quote:
Originally Posted by DavidW View Post
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post

How does this work with Apple's wall chargers in the US since they are ungrounded NEMA connectors that don't have don't have a thick pin?

Having a wide and narrow pin so that the plug can only go into a socket one way is only critical on devices that has a switch that turns it off. Devices like lights, toasters, ovens, fans, heaters, etc.. With devices that don't turn off, it doesn't really matter which line going is hot or neutral. So devices like clocks, DVD players, TV, laptop chargers and powernbricks may have two narrow pins because they are never turned off. Even when you turn off a DVD player or TV, the power transformer inside is still receiving power. Otherwise, you would lose the time and all your channel data after a certain amount of time of being with no power.

Don't confuse AC hot and neutral with DC positive and negative. With AC, there is no polarity. It really doesn't matter to the device which line is hot or which is neutral, in order for it to work. But from a safety stand point, if it has a switch, you want that switch on the hot line. It's for the safety of the consumer using the device. Not form the safety of the device itself.

So an Apple charger don't need to have a wide pin. Both pin are narrow because it does't matter which side is hot and which side in neutral. And there's no on and off switch.

 

Spot on regarding the switch safety issue though.

post #71 of 71
Originally Posted by abilenewillson View Post
...apple should take care of such issues..

 

Nowhere near Apple’s problem.

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