What to Do if Your Laptop's Power Cord Gets Wet

What to Do if Your Laptop's Power Cord Gets Wet

Taryn Williford
Jan 24, 2011

Home chefs everywhere are loving how easy it is to use their iPads in the kitchen when they're following recipes. But guys, I don't have an iPad. Or a printer, for that matter. So my MacBook Pro comes with me to the kitchen in a dangerous display of hubris. And last night, it happened. I dripped water on the brick of the power cord.

When treading into such dangerous territory as the wet, crumby kitchen with my laptop, I'm smart enough to be extra careful. My machine stays up off the counter and isn't ever touched with wet hands. But I didn't think so carefully about the power cord and brick attached to my almost-out-of-juice laptop.

Sure, it was dumb. But with a quick Google search (on my phone, of course), I found out exactly what needs to be done. Here's what you've got to know:

  1. Be extra careful. If you're still plugged in at either end, you're liable to be electrocuted by a wet power adapter. Touch only where there's rubber casing. Definitely don't touch any metal parts or exposed wires. Find and wear electrical protection gloves, if you can.
  2. Turn off the power. Get familiar with your circuit breaker and cut power to the kitchen (or bathroom, or wherever) right away.
  3. Unplug. From the outlet first, then the computer, if applicable.
  4. Get the adapter away. Go to a different, dryer room with the disconnected, wet cord.
  5. Dry it out. Use the rice method just like you would on Sunday morning after your phone took a dip in the bar toilet.
  6. Wait. Days, weeks—whatever it takes. You want to make sure that the adapter is completely dry before you try to use it again.
  7. Decide if it's usable. How wet did it get? How long was it doused? Decide for yourself if it's better to replace the adapter or to try your luck at your rehabbed one. If you do decide to use it again, keep an eye out for signs that it's not working right, such as if the power brick gets extremely hot when it's plugged in. You could be risking permanent damage to yourself and your computer if you're using an unsafe adapter.

(Images: Flickr member stetted licensed for use under Creative Commons, Flickr member bewarenerd licensed for use under Creative Commons.)

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