Curiosity at 120 Volts

Have you ever wondered what would happen if you plug an old iPhone charger half-way into the wall and then short the power prongs with the 30-pin connector? My seven year-old nephew did.

shorted iPhone charger

Not surprisingly, iPhone chargers don’t handle 15-amp short circuits very well.

The metal shielding of the 30-pin connector completed shorted the 120 V A/C power prongs. My nephew reports seeing a large spark, hearing a pop, and then witnessing a bit of smoke and funny smell. Fortunately, the 15-amp circuit breaker tripped almost immediately, preventing him from getting shocked and probably stopping a house fire.

In the picture below, you can see the power prongs melted a bit, and there’s a coating of black soot all over the charger (the wall was dirty, too, I’m told).

another look at the fried iPhone charger

Lesson learned? We sure hope so!

2 thoughts on “Curiosity at 120 Volts

  1. I hope he didn’t get in trouble for this! I did this when I was a kid, since we didn’t have Apple 30 pin connectors at the time, I shorted a night light with a paperclip. It was awesome.

    It’s great to hear that some kids are still interested in exploring and investigating electricity and the cool things that happen when you try different things.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>