This may seem like one of those fake horror stories that we read online (“My phone shocked me while charging- Global Meltdown Incoming?!?!?!”), but yes, there are actually a few different reasons as to why this might happen.
For one, the alternating current from your charger is more than likely leaking, making you feel a minor tingly shock whenever you come into contact with your phone.
Your phone can also shock you if you’ve plugged it into the wall and are charging it in a wet place (highly not recommended).
Additionally, using your earphones while charging your phone can also cause electric shock in some instances!
Throughout this article, we’ll take a look into all of these reasons why your phone is causing a shocking sensation- as well as what you can do to prevent it!
Why Is My Cell Phone Shocking Me?
We’ve identified the four most likely reasons why your phone can shock you below:
Leaking Alternating Current
If there is leaking alternating current from your charger, you will be at risk of electric shock. Alternating current leaks occur mainly with AC-DC chargers.
We know from our high school curriculum that electric shocks can happen if your feet are wet and you touch a charging phone.
What happens, in this case, is that the current flows through the metal part of the phone to your body, and then to the ground.
The passing current subsequently creates the tingly electric sensation that you may know well at this point.
Though feeling the electrical current through a phone is not typically fatal, users may have varying reactions when this happens ranging from “Ouch” to “I just got hit by lightning!”.
Flowing current can also leak through headphones. When using headphones with metal components, make sure you are not charging your phone at the same time!
Finally, using two-pin chargers to boost the phone’s battery increases the possibility of experiencing a minor electric shock. The likelihood again increases when you use headphones concurrently.
Charging The Phone In Wet Areas
Charging your smartphone in a place with clear traces of moisture can not only put your phone at risk of becoming wet but also increase the chances of you experiencing electric shock! These areas can include your kitchen, bathroom, and laundry room.
It’s common knowledge that you may be shocked while using your phone if the floor or wall is wet and the phone is plugged in.
Moreover, damp extension cables or chargers can also cause a tingling sensation if you are holding your smartphone while they are plugged in.
Using A Faulty Charger
Your phone can expel a shock if you try to boost its battery level with a malfunctioning charger. In particular, chargers with a frayed wire can suffer a current leak.
Therefore, to avoid an electric shock, do not use incompatible, fake, or faulty chargers! Always buy your products from authentic sources.
Excessive Charging Patterns
Certain charging patterns can lead to electric shock sensations arising from your phone.
For example, charging your phone non-stop (such as leaving it plugged into your computer) can cause the device, charger, and cable to heat up.
Consequently, the metal parts of your phone or charger can become compromised, putting you at risk of electric shock. This can be even worse if you are charging the phone in bed.
Hopefully, you’ve been able to identify from the possible reasons above as to why you have been jolted while charging your phone. Now, let’s take a look at what you can do to stop your phone from shocking you!
What Should I Do If My iPhone Shocks Me While Charging?
Here are some quick tips for de-escalating the situation should you ever feel an electric shock while handling your phone:
Remove the Charger, STAT
Quickly unplug your charger in order to stop the flow of electricity!
If the tingling feeling is not too intense, you can plug the charger back in and try to see if the phone still shocks you. Unplug your phone entirely if the tingling sensation continues.
Identify The Cause Of The Shock
Quickly assess the situation to understand what has caused the shock.
Look around and make sure the floor, the charger, extension cables, and the walls are dry. Then, examine the wire for cuts and sources of current leaks.
Finally, try charging your phone in a different location or with a different charger to see if the same thing occurs.
Contact A Repair Technician
Call an expert if you cannot figure out what’s causing your phone to shock you! A trained technician can quickly tell you what the problem is, as well as how to resolve it.
Is My Life In Danger When My Phone Shocks Me?
A quick shock or continuous tingly feeling when handling your phone is a clear indication that something is wrong.
However, remain calm and try not to panic!
While alarming, it is impossible to be fatally electrocuted by the current from your phone.
This is because your phone does not generate enough current to cause significant harm when it passes through your body.
The maximum output from the average phone charger is merely 20 volts, as phones generally do not need a huge amount of power to recharge.
20 volts is not enough to cause you any significant harm.
Therefore, getting an electric shock from your phone is not a pending disaster waiting to happen. It will not cause your phone to explode in your hands!
Therefore, there is no real cause for alarm (other than that initial jolt, of course). Simply invest in a charger from a good brand and see if the electrical incidents continue.
Can Static Electricity Build Up On My Phone And Shock Me?
Static electricity comes from the electrical charge stored on surfaces. The current later passes through an object with the opposite charge.
While you can feel the shock from static electricity, it is typically harmless.
Static electricity can build up on your phone’s surface depending on your activities and the environment.
For example, the surface of your phone can hold static charges in areas with low humidity.
An example of this is when you are jogging or wearing clothes made of synthetic fiber.
Unfortunately, our human bodies are good conductors of electricity. This is why you may sometimes feel a shock when you touch your phone surface, as this is where the current can build up.
Static discharge from phones can occur with any brand of phone, so it’s definitely not an issue with specific phone brands.
The good news is that there are steps you can take to prevent it altogether.
Firstly, increase the humidity level in your home or office. An air conditioner or humidifier can help in this regard!
This should reduce the static charge build-up on the phone’s surface. Also, it can be helpful to use an anti-static spray or anti-static lotion on your skin.
Additionally, avoid wearing clothes made of synthetic fibers. Cotton clothes are less likely to hold a static charge.
Finally, keeping your phone in a case can reduce static charge build-up. And while it may be a bit impractical, you can prevent static charge by moving your phone about less frequently in your pocket (this will help stop it from getting constantly disabled too!).
Several factors can lead to you experiencing electrical shocks when you handle your phone.
The most common of these is the current potentially leaking from frayed and damaged cables attached to your charger.
Charging your phone in wet places like your bathroom can make the charger wet, leading to electricity being conducted.
Also, two-pin chargers with no earthing are most likely to cause a shock, especially when you are barefooted.
To stop your phone from shocking you, unplug the charger and check it to see if there is anywhere the current is potentially leaking.
Also, stop charging phones in wet areas!
Finally, always use recommended and original chargers, and stop bad charging habits like charging in bed and using earphones while the phone is plugged into an outlet.
If you hear anyone exclaim, “My phone shocked me while charging!”, feel free to share these tips with them!
Just like us, smartphones consist of a pretty complex anatomy. Take a close look HERE at all the vital components that make up a modern-day smartphone!