So, right now my charger plug, that connects into the extension cord is slowly changing colour and it looks like it has small bumps, I can’t really tell though.

Is it because i’m using an extension cord or is it something else?

I use an extension cord instead of the actual outlet because, the outlet is too far from where I’m situated with the laptop. I know I can move but there isn’t much room in my apartment to move furniture around.

I’ve never had this problem with my older laptop and that was also plugged into an extension cord, but it was one of the bigger multiple outlet ones, with the ability to turn it on or off.

I just want to know is it still safe to use until I get a new one, or do I need to change my extension cord?

Laptop is - Acer Spin5 Input - 100-240V-50-80hz 1.2A Output- 19V-2.37A

Extension - 16 gauge calibre Wire type: SPT-3 6’7”/6pi 7po(2m) Length 0-50ft/pi(0-15m) 51-100ft/pi(16-30m) Max.Amperage: 13-10 I got this extension cord at Canadian tire

Thank you enter image description hereenter image description here

UPDATE: I want to thank everyone for there suggestions as to what the problem could be. Sorry for not getting back quick enough it’s been an insane month. When I first posted this, I decided I would leave my laptop alone until I got a new extension cord and new plug. If anyone has any recommendations on a new extensions cord, that would be greatly appreciated.

Before I continue into that, I do want to thank everyone here who is, at this point in time and when it all started, an essential worker. Really thank you so much for all that you’ve done!

So back to the plug; I got the extension cord, maybe a couple months after the laptop, and that was at the beginning of January 2018. So from what I could remember it started to change colour around the end of 2018-beginning of 2019. It started small but slowly started to change over time. I suppose with being home now a lot more than before I’m really noticing it. The plug won’t heat up but, when I do pull it out of the ext. cord, it will be warm, not like warm-hot but cold-warm, if that makes sense? Someone did suggest that it could be the extension cord, this has never happened other extension cords before, so I hope it’s only that. Edit: Then again, I’ve plugged other things into the extension cord, like; my portable charger, hair dryer, stuff like that, and none of there prongs have ever started to change colour.

So about the laptop, it does heat up when it’s plugged in and I’m using it, but it’s always done that, since I first got it. I do put it down to let it rest for a couple hours until I’m back in again.

The outlets in the apartment are pretty old, maybe as old as me, I’m not sure? When I asked my parents they said that they don’t remember when the outlets were last changed. Some of the outlets I did notice are a lot stronger, most of them could handle objects that need to stay plugged in for a long time without causing a fire. Others have at this point become loose, so using them is a no go. Once I do get a new extension and plug, I’ll probably move into the living room.

Here’s the thing I would love to have them all replaced, but it would only give the new owners of the building more incentive to add onto the rent we already pay. Even if we had someone, not in a contract with the buildings, to come do it, they would still probably add onto our rent anyway. Trust me they’ll do that to just about anyone in the apartment, no matter what.

Thank you though for reading this, if you did get down here, again if you have any good extension cord recommendations, it would be appreciated. Also I think I’ll start using it again for a short while, I’m back to work (New Job!), so I think I would be ok to use it for 3hrs and then stop for about an hour or two and then go back? This is just until the new extension cord and charger come in.

I hope some of the new information on both the laptop and plug for it was helpful, if you do need more info just ask. Again thank you! I hope you and your families stay safe during this time!

  • 1
    Please post a photo Apr 9, 2020 at 20:55
  • When did it start schanging color? Did it take hours? Days? Months? Apr 9, 2020 at 20:57
  • In any case, I can guarantee you that it has nothing to do with using an extension cord. And using such for a laptop is perfectly safe. Apr 9, 2020 at 20:58
  • 1
    Is the cord hot to the touch when in use and charging the laptop battery ?
    – Alaska Man
    Apr 9, 2020 at 21:08
  • How often does this connection get plugged/unplugged? I know my old laptop's power supply would throw a quite nice spark inside the receptacle when unplugged Apr 10, 2020 at 1:55

5 Answers 5


Marks like that suggest that one of the receptacles that you are plugging into may be worn out. they do not suggest a problem with your laptop power supply.

The marks on your plug are cosmetic only, they will not significanly affect its performance.

However the socket end of that extension cord is faulty and there's a potential for fire if you continue using it.

  • 1
    The marks indicate that there is arcing when it is plugged in. It probably won't affect performance (assuming the supply can soak up the transients without passing them on to the laptop). It does, however, pose a fire-risk. Any receptacle which is arcing should be replaced as soon as humanly possible.
    – SiHa
    Apr 10, 2020 at 10:08
  • that extension cord is faulty +1
    – Mazura
    May 7, 2020 at 3:02

Another possibility is that the socket part of your extension cord is worn out and/or poorly made, so it is not making a good connection to the prongs of your charger and that is creating resistance, making them heat up. The heat is then transferring to the charger case, discoloring it.


Watch for a bad connection, aka arcing

The way you spot that is the plug or socket being warm. This is easiest to see in a FLIR camera, but you can just feel it with your hand.

A laptop AC plug should not be warm st all.


EDITED TO MATCH THE EDITED QUESTION The OP has edited the question by posted a picture clarifying that the issues are with the METAL of the plug and not the plastic case so this answer no makes sense.

-end of edit

Probably, But

It's likely safe to use while you are in the room to supervise it but I suggest unplugging it while you are out of the room for a length of time until we can troubleshoot the problem and make it go away or you replace it.

Might Not Need Replacing

Plastic often changes color and distorts when heated up closer to it's melting point so that is most likely the cause of the things you are seeing. Now, it's a matter of figuring out the 'why' for the heat, the issue we need to deal with is why is it too hot.

The charging 'pucks' create some heat that isn't an issue during normal use and conditions.

Ensure that the puck has has adequate ventilation by making sure it is not covered by something, especially other things that create heat. Make sure that it is in a place what air can move around normally. Make sure it's not near a heater, a floor register, not in the sunlight or is around any other source of heat.

Verify that you are using the correct charger for your device. If you use one that has a lower rating then needed, it will cause the puck to heat up too much as it overworks trying to keep up.

Otherwise, the puck is going bad and needs to be replaced


Edit: I answered this before the pictures were posted so this answer doesn't make sense now.

As a previous poster asked is it hot to touch ? The reason they are asking this is because the cord is insulated and normally you wouldn't feel anything.

The best place to check is near the plug that goes into the wall outlet. You can check it by running your hand along the cord you should also do this near where the charger connects to the extension cord.

If it feels too hot to touch then it means that too much power is going through the cord.

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