Showing results for 
Search instead for 
Did you mean: 

GL703VD Laptop charger noises: normal or fire hazard?

Level 7
Hi everyone. I've had my GL703VD for a few years now. I only recently have started to notice a noise coming from the transformer portion of my laptop charger; it's quiet and infrequent enough that I can't tell whether or not this noise has always been there and I simply didn't notice it.

When the device is fully charged and either asleep or not drawing much power (e.g., I'm just using the browser), but the charger is left in, then a high-pitched sound can be heard coming from the transformer. It's quiet enough that I only notice it if my ear is within a few feet of the box, but it still seems unusual. The "melody" of the sound varies. Sometimes, it's random and mosquito-like, as in this recording that I made (I tried to edit out the noise as much as I could, but still, I apologize for the quality of the recording). Other times, it's more rhythmic, almost like a squeaky old seesaw at a playground (or the sounds at the beginning of this song). If I unplug the charger when these sounds are occurring, the sounds will briefly increase in volume/intensity before ceasing. When the laptop is not fully-charged, or it's running something power-intensive, then all that I hear is a very slight buzz, and even then, only if my ear is much closer to the charger.

What I have read online, such as this similar post from a decade ago, leads me to believe this might be expected behaviour. On the other hand, such descriptions do not perfectly match what I am observing. Additionally, when I phoned a local tech shop about the problem, they advised that it was concerning and I should bring my device in and have it looked at, but did not seem interested in an exact description of the sound like the one I gave above. Since I am using this device for my work, I'm not in a great position to bring my device/charger in right away. Is it urgent to get this looked at? Or is this completely normal?

Level 7
As a bit of an update to this, I ordered a new charger (the exact same kind that originally came with the laptop) and it's making identical sounds. So unless there's a problem with many or all of these chargers for this laptop, I'm assuming it's okay. I'll update this post again if I can get the opinion of someone more knowledgeable about this than me.

I'm not an engineer but my observation is this is pretty common. I've noticed the same thing from various adapters I've owned and my guess is that it's basically coil whine. Coil whine is harmless (other than possibly damaging your sanity) and can vary over the life of devices. My understanding is that a resin is used to damp the vibrations but it's not perfect and the resin can break down which can result in coil whine getting louder.
A bus station is where a bus stops. A train station is where a train stops. On my desk, I have a work station…