I have some devices whose DC adapter connector/jack is only partially plugged in.

For example, my monitor has an AC to 180 W DC power supply. When connecting the transformer to the monitor, the DC adapter connector/jack is not fully inside the monitor.

Is this faulty product or is it okay that part of the power jack is outside the device?

Image about the part that sticking out

  • What voltage is said power supply? From a safety standpoint it's typically fine as barrel-jack connectors tend to be low voltage; it can be a warning sign that you mixed up and grabbed the wrong power supply.
    – TLW
    Sep 22, 2022 at 2:34
  • 4
    From a safety standpoint, barrel-jacks typically have the ground on the outside (by convention). Typically we only use barrel-jacks for DC, which means that the exposed metal is likely connected to ground.
    – Aron
    Sep 22, 2022 at 4:25
  • I am not asking for safety standpoint. I am asking if it affects my monitor/device in any way.
    – fatFeather
    Sep 22, 2022 at 7:47
  • 2
    It's slightly hard to define, but if all contacts are contacting, (as opposed to "just touching") then that is fine. On many connectors, there is a bit of a gap like the one you show, so that the plastic shield of the plug doesn't foul the casing of other devices, which may not have so much clearance - take a look at the next-but-one connector below, for example, which is deeper within the casing.
    – MikeB
    Sep 22, 2022 at 14:28
  • @Aron Unless it's a Sony device. For some reason Sony's always gone center-negative.
    – Hearth
    Sep 22, 2022 at 19:38

1 Answer 1


That's fine, and within normal tolerances. Some sockets will be deeper than others, so cable manufacturers leave themselves a bit of extra length on the plug to ensure maximum compatibility. There aren't many connections that are gapless. Just look at a HDMI cable, USB cable, RCA cable... they all have a small gap where you can see the connector housing.

The are some exceptions of course, such as high voltage (mains) plugs & sockets, or items which need to be concerned with dust and water ingress.

  • 1
    There are different standard lengths for some diameters, and it's reasonable to buy in power supplies with a long plug for use with kit that's built with a shorter socket. The other way round isn't necessarily secure. But with a good match (shape, not just length) the gap can be too small to slide in a piece of paper.
    – Chris H
    Sep 22, 2022 at 9:49
  • 1
    One pet peeve of a professor of mine was the IBM PC's serial port, a male connector exposing all pins to the casual observer! Sep 22, 2022 at 15:23
  • @Peter-ReinstateMonica: That's not so bad as the "Atari"-style joystick ports, which often have connections direct the the power and ground rails. Shorting arbitrary combinations of pins on a serial port would be harmless, but that is not true of Atari-style joysticks.
    – supercat
    Sep 23, 2022 at 15:28

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