I have a Baofeng UV-82 with the charging cradle and switching power supply (wall wart). Tonight, I noticed a slick spot on the floor next to the couch, and saw some orange goo on a paper I had picked up from the floor. I saw the wall wart on the floor, and when I picked it up, I found that it was the source of the orange goo on the floor. It was not plugged up or anything, and the rig itself is only about two years old (it was not in the charging cradle at the time). Does anybody know why the wall wart would be leaking, and is the stuff that leaked out dangerous? This has never happened before. Thanks, Kate NK4TE

  • $\begingroup$ Just a thought: Do you have pets? I had a cat that liked to mark things... $\endgroup$ – bitsmack Feb 7 '20 at 8:55

That's very unusual. Modern electronics do not usually contain significant volumes of fluid that could leak out like that.

  • The most likely sort of leak one might find is an electrolytic capacitor losing its electrolyte, but that is more likely to make a circuit board corroded and stained in the vicinity than to manage to escape the housing. And the electrolyte would be mostly colorless/white appearing.

  • Another possibility is that the power adapter somehow got wet, something iron inside rusted (e.g. a transformer core) and the rusty water leaked out so that you have rusty water stains. If it seems to be an orange substance mixed with water, this seems plausible. But, I wouldn't expect to see that much rust.

  • Finally, it's possible that the power supply is not the source and it simply got dunked in some other orange goop somehow. It can be hard to tell "sat in a puddle" from "is the source of the substance".

Well-lit pictures of the goop as it was found would help narrow things down; if you take one or two, please edit your question and upload them.

In the absence of further information, to be reasonably cautious, I would certainly discard the power supply (because if it is from inside, something's gone wrong), and clean or discard the things the goop got on, but not take any more drastic measures.


Wall warts aren't terribly complicated devices, they're just small transformers to convert the commercial AC into low voltage DC. There won't be any batteries in it, but there are likely capacitors. As noted here, the electrolyte is mildly toxic and corrosive, but not to the point where it's a significant HAZMAT issue. Just clean it up with a paper towel and wash your hands with soap and water.

Two questions:

  1. Can you post a picture of it?
  2. Exactly how positive are you it was from the wall wart and not something else (e.g. child spilled orange juice)
  3. Was it plugged in at the time?

Electronics don't commonly leak, especially not new ones. It is not unheard of though, particularly in older electronics, like the capacitors in this article. But even then, they shouldn't produce enough fluid to run all over the floor.

Pending more data, if you are 100% positive it was coming from the wall wart I personally wouldn't plug it back in because I wouldn't want to risk an electrical short.

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