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Old 05-03-2005, 08:54 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Power Supply: What happens after a power surge.

I had a client call me last night and ask me if he could bring me his PC for me to take a look at. I asked him what the problem is and he said, "It just won't boot and it's not getting any power." So, first thing that comes to my mind is Power Supply." I said, "Ok, bring it in." He brings me his PC and tells me that last week where he lives, the water company was putting in some new lines in his neighborhood. At some point they lost power for a few hours. When the power came back, they found serveral electronic & home appliances weren't working. One of their PC's, their boiler, microwave, a lot of light bulbs and a few other things.

So, I open up the PC, everything looks ok. I take out the power supply. Put in a new one that i have a s a back-up... Hook it up, fire it up, (POSTS, BOOTS TO WINDOWS, WORKS FINE) So just for sh!tz and giggles, i open up he PSU, some garbage company... First of all I had to pry it open with a screw driver after removing all of the screws. I finally get it open and I couldn't believe the inside... It looked like every plastic part inside the PSU had completely melted and was at the bottom of the case of the PSU. Wires were melted, charred and burned, their was black smoke stains inside the case, which means that at some point there was fire. They got really lucky here. The only component of this PC that was damaged was the PSU. Which was off, by the way. I ran several tests on memory and CPU and everything seems fine. Optical Drives work, Harddrives are fine... Lucky...

It kinda scares me when I think about what could have happened.
Could have burned down the whole house!!!

I'm assuming that this sugre of power was so high, that the charge remained inside the internal components of the power supply and built up enough heat, where everything just melted way...
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Old 05-03-2005, 08:59 PM   #2 (permalink)
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That couldn't have had happened if his computer were plugged on a surge suppressor
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Old 05-03-2005, 09:07 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Surge suppressors are not all that effective to be honest barely offer enough protection.

That's reason #2 and possibly reason #1 why I dont like cheap PSU's.


I had a scare like that, i had a sony ghetto blaster catch fire, in my bed with me in it
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Old 05-03-2005, 09:09 PM   #4 (permalink)
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nah if he had a cheap *** or old surge protector and the surge that hit his house was beyond what that particular one was rated for it could have done something like that, especially considering multiple items in the house were fried
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Old 05-03-2005, 09:18 PM   #5 (permalink)
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He had a UPS (Brand) power strip w/ surge protection. Didn't do anything.

I guess one of the components on the Boiler in their basement looked worse then the power supply. COMPLETELY MELT and no freakin' hot water!!! LOL
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Old 05-03-2005, 09:28 PM   #6 (permalink)
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It makes you think how useless the circuit breakers downstairs really are for these types of situations. That surge probably went right through the entire breaker in a matter of milliseconds; imagine if that was made out of plastic.

Now if someone could only create a processor able to handle that much power, I'm guessing 1500gHz speed and maybe $100,000 an hour to run. Better start working from now.

-Cameron
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Old 05-03-2005, 09:31 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Well breakers protect against a heavy load, they dont give a rats @$$ about what ends up goign thru me thinks
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Old 05-03-2005, 10:43 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Sounds to me like the capacitators blew and the acid wrecked most everything inside the PSU.

However, you should never open up a PSU unless you wanna take a crack at repairing it. Opening it will void the warranty, you can just smell for burnt parts, and chances are if it doesn't work, you should just RMA it to the company ASAP.
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Old 05-03-2005, 10:50 PM   #9 (permalink)
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I wouldnt bother doing an RMA....
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