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Smoking PSU, salvageable?

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 
So this morning I started up my PC was just starting to play a game and I heard this crackling. A few moments later I seen and smelled smoke from the back of the PSU.
I unplugged it and the smoke stopped and slowly dissipated from the unit. I have no Idea what it was caused from and I just wanted to know if it would still be usable, even worth a shot being powered on with nothing connected?
ROJO
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ROJO
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post #2 of 12
Do you really want to even try? tongue.gif

Something obviously went catastrophically wrong.... and parts of the PSU are non-functional already.
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post #3 of 12
Thread Starter 
Well I was more so hoping that if didn't happen again then maybe just maybe it would work,,
slim chances I was hoping a piece of plastic fell of something that didn't matter and was still OK.
I don't suppose there's anyway to tell what happened, probably looking at just moving on I guess...
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post #4 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by kiwwanna View Post

Well I was more so hoping that if didn't happen again then maybe just maybe it would work,,
slim chances I was hoping a piece of plastic fell of something that didn't matter and was still OK.
I don't suppose there's anyway to tell what happened, probably looking at just moving on I guess...

Can you RMA it?

If not, open it up and look....
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post #5 of 12
Thread Starter 
I checked about RMA'n it, I don't have the receipt and that seems a deal breaker...
Though I like the idea to just crack it open, gotta remember safety first.

Thanks for the input, appreciated as always.
ROJO
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ROJO
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post #6 of 12
I wouldn't trust that power supply as far as I could comfortably spit a rat.

Even *IF* it works, there's no telling when it might catastrophically fail and take out any number of other components in your system.
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post #7 of 12
It doesn't take an expert to tell you that if a power supply is smoking, that's a bad sign. But as an expert, I'm telling you that if a PSU is smoking, that's a bad sign. tongue.gif

Without analysis it can be difficult to tell what exactly burned... But every component in a PSU has a purpose, and if a component burned then some feature of the PSU's design is no longer functioning as intended. Maybe that feature has a small effect on the PSU, maybe it has a large one. Regardless, I would not use it.




Smoking PSUs reminds me of an unrelated story from when I was dicking around with an ATE in Taiwan. Did you know that when you pour liquid nitrogen into a PSU you can get some really interesting effects? The LN2 lowers the temperature of the components in the PSU, and lower temperature means lower resistance. This means less energy lost to heat! Because of that the PSU's efficiency actually increased from around 80% to around 88%. Also, since there was less voltage drop in the components, the output voltage increased from +12.1V to +14.2V! I actually tripped the over voltage protection (OVP) a couple of times, which is rare. Now I'm not sure what affect extreme cold has on electrolytic capacitors, but I'm sure it can't be good. I didn't have an oscilloscope hooked up, but it would not have surprised me if the scope screen were going wild. tongue.gif The PSU actually lived quite a long time under this abuse (It was a Delta Electronics 200W unit, a very well-built SFF PSU), until finally I ran out of LN2 and the ice inside the PSU melted to water and caused a number of shorts that fried the PWM controller.

That Delta 200W PSU was a tough one, very well built for such a diminutive unit. It provided its rated wattage in spec reliably with good voltage and ripple, the OPP reliably shut it down at 225 - 230W load to prevent overloading, it survived even when I stopped its fan with a pen and covered it with a box to trap the heat for 12 hours overnight; temperature inside the box reached 55*C, no shutdown or failure. It even survived the LN2 torture until the ice melted. I like Delta. They're a good company and they deserve a bit more respect from the IT community.
post #8 of 12
Smoking PSU? Oh you better believe that's a paddlin'
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post #9 of 12
My suspicion is that a spider crawled into the vent holes of the PSU and was fried.
post #10 of 12
I fix power supplies at work. I would definitely try to RMA it if you can, otherwise find a replacement PSU.
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