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Can a psu get damaged if not used?

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 
I have a backup computer that i keep in case something weird happens with the other one. I usually keep it unplugged unless I need it. Besides the CR2032 battery being depleted, what else should I know? Can the motherboard become damaged over time? What about the PSU?
Is it safer to keep the PC always plugged in?
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post #2 of 9
Aluminum electrolytic capacitors can degrade over time if not exposed to at least small amounts of AC voltage. The electrolyte starts to crystallize and damages the aluminum electrodes. The process takes at least 3 years to occur.

As these capacitors degrade your motherboard, power supply, and graphics card may become less reliable.

For best longevity, try to use a system for at least a few hours every 6 months. This will greatly extend the lifespan of the capacitors, and thus of your components' power circuitry.
post #3 of 9
Thread Starter 
Quote:
if not exposed to at least small amounts of AC voltage
By this do you mean just having it plugged to a power source?
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DIJKSTRA
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post #4 of 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nadak View Post

By this do you mean just having it plugged to a power source?

You need to turn the PC on, just AC voltage isn't enough, as only the standby rail in the PSU is active when the PC is plugged in but not turned on.
post #5 of 9
does this apply to solid caps also? or only electrolytic caps?
post #6 of 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by psyclum View Post

does this apply to solid caps also? or only electrolytic caps?

I only know a little about solid state caps but, they do not contain an electrolyte like an electrolytic cap (hence the name), so I want to say that since you will not have the crystallization process they are far less likely to suffer from storage degradation.

Since a lot of computers have electrolytics somewhere it is a good practice to power them up every now and then. To support my statement, I have a solid state amp that is 45 years old and was not used for about 10 years and the power supply caps are solid state and they were totally fine when I went through it.
Edited by raidmaxGuy - 8/7/13 at 9:47pm
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post #7 of 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by psyclum View Post

does this apply to solid caps also? or only electrolytic caps?
The information I got from Sanyo about their conventional wet electrolytic caps was that their shelf life was 2 years, but the link for their polymer Os-Con caps didn't work. Sanyo is now owned by Panasonic, BTW. OTOH Teapo said the shelf life was 1000 hours at maximum rated temperature (usually 105C), which is twice the time as for some of their conventional wet electrolytics:

http://www.teapo.com/WebSiteFile/Download/Catalog.pdf

"After placed at 105℃without voltage applied for 1000 hours, the capacitor shall meet the same requirement as Endurance."

"Endurance" is the rated operation lifespan at maximum temperature, usually 2000 hours @ 105C.
Edited by larymoencurly - 8/8/13 at 10:46am
post #8 of 9
solid state generally means no moving parts. i can be wrong but i'm fairly certain something containing electrolytic capacitors can still be considered solid state. solid caps (aka polymer caps) are capacitors that use polymers instead of electrolytic chemicals. i don't really know the chemicals involved so I don't know if age is still an issue for the polymers. it may not be the same issue as electrolytic but age affects different materials differently so wanted to see if there are other issues that may affect a solid cap.
post #9 of 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by psyclum View Post

solid state generally means no moving parts.
Tubes have no moving parts but have never been considered solid state. biggrin.gif
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