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Can a PSU light on fire?

post #1 of 15
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I've heard some horror stories where someone turns on their PC and the PSU either shoots out fire or goes alight. I've never bumped into this situation myself or know anyone who has, but I was wondering if such a thing were possible and what may cause it so that I can know what to do to prevent it. Thanks.
post #2 of 15
i would imagine if it had enough dust buildup in it.
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post #3 of 15
Yes and no.

I doubt that would happen when turning it on. If it would be on 24/7 and would have a fan failure, thats when i'd say it reasonably possible. ICs would burn through, and the plastic coatings on the coils and wires could burn.
    
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post #4 of 15
My old no name PSU that couldn't keep up with even basic loads shot out flames but as long as you use reputable brands and that the PSU itself isn't faulty or overloaded/overheated you have nothing to worry about
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post #5 of 15
It wouldn't happen as soon as you turn it on however if the fan has failed, well, I'm sure you can figure this one out. Wires would get burned due to melted plastic and components and eventually short it out.

If you're unlucky enough for the heat to short out the ground wire, that could cause a fire and potentially damage other components.
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post #6 of 15
op you have a corsair psu, no need to worry
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post #7 of 15
I had a PSU that started shooting flames out the back once. It was after a week of 24/7 Counter Strike.
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post #8 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by Grobinov View Post
My old no name PSU that couldn't keep up with even basic loads shot out flames but as long as you use reputable brands and that the PSU itself isn't faulty or overloaded/overheated you have nothing to worry about
Not necessarily true. I've had quality brand name PSU's grenade in flames also, and none were being abused or overloaded. Quality control slip ups happen to ALL manufacturers once and a while. It's a given.
BTW, the worst fire I had was from an Enermax 465 on a socket A rig. It actually charred the top of my desk when it let go. That's what fire extinguishers are for.
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post #9 of 15
If you overload a crappy power supply the switching transistors or +12V rectifier might explode. And the resulting sparks could very easily cause a fire. Also, sometimes on startup a cheap PSU's NTC thermistor will go nuclear and throw sparks everywhere.
post #10 of 15
yep, my son flicked the 110/220 switch on an old cheapo PSU and watched the creation of magic smoke as he pressed the ON button.
(here in the UK we have 220-240v mains...and it took out everything except the drives)
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