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Author Topic: 4 dead PSUs, there HAS to be a commonly failing component  (Read 2718 times)
Fuzzy
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July 31, 2012, 01:49:30 AM
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In the past year I've had over 4 "out of warranty" PSUs die on me. A 750w Silverstone, 450w and 480w Antecs, a 400w Enermax and a few no name ones.

So now I've got a box of dead PSUs and I'm thinking, there's got to be a particular component that's responsible for a large portion of the failures.

And yeah, I've heard all the "Deadly Internal voltage" warnings etc. I always wait a day before opening one up, but I've pulled apart quite a few to recover the fans, so now I'm looking to actually repair them.
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July 31, 2012, 02:14:06 AM
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There are a number of possibilities, including dirty power at your location as the most likely suspect. Transients, harmonics and brownouts will reduce the lifespan of PSUs, and such anomalies can be caused by a number of factors including under-spec wiring, large motors being started, unfiltered VFD/inverter drives, other inductive loads such as UPS units, and more.

It's also possible that some component in your systems is causing an issue, such as component(s) with inordinately high leakage causing out-of-spec power draw and additional heat.

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July 31, 2012, 02:18:39 AM
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If your PSUs actually meet the ATX power design guidelines, then it's highly unlikely that anything inside your system is causing the problem. Power supplies are supposed to be built with a very large number of protections that would prevent it from being damaged (and prevent it from damaging anything). I would be very suspect of the power going into the PSU, though. It may be wise to invest in a small UPS that provides power conditioning.
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July 31, 2012, 03:41:21 AM
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In the past year I've had over 4 "out of warranty" PSUs die on me. A 750w Silverstone, 450w and 480w Antecs, a 400w Enermax and a few no name ones.

So now I've got a box of dead PSUs and I'm thinking, there's got to be a particular component that's responsible for a large portion of the failures.

And yeah, I've heard all the "Deadly Internal voltage" warnings etc. I always wait a day before opening one up, but I've pulled apart quite a few to recover the fans, so now I'm looking to actually repair them.


old but still valid.

My experience is bad caps or bad fans causing heat and switching transistor failures.  It is usually not worth attempting to fix a PS below 700W. 

http://www.mikesarcade.com/cgi-bin/spies.cgi?action=url&type=info&page=psrepair.txt



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August 01, 2012, 12:37:07 AM
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In the past year I've had over 4 "out of warranty" PSUs die on me. A 750w Silverstone, 450w and 480w Antecs, a 400w Enermax and a few no name ones.

So now I've got a box of dead PSUs and I'm thinking, there's got to be a particular component that's responsible for a large portion of the failures.

And yeah, I've heard all the "Deadly Internal voltage" warnings etc. I always wait a day before opening one up, but I've pulled apart quite a few to recover the fans, so now I'm looking to actually repair them.


the common component is the pilot.  Purchasing under powered cheap PSU's.   most psu are advertising peak wattage, not constant wattage output.

buy SeaSonics and be done with it.  

i have a bunch of these..  2 to a big rig: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817151087

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jwzguy
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August 01, 2012, 12:41:26 AM
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Buy a voltage conditioner. I have one for all of my machines.
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August 01, 2012, 02:32:18 AM
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Get an online UPS if you're paranoid. How did those PSUs die?. Open them up(properly discharging capacitors, I'm not responsible for death) and use your nose to try to localize a burnt component. Normally when I repair PSUs I see capacitor failures, normally that's the only thing connecting PSUs, hot environments reduce capacitors lifespan, and some Antec PSUs are known to have bad capacitors. 
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August 01, 2012, 03:00:31 AM
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And yeah, I've heard all the "Deadly Internal voltage" warnings etc. I always wait a day before opening one up,

Capacitors store energy until they are discharged, which can be months later when you touch them while working on it...
They also leak their charges out naturally, especially if a sane designer included a shunt resistor of appropriate value.

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August 01, 2012, 09:45:07 AM
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Months? I did not know that and did open a few PSUs. Am I lucky to be alive?  Grin

How do you properly discharge them then?
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August 03, 2012, 04:42:38 PM
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Only two very big capacitors at the input stage (220v) are dangerous.

Good news is the capacitors do not hold much charge; you can short-circuit them with a screw-driver. There will be some small sparks, but not much. Of course do not hold the metal part of the screw-driver, or you will be screwed.

These capacitors are nothing compare to audio capacitors (10000 uF+); they can explode like mini grenades
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August 04, 2012, 02:27:49 AM
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slightly off topic: When I was younger I was taking apart a disposable camera with a flash... Well somehow I touched something on this camera and it blew me away, about 6 feet away on to my back.... My hand was covered in blisters.

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August 04, 2012, 02:44:30 AM
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old but still valid.

My experience is bad caps or bad fans causing heat and switching transistor failures.  It is usually not worth attempting to fix a PS below 700W. 

http://www.mikesarcade.com/cgi-bin/spies.cgi?action=url&type=info&page=psrepair.txt

I read that before, the author said "I repair lots of power supplies and it's really quite easy and practical" but I felt the opposite after further reading...
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August 04, 2012, 03:10:20 AM
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old but still valid.

My experience is bad caps or bad fans causing heat and switching transistor failures.  It is usually not worth attempting to fix a PS below 700W. 

http://www.mikesarcade.com/cgi-bin/spies.cgi?action=url&type=info&page=psrepair.txt

I read that before, the author said "I repair lots of power supplies and it's really quite easy and practical" but I felt the opposite after further reading...
Bear in mind that it was written in sometime around 1998.

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August 04, 2012, 01:13:06 PM
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The common denominator there is all those PSU's are crap or underpowered. No offense.

The Antecs are great budget PSU's for casual rigs but high temps and high draw will shorten their life up a lot.

Number one thing you need when mining is good power supply. I've stuck with PC Power and Cooling and their seven year warranty and they'd yet to have to help me because they are all still working as advertised.
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August 04, 2012, 01:35:20 PM
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old but still valid.

My experience is bad caps or bad fans causing heat and switching transistor failures.  It is usually not worth attempting to fix a PS below 700W. 

http://www.mikesarcade.com/cgi-bin/spies.cgi?action=url&type=info&page=psrepair.txt

I read that before, the author said "I repair lots of power supplies and it's really quite easy and practical" but I felt the opposite after further reading...
Bear in mind that it was written in sometime around 1998.
yes, nowadays we just send those crap back to China as scrap metal and they'll take care of it for us Smiley
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August 06, 2012, 06:42:56 PM
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The common denominator there is all those PSU's are crap or underpowered. No offense.

The Antecs are great budget PSU's for casual rigs but high temps and high draw will shorten their life up a lot.

Number one thing you need when mining is good power supply. I've stuck with PC Power and Cooling and their seven year warranty and they'd yet to have to help me because they are all still working as advertised.

Just disconnect the fan from the PSU controller and connect it directly to the 12v so it's always spinning at 1500+RPM...  I find heat to be a big killer

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August 06, 2012, 07:21:52 PM
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The main thing I found is to keep at or below 70%  of the PSU's max output.

If you need 700 watts,use a 1000 watt PSU,at least  Roll Eyes

I had an 800 watt Kingwin,2 1/2 years old when I started mining with 2 6970's.My system,while mining used 640 watts.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817121026

Guess what,it lasted about 3 months.I RMA'd it (3 year warranty) & they sent me a 1000 watter.No more problems  Grin I even use less wattage,only 25 watts,but less is better.

Thier RMA process was confusing,so I complained about it & said I was going to buy another PSU (1000 watter) from another manufacturer if we couldn't work this out.

2 weeks later,after sending my dead unit back,I got a package,but they upgraded it to the 1000 watter for the "inconvienence"  Cool  

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817121037

They even called a week later to make sure I was happy  Grin

BTW,I've used about 7 Kingwins in gaming builds & none have died,2 of them are going on 4 years old  Wink

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August 06, 2012, 07:38:46 PM
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The main thing I found is to keep at or below 70%  of the PSU's max output.

If you need 700 watts,use a 1000 watt PSU,at least  Roll Eyes

I had an 800 watt Kingwin,2 1/2 years old when I started mining with 2 6970's.My system,while mining used 640 watts.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817121026

Guess what,it lasted about 3 months.I RMA'd it (3 year warranty) & they sent me a 1000 watter.No more problems  Grin I even use less wattage,only 25 watts,but less is better.

Thier RMA process was confusing,so I complained about it & said I was going to buy another PSU (1000 watter) from another manufacturer if we couldn't work this out.

2 weeks later,after sending my dead unit back,I got a package,but they upgraded it to the 1000 watter for the "inconvienence"  Cool  

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817121037

They even called a week later to make sure I was happy  Grin

BTW,I've used about 7 Kingwins in gaming builds & none have died,2 of them are going on 4 years old  Wink

if you use SeaSonic, you dont have to worry bout % of use. it is rated at the advertised wattage for 100%uptime

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August 07, 2012, 02:54:43 AM
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Hey, did you check the continuity of the fuse that is in your PS?

Looking to review Bitcoin / Crypto mining Hardware.
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August 07, 2012, 03:32:42 PM
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slightly off topic: When I was younger I was taking apart a disposable camera with a flash... Well somehow I touched something on this camera and it blew me away, about 6 feet away on to my back.... My hand was covered in blisters.

really? did you figure out what it was. does someone know?

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