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PSU sparks


#1

While browsing the net, during a thunderstorm, a spark came out of my PSU. Its still working. Should I continue using it?
The PSU in question is a Corsair VS650


#2

What do you mean by out of the PSU?

Could you go into more detail?


#3

Hmm… Let’s see…
What is the power supply connected to? Well, the motherboard, multiple times, through it it’s connected to the CPU and ram, it is directly connected to all the hard drives and SSDs, connected to the graphics card, if you have RGB shit - it’s connected to that as well… So basically if the PSU goes, everything can go with it…
It’s not all that expensive, just get a new power supply…


#4

From the back of the PSU, a white spark came out for a brief period of time. Maybe a second. And the whole PC is still working fine.


#5

Well, I paid ~90 euros for this one and I need to wait for school to end so I can get a job.


#6

You can get something decent for half that price…
I don’t know where you are from or what your system is, but you can get 650W gold rated PSU with 10 years warranty for that amount of money… If you just want bronze, which is what I would recommend for everyday use with no heavy duty stuff, you can look at the FSP Raider series. Not new, but the 650W silver version was about 65€… There’s the S12II series by seasonic, that is about 65-70€ for the 620W unit… There are BeQuiet! units for around 60€ for 600W, there are even thermaltake units…
Look, I understand your position. I was similarly financially restricted, so I run Seasonic 430W. But as much as I love it - I would throw it away at the first signs of issues. I don’t want my system to be killed by a dying power supply. Like my old one. PSU died, took the motherboard and the CPU with itself.
Don’t risk it. If your system can take it, think of a smaller capacity unit. 520W Seasonic bronze runs around 55€ locally.


#7

I have a theory, let me ask you this: When that white spark hit, did maybe in mysterious ways a hammer appear at your place and you can’t pick it up? If so, wait for the guy picking up the hammer and ask him for a repair.

Otherwise: No, you don’t want to trust that thing anymore. Replace it.


#8

I would replace it.

The PSU isn’t the most glamorous part, but it’s probably the most important. It makes sure your various components get the correct amount of power while cleaning up what’s coming to it from the wall. If something has gone wrong (most likely something has as you saw a spark), then it’s really only a matter of time before it takes something else out with it. Either it’s not going to clean up the power from the wall properly, over-volt a component, or both. It’s much easier and cheaper to replace 1 part than having to replace 3 or 4.


#9

I’m going to say… no. No you really shouldn’t.


#10

Hard to say without further diagnose of the pcb and components.
But if it still works normally, then i wouldnt be too concerned.
Could also be a loosy powercord that sparkled a littlebit.
Unless it really came out the psu itself, then it might be worrying.
But still hard to say without diagnose.


#11

A white spark came out from behind the PC? I’m going to go out on a limb and guess that the PSU wasn’t actually facing you and you weren’t focused on it at the time that it happened, but you saw a flash from the vicinity of the PSU. If a spark occurred inside of the PSU it would have gone to ground (more assumptions that a proper ground exists), so a spark originating there would not likely exit without a great deal of carnage.

If the computer is running fine, the UEFI/BIOS shows voltages within spec, and there is no smell of death emanating from the PSU, then I really find it impossible to believe that a spark actually came from inside the PSU. Given the description, it sounds like a massive difference in ground potential caused a spark, much like a static charge. It likely jumped from ground near the power cable to a lower voltage potential, or vice versa.

I’m constantly seeing things like ‘Did you sneeze? REPLACE YOUR PSU NOW!’, and I’ve never had the bad experiences people seem to claim as imminent. Maybe I’m just lucky, or many enthusiasts are unlucky, but I am not going with the flow on this one. Due diligence properly evaluating your situation, ‘at your own risk’, and all those other warnings. It’s hard to diagnose things based on a limited amount of text with possible accidental omissions and misunderstandings on either side. I don’t believe anything came from inside your PSU and therefore don’t believe it was damaged if there is no evidence of damage.

Simply out of curiosity, is it plugged in to a surge protector, and is everything else around it plugged in to a surge protector and on the same circuit?


#12

are you willing to open it up and see if there are any burn marks on components or damaged components.

Also I’d recommend downloading a program like HWmonitor to verify all voltages are reading within nominal ranges.


#13

I have an Kavari APU and I am married so a big thungerstorm is my best bet for an upgrade.


#14

The PC is on my desk. From my point of view the spark came out at a 45 degree angle. Next to the back of the PSU is a speaker. Could that cause a spark to come out?

Have to ask my landlord,but i doubt it since its a pretty old house.


#15

Sparks from your PSU are either due to dust causing a short or a capacitor blowing out. Either way even if it still works it’s now proven unreliable, and damaged, and a bad PSU can damage other components. Replace it.

Surge protectors look like power strips, they generally don’t come with your house wiring. If you don’t have one, get one. Cheap protection.


#16

Corsair’s user manual states that they are not responsible for dust build-ups which may cause damage. Also opening it voids the warranty. So…
Should have gotten one of those protectors or not use an extension cable that was made in yugoslavia. Meh…
Ty all for your help.


#17

This is a very likely hypothesis. It’s quite likely you saw light from a lightning bolt reflect off of something behind the pc.

But you cant be certain about that.


#18

You should properly assess the situation, power down your PC, crack open your psu and look for any burn marks or burnt components. Give it the old sniff test, we should all be familiar with the smell of burnt electronics.

If nothing stands out you may be ok, maybe it wasn’t really a spark from your psu but if you damn well know it was I’d replace it.

Money may be tight but is it worth risking your whole system? I got lucky when my psu died, it didn’t take anything with it.

It really boils down to how much risk you’re willing to accept.


#19

No! Let someone do that who knows this stuff.


#20

Yeah, that can actually be dangerous even unplugged. I guess if I was broke I’d be really careful and just look for burst caps/burn marks. But really, just buy a new PSU.