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PSU w/ loud fan + shutdown after power surge

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July 7, 2009 8:30:51 PM

My house had a power surge about an hour ago, and now when I try to turn on my computer, it turns off after a minute or so. Initially, the computer looks and sounds fine but after about 30 seconds, a fan starts kick into high gear. I am 100% sure that it is the PSU fan. From about 30-60 seconds after the startup, the fan gradually gets louder, and eventually all power is cut off from the system (like "pulling the plug"). If I immediately try to turn the computer on after this, it still turns on, but for a shorter amount of time (I can assume that the temp of the PSU is still high and hasn't cooled down). If I wait 10 or so minutes, the same sequence of event happens. I am thinking my PSU is fried. Any light you can shed on this situation would be greatly appreciated.

Specs:
Antec 900
Corsair VX 550w PSU
Gigabyte GA-EP35-DS3l Motherboard
8800 GTS
Q6600 w/ Xigmatek HDT-S1283

Would this fall under Corsair's 5 year warranty?
a b ) Power supply
July 7, 2009 8:50:42 PM

Try a different power supply. You don't need a 550w ps to test out your theory. If the system runs stable, then you can rma the corsair for replacement. Just tell them it shuts down quickly.
July 7, 2009 9:12:35 PM

Without a doubt your power supply. I got plenty of surges, but it's actually the first one I heard causing real harm to something of this quality.

RMA it to corsair. They usually send new unit without testing them.

If you can check your PC with another power supply to be sure it is really the problem, do it.
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a b ) Power supply
July 7, 2009 9:20:54 PM

All electronics contain surge protection. But the rare and destructive surge can overwhelm that internal protection; find earth ground destructively via the electronics.

Your solution is to earth a surge before it can even enter the building. The protection inside every appliance is not overwhelmed. That solution is one 'whole house' protector and earth ground that meets and exceeds post 1990 National Electrical Code requirements.

Question - was it really a surge? Or was it a more common source of electronics damage - manufacturing defect? Numerous failures months and years later are often a manufacturing defect in only one part. An autopsy would tell more.

How do you know previous surges existed?

Meanwhile, the effective 'whole house' solution means nobody even knows the surge existed. Even the protector remains functional.
July 7, 2009 9:35:28 PM

Westom,

I might be technically incorrect for calling it a power surge. What happened was the lights in the room actually grew in intensity-- I'd say almost doubled-- and flickered quit a bit, which is abnormal for what I would usually call a "power surge". Whatever this event is called, I am 100% sure that it caused the problems that I am having, because the symptoms started right after this event.

All,
Thanks for the help and I filed an RMA at Corsair. I'll keep everyone posted.
a b ) Power supply
July 7, 2009 10:06:26 PM

Quote:
I might be technically incorrect for calling it a power surge. What happened was the lights in the room actually grew in intensity-- I'd say almost doubled-- and flickered quit a bit, which is abnormal for what I would usually call a "power surge".

AC voltage can increase 20 volts and cause a 70% light intensity increase. That is not a surge. In fact, view a let-through number on a surge protector box. Does it say 330 volts? That means the protector mostly ignores surges until voltage increases 200 additional volts. 20 volt increase would be completely ignored by every surge protector.

Do lights brighten in some places and dim in others? A symptom of a dangerous problem called an open neutral. Again, some would call it a surge when the solution requires either an electrician in the breaker box or linemen at the pole transformer. Notice how a completely different conclusion results when details are provided.

Normal is for a light bulb to blow when turned on. Junk science says power on harms light bulbs. alse - as even defined by equations in the IES Handbook - the industry standard for light bulbs. Unfortunately, too many conclude only using observation - junk science. If you cannot support your observation with some underlying technological grasp and numbers, then that conclusion is the definition of junk science.

Example. Power went off. They blamed power cycling for damaging a computer that was never turned off. Then I did the repair. Found a failed pullup resistor. It always conducts current. But its only function is to bootstrap the power supply during power on. No resistor; no power on. Resistor was damaged by too many hours of operation (manufacturing defect). But those who *know* only using observation instead blamed power cycling - another urban myth. They knew only using observation. Therefore jumped to a junk science conclusion. Failure was caused when that computer was on for too many hours - not by power cycling: a popular myth.

Appreciate why underlying details (such as why you know) are so critical. If you have that open neutral problem, then insufficient details (always also say why) would not identify a potential human safety problem.

Why did the Corsair fail? If under warranty, you will never know.
July 8, 2009 6:00:25 PM

westom said:
Quote:
I might be technically incorrect for calling it a power surge. What happened was the lights in the room actually grew in intensity-- I'd say almost doubled-- and flickered quit a bit, which is abnormal for what I would usually call a "power surge".

AC voltage can increase 20 volts and cause a 70% light intensity increase. That is not a surge. In fact, view a let-through number on a surge protector box. Does it say 330 volts? That means the protector mostly ignores surges until voltage increases 200 additional volts. 20 volt increase would be completely ignored by every surge protector.

Do lights brighten in some places and dim in others? A symptom of a dangerous problem called an open neutral. Again, some would call it a surge when the solution requires either an electrician in the breaker box or linemen at the pole transformer. Notice how a completely different conclusion results when details are provided.

Normal is for a light bulb to blow when turned on. Junk science says power on harms light bulbs. alse - as even defined by equations in the IES Handbook - the industry standard for light bulbs. Unfortunately, too many conclude only using observation - junk science. If you cannot support your observation with some underlying technological grasp and numbers, then that conclusion is the definition of junk science.

Example. Power went off. They blamed power cycling for damaging a computer that was never turned off. Then I did the repair. Found a failed pullup resistor. It always conducts current. But its only function is to bootstrap the power supply during power on. No resistor; no power on. Resistor was damaged by too many hours of operation (manufacturing defect). But those who *know* only using observation instead blamed power cycling - another urban myth. They knew only using observation. Therefore jumped to a junk science conclusion. Failure was caused when that computer was on for too many hours - not by power cycling: a popular myth.

Appreciate why underlying details (such as why you know) are so critical. If you have that open neutral problem, then insufficient details (always also say why) would not identify a potential human safety problem.

Why did the Corsair fail? If under warranty, you will never know.


All your technical analysis misses the point. Power supply likely was damaged from the event that took place.
a b ) Power supply
July 8, 2009 9:31:28 PM

Quote:
All your technical analysis misses the point. Power supply likely was damaged from the event that took place.

You mised the point. Power supply was more likely damaged from a manufacturing defect and too many hours of operation. Damage only made apparent by the event.

Power cycling never causes light bulb failure even through the light bulb fails during power on. Junk science is to see an event; blame failure on what was observed. Not first learn the underlying concepts before making a conclusion. Example repeated because your post demonstrates you don't grasp the concept.

Meanwhile, far more important was a questoin about open neutral. Does it exist? A question repeated because that failure can be so dangerous to both appliances and humans. Another concept that many fail to grasp.
July 9, 2009 2:02:15 AM

westom said:
Quote:
All your technical analysis misses the point. Power supply likely was damaged from the event that took place.

You mised the point. Power supply was more likely damaged from a manufacturing defect and too many hours of operation. Damage only made apparent by the event.

Power cycling never causes light bulb failure even through the light bulb fails during power on. Junk science is to see an event; blame failure on what was observed. Not first learn the underlying concepts before making a conclusion. Example repeated because your post demonstrates you don't grasp the concept.

Meanwhile, far more important was a questoin about open neutral. Does it exist? A question repeated because that failure can be so dangerous to both appliances and humans. Another concept that many fail to grasp.


You are the epitome of 'junk science', or in your case just plain old FUD. Or, to call it by it's rightful name, bullshit. An incandescent light bulb fails for a number of reasons, to do with hours used AND on / off cycles. It all ends up being the filament, quality thereof, and how much work hardening it can take before developing a 'hot spot' Hours on contribute, as well as on / off cycles. On / off cycles are by far and away the leading cause of failure of even quality bulbs, and even more so in crap bulbs. So yes, power cycling will cause incandescent bulb premature failure.

An 'open neutral' is by definition, an incomplete circuit... ie, no conduction, therefore no power.

Most properly built PSU's today are switching PSU's, and as such will outlast most every other component by many hours. They do also have built in overvoltage protection circuits, which if abused once badly may not recover, and if abused frequently increase the chances of failure.

In areas of somewhat unstable power, frequent electrical storms or the like, a good UPS will add peace of mind to a PC owner. No datacenter would even think of not running very good UPS systems, generally with a good backup generator as well. This is what the OP should do to stop his situation from happening in the future, not try to read some junk science treatise from some bonehead offering no helpful advice in any way.

Now, please go back to reading your electricity 101 textbook, there WILL be a snap quiz in the morning.
a b ) Power supply
July 9, 2009 2:11:55 PM

croc's post demonstrates why a majority of designers in the Silicon Valley now come from immigrants. Technical knowledge in America comes mostly from wild speculation and feelings.
Quote:
An incandescent light bulb fails for a number of reasons, to do with hours used AND on / off cycles. ...
An 'open neutral' is by definition, an incomplete circuit... ie, no conduction, therefore no power. ...
No datacenter would even think of not running very good UPS systems, generally with a good backup generator as well.

1) One who first learns how filaments fail would obviously know that power cycling does not cause that damage. But anyone who knows only using observation and wild speculation would post that claim. The IES Handbook is quite clear about what causes light bulb failure - voltage and hours. Both are even defined with equations. Power cycling does not cause light bulb failure when one learns science.

2) An open neutral causes a significant voltage increase. Anyone with basic electrician knowledge would know that. Furthermore, we have even seen a house explode due to an open neutral combined with a missing earth ground electrode. croc would understand that with basic electrical knowledge. croc knows how to attack; did not bother to first learn.

3) UPS is installed to provide power when utility electric is lost. To protection hardware, other solutions are provided. Hardware protection is defined even in Sun Microsystems "Planning guide for Sun Server room":
> Section 6.4.7 Lightning Protection:
> Lightning surges cannot be stopped, but they can be diverted. The plans
> for the data center should be thoroughly reviewed to identify any paths
> for surge entry into the data center. Surge arrestors can be designed into
> the system to help mitigate the potential for lightning damage within the
> data center. These should divert the power of the surge by providing a
> path to ground for the surge energy. ...

Where do they call for a UPS for hardware protection? They do not. croc has simply reiterated a popular myth - that the UPS provides hardware protection. The UPS provides power to keep servers working. Hardware protection is located elsewhere - defined by what absorbs surges - earth ground.

OP's solution to protect data is a UPS. OP's solution to protect hardware is a properly earthed 'whole house' protector - as Sun Microsystems also requires for their computers. As every telco everywhere in the work installs for their computers. As the US Air Force demands in their every facility. As is standard in maritime communication centers. As even Orange County FL corrected to stop surge damage:
http://www.psihq.com/AllCopper.htm

croc needs to learn before knowing. He even posts popular urban myths about light bulbs because he knows only from observation - also called junk science. He demonstrates why the Silicon Valley needs so many immigrant who actually know how to think logically. Not use junk science reasoning.

What the OP thought was a surge would be completely ignored by any surge protector. What causes power supply damage? No definitive answer is available without an autopsy. But such failures are typical of manufacturing defects.
July 10, 2009 12:53:57 AM

westom said:
croc's post demonstrates why a majority of designers in the Silicon Valley now come from immigrants. Technical knowledge in America comes mostly from wild speculation and feelings.
Quote:
An incandescent light bulb fails for a number of reasons, to do with hours used AND on / off cycles. ...
An 'open neutral' is by definition, an incomplete circuit... ie, no conduction, therefore no power. ...
No datacenter would even think of not running very good UPS systems, generally with a good backup generator as well.

1) One who first learns how filaments fail would obviously know that power cycling does not cause that damage. But anyone who knows only using observation and wild speculation would post that claim. The IES Handbook is quite clear about what causes light bulb failure - voltage and hours. Both are even defined with equations. Power cycling does not cause light bulb failure when one learns science.

2) An open neutral causes a significant voltage increase. Anyone with basic electrician knowledge would know that. Furthermore, we have even seen a house explode due to an open neutral combined with a missing earth ground electrode. croc would understand that with basic electrical knowledge. croc knows how to attack; did not bother to first learn.

3) UPS is installed to provide power when utility electric is lost. To protection hardware, other solutions are provided. Hardware protection is defined even in Sun Microsystems "Planning guide for Sun Server room":
> Section 6.4.7 Lightning Protection:
> Lightning surges cannot be stopped, but they can be diverted. The plans
> for the data center should be thoroughly reviewed to identify any paths
> for surge entry into the data center. Surge arrestors can be designed into
> the system to help mitigate the potential for lightning damage within the
> data center. These should divert the power of the surge by providing a
> path to ground for the surge energy. ...

Where do they call for a UPS for hardware protection? They do not. croc has simply reiterated a popular myth - that the UPS provides hardware protection. The UPS provides power to keep servers working. Hardware protection is located elsewhere - defined by what absorbs surges - earth ground.

OP's solution to protect data is a UPS. OP's solution to protect hardware is a properly earthed 'whole house' protector - as Sun Microsystems also requires for their computers. As every telco everywhere in the work installs for their computers. As the US Air Force demands in their every facility. As is standard in maritime communication centers. As even Orange County FL corrected to stop surge damage:
http://www.psihq.com/AllCopper.htm

croc needs to learn before knowing. He even posts popular urban myths about light bulbs because he knows only from observation - also called junk science. He demonstrates why the Silicon Valley needs so many immigrant who actually know how to think logically. Not use junk science reasoning.

What the OP thought was a surge would be completely ignored by any surge protector. What causes power supply damage? No definitive answer is available without an autopsy. But such failures are typical of manufacturing defects.


You want to talk about learning...ask the op if his house has grounded outlets. Most modern houses in the US are already grounded by the utility company at the underground pedestal, or a simple earth ground from the utility box. OP should not need to do this unless his house is excessively old (1950's or earlier). An over voltage would also be ignored by any such grounding.

The reason light bulbs fail by the way, is due to the fact that little bits of the fillament are atomized from being super heated during normal use.This makes the fillament thinner until it eventually breaks. Nothing to do with time as much as heat.


a b ) Power supply
July 10, 2009 1:22:22 PM

royalcrown said:
You want to talk about learning...ask the op if his house has grounded outlets. Most modern houses in the US are already grounded by the utility company at the underground pedestal, or a simple earth ground from the utility box....
The reason light bulbs fail by the way, is due to the fact that little bits of the fillament are atomized from being super heated during normal use.

First, heat is one parameter of light bulb life expectancy. Increased heat is defined by increased voltage. The numbers: A 120 volt light bulb operating at 126 volts will burn out twice as fast. Two factors that determine light bulb life expectancy are hours and volts. Now back to the point: too many only feel or use wild speculation to 'know'. Too many use junk science reasoning. For example: claim power cycling shortens bulb life expectancy.

Too many completely forget the lessons in junior high science; how to know something. When knowledge comes only from observation, that is classic junk science. That point made repeatedly, in part, because so many forgot that lesson in junior high science.

Second, wires are not electrically same at both ends. Your statement assumes otherwise. Whereas a safety ground wire (receptacle to breaker box) may provide a safety ground connection (for 60 Hz AC), it is insufficient for surges. To be earthed, a protector must connect short to earth short (ie 'less than 10 feet'). Wire cannot have sharp bends. No splices. Wire must be separated from non-grounding wires. Not inside metallic conduit. All ground wires meet and connect at the same earth ground.

Safety ground wires violate most if not all requirements for earthing surges. Worse, many older homes are missing even earthing only for human safety. For surge protection, earthing must meet and exceed post 1990 National Electrical Code requirements. Many if not most homes do not meet those requirements. Even a cold water pipe is no longer sufficient for earthing - even for human safety.

Any home can be upgraded by simply upgrading earthing; do nothing to interior safety ground wiring.

Every surge protection layer is defined by the only thing required in every protection 'system'. Household protection layer is defined by an earthing electrode connected 'less than 10 feet' to breaker box, telco NID, cable, etc. This is called 'secondary protection'. The 'primary protection' system should also be inspected:
http://www.tvtower.com/fpl.html

!