Sign in with
Sign up | Sign in
Your question
Closed

Power Supply Cable Alarmingly Hot

Last response: in Components
Share
March 5, 2012 4:08:09 PM

So I've run into an odd scenario: my power supply cable was alarmingly hot. It was obviously melting the plastic insulation. I only noticed when I felt my toe burning as the cable was resting on it. The cable is not plugged into the wall, but into a power strip (with ground).

This problem has only occurred once while playing Battlefield 3, so it's safe to say the system was under a heavy load. Since then I have switched the PSU's power cable with the cable for my monitor. After switching , I have not noticed either heating up.

My initial theory was that the PSU was bad. However, since switching the cables seems to have fixed the issue, my new theory is that the two cables are made of different gauge wires.

Does this make any sense? More importantly, how worried should I be that my PSU is going to fry all my components?

As a side note, when I first grabbed the hot cable I could feel a noticeable tingling in my fingers. If I remember correctly, this should not happen with a well grounded connection. However, if ground was interrupted, shouldn't some breaker have tripped?

a b ) Power supply
March 5, 2012 5:34:52 PM

Simply put, the power cable wasn't the right one for your PSU. Did it come with it? Breakers don't trip when the ground isn't working because grounding wires aren't connected to a breaker.
Score
0

Best solution

March 5, 2012 6:08:29 PM

zapatodefuego said:
So I've run into an odd scenario: my power supply cable was alarmingly hot. It was obviously melting the plastic insulation. I only noticed when I felt my toe burning as the cable was resting on it. The cable is not plugged into the wall, but into a power strip (with ground).

This problem has only occurred once while playing Battlefield 3, so it's safe to say the system was under a heavy load. Since then I have switched the PSU's power cable with the cable for my monitor. After switching , I have not noticed either heating up.

My initial theory was that the PSU was bad. However, since switching the cables seems to have fixed the issue, my new theory is that the two cables are made of different gauge wires.

Does this make any sense? More importantly, how worried should I be that my PSU is going to fry all my components?

As a side note, when I first grabbed the hot cable I could feel a noticeable tingling in my fingers. If I remember correctly, this should not happen with a well grounded connection. However, if ground was interrupted, shouldn't some breaker have tripped?


It would be better to have more information on your system, like power supply size, what graphics card you are using, etc... It sounds like you did not use the cable that came with your power supply, as they are almost always sized correctly. An 18 gauge cord is good up to 10Amps, which is around 1200 watts iirc, but that is the absolute safe limit. You really should be using a 16 or 14 gauge cord. The cords you have should have the gauge printed on there somewhere, like 18AWG or something like that. Your breaker is not going to trip unless you short the power cable or draw more that the breaker's rated number of amps (most house breakers are 15 or 20amps).

You could also have had a bad connection in the power strip, or corrosion on the plugs. If the plugs are "loose" and very easily pulled in and out of the strip, either get a new strip, or see if the plug end (this is on american type flat plugs) is made of two pieces of metal folded together. If it is, you can make it fit much tighter by carefully spreading the plug blade apart (you will see a crease in the metal where the two pieces are sandwiched together). But if you dont know what I am talking about I wouldn't even try.
Share
Related resources
March 5, 2012 7:07:15 PM

Quote:
Simply put, the power cable wasn't the right one for your PSU. Did it come with it?

I thought the cable connected to the PSU was the one that came with it. I believe I was mistaken.

Quote:
It would be better to have more information on your system, like power supply size, what graphics card you are using, etc...

I think you mostly answered my question, but if it helps any..
  • PSU: 400w
  • GPU: nVidia 500ti (the min. recommended PSU wattage is 400)
  • CPU: AMD Phenom II X3 (4th core unlocked, OC ~20%)

    Thanks for the replies
    Score
    0
    March 5, 2012 7:07:26 PM

    Best answer selected by zapatodefuego.
    Score
    0
    !