Another victim of caps going bad :(

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Another victim of caps going bad :(

Postposted on Thu Nov 14, 2013 9:43 pm

Today, the PC Power and Cooler Silencer 610W PSU that powered my older system and its various platforms over the past five years finally gave up the ghost. It started with an abrupt power lost on the computer then a brilliant blue flash emulating from the upper part of the chassis. I could immediately smell the distinctive odor of the "magical smoke" being released. I quickly unplugged everything from the computer and inspected the internal stuff to check for scotch marks and exploded capacitors. I found nothing on the motherboard, CPU and HDDs. The smell was coming from the PSU itself.

I managed to pull out the PSU from the chassis after a painstaking effort of undoing all of the wire tidying. I decided to peak inside the PSU's interior via its side vents without opening up the unit and found that two of the capacitors were oozing out electrolyte onto one of the copper coils. :o

Fortunately, I had a spare OCZ 700W Modstream PSU on hand that came from a system build from my old man. I plugged the unit in and was able to verify that were no other casualties from Silencer's 610's untimely demise.

I'm trying to see if OCZ/PC Power and Cooling are willing to put the unit via a RMA, but I'm not holding my breath.

I do supposed that I came out lucky, considering that similar incidents usually resulted in the death of everything that was plugged into the PSU.
Last edited by Krogoth on Thu Nov 14, 2013 11:45 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Another victim of caps going bad :(

Postposted on Thu Nov 14, 2013 10:13 pm

Krogoth sad??
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Re: Another victim of caps going bad :(

Postposted on Thu Nov 14, 2013 10:16 pm

Well, if it is 5 years old it was probably manufactured shortly after they were acquired by OCZ. Coincidence?
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Re: Another victim of caps going bad :(

Postposted on Thu Nov 14, 2013 10:29 pm

Seriously though, assuming you have them on a UPS....nevermind....Brew It nailed it..that is a questionable brand in my experience. I tend to stick with Corsair (Seasonic) high end power supplies unless I see a good unit review from HardOCP or SilentPCReview for those tucked away rigs that media peeps want.

** hope I didn't break forum rules listing another sites name...apologies
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Re: Another victim of caps going bad :(

Postposted on Thu Nov 14, 2013 11:43 pm

I believe the unit was actually manufactured before the whole OCZ bought out took place. The OEM for PSU is Seasonic which have a soild reputation. I think the unit was just a victim of wear and tear. It has been driving Q6600@3.0Ghz and 2x4850s for a good portion of its lifespan. It is only a year ago when it went down to a single 4850 when one of the 4850s died after from a routine HSF dust-off. For some reason, one of the resistors near the PCIe fingers blew up on the said 4850. 4850s were out of warranty so it wasn't really that big of a deal.

I did entertain the idea to upgrade to a 6850 or 7850, but decided against it since Q6600 was getting long in the tooth.
Last edited by Krogoth on Thu Nov 14, 2013 11:46 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Another victim of caps going bad :(

Postposted on Thu Nov 14, 2013 11:44 pm

speaking of UPSs, I just had a Cyberpower one go kaput. The battery leaked battery acid from the negative terminal and guess what, somehow burned out a capacitor in the unit. That burnt smell Im all to familiar with all the PSU that have failed me over the years. To replace that UPS with a new identical one would cost me around $90. Fortunately for me I got 6 years out of it and I have a lesser voltage Belkin UPS I can swap into its place.
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Re: Another victim of caps going bad :(

Postposted on Fri Nov 15, 2013 2:00 am

I've had only one PCP&C power supply go bad, and they returned it (oh, and it was at least two years out of warranty, no charge) still broken. No bueno. In their defense it was just the power on switch that was bad. It was long before they were bought by OCZ, too, but they really are OEM for another PSU company. I think Tom's Hardware has an OEM list, linked somewhere on TR.

Sorry, PUI. It was a Tubo-Cool 300 that still lives in a now defunct file server. Changing cases and the PSU worked fine.
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Re: Another victim of caps going bad :(

Postposted on Fri Nov 15, 2013 12:19 pm

Just curious, what brand was the exploded capacitor?
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Re: Another victim of caps going bad :(

Postposted on Fri Nov 15, 2013 12:20 pm

Yum-cha.
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Re: Another victim of caps going bad :(

Postposted on Fri Nov 15, 2013 1:22 pm

I would say the PSU did its job (one of the many), which is to sacrifice itself without taking out other components.
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Re: Another victim of caps going bad :(

Postposted on Fri Nov 15, 2013 1:49 pm

I GUESS YOU COULD SAY THAT MY CAPS HAS GONE BAD AS WELL. RIP.
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Re: Another victim of caps going bad :(

Postposted on Fri Nov 15, 2013 3:04 pm

Sluggo sad for Krogoth's PC. Poor PC.

Dust, if you weren't aware, becomes slightly conductive as the humidity goes up. Dust also prefers to collect between the leads of higher-voltage devices (ever-so-slightly ionized air). Take some very high voltage capacitor leads, add enough dust and enough moisture .... ka-snack.

Many manufacturers will add a piece of clear plastic tape to the bottom of a board where the cap leads protrude. This is not just a safety measure, but also to prevent the build up of dust.

Don't know if dust is what did in Krogoth's PC, but it can happen. Blow out those PSU's every year or so.
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Re: Another victim of caps going bad :(

Postposted on Fri Nov 15, 2013 6:04 pm

zenlessyank wrote:Seriously though, assuming you have them on a UPS....nevermind....Brew It nailed it..that is a questionable brand in my experience. I tend to stick with Corsair (Seasonic) high end power supplies unless I see a good unit review from HardOCP or SilentPCReview for those tucked away rigs that media peeps want.

** hope I didn't break forum rules listing another sites name...apologies


Would it be safe to say that you are... not impressed... by his choice choice of power supply?
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Re: Another victim of caps going bad :(

Postposted on Fri Nov 15, 2013 6:21 pm

Got back with OCZ/PC Power and Cooling and they said that warrant expired on that unit. It is no big deal though. I was kinda expecting it.

I had experienced my fair share of horror stories with el cheap PSU units (not in my systems). That would blow up in your face with deadly results (killing motherboards, CPUs and throwing out electrical sparks etc.)

I suppose that I can wait over week or so until the capacitors drain out and open up the unit and get a full damage report.
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