Exploding PSU

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  • When building a computer I try to avoid buying and installing generic components. Cheap obscure brands out of China show up regularly in shops online and in the local PC store where I shop. Even though I know better, sometimes cash is short and I need a specific part to replace one that broke.

    A number of years ago the PSU (power supply unit) broke in my son's PC. He needed the computer for school and I didn't have an extra PSU laying around or much coin in my pocket, so I went to the nearest PC shop and bought a generic 500 watt power supply. I think I paid 30 Euros for it. I brought it home, installed it and powered up the PC. Everything worked as it should.

    About two months later I was working on my computer when my son came running in shouting, "Dad...my computer is on fire!". Since he is something of a joker, I thought he was just pulling my chain. So I ignored him. A few minutes later he came running in again shouting, "Dad come quick, I think my desk is now on fire!". This time the tone in his voice jolted me out of my indifference and I bolted to his room. As I came into the room I immediately noticed a red flame shooting out of the case's side vent. Since the PC was sitting inside one of the desk's compartments, the flame that was shooting out of the vent was licking the wood, scorching it black. I quickly went to the circuit box and shut off all the power. On my way back to the desk I grabbed a full plastic bottle of water. I pulled the PC out of the compartment, yanked all of the cables out of there plugs and tossed the computer out onto the balcony. A flame was still protruding from the side vent, so I poured the contents of the bottle in the hole. There was some sizzling sounds, sort of like a steak on hot coals, but eventually the fire died.

    After a few minutes, I opened the case and this is what I saw.

    CPU: Intel i3 3.5GHz / Ram: 16GB DDR3 / Mainboard: Asrock H97 Performance / Video Card: AMD Radeon HD 7790 / HD-SSD: 1x 256Gb SSD, 3x 1TB internal drives, 2x 2TB external drives / Drive: LG DVD burner / PSU: bequiet 700 watt Gold / Case: bequiet SilentBase 800 / Displays: 1x Samsung SA650 27", 2x Eizo S1910 19" / Mouse: Logitiech G500s / Keyboard: Logitech K800 / Tablet: Samsung Tab S 10.5 LTE

    297 times read

Comments 1

  • Rogue -

    Holy Crap! That would be a total bummer.