overvoltage

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Hello, I've blown a few power supplies on my home PC. The PC is connecting to a working surge protector. It was suggested to me that I could have an over-voltage problem. I thought a surge protector handled that. How would I know if I have an over-voltage problem? does this make any sense? Thanks.
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Surge protectors handle surges, not higher than normal voltage. Get a meter and see exactly what you do have. Do this a few times a day. When I started replacing light bulbs too frequently, I did that and found we had up to 140 volts for a time in the morning. The power company denied it, but once I made the call, it never happened again. They also replaced some equipment at the nearby sub station.
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hows the dust level in your home. power supplies attract dust, which prevents proper cooling and causes power supply failures. plus a underlying main computer problem can cause power supply failures. you might up the wattage of your supply espically if you have added cards to your computer.
do check your line voltage, but that may not be it
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Agree with all the above. However, one would think that there is quite a bit of margin in a PC supply. I would think you'd have to see a pretty hefty over-voltage to burn it out. Is the supply adequate for the total load of the PC, ie is this just a typical PC or one fully loaded with add-in boards? Fans/ventilation working?
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snipped-for-privacy@optonline.net wrote:

I think pretty much all PC power supplies (and most other power supplies) these days are auto ranging switching type power supplies which will accept an input voltage range from about 100-240V without any issues. If you have an overvoltage situation on your power line it's very unlikely that it will be high enough to be any issue for the PC supply before a lot of other electrical items in your house are melting down, particularly all your light bulbs.
I did have a moderate overvoltage situation at my house once, about 136V. I noticed it when my UPS switched to battery while power was obviously still on. Checking the UPS I found it reporting 136V on the input and switched to battery protectively. I confirmed the reading with a separate meter as 135.6V (the UPS only reports three digits), and called the utility.
The CSR I talked to at the utility had no idea what I was talking about, but promised to pass the info to a tech. Much to my surprise I got a call back from a tech in the area within 10 min and after explaining what I found to him, he was parked in my driveway another 10 min later. By the time I got out to the truck he had confirmed the reading and was on the radio to another tech heading to the regulator bank up the road. A few min later I had a nice 126V reading and it's been fine ever since. A lot better response from the utility than I would have expected.
Pete C.
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would
Probably all domestic electricity utilities will test your house voltage (at the fuse box) free. They have an interest in ensuring their own voltage transformers are safe and efficient.
--
Don Phillipson
Carlsbad Springs
  Click to see the full signature.
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Jack wrote:

Hi, Is your PC PSU proper size? I use 500W one on my PC. My server has 750W one. Wonder if it is undersized El Cheapo? If you have voltage problem, other appliances will have trouble too.
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On Sun, 27 May 2007 16:05:58 +0000, Tony Hwang wrote:

750W? You heating the room too? Undersized and el cheapo are not synonomous. Get a quality power supply before you get one with a high rating.
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On Tue, 29 May 2007 09:19:35 -0500, dnoyeB wrote:

I've seen dual redundant 750 watt supplies in servers. High performance SCSI drives suck lots of watts especially when you've got 3 or 4 of them.
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dnoyeB wrote:

Hmmm, So what do you know about PSUs? I used to design them on mil-spec.
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Tony Hwang wrote:

Both of those are way overkill for most machines. I've got a good quality 330W in one machine, a 220W in the other. Both have been fine for many years.
You only need a huge power supply if you are driving a high-end graphics card or many hard drives.
Chris
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Indeed. For comparison, consider this server from Apple:
Two 3 GHz dual-core Xeon processors 32 GB of RAM 3 300 GB 15000 RPM SAS drives It's got a 650W supply. Or how about this one from Pogo Linux?
Four 2.8 GHz dual-core Opteron processors 64 GB of RAM 5 SCSI hard disks 12 case fans
(I'm not bothering to list things like CD drives, ethernet, etc, on any of those).
That's got 850W. He must have one hell of a server if he really needs 750W.
My home server has used 27 KWh over the last 225 hours, so that works out to 120W (it runs 24/7).
For a home non-server machine, 500W *may* be reasonable. A high-end graphics card might use 120W. So, figure two of those, in some kind of SLI setup or something like that. Now throw in a pair of fast dual-core processors, lots of RAM, high end sound card, a couple big fast disks, and you could maybe need 500W.
--
--Tim Smith

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Jack wrote:

I'm involved with a local access TV studio that had a similar problem. We blew the power supply in a color laser printer twice, a power supply in a PC and a surge protector. In one case the UPS actually switched on a high voltage ... seems many don't. Anyway, it turned out the be a bad neutral from a 3 phase transformer. I actually measured 180 volts at one of the outlets. This is in a commercial building and the transformer was mounted up in the ceiling area of the TV studio .... humming all the time. Anyway the electrical department determined that the transformer was bad, so they replaced it putting it in an equipment room where it should have been originally. I'm really not so sure that it was the transformer ... it could have been a bad connection somewhere. But anyway, new transform = no humming and the problem hasn't come back. As others have said, measure the voltage at the outlet.
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On Sun, 27 May 2007 08:10:39 -0400, Jack wrote:

A power supply is not a light bulb. Unless your buying total junk, it probably has a fuse inside of it. overvoltage should not destroy the powersupply. Thats its job to convert voltage.
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On Mon, 28 May 2007 00:10:20 -0700, w_tom wrote:

One wonders if you are in the military. You seem to think all powersupplies 'must' conform to certain standards. No they do not have to. They can be just as cheap and junky as their manufacturer desires them to be.
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Specifications for PC power supplies are quite specific. However some clone power supplies are, instead, marketed to computer assemblers who often don't even know how electricity works. These power supplies may be missing essential functions required by those specifications.
How to suspect a power supply as 'cheap and junky'? Such supplies will be missing the full page of numerical specifications. If is does not claim to meet those well defined industry standards, then they can sell it at discounted prices. Many who never learned technology will buy a supply only based upon watts and dollars.
Since A+ Certified techs need not even know how electricity works to be certified, then this is a perfect market for supplies that are missing essential functions.
For example, all outputs from a PC supply can be shorted together without power supply damaged. Industry specs even define wire size for that test. But this same required function may be missing in 'cheap and junky' power supplies. Those who did not learn technology might blame the short instead of a human buyer for damage that must never occur.
Yes standards do exist for PC power supplies. If a supply permits a PC to interfere with an adjacent AM radio, then the power supply does not conform to another industry standard. If a power supply is 'cheap and junky', then blame falls upon the human because those standards exist.
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Hoo-boy!
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On Tue, 29 May 2007 11:51:42 -0700, w_tom wrote:

Only such body I am aware of is UL or United Laboratories. I dont think all power supplies get the UL stamp of approval?
Anyway, the point is if its specified, it needs to be tested. I dont know what body is validating that these supplies are meeting the stated specifications. Do you?
Were you around when car amplifiers put out 100W per channel? and sound more terrible than another one that puts out just 15W/ channel?
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UL does not care if a power supply even works. Their mandate is human safety; that a power supply does not harm humans. If supply destroys transistors - UL does not care. As long as destruction does not harm humans, then supply can obtain UL approval.
Another standard is FCC Part 15. Supply need not meet FCC requirements when not stated in written specs. A clone computer assembler is responsible for compouter meeting those Part 15 requirements. Since many computer assemblers do not even know what Part 15 is, then a supply manufacturer can 'forget' to include essential filters; leaving computer assembler liable.
Intel demands a long list of requirements. Does the power supply conform to those requirements? Again, responsibility lies with the computer assembler. He must demand a long list of written manufacturer specs. But many clone computer manufacturers know the technical competence of their customers. If functions claimed on a written spec sheets were missing, only then is a supply manufacturer liable. Best to not provide any numerical specifications since so many computer assemblers only buy on watts and price. Eyes glaze over when many computer assemblers look at electrical parameters. Even A+ Certified technicians neither know what these functions are nor demand those numerical specifications. North American clone computer industry is ripe for dumping.
Explained are simplest tasks, tools, and numbers to answer the OPs question. 200 volts could harm his computer and would be completely ignored by a surge protector. This is simple stuff that every responsible computer tech should know. Even A+ Certification does not require such electrical knowledge. Therefore the OP is told a surge protector would have eliminated overvoltage. No wonder a majority of America's engineers are immigrants and foreigners. Too many computer experts who don't even know how electricity works.
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w_tom wrote:

Hi, Stricter spec. is CE, the EU standard spec.
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