Question Breaker flips under light load

Jun 2, 2020
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I have a power problem, I'm not sure if it's my PSU causing it or if it's the GFCI breaker. The GFCI break will flip when my computer isn't doing anything, the breaker powers the two bedrooms. We only have a fan, an alarm clock, Anker 5 port power brick to charge our phones and watches, a google home and a lamp in my master and the second bedroom I have my laptop running my Minecraft server (for just me only), my desktop and two monitors, computer speakers (that have an internal short on the subwoofer that causes one to not always work) , a printer. I can be sitting here looking at Reddit on my desktop and the breaker will flip. I've already had maintenance replace the breaker with a new one and the problem still persists. I have also tried plugging my desktop (from the power stip that even has my laptop plugged into it) on different outlets that are on different breakers with an extension cord for two different sets of weeks and not even have the power flip or do anything. As soon as I'm back in the room the power will go out randomly. I've also torn my desktop all the way apart to make sure nothing was arking and or shorting out. The only thing I haven't done is change out my PSU ( I do plan on upgrading my desktop once all of the COVID-19 markups are over, so I don't want to buy one unless It's a good deal and I can use in my future upgrade).

Also, maintenance is claiming that there is nothing they can do at this point since they never intended the rooms to be used as an office space, and that the GFCI needs to be there due to building code for the town. (Have they ever heard of teenage girls and hair dryers and curlers? Those things pull a lot of power compared to my desktop). I'm running out of options, I am going to purchase a PSU as I just lost 3 hours of homework due to my own stupidity and not saving often enough. But I know it's not going to fix the power outage problems. Any thoughts or ideas of what I can do from here, I am willing to replace the breaker just don't want to get myself kicked out of my apartment due to replacing a breaker.

PC SPECS
CPU - Intel i5-6400
GPU -EVGA GTX 1060 6GB
RAM - 16GB
PSU - Corsair CX 430M
Monitors - 2x Asus 27"

Laptop
MSI - 7+ years old
Intel i7-4700 MQ
GPU GTX 765M (I think)
Ram - 12GB

As you can see a system that shouldn't be flipping a breaker as it doesn't draw enough power to even dim a light.
 

Darkbreeze

Titan
Moderator
Unplug the subwoofer, see if it still does it. If these are powered subwoofers and there is an internal short, then there's a good chance they are the culprit.

Eliminate the power strip from the equation. Plug everything DIRECTLY into wall outlets, with no power strip, and see if the problem continues. Power strips are notoriously problematic since 99% of them (Including ones commonly thought to be "good" by most people such as those sold by Belkin, Monster, Amazon basics, etc.) are extremely cheaply built and in fact are terrible fire and shock hazards. It's not uncommon at all to find a power strip at the root of a power or mystery type of PC issue or even where other devices or appliances are concerned.

Unless this outlet is in the bathroom, kitchen or laundry room, then your maintenance person is not being honest with you. The National electrical code states that only outlets located within 6 feet of a water source are required to be GFCI. If they are not within 6 feet of a water source, then they are not required to be GFCI and it's likely somebody else or the maintenance person (Who is probably nothing more than a common handyman, not that there is anything wrong with that, I happen to be a professional property maintenance person myself. Yes, a handyman, but a fairly well trained one) has erroneously installed one where it was not necessary for there to be one. Not that there is anything wrong with having one in any particular location, but if there are problems with it then it may be that the ground fault being detected due to a problem with your power strip or a power with the internal subwoofer problem are triggering it. I'd start there and work to other possibilities from that point on.
 
Jun 2, 2020
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Okay, so I tried leaving my speakers unplugged and the power still flipped. I know it's not my power strip as I have switched it out with known good ones and the breaker still flips. I really don't want to just plug my computer directly into the outlet but it's looking like that's my only option left to do and run it till it flips. As it's so random and I can't get it to flip on demand.
 

Darkbreeze

Titan
Moderator
If you've tried multiple power strips, even though I'm 100% certain none of them is a high quality model, it becomes very unlikely that the power strip is to blame so although I would still (And always do) recommend plugging your PSU directly into the wall at ALL times unless you have a very high quality power strip like those sold by Tripp Lite, Leviton, Eaton, G.E. Industrial and SOME of the APC models, I would look at other probably causes.

How old is your CX430?
 
Jun 2, 2020
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It's well over 5 years old, my brother built this computer for my grandmother for her to be able to do some light internet browsing and some other type of work on it. But once she passed my brother decided to give it to me since he had no use for it. I do remember having problems with my power supply a few years back and all I did was dust it out really well and reseated all my connections and the problem went away. The power supply is probably reaching its life span, I wouldn't be surprised if it's almost 10 years old at this point.

I'll try plugging my desktop directly into the wall and putting the rest of my stuff on an extension cord plugged into a different breaker and report back my results, hopefully it's not my power supply going out.
 

Darkbreeze

Titan
Moderator
I would VERY MUCH be inclined to say the power supply was the issue. That unit, if it is ten years old, is about seven years past it's warranty, and it's warranty period is the amount of time the manufacturer believes it to be reliable for. Not to last, but to be reliable. If the manufacturer believes a unit is only reliable for a given period of time, then I believe that as well and since you are more than double outside the expected reliability lifespan for that unit, that would be the very first thing I would do if the rest of the hardware has any value to you at all. The bad thing is, power supplies are extremely hard to come by at the moment because they are practically sold out everywhere, at least, ones that are even marginally decent quality. There are still a few to be had and it changes day to day.

 
Jun 2, 2020
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Yea that's why I'm hoping the power supply isn't finally showing it's age because I don't think I'll be able to get one for a few months at least and I need my computer for school
 

Darkbreeze

Titan
Moderator
I've been doing this a long time. I can assure you that your hardware, much as you might like for it to, doesn't care in the least what you are hoping for and if your reality is anything like mine, then exactly what you are hoping NOT to have happen, will be exactly what DOES happen, more often than not. LOL.

Considering what you've done already, and the age of the rest of your hardware in comparison to the power supply, it's not impossible that it's something else but it's highly unlikely unless it's the socket or the circuit itself. If you haven't already, I'd ask that the outlet and circuit be ACTUALLY tested, to make certain that the hot and neutral (Not to be confused with the ground) are not reversed, and that the whole circuit is adequately grounded. Or you can pick up one of these online, or from Lowe's or any tool or home center, and test it yourself.

https://www.amazon.com/Sperry-Instruments-GFI6302-Receptacle-Professional/dp/B000RUL2UU/ref=sr_1_2?dchild=1&keywords=outlet+tester&qid=1591238372&sr=8-2
 

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