Question Can small power surges damage motherboard over time?

Jul 31, 2019
1
0
10
0
There is no surge protector to be bought in my country and european plug surge protector with affordable shipping is hard to find.

My last motherboard got damaged, it wouldn't charge anymore, i dont know why. It was not burned.

We live in a flat and I've never got anything burned from a surge. Is it possible for surges to not do instant damage? Can they damage the motherboard over time without burning it?
 
.... Is it possible for surges to not do instant damage? Can they damage the motherboard over time without burning it?
The simple answer is 'Yes', for both questions. But whether it actually will affect you depends on whether you have power surges and how often. Areas with more frequent lightening storms are at much greater risk.

Also PSU's usually have some level of surge protection built-in, with higher quality units having better surge protection. Garbage PSU's will let surges through and that will slowly degrade semiconductor devices on the motherboard.

Power strips with built-in surge protection are also available. Shutting down and removing power and LAN cables is also a wise move during thunderstorms if you don't have a surge protector. But if you have frequent lightening storms, or poor grid power stability, it's simply wiser to lay out the expense and get a supplemental surge protector.
 
Last edited:

dorsai

Honorable
Nov 23, 2013
404
17
10,965
57
There is no surge protector to be bought in my country and european plug surge protector with affordable shipping is hard to find.

My last motherboard got damaged, it wouldn't charge anymore, i dont know why. It was not burned.

We live in a flat and I've never got anything burned from a surge. Is it possible for surges to not do instant damage? Can they damage the motherboard over time without burning it?

Yes...power surges can burn out any electrical equipment...both high voltage and low voltage are bad.

If possible adding a UPS with power conditioning is the way to go...many will not only protect form voltage spikes but will also protect from low voltage conditions.

Not knowing where in Europe you live I picked a french store for an example... https://www.cdiscount.com/informatique/cables-connectiques/infosec-onduleur-haute-frequence-z4-b-box-ex-500/f-1072021-inf66077.html?idOffre=320476487#cm_rr=FP:7583423:SP:CAR
 
Last edited:

AllanGH

Estimable
Mar 10, 2019
2,552
533
3,240
81
We live in a flat and I've never got anything burned from a surge.
Actual burning of components usually results from nearby lightning strikes, or high voltage conductors coming in contact with low-side conductors, or communications lines/hardware. These are "relatively rare" occurences, but they do happen, and are quite expensive to recover from. (Been there. Done that.)
Is it possible for surges to not do instant damage?
Yes. Both surges and sags can cause low-level damage that does not immediately impact the operation of equipment. You just don't see it at the time.
Can they damage the motherboard over time without burning it?
Absolutely, but it is the power supply that is most susceptible to this kind of cumulative damage, and cheap power supplies do pass that damage along to not just the motherboard, but every other component that is connected to the power supply.

Ideally, you should operate a computer system, in its entirety, on a high-quality UPS.

The best you can do for an acceptable second best, is to go for a power line conditioner/voltage regulator, and hope that you don't have regular to semi-regular power cuts. However, you have to remain aware that the majority of power line conditioners/voltage regulators are no solution to profound line voltage sags and drop-outs, and those are the mains anomalies that are hardest on power supplies.

Almost no solution at all is a surge protector strip. Sure, they will filter-out minor spikes, and that's never a bad thing; but the line hits that will hammer your computer system will come straight through a surge protector strip.

Worst of all is running a system straight from the power mains and, in some localities, you just can;t do that without damaging the system.
 

ASK THE COMMUNITY

TRENDING THREADS