Question Did I damage my Dell XPS during setup this way? [Electrical question, w/ CyberPower UPS]

Jul 16, 2019
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I recently plugged in a brand new Dell XPS for the first time that doesn't have a PSU power switch (or an obvious one at least), into a CyberPower UPS battery (also new) without switching off the power flow from the UPS.
I got the notorious small blue arc spark and pop sound on the prongs of the PC's plug as it was going in.
The outlet was tight and resisting the physical connection of the plug, causing it to go in slower than I wanted, and probably increasing the likelihood of the spark occurring.
I simply forgot to turn off the power of the UPS battery before plugging in the pc (which I now know I should have done), because I haven't set up a new PC in a long time, and I was not anticipating this small arcing/sparking action. Also, I'm not completely new to the idea of how components should be set up with a UPS for maximum safeguarding against error, but part of why I made the error was my lack of good judgement at the time, probably due to being tired.
In my head I was thinking of how I did not want to damage the pc by plugging into an outlet not supported by a battery (why I got UPS), so this contributed to my incorrect decision and conclusion of plugging it into the UPS while UPS and power flow was on. I now realize it would have been better for me to have plugged in all necessities first with UPS power flow off, forming a "closed circuit", and then allowing the power to flow once the "closed circuit" between the PC -> UPS -> and Wall Outlet had been formed.

Another potentially important detail is that once the computer was fully plugged in this way (after the spark), it did not automatically kick into full operation as if I had pressed the power button after plugging it in. I had to press the power button to actually begin the fans and internals running, etc. Therefore this mishap probably just concerns the low power state a PC is in when it is initially plugged in but not yet powered on.

I read something online about how this sparking behavior pertains to certain electrical components only, and maybe directly involves things like capacitors.

[tl;dr]
My concerns and questions are:
From plugging in this way, did I possibly or probably damage part of the PC's PSU, such as the capacitors, or possibly even the PC's motherboard, or some other internal peripheral?
Also, but less important, did I possibly or probably damage the UPS from this behavior?

Both seem to be running OK, but I'm worried about failures down the road that I may have caused.
I'm trying to not beat myself up over this. I just got over a 5 year bout with a faulty pc that I treated great and did not contribute to the failure of.

[This was written in a rush so I will probably edit this a lot. I'll try to provide model numbers if necessary, but I don't imagine it will be]
 
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RealBeast

Titan
Moderator
No, the arc from plugging in an AC plug is a common occurrence and should not damage anything.

Good call on getting a UPS, depending on the model you may be able to set it to shut your computer down when AC power is out for more than x minutes, which provides for an orderly shutdown.
 
Reactions: Acid_Punk
Jul 16, 2019
2
0
10
0
No, the arc from plugging in an AC plug is a common occurrence and should not damage anything.

Good call on getting a UPS, depending on the model you may be able to set it to shut your computer down when AC power is out for more than x minutes, which provides for an orderly shutdown.
I am super thankful for you and your post.

You already helped me, and I know things are probably cool now, but I have one followup question.

What about the fact that during the first time I tried making the connection (the time the arc occurred), the plug prongs only went in halfway and then came out shortly after because I wanted the opportunity to completely remove and re-align the plug because it felt tight in that mid-way position (virgin outlet).

In other words, I'm thinking the power cord and PSU experienced a short time of possibly insufficient voltage, and my imagined fear is that I damaged something by imposing an inconsistent flicker of low energy on the hardware.

I bet there are things built in to protect against this, but I'm ignorant on the subject and therefore feel compelled to ask.
The time the full connection was made, no arc occurred and the plug went in swiftly.

So basically I'd love to hear that I'm worrying too much and that this minor fluctuation is negligible.
Thanks.
 
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RealBeast

Titan
Moderator
You need not worry, such partial insertions and arcs are not unusual with AC connectors -- I've personally seen it many many times with all sorts of computers and electronic components and never seen, nor heard of, damage.

While it would not be optimal to partially power on a computer, damage is highly unlikely. The only real problem could occur if the computer in question was in the middle of an update and the power fluctuation could potentially cause a corrupt install update. This is clearly not an issue for you though.
 

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