Question Is the PSU still ok?

IronyTaken

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I had an old system I wanted to try testing for a backup.
The PC build has an 11 year old Corsair HX1000, Asus Maximus Hero VI motherboard, i7 4770k and GTX 570.
I was incredibly stupid and lazy and didn't have an outlet close enough so I used an old power strip to connect the PC to.
while checking windows update the power supply sparked and the PC shut off. I removed the power cord from the strip and after moving it to another room and unplugging some things I plugged it into my surge protector that my new PC uses.
I turned on the PC to get a message saying Asus had previously shut down the PC due to a detected power surge.
I booted up windows and tried running a game to stress the gpu 100% and I even tried aida64 stress test for the CPU. No problems occurred.
HWinfo reported the +12 rail to read 12 volts when idle and when stress tested it went to 11.9.

Should I be worried?

I don't think the PSU was bad on it's own but instead my mistake of plugging it into a cheap power strip caused the power surge.
Edit: one more thing to add is the noise I heard when the PSU was sparking was not the traditional popping noise. It sounded like what you hear when electricity was arcing.
 
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KananX

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I think it’s fine. This is a high quality PSU that will probably just degrade over time, it’s unlikely it will destroy anything if or when it goes out in the future, it’s more likely it will be replaced before it’s EOL.
 

Aeacus

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Should I be worried?
Very much so.

11 year old Corsair HX1000
While HX1000 is great quality PSU, it has a lot of age on it, and past it's warranty as well.

the power supply sparked
Clear indicator that something went wrong inside the PSU. Now, if PSU's protections would've kicked in, you would've not seen/heard any sparks. But since you did, what you witnessed, was PSU blowing up. E.g like seen in here:

View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ezk9OA7aKOE


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I'd replace the PSU ASAP, if you care about your hardware. It being HX1000 has 0 value, since it's 11 years old and already failed with nice fireworks.
 
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IronyTaken

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This is the PSU I have in that build.
https://www.amazon.com/Corsair-Professional-Certified-Modular-CMPSU-1000HX/dp/B00154QAXQ

It's weird that the spark happened during a simple windows update check.
And it seems to work fine right now while plugged into a surge protector. I was really thinking it was a bad power strip.
Can a bad cheap power strip cause a PSU to spark?

Also stress testing the CPU and GPU to max usage didn't show any issues after 20 minutes of running at max.

I previously had this PSU powering that old GTX 570 when I got it then 2 GTX 970s in SLI and finally a GTX 1080 ti.
I only stopped using it after moving to a new build with a AMD 5900x and 3090.
 

Aeacus

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Can a bad cheap power strip cause a PSU to spark?
Power strip purpose is to give you more power sockets to use. And with power strips, it's not so much about if you use cheap or expensive one (since even expensive ones can fail), but it's more about PSU itself.

Power strips doesn't have AVR in them, for them to regulate voltage and cause surges. The 120V or 240V you get from the wall, is the same amount of voltage power strip advances through it's sockets. Now, if you have aged PSU, which hasn't been powered on for years, suddenly produce internal spark, then something went wrong with the PSU itself. And here, it doesn't matter if you would've plugged your PSU into power strip or directly to the wall. If it was about to fail, you would've seen the failure either way.

Also stress testing the CPU and GPU to max usage didn't show any issues after 20 minutes of running at max.
It is impossible to tell what went bad inside the PSU, for it to produce the spark. But something clearly went wrong, since PSUs do not produce sparks during normal operation. And anyone saying otherwise are lying.
 
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IronyTaken

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All I know right now is that my Asus Maximus Hero VI motherboard detected a power surge and shut the PC off after the spark and that the PC powered on just find when I plugged it in again using a surge protector instead of a bargain bin power strip that was most likely 20+ years old.
All the PC components were sitting around for the last year and a half with the GTX 570 not being used for the past 8 years or so.

I might run a few more tests to see if the PSU is really borked or not.
Considering these components would have been left untouched if I didn't decided to try a back up, I am not super worried.
I mean I would be a little bit peeved to have a PSU kill my components but I mainly use my new PC anyway. Kind of just wanted to put this one to use for basic stuff.

I figured the built in power protection on the motherboard might save the parts like it did last time when it detected a power surge and shut everything off.
 

IronyTaken

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Power strip purpose is to give you more power sockets to use. And with power strips, it's not so much about if you use cheap or expensive one (since even expensive ones can fail), but it's more about PSU itself.

Power strips doesn't have AVR in them, for them to regulate voltage and cause surges. The 120V or 240V you get from the wall, is the same amount of voltage power strip advances through it's sockets. Now, if you have aged PSU, which hasn't been powered on for years, suddenly produce internal spark, then something went wrong with the PSU itself. And here, it doesn't matter if you would've plugged your PSU into power strip or directly to the wall. If it was about to fail, you would've seen the failure either way.
I thought a cheap power strip could get overloaded easier or maybe the wiring inside was bad.
 

IronyTaken

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This is what hwinfo reported on voltages after 30 minutes of playing Crysis 3.
Edit: one more thing to add is the noise I heard when the PSU was sparking was not the traditional popping noise. It sounded like what you hear when electricity was arcing.
 
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Aeacus

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I thought a cheap power strip could get overloaded easier or maybe the wiring inside was bad.
Cheap power strip would be more likely to cause short circuit and/or even melt down, if all it's sockets would be used by high power consumption hardware. Other than that, 5 bucks power strip isn't any worse than e.g 20 bucks power strip.
In a way, the more expensive power strip, with e.g built-in surge protector (e.g PCB with circuitry) would be more prone to a failure than power strip that just duplicates electricity from one input socket to several output sockets.

This is what hwinfo reported on voltages after 30 minutes of playing Crysis 3.
Voltages look within specs. Though, +3.3V rail is getting way too close to the max tolerance. Tolerance for +3.3V rail is +/-5%, meaning +3.14V to +3.47V. Yours is 3.444V (3VCC) and 3.456V (3VCB). It is still within specs, but barely.

I might run a few more tests to see if the PSU is really borked or not.
As an end user, you most likely don't have the dedicated PSU testing equipment to test, if the PSU is actually sound. You need loads of dedicated hardware to test the PSU. E.g here's what Aris, from Tom's Hardware uses, to test PSUs,
link: https://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/how-we-test-psu,4042-2.html

Though, for end users, there are simple PSU testers out there, like this one from Thermaltake,
amazon: https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B005F778JO

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As far as PSU's age go, the 1st thing that goes bad due to the age, are capacitors.
Here's a bit further reading about it: https://www.howtogeek.com/794997/what-is-capacitor-aging-in-psus-and-should-you-worry/
And more in-depth reading as well: https://www.xppower.com/resources/blog/electrolytic-capacitor-lifetime-in-power-supplies
 
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I had an old system I wanted to try testing for a backup.
The PC build has an 11 year old Corsair HX1000, Asus Maximus Hero VI motherboard, i7 4770k and GTX 570.
I was incredibly stupid and lazy and didn't have an outlet close enough so I used an old power strip to connect the PC to.
while checking windows update the power supply sparked and the PC shut off. I removed the power cord from the strip and after moving it to another room and unplugging some things I plugged it into my surge protector that my new PC uses.
I turned on the PC to get a message saying Asus had previously shut down the PC due to a detected power surge.
I booted up windows and tried running a game to stress the gpu 100% and I even tried aida64 stress test for the CPU. No problems occurred.
HWinfo reported the +12 rail to read 12 volts when idle and when stress tested it went to 11.9.

Should I be worried?

I don't think the PSU was bad on it's own but instead my mistake of plugging it into a cheap power strip caused the power surge.
Edit: one more thing to add is the noise I heard when the PSU was sparking was not the traditional popping noise. It sounded like what you hear when electricity was arcing.
PSU that old? Toss it! The paste caps start to dry out. Some caps will have to reformed if not used in a while. Rails will be noisy, dust will cause internal shorts, and you'll be lucky to get 600 Watts out of it without it shutting off. (And as noted, your 3.3V is dangerously close to the limit, which is typical with supplies that old)

What could have happened is a little critter (spider, thousand legger, etc) or dust found it's way on the primary and arc'd something. A good blowout with canned air might remove a lot of potential conducting debris. (DO NOT DISASSEMBLE. THOSE PRIMARY CAPS ARE DANGEROUS IF NOT PROPERLY DISCHARGED!!!) But still I wouldn't risk it with something that old.
 
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Was the cheap power strip grounded? If not a simple explanation of the spark.
Using it with that old system I would not be that worried. I am running one computer on a 12-13 year old TX650 no problems and what is the value of the components maybe $100-200 so would I care.
 
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IronyTaken

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I opened the PSU but did not touch inside for safety reasons. I couldn't spot any bad capacitors just a bunch of dust which I blew most out with a can of air.
I put it back together and powered it then played some Crysis 3 for a little and experienced no issues.
Image links below.
https://i.ibb.co/19CN5qH/PSU-1.jpg
https://i.ibb.co/QQvC8nL/PSU-2.jpg
https://i.ibb.co/b5GDwtP/PSU-3.jpg
https://i.ibb.co/ByJSsrm/PSU-4.jpg
https://i.ibb.co/NW2mpR0/PSU-5.jpg
https://i.ibb.co/C7cw8tc/PSU-6.jpg


Was the cheap power strip grounded? If not a simple explanation of the spark.
Using it with that old system I would not be that worried. I am running one computer on a 12-13 year old TX650 no problems and what is the value of the components maybe $100-200 so would I care.
Yah the power strip was grounded at least it had the three prongs...
 

KananX

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If the PSU were broken it would’ve already not worked from the second you tried it again and especially not worked under high stress simulations. It’s not broken, end of story. And 11 years is nothing for a high quality psu, I’ve seen much older devices that still work properly. Has a reason they give 10 years warranty that means it can easily easily withstand 10 years of work, it does 100% NOT mean it will go bad just one year after the warranty is over, that makes no sense. This PSU will possibly never break, high quality electronics have a habit of not breaking and rather get sorted out when they’re outdated. My 13 year old HDTV says hi. Same as my 13 year old HD receiver.
 

Aeacus

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I opened the PSU
Bad idea.

Still, on 5th pic, the secondary cap, at the foreground, seems to have slight bulge on top. Which is indicator of a bad cap.
And you can not visually see all the secondary caps, to know if none of them are bulging, unless you dismantle the PSU (which is very bad idea).

11 year old Corsair HX1000
I was thinking a bit and after research, there are actually two versions of HX1000 units out there;
  • HX1000 80+ with 5 years of warranty
  • HX1000 80+ Platinum with 10 years of warranty
At 1st, i thought that you have the 80+ Platinum model, with 10 years of warranty but now i think that you instead have the 80+ model, with 5 years of warranty.
The HX1000 with 80+ efficiency 1st came out back in 2008, while the HX1000 80+ Platinum came out in 2018. So, there's no way you have HX1000 80+ Platinum with 10 years of warranty.

Your PSU is way past it's due date and i won't be using it. It is miracle that it even works, somehow, but are you really willing to push your luck? (I know someone in this topic, who is.)

If the PSU were broken it would’ve already not worked from the second you tried it again and especially not worked under high stress simulations. It’s not broken, end of story. And 11 years is nothing for a high quality psu, I’ve seen much older devices that still work properly. Has a reason they give 10 years warranty that means it can easily easily withstand 10 years of work, it does 100% NOT mean it will go bad just one year after the warranty is over, that makes no sense. This PSU will possibly never break, high quality electronics have a habit of not breaking and rather get sorted out when they’re outdated. My 13 year old HDTV says hi. Same as my 13 year old HD receiver.
While it may not make sense, that PSU fails just when it's warranty has ran out, there are loads and loads of PSUs out there, that have failed just when the warranty ends. Nothing lasts for forever and planned obsolescence is a thing. A very real one.

Also, you can't compare TV and HD receiver to ATX PSU. It's like comparing apples to oranges.
 
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Karadjgne

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All depends on the spark. If it was nothing more than a spider or roach got inside and crossed a cap and the bug is what got zapped, then the psu should be fine, if old and working on a somewhat lesser wattage range.

The HX used very good quality caps, which slows degradation considerably, but it still happens. It also has every protection available back then, so chances of damage to outside equipment is very slim at best.

Honestly, the sniff test works best. Stick your nose upto the exhaust, if it's plastic or electronic failure, it's quite a recognizable smell, that lingers for a long time and a clue whether replacement is due now, or tomorrow is soon enough.

Pasture time, it lived a good long life and served faithfully, but it's due, soon or sooner.
 
I opened the PSU but did not touch inside for safety reasons. I couldn't spot any bad capacitors just a bunch of dust which I blew most out with a can of air.
I put it back together and powered it then played some Crysis 3 for a little and experienced no issues.
Image links below.
https://i.ibb.co/19CN5qH/PSU-1.jpg
https://i.ibb.co/QQvC8nL/PSU-2.jpg
https://i.ibb.co/b5GDwtP/PSU-3.jpg
https://i.ibb.co/ByJSsrm/PSU-4.jpg
https://i.ibb.co/NW2mpR0/PSU-5.jpg
https://i.ibb.co/C7cw8tc/PSU-6.jpg



Yah the power strip was grounded at least it had the three prongs...
At the end of the day how are you going to use the PSU?
Powering the old obsolete components, it is fine it is a quality unit unlikely to kill other components on failure.
Powering a new $ 1000+ $ build, no it is to old to be considered reliable.
 

KyaraM

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Wanna gamble? If you don't give a hoot about the hardware, run it. If not, replace that PSU.

Bad idea.

Still, on 5th pic, the secondary cap, at the foreground, seems to have slight bulge on top. Which is indicator of a bad cap.
And you can not visually see all the secondary caps, to know if none of them are bulging, unless you dismantle the PSU (which is very bad idea).
Ah, good, I'm not the only one who thought that capacitor looked funky...
 

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