Question Sugary and carbonated drink spilled in PC, what to do?

Jun 2, 2019
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Hey! Sorry for bad english in advance.

So I was going home from a lan party and I went to get a drink from nearby shop when I was on my way home. I went to grab something from my car's trunk (I had my pc packed in there) so I place the unopened plastic bottle in front of my computer on the floor of the cars back trunk and I don't know how but the plastic bottle just broke from the bottom and started spraying the liquid everywhere and even though I reacted quickly, some of the liquid got inside my PC and now I was wondering what to do to not to break anything.

Very tricky part is that it was the back side of the PC and probably most of the liquid got inside my PSU through the small ventilation holes.

Saw some sticky residue inside my PC and PSU so kinda worried on how to clean those spots properly.

PS. I have not turned the PC on yet and have not even plugged the cables and will not do so before I know it is 100% safe.

Going to add pictures of the case via imgur. Thank you!
 

AllanGH

Estimable
Mar 10, 2019
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Disassemble the computer completely and inspect EVERYTHING...including the PSU internals.

For soda....DO NOT USE ALCOHOL....use warm water to remove the residue.

Allow everything you clean to dry out completely in front of a fan or small electric space heater, for several days.

Re-assemble and test the system.
 
Reactions: Xaruth
Jun 2, 2019
9
0
10
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Disassemble the computer completely and inspect EVERYTHING...including the PSU internals.

For soda....DO NOT USE ALCOHOL....use warm water to remove the residue.

Allow everything you clean to dry out completely in front of a fan or small electric space heater, for several days.

Re-assemble and test the system.
Thank you for the reply. I will try and hope for the best!
 
Jun 2, 2019
9
0
10
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Disassemble the computer completely and inspect EVERYTHING...including the PSU internals.

For soda....DO NOT USE ALCOHOL....use warm water to remove the residue.

Allow everything you clean to dry out completely in front of a fan or small electric space heater, for several days.

Re-assemble and test the system.
Oh yeah, forgot to say about the PSU. I have no clue how to reach the insides of the PSU, I'm not sure how to open it.
 

Satan-IR

Honorable
Do NOT open the PSU. Unless you have the know-how which I don't think you do otherwise you wouldn't ask how to do it.

There are capacitors in there with quite high capacitance values and they can retain charges for a while, if not discharged that can be a long while. You can/might electrocute yourself.

Not to mention most probably void any warranty on the PSU.
 
Reactions: Xaruth
yep, disassemble it and clean it. I'm not sure why AllanGH mentioned to not use alcohol, but I'll assume he knows something that I don't, either way, warm water will be fine. and make sure it totally dries out, sitting it in front of a fan is a good idea.

Regarding the PSU, you might just want to buy a new one. Taking apart PSU's is a health risk unless you are sure that it is safe, in addition to that I would not be confident that you will get 100% of the residue out of it even if you did take it apart.
 
Reactions: Xaruth
Jun 2, 2019
9
0
10
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Do NOT open the PSU. Unless you have the know-how which I don't think you do otherwise you wouldn't ask how to do it.

There are capacitors in there with quite high capacitance values and they can retain charges for a while, if not discharged that can be a long while. You can/might electrocute yourself.

Not to mention most probably void any warranty on the PSU.
Thank you for the information! I guess I'll just have to hope for the best with the PSU. Should I test the PSU seperately to see if anything starts to smell etc?
 
Jun 2, 2019
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yep, disassemble it and clean it. I'm not sure why AllanGH mentioned to not use alcohol, but I'll assume he knows something that I don't, either way, warm water will be fine. and make sure it totally dries out, sitting it in front of a fan is a good idea.

Regarding the PSU, you might just want to buy a new one. Taking apart PSU's is a health risk unless you are sure that it is safe, in addition to that I would not be confident that you will get 100% of the residue out of it even if you did take it apart.
Thank you aswell! Should I test if the PSU still works or could it break other components?
 

AllanGH

Estimable
Mar 10, 2019
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OK...I did presume some electronics experience that I should not have in my recommendation to open the PSU (I do that kind of thing pretty-much all the time), so please accept my apologies.

It will be enough to have the PSU completely disconnected from everything and test it out to see if it smokes on you.

Short pin 16 to pin 17 and test the power supply output voltages.
 
Not to mention most probably void any warranty on the PSU.
I think spilling a drink in it, already voids the warranty, so opening up won't really matter.

You really have to let that PSU dry out, but you have to remove it from your computer. Disconnect the modular cables.
Shake it really hard and see if liquid comes out, if it does. keep shaking it (not hit it)
Then use something like a hairdryer on low heat and point it into the PSU and leave for 12 hours doing that to make sure it dries out (remember not TOO hot)
Used to do this all the time with TV's and things. Hopefully when it's dry it will work.
 
Be glad you spilled on it in the trunk while it was powered off, and not when it was powered on and running :)

I always use a zero-contact electronic cleaner like WD-40 Specialist Electrical Contact Cleaner if crud gets directly on the circuit boards, makes quick work and dries near instantly. Good deal on that one, 11oz spray for under $7 (tough to find locally for under $10)...

Alcohol should be fine to use on the PSU case and ATX case.

If it got inside the PSU, best take it apart and hit it with some zero-contact spray just like on the mobo / gpu.
 

Satan-IR

Honorable
Thank you for the information! I guess I'll just have to hope for the best with the PSU. Should I test the PSU seperately to see if anything starts to smell etc?

Yes, you can separate it from the system, connect it to mains and short pins to turn the PSU on and see if it works or blows up. If you have a multimeter and know how to use it, you can measure output voltages on corresponding pins.

As mentioned above you can use WD40 to clean boards/PCB and electronic components if you can see and access where it needs to be applied.

As ElectrO_90 said make sure to let it dry out before turning it on to test.


I think spilling a drink in it, already voids the warranty, so opening up won't really matter.
Thing is we don't really know how much the PSU had to drink, as it were. Being inside a trunk and beverage spilling on the outside and some getting inside etc. That sort of thing can only be made certain with physical inspection. I've seen quite a few people electrocute themselves (fortunately not fatally, could have turned really ugly as well) messing with components like PSUs without a a first clue as what is what and honestly my first go to advice/response is to not 'play' with such devices, especially when they have to ask how to open.
 

rookieGamer

Commendable
May 16, 2017
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PSU will smell, heating up sugar will smell, just dont open PSU, things going wrong when Opening PSU involves getting shocked.

so power on PSU alone, maybe try running a case fan on it.
 
Once the sugar has all dried in the PSU, it won't conduct electric. The damage is done when capacitors hold a charge and the water shorts things out because there is still power in the PSU.
Remove from Case
Dry it out
Use the 24 ping connector (remove from case)
Short out the pins to turn it on with a paper clip
Turn the psu on
Plug the cable in without the power on (not sure which country you are in, but in UK we can turn power on and off by wall switch)
If you can't do that, plug it in then turn on the PSU power
DO NOT TOUCH THE METAL - incase it has shorted out - best to wear some gloves/rubber/leather/gardening - precautions and safety.
Failing that - if you dont' trust anything I or others have said, throw it away and buy a new one - no one is forcing you to try and fix it.
 
Jun 2, 2019
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Hey again!

Thank you all for your tips and tricks I will probably try out the WD 40 option and just hope for the best. I much appericiate the safety warnings!
 
Jun 2, 2019
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Hello!

So I cleaned and dried all the parts and reassembled my PC, everything is running fine and it seems that the PC is working as intended except for the PSU fan. It does not spin at all... not even in the start up.

Even tho you all told me not to open the PSU, I did and it was several days after the soda accident had happened. I was super cautious with the procedure and nothing bad happened. I just opened it up and cleaned it and put it back together after it had dried up. (I plugged the fan from the header and put it back in ofc).

This is the PSU I have: https://www.corsair.com/us/en/Categories/Products/Power-Supply-Units/rm-series-config/p/CP-9020056-NA
 
Jun 2, 2019
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Hi

More problems appeared. My GPU started buzzing under load and I read it could be a faulty PSU causing the buzzing. So I'm going to buy a new PSU tomorrow, but I'm just so paranoid now. I'm scared that more components are broken and I just don't know about them being broken.

One thing I noticed while I was searching for the reason of the buzzing sound, was that I wiggled the GPU very slightly and my monitors froze but I could still hear sounds from my programs. ( I guess I will have to re-seat the card )

I'll report back to you guys tomorrow after I've installed the new PSU.


Ps. Is there a way to find if any other components are broken even though my PC starts up normally and works normally besides the PSU fan not working and the GPU buzzing noise. Or am I just being too paranoid?
 

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