Cleaning PSU?

By agi_shi ยท 19 replies
Sep 21, 2006
  1. Now, I know how to clean most parts (CPU heatsink, how to apply new thermal paste, how to clean out other heatsinks, how to clean out motherboard, how to clean out graphics card, etc.), EXCEPT the powersupply.

    Say that a lot of dust has become trapped in there - what do I do? I dont want to buy a new power supply because it is pretty beefy, and although old, still has enough power for my pc (my pc prolly uses 60% of the actual rating).

    (Note: this is a fake story. I just want to know for the future :))
  2. dmill89

    dmill89 TS Guru Posts: 475

    The best way is to open it up and clean it out. remove the PSU from the computer case. Remove the four (or howerer many there are) screws on the PSU case remove the top of the PSU case and clean the heatsinks and fans inside. Whatever you do don't touch the leads on the capacitors it hurts alot (anyone say electrical burn).
  3. wolfram

    wolfram TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,967   +9

    Or use a can of compressed air. I clean mine using that method.
  4. korrupt

    korrupt TS Rookie Posts: 716

    Alternatively you can set your vaccuum cleaner loose on it!


  5. SNGX1275

    SNGX1275 TS Forces Special Posts: 10,742   +421

    I just pulled my PSU and cleaned it. Took it completely out of the case and put that little straw on the can of compressed air, took everything outside and sprayed in air in every possible place to spray it in. Looks good as new.
  6. PhilC2005

    PhilC2005 TS Rookie Posts: 39

    I would suggest for safety's sake leaving it unplugged from the mains overnight first.
    Then it is likely that the High-Voltage capacitors have discharged, at least to a reasonably safe level.
  7. nickslick74

    nickslick74 TS Booster Posts: 575

    I would be VERY careful if you open up the PSU. You could wind up getting quite a painful shock if you touch something that you shouldn't. I would recommend cleaning it out the way SNGX does. My A+ instructor advised us to NEVER open a psu. "If it goes bad, don't fix, toss it and get a new one" is what he always said.
  8. dmill89

    dmill89 TS Guru Posts: 475

    Intresting my A+ instructor told us that too but I have opened several PSUs to clean or repair and have only been shocked once. As long as you are carefull not to touch the capacitors or leads you should be ok. Most newer PSUs have the boards and leads coated in rubber,plastic,glue or other substances so you can't touch the metal contacts. I usually only take the risk with expensive or propritary PSUs that can't be easily replaced. When a normal relatively cheep (less than $100) PSU dies I just toss it and buy a new one. If you don't know what your doing just blow it out with compressed air.
  9. AtK SpAdE

    AtK SpAdE TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 1,495

    I have opened a PSU before to install a mod (blue LEDs) and I was careful and I did not get shocked. I would follow Sngx's advice.

    Now a CRT monitor on the other hand, I would never touch.
  10. nickslick74

    nickslick74 TS Booster Posts: 575

    Yeah, you could kill yourself doing that. Had a buddy that used to fix old tv's (notice the 'used to' part). Hit hit one of the caps and blew hiim self across the garage, peed his pants and melted part of the tv. Not a good day. He did live, though.
  11. dmill89

    dmill89 TS Guru Posts: 475

    I had somthing like that Happen once I opened a TV and tryed to repair it and hit a cap. Luckily my arm was touching the metal case and all I got was a serious electrical burn on my hand and arm.It was extremely painfull though.
  12. wolfram

    wolfram TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,967   +9

    WOW :eek: , once I opened my TV-VCR combo to repair the VCR, and nothing happened fortunately. I didn't know that it was so dangerous :hotbounce
  13. nickslick74

    nickslick74 TS Booster Posts: 575

    Gotta be somewhat careful with anything that has a power supply. Caps can hold a charge for a while.
  14. dmill89

    dmill89 TS Guru Posts: 475

    Yah not only are there Giant capacitors but the tube itself can store several thousand volts.
  15. wolfram

    wolfram TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,967   +9

    Fortunately, I didn't touch the caps or the tube itself, and believe me, I do NOT want to touch them :p
  16. kyleman

    kyleman TS Rookie Posts: 91

    It sucks when everyone else gets shocked its from something technical...
    When i was 8 i did put a knive in the for a week :dead:
    And now i know electricity+knive=dumass :D
  17. TimeParadoX

    TimeParadoX TS Rookie Posts: 2,273

    lol Kyleman =P
  18. Rick

    Rick TechSpot Staff Posts: 4,572   +65

    Keeping your left-hand behind the back or in your pocket should keep you safe(er) in the event you accidentally 'complete the circuit'. ;)
  19. kyleman

    kyleman TS Rookie Posts: 91

    Lol on a serious note you could just unplug it all, turn it all off, and wear rubber shoes/gloves :) happy! cleaning..
  20. KingCody

    KingCody TS Evangelist Posts: 992   +8

    A very valuable lesson indeed ;)

    :haha: :giddy: :haha:
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