Death By PSU?

Ever opened a high voltage product?
 

 
 
 
 

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i think these sorts of electrical equipment need to be better labeled, not everyone understands electrical equipment like electric sub metering and the fact that they can hold a charge, the danger signs (imo) sound like they are only to be heeded if the device is plugged in, there should be a change to indicate that they can hold a deadly charge even when unplugged.

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Amazingmilanvdv
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My brother got shocked by a PC psu. My niece, who lived below then, heard him falling to the ground. There wasn't anything wrong with him, only a little bit confused, but since then he never did this again and so won't I. :)

CPU: Intel I5-2500k; CPU cooler: CM hyper 412s; mobo: gigabyte ga-z77x-d3h; PSU: Antec HCP-750 soon)
Memory: Corsair XMS 8GB PC-12800; Case: Antec 302 Storage: Samsung 830 128GB primary;
Storage: 80GB+150GB sata HDDs secondary Graphics card: Asus eah5850

Anonymous

Turn off the PSU while still plugged in, leave it connected, why? Because it's grounded.
After turned off, force the PSU on by shorting the black and green wire, you might see the PSU fan spin for few rounds, short it for a while (few minute) if you're not confident.
I did this for so many times, the only time when I got shocked is when I try to touch the heat sink inside the PSU when it's on, LOL... that's the only time I feels like my whole body is numb for a second there.
Btw, here the electricity here is 220~240V.

Courage
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I am an electrician, and what actually can kill you is the current. The current of 30mA can kill you. So never, NEVER open the PSU's, they have high voltage components like capacitors which always charged even if you disconnected it from power. Get it to a lab a buy new one, don't be a smartass.

Antec 1200 ; OCZ 1000w PSU ; Intel i7 3770K ; Antec Kuhler H2O 920 ; ASUS Sabertooth Z77 ; ASUS GTX660 2Gb ; G.Skill Ripjaws 4x8Gb ; OCZ Vertex 4 SSD 2x256Gb RAID 0 ; Samsung 2x1Tb RAID 0 ; LG W2486 24" ; Razer Lycosa Mirror ; Razer Carcharias ; Roccat Kone+ ; Roccat Alumic

combatplayer
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i've opened several CRTs and PSUs, i have been shocked by a CRT once, that was by the flyback though, not a capacitor. disposable cameras has taught me to be cautious of capacitors.

also i would not suggest grounding yourself when you're afraid of getting shocked. its more to prevent you from shocking things.

Angkorian Knight
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I opened up my old Dell lcd monitor when it died on me but those things are built like a tank so I gave up and disposed it. Not sure if lcd monitors are considered high voltage.

Trak
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there are two issues........

1..... grounding yourself might NOT be a good idea. As an electrician, I never work on equipment without breaking contact with the ground (floor)..I carry a rubber mat and/or cardboard...and stand on it. The issue with grounding is the volts/amps will travel thru your body to ground...sort of like a ground-rod....NOT GOOD.

The grounding strap is to defuse static electricity from you to your sensitive components...

2....PSU's and the like, have Capacitors....sorta like batteries....they will hold a charge for when you start you computer so your PSU is not overly taxed..
Capacitors are found in countless equipment, most electronic uses are for minimal volts (12V, 3V, 5V...etc))...so no harm, no foul..like the capacitors on a MOBO....

However, PSU's are powered with 120V and therein lies the problem....there are 120V capacitors in the PSU.

Given the right situation, the right metabolic condition, and the right direction of travel....120V KILLS!!!

Caution is the rule ALWAYS!
You could identify the capacitors in the PSU and discharge them before before you fart with the PSU...this is why the manufacturers DON'T want you to open the PSU....

My prayers go out to that young man's family!

Razz0r
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I totally agree with you , grounding yourself is not good especially when you work with high voltages. It might get you killed even faster.

Anonymous

The "grounding yourself" is to protect the equipment from ESD. It is not to protect the person. Wearing a ground strap does nothing to protect you from electric shock. Rather it protects you from destroying that new processor or RAM. Maybe this myth got started as a way to encourage technicians to use ground straps.

satyanjoy
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I follow the old saying never trust and play with fire

Tivon
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Your computer is on fire? o.0

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Anonymous

If you like electronics like me. It's hard not to mess with stuff that store a lot of voltage. I been shock tons of time by many different types of amps for all kinds of audio equipment. However, I never experience an psu shock. Knock on wood, never want to. I appreciate Rodney post about this issue. I too advise people to please think twice before doing anything with high voltage products and please follow all of the safety guild lines. A wise man once said, " we only live once". So lets make the best of it. Thanks again Rodney for a great Q&A video.

3dGameMan
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Kinda figured, poll suggests many of you have opened up high voltage products. Again, please be careful folks.

Rodney Reynolds,
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Tivon
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It's not about the volts, but rather it doesn't take many amps to kill you.

Premchand
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Volts get the amps where it needs to go to kill you;)

Tivon
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True, You can't have a lot of amps without a lot of volts. After thinking about this more, I'm inclined to think that something he did reduced the insulation of skin resistance making him more susceptible to heart disruption. Always seem to be a cascading number of of unfortunate events in these rare death cases. Something like a television tube runs around 20K volts would cause involuntary muscle spasms sending a person into harms way like a sharp object. So I guess either volts or amps are both dangerous in their own way.

DeV
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Yea I open them that's kinda weird that you say we shouldn't ... No one going to lick it or something ...

matacks
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one time I opened up an original Xbox console. The PSU fits right inside and you can see all the huge capacitors. There may have been a possibility of shock there but I just tried to avoid touching capacitors without using any safety gear or having formal training.

I can look though the top of my PSU and see the capacitors, man they look huge. After hearing about this story I don't think I'll ever attempt to discussable a PSU. But I do have anti-static mat and wrist band. I think both of those would be put to use if I ever did something simple like replacing a fan as Rodney mentioned. Or maybe wearing rubber dishwashing gloves would help.. yea, I dunno. I so nervous about that whole idea now, should my PSU need to be taken apart I might just bring that in to the Computer guys and let them do it.

Anonymous

I opened up the old CRT before I threw it away. I am not sure if it is considered a high voltage product though.

Razz0r
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The cathode ray tube (CRT) can store 15KV+ (15000V) depending on how large is the display , if is a large one it can go up to 50KV (50000V) , i don't know if you consider that voltage a HIGH VOLTAGE but i do.

3dGameMan
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That's "kill you dead" voltage.

Courage
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"Drop DEAD" voltage...

Anonymous

i think these sorts of electrical equipment need to be better labeled, not everyone understands electrical equipment and the fact that they can hold a charge, the danger signs (imo) sound like they are only to be heeded if the device is plugged in, there should be a change to indicate that they can hold a deadly charge even when unplugged.

Anonymous

If it has screws that i can remove, I've taken it apart. So far I've been real lucky not to zap myself. Fortunately I have some very good understanding on how electrical devices work.

3dGameMan
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News article, "Shawnee teen electrocuted while working on computer": http://www.3dgameman.com/forum/comments/teen-electrocuted-opening-power-supply