A power surge caused my PSU to whine/whistle

March 4, 2010 at 13:49:34
Specs: Windows Vista
During a power surge (not enough to make the power go out) My psu started immediately whining/whistling, along with my computer freezing up. It took me about 8 seconds to realize this and turned it off immediately. When I turned my computer back on, everything was fine. But after I was sure the surge was over I bought a surge protector first thing.

Anyway, based on my reaction time, could there be any permanent damage to my PSU? It was very short, only on for about 8 seconds. Thanks in advance. Note that the whistling is no longer happening. I'm just a bit OCD about the health of my computer.

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March 4, 2010 at 15:21:24
If it works now, relax. It was probably a fluke.

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March 4, 2010 at 16:42:41
Maybe I am a bit overreacting, lol thanks

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March 4, 2010 at 17:08:55
Surges do damage in microseconds. Fuses and relays take milliseconds to respond to anything. You took seconds. If the surge existed, you had damage before you could move an eye muscle.

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March 4, 2010 at 17:32:50
How much damage? Anything to worry about, or something that wouldn't do too much harm?

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March 4, 2010 at 23:01:46
All appliances contain significant protection. Destructive surges occur maybe once every seven years. If you had damage, you know it. But if a 'whole house' protector is not earthed where all wires enter the building, then you have no effective protection. Your only concern the is a rare and destructive surge. Only protectors with the always required and dedicated wire to earth ground make that surge irrelevant.

Your whining is typically a wire inside the transformer. Transformers are constructed by sealing those windings in a varnish like material. Sometimes one wire is not properly sealed or becomes loose. That wire vibration creates the noise. Often not something destructive - just irritating.

If you had a surge, then you have plenty of other damaged appliances. Without earthing upgraded to both meet and exceed 1990 National Electrical code and without the always necessary 'whole house' protector, then you have no effective surge protection.

No matter how many $hundreds you spent on a magic power strip that does not even claim protection in its numbers, It does not matter. A protector is only as effective as its earth ground - so that the rare surge does not overwhelm protection already inside every appliance.

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