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High-pitched hum in PS

Posted on 2002-07-08
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Last Modified: 2012-05-04
With a power supply whom's fan is moving in operation, what is the source of the high-pitched hum I hear that DOES NOT exist with a newer, identical replacement PS??
Is it the fan, transformer or capacitors going bad on the "old" PS?
Note, old PS is still in use on their system(I used a new, identical PS to observe audible differances), but I believe immenent failure will occur, so I want to get a handle on this.

Thank you.
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Question by:pallidin
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6 Comments
 
LVL 4

Expert Comment

by:drcspy
ID: 7139090
replace it they're pretty cheap.......
some noise will be created by dust build up
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LVL 7

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by:sorgie
ID: 7139135
Capacitors/transformer do hum when on the way out. Replace it before it goes. avoids possible damage to other components
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LVL 17

Expert Comment

by:rayt333
ID: 7139359
If you want to find the source of the noise then take something and hold it against the fan so it cannot spin and see if noise is gone. I am guessing it is the fan since that is the most likely area of failure. Both from dust build-up and from bearing failing due to lack of lubrication. You can replace the fan in most PS if you really want to but it is better to simply replace the PS.
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jhance earned 800 total points
ID: 7139443
PC power supplies are of the SWITCHING type.  That means that they take the AC power, rectify it (i.e. turn it into DC) then they basically switch it on and off rapidly (i.e. turn it BACK into AC but at a much higher rate) so that the size of transformers/inductors is much smaller.  Most switching supplies switch at 150KHz or so.  What you hear is probably a cheap inductor that has a loose core or winding and it's vibrating.  Very annoying!!!  Usually manufacturers pot these things in glue to keep this from happening but sometimes they don't get it right.

Generally it doesn't cause any problems other than headaches.
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LVL 6

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by:1cell
ID: 7139503
describing a high pitched noise in a powersupply could be kind of general but I would first assume fan bearings going.  At least that's the most common noise I hear from powersupplies.  As for immenent failure, I would not assume that.  Power supplies can be gluttons for punishment.  I had an enlight that ran for three years with a very poorly running fan.  Of course they do finally die right when you need them most and a power supply is a cheap part.
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by:pallidin
ID: 7147146
I believe jhance may be correct, but I was also interested in the "test" oferred by Ray. Sounds resonable enough to do a simple test of stopping the fan to see if the noise goes away.
Though I am usually fairly quick at closing questions, allow me a little time on this one, as I will not have any access to her computer for about a week.

Thank you.
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