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Discuss I'm not an electrician but I some clever heads together in the Electrical Forum area at ElectriciansForums.co.uk.

  1. beachlover

    beachlover Regular EF Member

    Location:
    UK
    Hi everyone
    I have the strangest problem that no matter who I ask in the trade they seem to scratch their head and tell me to buy a surge protection unit. I have bought a million surge protections units Just sayin

    Here is the problem and some of things done over the past three years to try to resolve it ....

    I seem to be getting some sort of problem that is blowing up my computers. No amount of electrical test seem to find the faults. It's not just bad components or the company's where I buy the machines either.
    I have estimated Over 16 devices blown and 47 repairs since 2014. This is from five different companies where I have purchased computers with a warranty.
    Computers last typically for anything up to two days or two weeks before failing. This most common failure benign burnt chips on the GPU s

    It is my understanding The modern motherboards have built in surge protection and they go into protection mode when a surge is detected. I have had this happen but when I next switch on the computer the GPU is damaged or becomes damaged.

    Work carried out on my electricity by the electrician working for the housing association house I live in

    1 - four different surge protectors bought
    2- ups bought with surge protection
    3 - 2013 a full electrical test on RCD panel and all sockets - passed
    4- 2015 another full electrical test - passed
    5- electric supplier monitored for surges from outside- none detected
    6- two sockets faceplates replaced (the ones used for my computer)
    7 - independent electrician hired tested sockets. No fault found.
    8 - Eco Max Home Voltage optimiser fitted on RCD panel and set to 230v

    Other information.
    No other devices in the house fail and we have two HD TVs, a MacBook, two iPhones, router, and the usual lamps, kitchen equipment. New mouse,keyboard,HDMI cables,USB cables purchased

    UK based electrical system with RCD panel with an additional Volt regulator fitted. We have 240 volts coming into the house
    The housing association also fitted a gadget that regulates the volatage 230

    On the last occasion I saw the the computer component frizzle smoke and could see the damage. I'm really worried about a fire risk
    I have on occasion see sparks come from the switch on the outlet.

    I would appreciate your thoughts on why this is happening to me as three independent electrical test and Electricians tell me they can not find or think of what could be causing it.

    No computing for me for a while

    Many thanks
     
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  3. Vortigern

    Vortigern Electrician's Arms

    Location:
    England
    Business Name:
    F.H. Electrical
    I think I may be inclined to discuss this with your DNO who provide the network for your electricity. It seems power quality analysis needs to be done. This is a problem with electronic equipment that over time is going to get worse. As various electronic systems increase so the problem will. I am no expert in this area but what may be happening is there are harmonic currents affecting your equipment. I offer this very tentatively as I say I am no expert. It may be that you are near a source of equipment like a large office block or something of that order that is distorting the sine wave of your supply. This inevitably leads to components frying in computers and power supplies. Your DNO can monitor your supply for a week and give info regards the nature of your supply. However I think you need someone with a power quality analyser to see if you are unduly affected by harmonic distortions (I think they are called) It is a more technical area than I would usually deal with but someone may be able to take this further. Most electronic equipment distorts the sine wave supplied and can sometimes turn it into a different type wave which in turn can and will affect sensitive electronic components.
     
  4. snowhead

    snowhead Trusted Advisor

    Location:
    Mildlands
    Have you got a wired network in the house?

    Or do you live in the Isle Of Wight (I.O.W in Forum name?) anywhere near Radar?

    Does it only happen when you use the computer?
     
  5. Lucien Nunes

    Lucien Nunes Mercury Arc Rectifier Trusted Advisor

    Location:
    London
    If it is the GPU or any parts of the MoBo or plug-in cards that are failing, it is unlikely to be a power quality issue. Voltage surges on the AC mains will normally damage the power supply unit in the computer only. This isolates and converts the incoming AC power to the low DC voltages required by the computer. The PSU is able to withstand some thousands of volts between one side and the other, and will tend to go up in smoke itself before anything breaks down to the point of spitting out damaging voltages to the motherboard.

    If the failures are specific to the GPU, are there long cables running to displays / projectors etc? Are the displays fed from the same power circuit? Do you have any signs of circulating ground currents (bad audio hum, radio interference, sparks when you plug the graphics cable in?)
     
    DPG, beachlover and Vortigern like this.
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  7. Pete999

    Pete999 Trusted Advisor

    Location:
    Northampton
    Voltage Stabaliser maybe a useful item to consider
     
  8. Pat H

    Pat H Don't ask, get an Electrician in.

    Location:
    Ware Herts
    Business Name:
    Sparks of Intelligence
    To protect computers I'd go the UPS route. The good ones convert Mains to battery voltage and then back to mains so the computer isn't directly connected to the mains supply. That prevents brownouts and spikes being an issue. And should you lose power you get a little run time before it quits.
    And no modern motherboards can't cope with supply fluctuations or spike. The Power supply unit inside them have limted protection.

    But its not just power that maybe the issue. Are they network connected? could you be having spikes down the network cables?
     
  9. beachlover

    beachlover Regular EF Member

    Location:
    UK
    Thanks for all the replies
    @Vortigern
    Does DNO mean the company who supply's the electric on the distribution side? If so that is SSE and they already put a monitoring thing on the meter and on the socket where the computers plugs in .... they found nothing.

    I'm not near any big places like a factory. I don't know what
    I live in a cul de sac in a tiny village

    @snowhead
    Yes it the IOW and there are some radar mast on the fire station. what it the significance and why do my neighbors not have the same problem

    @ Lucian
    I have had laptops fail to but as modern laptops have the GPU soldered to the motherboard the who motherboard has been replaced. Since getting desktop PC I can see visually that the GPU is frazzled. I was present when the GPU sizzled popped and smoked . The PSU seems ok
    I'm connected via wifi
    The monitor is only a few feet of HDMI cable
    I have done all the obvious like bought new cables new USB keyboard and tried using a different monitor
    It still happens

    @Pat H
    I have a powerwalkwr ups and it still happened
    The only network I have is via wifi

    Set is tplink modem router into master socket in the hall
    All other devices are connected via wifi
    This is what is puzzling
    Wifi connected are roku device and tv
    Apple TV
    iPhones
    iMac
    Why do these not blow? Just the GPU?

    However I have had powerline adapters and they blew
    We opened them up and all the little capacitors were melted like ice cream
     
  10. Pat H

    Pat H Don't ask, get an Electrician in.

    Location:
    Ware Herts
    Business Name:
    Sparks of Intelligence
    Well there is your clue. If powerline adapters are blowing up you have problems.
     
  11. beachlover

    beachlover Regular EF Member

    Location:
    UK
    I'm amazed by all your help guys
    Thank you so very much
    @Pat H
    By powerline adaptors I mean those little things you can use to send Ethernet down your electric cable so you don't need wifi
    What is the significance

    Please bear with me as I'm posting on my iPhone

    The electrician is xoming on Monday
    Lo think he's been three times before and I think he says the only thing left to do is a complete rewire
    What should I ask him?

    It's obviously an intermittent problem otherwise it would have been picked up on his previous test
    He is a good fellow but he knows electric and not computers

    Kind regard
     
  12. Vortigern

    Vortigern Electrician's Arms

    Location:
    England
    Business Name:
    F.H. Electrical
    Yeh Beachlover I do mean the supplier. When you say GPU you mean the graphics card right? If that is the case your bios may have been overclocked? (grasping at straws) or some other incompatible timing setting or voltage setting for your board. Do you tweak? Hmmm?
    Either that or the gov is underneath you building another CERN thing.
     
    Last edited: Dec 5, 2016
  13. Jamchiv01

    Jamchiv01 Electrical Installer

    Location:
    Swindon, Wiltshire
    The whole time you have had this issue, have you had the same PSU in the computer, or the same model?

    Also what's the Rating of the power supply unit in Watts. Average is 350W - 450W. It will be on the PSU itself.
     
  14. beachlover

    beachlover Regular EF Member

    Location:
    UK
    @ Lucian
    Yes yes
    I see sparks from the socket sometimes when I switch it on !!!!
    What does this mean ???
     
  15. beachlover

    beachlover Regular EF Member

    Location:
    UK
    No sir
    As I said in my OP

    It has been various computers and various PSUs and even had 4 laptops fail
     
  16. beachlover

    beachlover Regular EF Member

    Location:
    UK
    no I don't over lock anything
    I only play WOW so I don't need to tweek
    And bear in mind this has happened to this many different computers
    2014 Dell
    Two desktop computers and 6 replaced motherboard and GPU

    2014 - 2015 pcspecialist
    Two desk top computers
    Over 15 returns and repaired motherboard and GPU
    Plus a reconditioned laptop I bought as a spare no longer working after two months

    2015 - 2016 pcspecialist
    Two laptops
    Over 15 returns and replaced motherboard and GPU
    Plus two reconditioned laptops And two reconditioned desktops I bought as spare to make sure I could get online while repairs were being carried out.
    1 X tablet no longer working
    3 x powerline adaptors

    August 2016
    Chillblast
    Two desktops
    10 returns since august with motherboards and GPU failures

    15 Nov 2016
    AWI - it
    One desk top bought in November lasted two days
    Currently under repair

    21 Nov 2016
    Bt homehub router fail after 24 hours use.
     
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  18. Jamchiv01

    Jamchiv01 Electrical Installer

    Location:
    Swindon, Wiltshire
    Do you have a lot of computers plugged into the same circuit?
     
  19. beachlover

    beachlover Regular EF Member

    Location:
    UK
    I know I know
    That a lot of failures

    The sparks from the sockets '!!! What does that mean????

    The last time the GPU burnt I saw sparks as switched on the socket and then I heard crawling and smoke
    When I lolled at the GPU I could see visable burnt components
     
  20. beachlover

    beachlover Regular EF Member

    Location:
    UK
    No
    I don't have any at the moment as they are on repair
    I only have one desktop and on iMac typically connected
    By same circuit do you mean the whole RCD thing
    When I look at my panel it has separate RCD for
    Shower
    Cooker
    Lights
    Sockets
     
  21. Kamikaze

    Kamikaze I do what the voices in my head tell me. Electrician's Arms

    Location:
    Plato's cave
    Might be high voltage on the telephone line and a problem with the master socket. Did you have anyone in to check that?
     
  22. beachlover

    beachlover Regular EF Member

    Location:
    UK
    I'm seeing sparks from the switch on the socket
    Why is this the case
     
  23. beachlover

    beachlover Regular EF Member

    Location:
    UK
    Who do I ask to check the master sockets
    I guess that is openreach?
    Phew I don't think I have the linguistic skill to explain all that to BT India

    Ohhppss sorry
     
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