Posting a message to the forum will remove the above advertisement

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

Please make sure you checkout our forum sponsors, many do discounts for members and, they keep the forum free to use.
  1. beachlover
    Offline

    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
     
  2. Vortigern
    Offline

    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.
     
  3. snowhead
    Offline

    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?
     
  4. Lucien Nunes
    Offline

    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?)
     
    • Like Like x 3
  5. Pete999
    Online

    Pete999 Trusted Advisor

    Top Poster Of Month

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

    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?
     
  7. beachlover
    Offline

    beachlover Regular EF Member

    Location:
    UK
    Thanks for all the replies
    @Vortigern@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@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@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
     
  8. Pat H
    Offline

    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.
     
  9. beachlover
    Offline

    beachlover Regular EF Member

    Location:
    UK
    I'm amazed by all your help guys
    Thank you so very much
    @Pat H@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
     
  10. Vortigern
    Offline

    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
  11. Jamchiv01
    Offline

    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.
     
  12. beachlover
    Offline

    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 ???
     
  13. beachlover
    Offline

    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
     
  14. beachlover
    Offline

    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.
     
  15. Jamchiv01
    Offline

    Jamchiv01 Electrical Installer

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

    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
     
  17. beachlover
    Offline

    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
     
  18. Kamikaze
    Offline

    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?
     
  19. beachlover
    Offline

    beachlover Regular EF Member

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

    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
     
  21. Vortigern
    Offline

    Vortigern Electrician's Arms

    Location:
    England
    Business Name:
    F.H. Electrical
    If you have had the supply checked we might rule out spikes and power surges. If you have had the electrical system checked you should not be getting sparks from you socket. If you are then it has not been checked properly. Have you always plugged into the same sparkly socket? It (btw) is arcing the sparking meaning a defective socket. Which I am sure should not have been missed on checking. However I cannot see how that would affect your computer(s) so adversely. It is strange that the various computer suppliers could not give further info on what actually happened to your equipment when repairing or replacing. I presume you have tried other sockets?
     
  22. Pat H
    Offline

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

    Location:
    Ware Herts
    Business Name:
    Sparks of Intelligence
    Curious how you can see the GPU damaged. The GPU is the Graphic Processor unit used for the display. The CPU is the Central Proccessing unit. But both are normally covered by a massive heatsink assembly. They can't normally be seen without disassembly.
    I'm wondering if you are seeing another on board component damaged that's not a GPU or CPU and maybe that part, if correctly identified, would give a clue. Any pictures of damaged parts?
     
    • Like Like x 1
  23. sparksburnout
    Offline

    sparksburnout Electrician's Arms

    Location:
    Notts
    I have seen this problem before. The naturally occurring lines of tectonic EMF are being focused onto your GPU, it only happens very rarely. You need to contact your DNO and ask them to conduct a Incedental Diagnostic Ionospheric Or Tectonic survey.
     
    • Like Like x 2
  24. shaun1
    Offline

    shaun1 Active EF Member

    Location:
    United Kingdom
    You mention replacing cables but have all of these machines been connected to the same monitor? Is the monitor connected to the same circuit?
     
    • Like Like x 1
  25. beachlover
    Offline

    beachlover Regular EF Member

    Location:
    UK
    Yes I did see the damage to the graphic card
    I heard it sparking and smelled it burning. When I took the card out I could could see the silver solder on the card had gone black. Burnt
    I have got a picture
    Give me a bit of time to figure out how to upload it from my phone as I have no computer to change the extension of the pics I took
    I can assure you it was a burnt graphic card the nvidia 1060 I paid a lot of money for (crys)
     
  26. beachlover
    Offline

    beachlover Regular EF Member

    Location:
    UK
    Right
    I will do that today
    I had them monitor the meter before for about a week
    They wouldn't do it any longer as they said the equipment is expensive and the only had one of them.
    I have heard of EMI
    This is the stuff that can make your internet have drops? REIN ? And you can detect it with a medium wave radio?
    Or am I barking up the wrong tree?

    I did try a different socket in the same room and that particular computer lasted about a week ( forgot which one as I have had so many)
    By the way I did think it could be the monitor so I spent a week just using my tv a a monitor and same happened
    GPU had to be replaced. To be fair the companies I bought the computers from have been very supportive and even they cannot understand how many times I have components replaced
     
  27. beachlover
    Offline

    beachlover Regular EF Member

    Location:
    UK
    There is a photo of the GPU after I took it out
    You can clearly see the black burnt bits that where previously silver

    I'm not an electrician but even I know that a graphic card should not burn after five day's
    Those nvidia cards are pretty robust and anyone who has put on in or out of a PCI slot will know

    IMG_2003.PNG
     
  28. DPG
    Offline

    DPG Electrician's Arms

    Location:
    S Yorkshire
    I don't believe damage of that severity would be caused by emi. Do you know any of your neighbours well enough to try your PC in their house and see if anything amiss happens? This may help narrow things down. Also, and apologies if you have tried this, have you tried a laptop on its own with nothing else plugged into it at all except the power supply? Daz
     
    • Like Like x 1
  29. DAvid Prosser
    Offline

    DAvid Prosser Regular EF Member

    Location:
    UK
    I think SSE are normally booked out for months in advance for doing the Incidental Diagnostic Ionospheric Or Tectonic survey as it seams to be quite a common problem down there.
     
    • Like Like x 2
  30. beachlover
    Offline

    beachlover Regular EF Member

    Location:
    UK
    Thanks to all of you for your time and suggestions
    Thant pic was of the previous GPU
    I have a pic of the current GPU and something similar has happened and I can see a smal burnt bit on one of the silver soldered places

    If not electro magnetic stuff then what the heck can it be?

    I don't own a laptop but I have previously and they have had to be returned to the manufacturer with damaged GPU/motherboard
    Bearing in mind nvidia normally solder the gpus to their motherboard

    I did think to ask my neighbour if I could run a lead across the road to see if still happened in my house
    I don't think that would be ideal though as a car might hit the lead . LOL
    I can't really go park myself into his house for five days
    His wife might not like that ... just sayin

    What should I ask the electrician to test for when he comes next week?
    I'm gonna ask him to change the sockets and ask him why I see sparks

    What else ?
    thank you david
    I have asked anyway hopefully sse will get back to me soon. By the way I already did the radon report thing online and this is a low radon area.
    I don't mind waiting months
    This problem Has been blowing up my computers since I move here in November 2013 so waiting another few months won't matter
    All I want is to come home from work switched on a computer and use it like everyone else in the U.K. Is able to without fear of it blowing, causing a fire risk or having to ask the manufacturer for yet another refund

    I'm just desperate to find the problem

    What did you mean by it is common down here? Could it be the mast on the fire station nearby?

    IMG_1990.JPG
     
  31. DAvid Prosser
    Offline

    DAvid Prosser Regular EF Member

    Location:
    UK
    What did you mean by it is common down here? Could it be the mast on the fire station nearby?

    Could you post some pictures of the mast, has it got any dishes on it ?
     
  32. beachlover
    Offline

    beachlover Regular EF Member

    Location:
    UK
    I can tommorow its dark now
    But I think they are mobile phone masts
     
  33. DPG
    Offline

    DPG Electrician's Arms

    Location:
    S Yorkshire
    If it's EMI that's cooked those PCBs then you would have been microwaved by now! I must admit I'm confused by this one. All I was thinking is that if you could power your PC up in another house somewhere it may help to eliminate things. Daz
     
    • Like Like x 1
  34. beachlover
    Offline

    beachlover Regular EF Member

    Location:
    UK
    Yes and that is a good thought
    I lived in my previous house for 20 years and I probably had only three or or 4 pcs in that whole time
    As soon as I moved here I go through 8 brand new PC s per year with over 4 different companies and nearly 30 to 40 replacement componants
    I have considered moving house but that is not really an option
     
    • Like Like x 1
  35. DPG
    Offline

    DPG Electrician's Arms

    Location:
    S Yorkshire
    Just thinking about the sparks from switches on sockets - cheap sockets can do this, especially when switching high power or inductive loads. This is not the case with a PC and I would not expect this to happen.
    The destruction of computer components is presumably due to excess voltage, possibly as spikes. For this to happen would need quite a big surge because as others have said above, the PSU would probably take the hit first. Possible though.
    You need the services of someone who is not your average sparky. Further analysis of the power supply over many hours (not the idiot test though :) ) and also checking of any earth currents that may be present. Also worth checking the potential differences between the various computer parts and every part of the electrical system in your house also.
    Keep us informed of any further happenings or if you get anybody in to look at it. It's a good one.
    Daz
     
    • Like Like x 1
  36. Barry White
    Offline

    Barry White Guest

    PSU power supplies can have a large inrush current and hence the spark when first plugged in.(many chinese copys have little protection and are worse)
     
  37. DPG
    Offline

    DPG Electrician's Arms

    Location:
    S Yorkshire
    True, but wouldn't expect a spark at the switch of the 13A socket when it was switched on. Daz
     
  38. Davisonp
    Offline

    Davisonp Regular EF Member

    Location:
    Amersham
    Business Name:
    Absolutely All Electrical LTD
    I have a few thoughts.

    1) I would be tempted to try a Z reading between Live and neutral at the incomer of the consumer unit and outgoing connectors of the RCD to ensure there is not a high resistance fault somewhere in the neutral. It is a test that is not necessarily recorded as part of an EICR (Electrical Inspection). If the value is bad, then the PFC reported on the form will be the reading between Live and earth and a high neutral resistance may be missed. I am not sure a high neutral resistance would cause this but I know neutral problems can have odd effects and most things have been ruled out.

    2) Is undervoltage a possibility? The 230 Volt regulators will prevent overvoltage and spikes, but will it do anything if the voltage drops to an unacceptable level? Less voltage means higher current, and more heat. I know many PC power supplies can cope with a wide range of voltages, but are the computers that have burnt out using power supplies that can run on 110Volts (American standard) or ones that require 230Volts? There are posts on PC web sites that suggest prolonged undervoltage can damage PC’s (mostly power supplies) and I understand that things like washing machines have a significantly reduced lifespan if the voltage is regularly lower than acceptable (one job I worked on had prolonged periods where one phase was at 195 Volts, one at 215 volts, and the third phase at 235 volts, so it can happen).

    3) Is the supply listed on the electrical inspection described as TN-S, TN-C-S or TT?
    TN-C-S with neutral supply problems may create problems.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  39. amlu
    Offline

    amlu Trusted Advisor

    Location:
    wild east london
    another thing to look at -
    floating ground to some equipment? due to things getting overcomplicated the computer is not grounded properly, causing ground loops thru usb or other communication cables...
     
    • Like Like x 1
  40. dmxtothemax
    Offline

    dmxtothemax Regular EF Member

    Location:
    Australia
    Business Name:
    David Haddock Electronic Repairs
    I'am inclined to believe that the GPU is just being pushed beyond it's limits,
    sort of like an over clocked CPU, it will put up with it for a while
    But eventually it will die !
    What are you processing ?
    Can you instal better cooling on the GPU ?
    like a bigger CPU fan.
     
  41. beachlover
    Offline

    beachlover Regular EF Member

    Location:
    UK
    @dmxtothemax@dmxtothemax

    I'm buying good quality computers from good British companies. I'm positive they are using good quality parts. The PSUs have been changed as has every single computer I have bought over the past three years. Each computer I have bought pass all the stress test before shipped.

    I'm not overclocking
    I'm not using high stress games. I'm aware of making sure fans and cooling are up to scratch.
    I have had CPUs ranging from i7 with nvidia GTX 1050 to the skylake i5 with nvidia 1060. The computers I have had are more than enough to cope with the task I do. I really only play Warcraft which is hardly a high stress game. So I don't think I'm over stressing or overheating the GPUs. No to have this happen to so many different computers and GPUs it has to be something external to the machines

    Thank for your thought tho

    I'm due to have yet another GPU delivered tommorow to replace the most recent on that one that burnt.
    I'm just thinking of a way I can put it on my computer and on another elecrical source.
     
  42. beachlover
    Offline

    beachlover Regular EF Member

    Location:
    UK
    Thanks so very much all this
    I don't know what any of it means but at least I can read it the the electrician that is coming on Monday. It has give me something to start on. Brilliant!!!'
    You have given me some hope - thanks soopoooppop very much
     
    • Like Like x 1
  43. beachlover
    Offline

    beachlover Regular EF Member

    Location:
    UK
    I'm trying to upload a picture of the electrician report
    I don't really know what any of it means

    IMG_2006.PNG

    IMG_2006.PNG
     
  44. DPG
    Offline

    DPG Electrician's Arms

    Location:
    S Yorkshire
    I'd be interested to here Lucien's thoughts on this one. Daz
     
  45. beachlover
    Offline

    beachlover Regular EF Member

    Location:
    UK
    Ne
    Anyway brand new GPU has arrived
    I have not had the machine plugged into the mains for over 10 days
    I'm thinking to run my electric extension that I use to mow the lawn from the lounge socket into my room where the computer is

    Wish me luck
    I think I might need it

    IMG_2007.JPG
     
Loading...
Similar Threads - electrician clever heads Forum Date
Looking for electrician for EV charge points Electricians Looking for Work / Jobs Yesterday at 8:56 PM
Up to 2,000 unqualified electricians are endangering the Scottish public, SELECT tells Ministers Electrical Forum Yesterday at 8:31 PM

Share This Page

  • Electricians Directory Post a Domestic Job Post a Commercial Job