7 Symptoms of a Bad a Power Supply Unit? Reasons and Tips.

Are you finding it tough to decipher if your Power Supply Unit (PSU) is beginning to fail? Or maybe it already has gone bad completely. Don’t worry, we are here to help you simplify the process of identifying a failing PSU and what steps you should take moving forward.

There could be several underlying issues, but at the core, there may very well lay a problem with the Power Supply Unit (PSU). It’s crucial that you recognize signs of PSU failure in good time so that components inside your digital computer don’t get damaged.

In this post, I have covered everything from common signs that show your PSU is on its way out, troubleshooting techniques, and what replacement methods may be available for your current build. So read on and stay informed; let us look closer at how to tell whether or not your existing power supply is going bad!

What is a Power Supply Unit (PSU)?

A PSU is the most important component of a computer as it provides power to all computer parts. It comes in various wattages, with higher wattage PSUs having more capacity and often more features such as overvoltage protection, active PFC, etc. A failing PSU can cause serious damage to your components leading to data loss or even worse; physical danger from electric shocks or fires.

Therefore, it’s vital to identify signs of PSU failure before any permanent damage is done. Let us look at some common indicators that could indicate a problem with your existing power supply unit.

7 Symptoms of a Bad Power Supply

1. Random Shutdowns:

signs of power supply failure

If your PC is shutting down randomly or suddenly switching off, it could be a sign of an unstable power supply. This can occur when the PSU fails to maintain consistent voltage levels for the components inside your system. Check if it is a POST Error or not.

2. PSU is providing insufficient power:

If your PC is having issues booting or performing, even with a high-end PSU, this could be because the power supply isn’t delivering enough voltage to the components. This can happen when the PSU has aged and is unable to deliver enough wattage due to its limited capacity.

2. PSU smells like burnt

If you can smell a strong odor of burning plastic, then it’s a sign that your power supply is potentially failing. Don’t take this lightly and switch off your system immediately if you detect such an issue.

3. System runs very slowly

A failing PSU can cause your system to run slower than normal due to inadequate current delivery which can lead to increased latency and reduced performance.

If this is the case even after having installed a sufficient good amount of primary memory then you should check your PSU and its cables to ensure everything is working correctly.

4. Excess fan noise from PSU:

signs of power supply failure

PSUs are usually very quiet, it should be silent during normal operation but if you hear loud buzzing or humming noises it may indicate issues with the fan or other components inside the unit itself. If this is happening, get the unit checked as soon as possible to avoid any further damage.

5. Overheating Components:

overheating components

If certain components such as graphics cards or hard drives are overheating, this could also point towards a faulty power supply unit which isn’t providing enough power to these components. Additionally, this can lead to further component damage as the parts will not be receiving the right amount of power.

6. Flickering Lights:

If you notice that your PC’s lights are flickering or dimming, this could suggest a failing PSU which is not able to provide enough stable current to keep all components powered up.

7. Visual signs of damage on PSU:

Sometimes, physical damage can occur due to short circuits or simply wear and tear over time. Inspect the exterior of your PSU for any visible signs of damage such as a bulging capacitors, broken fan blades or melted plastic.

If you have identified any of these symptoms in your system, it may be time for troubleshooting and replace your existing Power Supply Unit (PSU). Continue reading for further details on what you should do next!

Troubleshooting & Replacement Process

Once you have identified signs of a failing PSU, the next step is to carry out some basic troubleshooting steps before moving onto a replacement process. Firstly, check other computer parts inside

your system such as the motherboard, RAM and CPU for any loose connections. If all looks OK then it’s time to consider replacing your PSU with a new one that is compatible with your existing components.

When shopping for a new power supply unit, look for high efficiency models which can provide better power output and will be beneficial in the long run. Make sure to check wattage, cable length, fan size and other parameters before settling on one; this guide by Logical Increments can help you find the right PSU according to your PC build requirements.

Safety First!

It’s important to note that when dealing with electricity inside a computer, utmost safety measures should always be taken. Unplug all cables from the PC, ground yourself and wear anti-static gloves prior to opening up the case for any repairs or replacements.

To sum up, power supply units are essential components of computers and when they fail it can cause serious damage. While there are some signs which could indicate a problem with your existing PSU, troubleshooting and replacement processes should always be done safely in order to ensure that all components are well-protected.

Reasons why the PSU is failing

signs of power supply failure
  • Age: PSUs typically last for about 5-7 years depending on the model and usage. Over time, PSUs can degrade in performance due to wear and tear which can lead to components receiving inconsistent voltage levels.
  • Power Outages: If your system has experienced any kind of power outage or random restarting over a period of time, it could damage the PSU by subjecting it to excess current or voltage levels that are outside its operating range. This could potentially cause serious damage to other components as well.
  • Poor Ventilation: It is very important to provide adequate ventilation for your computer’s PSU so that it can dissipate heat efficiently and prevent thermal breakdowns from occurring. If there isn’t enough airflow, the temperature inside the case could rise to dangerous levels and cause damage to the PSU.
  • Faulty Wiring: If you have installed a new power supply unit but it is still not performing optimally, then poor wiring could be an issue. Check all connections thoroughly and make sure that they are properly wired and secure.

How to extend the life of the PSU?

  1. Dust regularly: Regular cleaning and maintenance of your PSU can help to extend its life significantly. Make sure to always use a soft cloth and mild cleaners to remove dust from the inside and outside of the unit.
  2. Monitor component temperature: Ensure that the temperatures of all components are kept within their recommended ranges as exceeding these limits could potentially cause damage to your PSU or other components if left unchecked for long periods of time.
  3. Use Quality Cables: Invest in quality cables for connecting your components such as graphics cards, memory devices, etc so that they are not restricted by low quality wires which could prevent them from receiving adequate current supply from the PSU.
  4. Avoid Overclocking: Overclocking can put excessive strain on your system and reduce the life of the PSU significantly.
  5. Use a surge protector: If you are living in an area that is prone to power outages, then investing in a good quality surge protector can help to protect your system from any sudden voltage or current spikes which could damage your PSU or other components.

By following these simple steps, you should be able to extend the life of your PSU and enjoy smooth performance for many years to come!


Once you have identified any of the signs that show your PSU is on its way out of failing, it is important to take action quickly in order to avoid further damage or costly repairs down the line.

Replace your existing Power Supply Unit (PSU) with a high-quality model from a reputable manufacturer for optimal performance and longevity. Make sure to choose one that meets your system’s requirements based on wattage, current delivery, and form factor.

Finally, always remember to check the warranty details before making any purchase. Most manufacturers provide a limited time period for their products in case of any unexpected issues.

Taking care of your PSU is very important for keeping your system running smoothly and avoiding costly repairs and bad signs of PSU.

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