Antec HCG-620 fan is now extremely loud

Rev. Night

Limp Gawd
Joined
Mar 30, 2004
Messages
410
After 7-10 years of faithful service, my Antec HCG-620 psu fan has gotten noticeably louder the past few weeks. Nothing bad, I probably wouldn't have noticed if I didn't install really quiet case/cpu/gpu fans. So I researched online and people said to place a drop of 3-in-1 lube in the fan bearing. This is easy, but required me to remove the psu from my pc (not fun), open up the psu, and get to the fan. I pull back the fan sticker, see the bearing, and place 1-2 drops of lube. I put everything back correctly, and now my fan is extremely loud. Like full 135mm 42.6 dba glory when I play a game. At desktop, like right now, its pretty quiet. But as soon as I start a game, its on full blast. I've already ordered a Corsair RM750x as a replacement. I would like to be able to fix this fan for a higher resale value, if possible.

Did I put the wrong lube/oil/grease in?
Is it possible to easily replace the fan with something better than stock? I live in an appt, so my tools are limited at best


 

GiGaBiTe

[H]ard|Gawd
Joined
Apr 26, 2013
Messages
1,321
"Relubing" a computer fan only works if the fan uses a sleeve bearing, which is basically a steel shaft inside a bronze bushing. From the factory, these types of bearings use a very light grease, and should be replaced with the same type of grease. Something like this is needed: https://www.ebay.com/itm/280549214932 You can use a light oil, like 3-n-1 oil, but this isn't a permanent fix because sleeve bearings tend to burn oil as they run, especially since the bronze bushing usually sinks heat from the stator windings. Depending on the amount of oil you add will determine how long the bearing will stay quiet, but you'll eventually have to add more oil.

Additionally, you need to pull the fan and the shaft out of the sleeve and clean it out completely with something like carb cleaner or alcohol. If you slather more grease or oil on and call it done, you're basically making liquid sandpaper from the dirt and burned grease dust. This will start eroding the steel shaft and bronze bushing until there's enough play for it to start bouncing around in the bore and making noise. If this happens, no amount of lubrication will fix the fan and it's junk at that point.

If the fan uses ball bearings, no amount of lubrication will fix the problem because the ball bearings are shielded. And if they're making noise, it's because either the bearing races are flaking off, or the balls are breaking up and no amount of oil will fix that. They'll need to be replaced. Ball bearing fans are usually apparent when you look down the bore, you'll see micro bearings which are usually steel. Most of the time they will fall out when you take the fan apart.

tl;dr servicing computer fans is a pain. Cheap sleeve and ball bearing fans aren't really designed to be serviced, and it usually more expensive to fix them than buy new ones.

If your goal is to sell the power supply on, just buy a new fan for it. It's less of a headache and won't come back to bite you in the ass if the used fan fails again.
 

Rev. Night

Limp Gawd
Joined
Mar 30, 2004
Messages
410
Interesting. Thanks for the detailed write up. I guess i'll look into replacement fans, but as I recall last time, I didn't see many.

Curious, what would a 7 year old Antec 620 watt non-modular PSU go for sale wise? I have one with a working fan and one with this loud one.
 

GiGaBiTe

[H]ard|Gawd
Joined
Apr 26, 2013
Messages
1,321
Is the fan some weird size? Most power supplies use standard size PC fans. 80 and 92mm used to be common before bottom mounted fans became the norm. 120 and sometimes 135mm fans are common now. The only non-standard part is the power connector, which is usually a two pin mini JST XH connector. That can just be chopped from the old fan and spliced onto the new one without too much difficulty.

As for how much it will go for, only what the next guy would pay for it. I myself wouldn't pay much for a 7 year old power supply, especially if it has problems. Those capacitors are high mileage and may cause issues with power rail regulations in higher loads. Maybe $20-30?
 

vegeta535

Supreme [H]ardness
Joined
Jul 19, 2013
Messages
4,825
Interesting. Thanks for the detailed write up. I guess i'll look into replacement fans, but as I recall last time, I didn't see many.

Curious, what would a 7 year old Antec 620 watt non-modular PSU go for sale wise? I have one with a working fan and one with this loud one.
Nothing really. No one wants to put a old psu into their system. Best use for it is would be as a back up psu.
 

kirbyrj

Fully [H]
Joined
Feb 1, 2005
Messages
26,823
The last time I had a PSU fan problem, I just took it apart, cut the fan connector, and wired up a new fan using a plain off the shelf 120mm case fan. Problem solved. I wouldn't even bother trying to sell it. Just fix it or buy a new one.
 

Rev. Night

Limp Gawd
Joined
Mar 30, 2004
Messages
410
Well I am trying to make a few bucks off it, and get it out of my house too. I'm not going to throw it away, and in an appt, we dont have the room to have lots of spares everywhere.
 
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