PSU Kicking Off Circuit Breaker - Replace PSU?

ZzBloopzZ

[H]ard|Gawd
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Sep 18, 2004
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Hello [H],

I just moved to an apartment (built in the early 2000's) and having the strangest issue ever. Within 1-2 seconds of pushing the power button on my desktop, the circuit breaker kicks off and cuts power to the entire room. I then have to go to the circuit breaker and reset it. For troubleshooting, I have tried different power cables, and also different power outlets within the same room while everything else unplugged and it still happens. It also happens in the bedroom on the otherside of the apartment. I did notice the two breakers for the bedrooms are the same type which are 15 Amps and have a blue "reset" button on them. The other breakers do not have this reset button on them even the other 15A ones. Desktop powers on fine in the other rooms but they are all mostly 20 amps, except for the living room which is 15 amps. However, in the rooms where it does work when it does power on, all the other lights dim for a second which I have never noticed before in my previous two places I lived. In the bedrooms, I have tried vacuuming while turning on the laser printer and also printing few sheets and the circuit does not trip at all, this is along with all the lights and monitors on. I brought this up with maintence but they are blaiming it on my desktop.

I have NEVER experienced a power issue like this before, even at the last place I lived that was built in the 1920's. Desktop was also fine at the place before that too. I currently have a Seasonic X850 which I've had for 7-8 years now. Also, the desktop has always been hooked up to a good quality UPS. I do know during the move last week that it sat in a car where it was over 100 degrees F plus was very humid for most of the day. I wonder if it got partly damaged from that?

At this point, I want to just replace the PSU to see if that fixes it. If I were to put in a 2080 Ti in my desktop, PCPartsPicker states I would be using ~475W. I think to be safe I want to order a 750W PSU. It's not too powerful like the 850 but has bit extra room over the 650W so hoping less chance then the 850 to kick off. I don't overclock at all and just game on occasion so should be perfect I'd think.

What do you guys think I should do? Would it be better to get the Corsair RM750x, Seasonic PX-750 or GX-750? They are all Tier A on Linus's PSU Tier guide. The PX is Platinum rated, I wonder if that would make a difference with less chance of the circuit breaker tripping? I don't care about price difference between the three at this point. It seems availability is tough so I will have to set a price alert.

Appreciate any input. I'm not an electricion but did watch some YT. Thank you!
 

OFaceSIG

2[H]4U
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Those two breakers have "reset" buttons on them because they are GFCI breakers. You have a ground fault, that's the GF part. It means that the computer isn't wired correctly inside or the PSU isn't wired correctly inside. Some voltage is leaking out and going down the ground path. Same stuff happens on a the outlet in a bathroom or the power plug of a hair dryer.

If it happens consistently anywhere there is a test/reset button I would worry about it enough personally to replace the power supply. Take it to a buddies house and plug into into the outlet in the bathoom. If it pops the test/reset button, for sure that's your culprit.
 

ZzBloopzZ

[H]ard|Gawd
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Take it to a buddies house and plug into into the outlet in the bathoom. If it pops the test/reset button, for sure that's your culprit.

Wow, thank you for the response! I really appreciate it. Sadly, I don't know a single soul out here and closet friend is 2 hours away.

I do know the kitchen, which is on 20 amps has a outlet with those test/reset buttons in the middle. Should I try testing the computer on that outlet or would it really be best to test in another home?

Thanks!
 

mnewxcv

Supreme [H]ardness
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Sometimes those gfci outlets/breakers are overly sensitive unfortunately. I'd just try a different psu and see if that fixes it. There is a chance it won't though.
 

[Spectre]

[H] Admin
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From that time frame, probably AFCI not GFCI popping in a bedroom. The manner in which the primary cap is energized will do that on some PSU's. Had a run of Enermax units when they first came out with their Revolution topology that did it every damn time.
 

ZzBloopzZ

[H]ard|Gawd
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From that time frame, probably AFCI not GFCI popping in a bedroom. The manner in which the primary cap is energized will do that on some PSU's. Had a run of Enermax units when they first came out with their Revolution topology that did it every damn time.

Do you also think a new PSU might fix it or should I push the building management to see if they can replace the breaker for the bedroom? At this point seems easier to replace PSU, if does not fix it I can just return it and since it's 7-8 years old and has been always on all that time thinking it's done with.
 

BinarySynapse

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Early AFCI breakers were way too sensitive to the arc like behavior of many electronics. Later versions are much better. You might be able to get them to replace an older breaker with a newer revision if there’s one compatible with your panel. There’s no guarantee the nuisance tripping will go away, but it’s worth a shot.

What they very likely won’t do is replace an AFCI with a standard breaker.
 

[Spectre]

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Do you also think a new PSU might fix it or should I push the building management to see if they can replace the breaker for the bedroom? At this point seems easier to replace PSU, if does not fix it I can just return it and since it's 7-8 years old and has been always on all that time thinking it's done with.

Not sure what to tell you exactly. I have the luxury of owning my house where I do my PSU reviews. So, when I moved here from my previous residence I worked with my electrical contractor and we sourced non-AFCI breakers for the office where my load testers and branch circuits needed to support testing were housed. That took care of the issue.
 

ZzBloopzZ

[H]ard|Gawd
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Not sure what to tell you exactly. I have the luxury of owning my house where I do my PSU reviews. So, when I moved here from my previous residence I worked with my electrical contractor and we sourced non-AFCI breakers for the office where my load testers and branch circuits needed to support testing were housed. That took care of the issue.

Understood. I can't wait to own my own place someday and do the same! Are your PSU reviews tested on 15A or 20A? I was just able to order a Corsair RMx 750 which should be back in stock and shipped end of next week. Figured I would try a different brand and lower wattage to see if that helps with the power issue. In the mean time, I will see if a Seasonic PX-750 comes back in stock since that is Platnium rated, so wondering if that would be less likely to trip the breaker then the RMx?
 

[Spectre]

[H] Admin
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Understood. I can't wait to own my own place someday and do the same! Are your PSU reviews tested on 15A or 20A? I was just able to order a Corsair RMx 750 which should be back in stock and shipped end of next week. Figured I would try a different brand and lower wattage to see if that helps with the power issue. In the mean time, I will see if a Seasonic PX-750 comes back in stock since that is Platnium rated, so wondering if that would be less likely to trip the breaker then the RMx?

My office is fed by three separate 20A branch circuits to support my testing of power supplies.
 

GiGaBiTe

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Sometimes those gfci outlets/breakers are overly sensitive unfortunately. I'd just try a different psu and see if that fixes it. There is a chance it won't though.

GFCI breakers have other problems as well. As they age, they tend to get more sensitive and will trip at lower and lower currents until they become a nuisance. I had to replace the one in my garage because it was 35 years old and would trip with almost any electronic load.

Another problem is if you have multiple appliances that all have a small leakage, they add up and appear as a larger leakage to the GFCI breaker. Adding one more leaky device can push it over the edge and cause it to trip. All electronic loads have some tiny amount of leakage that can change over time.
 

elavanis

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I'm a little late to the party but you may want to test without the ups. I know I ended starting to trip my gfci every couple of hours when i put a 3rd ups on a single circuit. Hope it helps.
 

ZzBloopzZ

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Thanks everyone. I ended up calling the maintenance people again and they did me a favor and replaced the one GFCI Breaker in the panel for the office with a new one. Issue has been resolved.
However, I was just looking at it yesterday and realized it is a 20A GFCI breaker, before it was a 15A. It is super tiny and when we were talking about I think he thought it was a 15A breaker. Everything is working fine and that bathroom/office is only used by me for the computer, a printer on occasion and one lamp. I don't plan to over use the circuits or use much power on that circuit, reading online forums even tho it is not US code should be fine.

Thanks everyone! Luckily, my replacement PSU did not even ship yet due to still being out of stock.
 

BinarySynapse

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Thanks everyone. I ended up calling the maintenance people again and they did me a favor and replaced the one GFCI Breaker in the panel for the office with a new one. Issue has been resolved.
However, I was just looking at it yesterday and realized it is a 20A GFCI breaker, before it was a 15A. It is super tiny and when we were talking about I think he thought it was a 15A breaker. Everything is working fine and that bathroom/office is only used by me for the computer, a printer on occasion and one lamp. I don't plan to over use the circuits or use much power on that circuit, reading online forums even tho it is not US code should be fine.

Thanks everyone! Luckily, my replacement PSU did not even ship yet due to still being out of stock.
20A is fine as long as the wiring is 12awg or bigger. If it’s 14awg or smaller, then have him replace with the appropriately sized breaker. Otherwise you have a fire hazard.
 

elavanis

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20A is fine as long as the wiring is 12awg or bigger. If it’s 14awg or smaller, then have him replace with the appropriately sized breaker. Otherwise you have a fire hazard.
What he said. In my panel about half my breakers are 20 amp and the others are 15. The ones that are 15 are for specific bedrooms where things like the living room, kitchen and basement are 20.
 

cyclone3d

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Heh.... stupid GFCI / AFCI. I am not surprised one bit that it was tripping.

And yeah, as they age they start tripping easier and easier. Sometimes they just die completely and won't reset at all.

I have the luxury of owning my own home... still a fixer upper. The wiring was absolutely a disaster when we moved in. The house still has a fuse box but any time a fuse has blown I replaced it with one of the fuse replacement breakers.

All wiring that I have redone, I have put in 20A wiring and breakers. I also try to have each wall on a separate circuit. Lighting is on a circuit by itself. When we moved in, we had at least 3 whole rooms wired to a single circuit.
 
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Heh.... stupid GFCI / AFCI. I am not surprised one bit that it was tripping.

And yeah, as they age they start tripping easier and easier. Sometimes they just die completely and won't reset at all.

I have the luxury of owning my own home... still a fixer upper. The wiring was absolutely a disaster when we moved in. The house still has a fuse box but any time a fuse has blown I replaced it with one of the fuse replacement breakers.

All wiring that I have redone, I have put in 20A wiring and breakers. I also try to have each wall on a separate circuit. Lighting is on a circuit by itself. When we moved in, we had at least 3 whole rooms wired to a single circuit.

My parents did something similar. They got tired of buying fuses so eventually they just replaced the fuse panel with a new breaker panel, upgraded from 100 amp services to 200 amp (air conditioning is a bitch) while my brother who was studying to be an electrician at the time redid the circuit layout in a similar fashion to you, though we didn't have quite enough panel space to give each wall it's own circuit. I think we did 35 amps to the kitchen, 40 to the workshop, 30 to the "entertainment room" and then 20 amp service to each other room (2 bed, 1 bath, 1 office). Details might be off a bit, but it's close enough.

Almost forgot about all the wire replacement! half the house was still aluminum knob and tube. That was a GD nightmare.
 

cyclone3d

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Uggghhh.. So glad I haven't found any Aluminium wire in this house besides where the A/C used to be. It is too old.

This house has been added onto multiple times. Main breaker box is in outside utility room. Fuse box in room inside house. Then there was also a sub-panel in the far end of the house for the couple rooms over there.

The ground wires for the kitchen outlets and a few other outlets had been cut off and there was barely enough wire to fix those without having to run new wire.

Almost all of the connections didn't have wire nuts... just twisted together with electrical tape covering them. I have no idea how this house didn't burn down from an electrical fire before we bought it.
 
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