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  1. #1
    New ROGer Array
    Join Date
    Sep 2018

    Post Power Brick + Surge Protector Spark = Fried PC?

    I have a ROG G20AJ, which as you might know, comes with a 230W power adapter/brick.*

    Yesterday I took my computer to my friend’s house and just tried plugging the power brick into my surge protector (which I have no business using, seeing as it’s literally from 1993). As soon as I plugged the brick in, the wall outlet sparked and popped. I unplugged the brick (and my TV) from the surge protector, and then unplugged the surge protector from the wall. The outlet itself has some black spots, clearly from a rush of electricity. The prongs on the surge protector are the same way. I tested my TV and power brick in a new surge protector in a different outlet and both are getting power.*

    My question is, did my power brick get a surge of electricity in it? Like, is there electricity built up in it that will fry my PC if I plug the brick into it? Or am I worrying over nothing? Also, how can I test if my power brick is fine (i.e. not overloaded) before plugging it into my PC?

  2. #2
    TeamROG Moderator Array xeromist PC Specs
    xeromist PC Specs
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    xeromist's Avatar
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    Jul 2010

    You won't have electricity "built up" to worry about as it's not really possible for your brick to store an excess of electricity. Likely it just wouldn't work if it got fried. There is a very remote chance that the brick failed in such a way that it will provide unstable voltage to the machine. In that case you might have issues. If the machine crashes or powers off don't keep trying.

    You could try using a multi-meter on the connector while the brick is plugged in, but if it's just damaged and not dead it might not show issues until there is an actual load on it.
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  3. #3
    ROG Guru: Black Belt Array Korth PC Specs
    Korth PC Specs
    MotherboardASUS X99 R5E (BIOS2101/1902)
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    Mar 2015

    Apparently I gotta spread some rep around before you get any more @xeromist, haha.

    If the power adapter is a somewhat bulky heavy dense thing then it probably contains a transformer - meaning that it is somewhat resistant to momentary voltage surges/spikes and somewhat better at mitigating any surges/spikes it passes downstream (to its output switching/regulator circuits).

    Probably just a flash/arc and a whif of ozone and a little bit of blackening but no real internal damage (aside from a minor heart attack and some de-rating on any internal MOV components, if there are any).

    Definitely time for a new surge protector or power bar (which evidently has a failed or saturated MOV within it), lol.

    I would use a DMM to test the wall receptacle output voltage, it's probably okay but if the voltage variations are too noisy or too frequent then it might be best to plug your machine into some other mains circuit or even upgrade your breakers/wiring.

    A battery UPS is never a bad investment, especially with so much reliance on SSDs these days, I never operate (or recommend operating) a desktop without a UPS anymore. (Laptops and mobile devices are okay, their built-in battery is functionally the same thing.)
    Last edited by Korth; 09-25-2018 at 06:49 AM.
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