Power supplies – they are ever present for most of us, both at work and at home. They come in all sizes and levels of quality and for myriad purposes. Even so, they have some things in common – their universal dislike of moisture, heat, and dirt – which I like to refer to as the electronic axis of evil.
Here are 6 top tips to extend the life of your power supply and avoid having to replace or repair your power supply:
1. Number one tip, by far, is to buy the best power supply you can afford that is adequate for the load. A power supply is absolutely one of those things where you get what you pay for. If you opt for a cheap unit, it may not supply adequate current even when used within nominal power ratings. Power supplies don’t like to die alone either – they usually take down other components with them when they go. Buying a cheapie power supply will cost you in the end!
2. Know the MTBF…that is your “Mean Time Between Failures” rating of your power supply. To do this you can check the electrolytic capacitors used in your PSU. Capacitors have a limited life that affects the life span of the power supply. Either ask your sales rep for this data or check on these:
- Size of Capacitor – bigger is usually better
- Operating Temperature – the hotter your work environment, the shorter the power supply’s life
- Component Rating – how much voltage the unit can safely handle
3. Make sure the area around the power supply is well ventilated. (Remember…power supplies hate excess heat.)
4. Keep the vent and fan clean and free of lint, grease, dust or whatever it is that accumulates in your plant or office. This may mean cleaning it often, at least once a week.
5. Minimize vibrations.
6. Don’t get your power supply wet – ever. Unless it is made to operate in a wet environment.
If your power supply does quit on you, know that most power supplies are repairable. Even those that are choked in grease and dirt (as they often are) can usually be revived. If your unit is still under warranty call the power supply manufacturers to get assistance. If your power supply is out of warranty, you can still get power supply repairs from a reputable industrial electronic repairs shop. However, none of this applies if you bought one of those no-name, super-cheap power supplies from some mystery website. If this is the case, your best and cheapest (really!) course of action is probably to replace it with a better quality power supply.
About the Author: ACS Industrial Services is an independent industrial electronic repair center providing repairs for all types of industrial electronic equipment and most all manufacturers including circuit board repairs, logic board repairs, repairs for industrial power supplies, drives, servo motors, CNC equipment, encoders, monitors and touchscreens, test equipment, and much more. Rush Service is available and a comprehensive 2-Year Warranty covers most repairs. The customer service team is available to answer your questions and help solve your industrial electronic repair problems. You can reach them by calling 800-605-6419 or going to www.acsindustrial.com.