Is Your PSU Making Noise After Water Spill? Here’s What to Do


What are the possible causes and solutions for a noisy PSU after water exposure?

I have a power supply unit (PSU) that was accidentally exposed to some water. I waited until it was completely dry before turning it on, but it started making a loud buzzing or grinding noise. I am concerned that this might damage my PSU or other components. Is there a way to fix this issue without opening the PSU case, or do I need to replace it?


A power supply unit (PSU) is a vital component of any computer system, as it converts the alternating current (AC) from the wall outlet into direct current (DC) that the motherboard, CPU, GPU, and other parts need to function. A PSU also regulates the voltage and current to prevent overheating or short-circuiting of the components.

However, a PSU can also be vulnerable to damage from various factors, such as dust, heat, power surges, or water. In this article, we will focus on the last one: what happens when a PSU gets wet, and how to deal with it.

How does water affect a PSU?

Water is a good conductor of electricity, which means that it can create unwanted connections or paths for the current to flow. This can cause several problems for a PSU, such as:

  • Corrosion: Water can react with the metal parts of the PSU, such as the wires, solder joints, capacitors, or resistors, and form rust or oxide layers. This can reduce the conductivity and efficiency of the PSU, and eventually lead to failure.
  • Short-circuit: Water can also bridge the gaps between different parts of the PSU that are supposed to be isolated from each other, such as the positive and negative terminals, or the AC and DC sides. This can create a sudden surge of current that can damage the PSU or other components connected to it.
  • Fire or explosion: In extreme cases, water can also cause sparks, flames, or explosions inside the PSU, especially if the water contains impurities or chemicals that can ignite. This can pose a serious risk of fire or injury to the user and the surroundings.
  • What are the symptoms of a wet PSU?

    One of the most common and noticeable symptoms of a wet PSU is a noisy fan. The fan is responsible for cooling the PSU and preventing it from overheating. However, if water gets into the fan, it can interfere with its rotation, lubrication, or balance. This can cause the fan to make a loud buzzing or grinding noise, or even stop working altogether.

    Other symptoms of a wet PSU may include:

  • No power or intermittent power: The PSU may fail to turn on, or turn off unexpectedly, due to the water affecting its circuitry or components.
  • Error messages or blue screens: The PSU may provide insufficient or unstable power to the motherboard, CPU, GPU, or other parts, causing them to malfunction or crash.
  • Smoke or smell: The PSU may emit smoke or a burning smell, indicating that some of its parts are overheating or burning.
  • How to fix a noisy PSU after water exposure?

    The best way to fix a noisy PSU after water exposure is to replace it. A PSU is a complex and delicate device that is not meant to be opened or repaired by the user. Opening the PSU case can void the warranty, expose the user to high voltages, or damage the PSU further. Moreover, even if the PSU seems to work after drying out, there is no guarantee that it will not fail or cause problems in the future, as the water may have left behind some residue or corrosion.

    Therefore, the safest and most reliable option is to buy a new PSU that is compatible with the computer system and install it according to the manufacturer’s instructions. This will ensure that the PSU is in good condition and can provide adequate and stable power to the components.

    However, if replacing the PSU is not possible or feasible, there are some steps that the user can take to try to fix the noisy PSU without opening it. These steps are:

  • Turn off the computer and unplug the PSU: The first and most important step is to turn off the computer and unplug the PSU from the wall outlet and the motherboard. This will prevent any further damage or risk of electric shock.
  • Remove the PSU from the computer case: The next step is to remove the PSU from the computer case, by unscrewing the screws that hold it in place and disconnecting the cables that connect it to the other components. This will allow the user to inspect the PSU and access its fan.
  • Dry the PSU thoroughly: The user should then dry the PSU thoroughly, by using a soft cloth, a hair dryer, or a fan. The user should avoid using any liquids or chemicals to clean the PSU, as they may cause more harm than good. The user should also make sure that the PSU is completely dry before proceeding to the next step, as any moisture left inside the PSU can cause more noise or damage.
  • Clean the fan: The user should then clean the fan, by using a soft brush, a cotton swab, or a compressed air can. The user should gently remove any dust, dirt, or debris that may have accumulated on the fan blades, the fan motor, or the fan housing. The user should also check if the fan is loose or damaged, and tighten or replace it if necessary.
  • Reinstall the PSU and test it: The final step is to reinstall the PSU and test it, by reconnecting the cables, screwing the PSU back into the computer case, plugging the PSU into the wall outlet and the motherboard, and turning on the computer. The user should then listen for any noise from the PSU fan, and check if the computer is working properly. If the noise persists or the computer shows any signs of malfunction, the user should turn off the computer and unplug the PSU immediately, and seek professional help or replace the PSU as soon as possible.
  • Conclusion


noisy PSU after water exposure is a serious issue that can affect the performance and safety of the computer system. The best solution is to replace the PSU with a new one, as opening or repairing the PSU can be dangerous or ineffective. However, if replacing the PSU is not an option, the user can try to fix the noisy PSU without opening it, by following the steps outlined in this article. However, the user should be aware that this is not a guaranteed or permanent fix, and that the PSU may still fail or cause problems in the future. Therefore, the user should always monitor the PSU and the computer, and replace the PSU as soon as possible.

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