Results 1 to 16 of 16

Thread: Exploding capacitors!!

  1. #1
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Posts
    232
    Thanks
    3
    Thanked
    11 times in 9 posts

    Exploding capacitors!!

    Hi there,

    I was recently given an aging soc370 P3 computer for messing with. It was missing RAM (PC100) and a HD, so after wacking in some spares I had lying around, I fired it up to see what was what.

    Immediately after turning it on, there was an electrical smell, and a pop and spark from the case. After immediately turning off / unplugging, I had a nose at the the MoBo and one of the capacitors had poped.

    This was an old computer, so more out of interest than anything else, was this just a case of a bad capacitor, or could a faulty PSU of done this? If a PSU is faulty, could an effect be an exploding capacitor? or are there safety methods installed to stop that happening, and an exploding capacitor is purely down to a bad capacitor? I'm just trying to use this as a learning experience really!

    Cheers!

  2. #2
    Gentoo Ricer
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    Galway
    Posts
    10,958
    Thanks
    987
    Thanked
    940 times in 700 posts
    • aidanjt's system
      • Motherboard:
      • Asus Strix Z370-G
      • CPU:
      • Intel i7-8700K
      • Memory:
      • 2x8GB Corsiar LPX 3000C15
      • Storage:
      • 500GB Samsung 960 EVO
      • Graphics card(s):
      • EVGA GTX 970 SC ACX 2.0
      • PSU:
      • EVGA G3 750W
      • Case:
      • Fractal Design Define C Mini
      • Operating System:
      • Windows 10 Pro
      • Monitor(s):
      • Asus MG279Q
      • Internet:
      • 240mbps Virgin Cable
    Could be both, a cracked capacitor could cause it to short if there was too much gunk in it, by the same measure a cheap ass PSU would probably do it too.
    Quote Originally Posted by Agent View Post
    ...every time Creative bring out a new card range their advertising makes it sound like they have discovered a way to insert a thousand Chuck Norris super dwarfs in your ears...

  3. #3
    Network|Geek kidzer's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Location
    Aberdeenshire
    Posts
    1,732
    Thanks
    91
    Thanked
    47 times in 42 posts
    • kidzer's system
      • Motherboard:
      • $motherboard
      • CPU:
      • Intel Q6600
      • Memory:
      • 4GB
      • Storage:
      • 1TiB Samsung
      • Graphics card(s):
      • BFG 8800GTS OC
      • PSU:
      • Antec Truepower
      • Case:
      • Antec P160
      • Operating System:
      • Windows 7
      • Monitor(s):
      • 20" Viewsonic
      • Internet:
      • ~3Mbps ADSL (TalkTalk Business)
    I think it would just have been a bad cap, I've only ever blown one up by wiring it up the wrong way (even the little ones make a big bang if they go that way!) - if it was like that on the motherboard it would've gone long ago!

    Edit: aidanjt is probably more correct than me though
    "If you're not on the edge, you're taking up too much room!"
    - me, 2005

  4. #4
    Senior Member kalniel's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Posts
    28,998
    Thanks
    1,473
    Thanked
    2,904 times in 2,353 posts
    • kalniel's system
      • Motherboard:
      • Gigabyte X58A UD3R rev 2
      • CPU:
      • Intel Xeon X5680
      • Memory:
      • 12gb DDR3 2000
      • Graphics card(s):
      • nVidia GTX 1060 6GB
      • PSU:
      • Seasonic 600W
      • Case:
      • Cooler Master HAF 912
      • Operating System:
      • Win 10 Pro x64
      • Monitor(s):
      • Dell U2311H
      • Internet:
      • O2 8mbps
    Sure this wasn't a planned upgrade mate?

  5. #5
    Herr Doktor Oetker, ja!!! pollaxe's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    West of England
    Posts
    2,969
    Thanks
    1,013
    Thanked
    280 times in 225 posts
    I had one explode on me last summer - it was entertaining and quite a pop from it. Some techy type who examined the dead mobo said he thought there was a problem with the tracks on the pcb but who knows? It killed my venerable P4 chip as above though, damned good reason to upgrade!

  6. #6
    ɯʎɔɐɹsɐʌʍ mycarsavw's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Posts
    4,945
    Thanks
    1,097
    Thanked
    653 times in 482 posts
    • mycarsavw's system
      • Motherboard:
      • P8H77-M Pro
      • CPU:
      • i5 3350P
      • Memory:
      • 16Gb
      • Storage:
      • Lots
      • Graphics card(s):
      • R9 285
      • PSU:
      • HX 620w
      • Case:
      • FD Define Mini
      • Operating System:
      • W10
      • Monitor(s):
      • BenQ G2420HDBL + GL2450HT
      • Internet:
      • Sky
    Quote Originally Posted by maverick77_uk View Post
    ...I had a nose at the the MoBo and one of the capacitors had poped...


    |Kata: "Read title as 'fisting'. Not sure why I clicked. Relieved, really."|
    |TAKTAK: "It was so small that mine wouldn't fit into it"|

  7. Received thanks from:

    pollaxe (17-07-2007)

  8. #7
    Admin team peterb's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Location
    Southampton
    Posts
    19,078
    Thanks
    2,771
    Thanked
    3,311 times in 2,622 posts
    • peterb's system
      • Motherboard:
      • Nascom 2
      • CPU:
      • Z80B
      • Memory:
      • 48K 8 bit memory on separate card
      • Storage:
      • Audio cassette tape - home built 5.25" floppy drive
      • Graphics card(s):
      • text output (composite video)
      • PSU:
      • Home built
      • Case:
      • Home built
      • Operating System:
      • Nas-sys
      • Monitor(s):
      • 12" monocrome composite video input
      • Internet:
      • No networking capability on this machine
    If the mobo hadn't been used for a while, then the cap may have deteriorated. To keep costs down the components are used don't have much leeway on the spec. (For example if the voltage that it is to be used at is 5V, then 5V devices will be used, rather than a slightly more expensive (say) 10 V device). Electrlytic capacitors are voltage sensitive - over-running one by just a little bit will cause premature failure, so if the PSU was pumping out just a a bit to much, that could also have an effect.

    In this case I would think it was just the age, and the fact that it hadn't been used for a while - and you were unlucky!
    (\__/)
    (='.'=)
    (")_(")

    Been helped or just 'Like' a post? Use the Thanks button!
    My broadband speed - 750 Meganibbles/minute

  9. #8
    www.dougmcdonald.co.uk
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Bath
    Posts
    523
    Thanks
    5
    Thanked
    20 times in 20 posts
    • DougMcDonald's system
      • Motherboard:
      • Asus P5B Deluxe
      • CPU:
      • Inter Core 2 Duo E6600
      • Memory:
      • 2 x 2GB - Geil Black Dragon PC6400
      • Storage:
      • 2 x 400GB Samsung Spinpoints (Running in Matrix array) 100GB @ RAID0 + 300GB @ RAID1
      • Graphics card(s):
      • BFG nVidia 8800GTS 320MB OC2
      • PSU:
      • Corsair HX520W modular
      • Case:
      • Lian-Li PC7 II Plus
      • Monitor(s):
      • LG 17" Flat Thingy
      • Internet:
      • Crappy BT 1MB Unreliable wank :s
    If a PSU is faulty, could an effect be an exploding capacitor? or are there safety methods installed to stop that happening, and an exploding capacitor is purely down to a bad capacitor?
    I was under the impression that the popping capacitor itself was a safety feature! Same theory as a fuse blowing etc

  10. #9
    Gentoo Ricer
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    Galway
    Posts
    10,958
    Thanks
    987
    Thanked
    940 times in 700 posts
    • aidanjt's system
      • Motherboard:
      • Asus Strix Z370-G
      • CPU:
      • Intel i7-8700K
      • Memory:
      • 2x8GB Corsiar LPX 3000C15
      • Storage:
      • 500GB Samsung 960 EVO
      • Graphics card(s):
      • EVGA GTX 970 SC ACX 2.0
      • PSU:
      • EVGA G3 750W
      • Case:
      • Fractal Design Define C Mini
      • Operating System:
      • Windows 10 Pro
      • Monitor(s):
      • Asus MG279Q
      • Internet:
      • 240mbps Virgin Cable
    Quote Originally Posted by DougMcDonald View Post
    I was under the impression that the popping capacitor itself was a safety feature! Same theory as a fuse blowing etc
    Naw, the job of the capacitor is to 'buffer' electrical charge, so if there's a slight voltage droop (which is natural) the IC it's connected to wont produce random errors.
    Quote Originally Posted by Agent View Post
    ...every time Creative bring out a new card range their advertising makes it sound like they have discovered a way to insert a thousand Chuck Norris super dwarfs in your ears...

  11. #10
    www.dougmcdonald.co.uk
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Bath
    Posts
    523
    Thanks
    5
    Thanked
    20 times in 20 posts
    • DougMcDonald's system
      • Motherboard:
      • Asus P5B Deluxe
      • CPU:
      • Inter Core 2 Duo E6600
      • Memory:
      • 2 x 2GB - Geil Black Dragon PC6400
      • Storage:
      • 2 x 400GB Samsung Spinpoints (Running in Matrix array) 100GB @ RAID0 + 300GB @ RAID1
      • Graphics card(s):
      • BFG nVidia 8800GTS 320MB OC2
      • PSU:
      • Corsair HX520W modular
      • Case:
      • Lian-Li PC7 II Plus
      • Monitor(s):
      • LG 17" Flat Thingy
      • Internet:
      • Crappy BT 1MB Unreliable wank :s
    Yeah, but if the top blows the capacitor will not distribute it's charge (as far as i'm aware), therefore protecting any component further down the line.

  12. #11
    Gentoo Ricer
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    Galway
    Posts
    10,958
    Thanks
    987
    Thanked
    940 times in 700 posts
    • aidanjt's system
      • Motherboard:
      • Asus Strix Z370-G
      • CPU:
      • Intel i7-8700K
      • Memory:
      • 2x8GB Corsiar LPX 3000C15
      • Storage:
      • 500GB Samsung 960 EVO
      • Graphics card(s):
      • EVGA GTX 970 SC ACX 2.0
      • PSU:
      • EVGA G3 750W
      • Case:
      • Fractal Design Define C Mini
      • Operating System:
      • Windows 10 Pro
      • Monitor(s):
      • Asus MG279Q
      • Internet:
      • 240mbps Virgin Cable
    It depends, a cap overload could blast charge out the negative pin if it goes in a certain way, they don't make a good replacement for fuses/breakers, generally PCBs aren't intended to be serviceable anyway.
    Quote Originally Posted by Agent View Post
    ...every time Creative bring out a new card range their advertising makes it sound like they have discovered a way to insert a thousand Chuck Norris super dwarfs in your ears...

  13. #12
    www.dougmcdonald.co.uk
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Bath
    Posts
    523
    Thanks
    5
    Thanked
    20 times in 20 posts
    • DougMcDonald's system
      • Motherboard:
      • Asus P5B Deluxe
      • CPU:
      • Inter Core 2 Duo E6600
      • Memory:
      • 2 x 2GB - Geil Black Dragon PC6400
      • Storage:
      • 2 x 400GB Samsung Spinpoints (Running in Matrix array) 100GB @ RAID0 + 300GB @ RAID1
      • Graphics card(s):
      • BFG nVidia 8800GTS 320MB OC2
      • PSU:
      • Corsair HX520W modular
      • Case:
      • Lian-Li PC7 II Plus
      • Monitor(s):
      • LG 17" Flat Thingy
      • Internet:
      • Crappy BT 1MB Unreliable wank :s
    I'm certainly not suggesting that they would be a replacement for a breaker/fuse, as obviously they have a distinct purpose, more than it has an element of being able to kill itself, rather than other components down the line.

    Good point though as largely mobos are not intended to be user serviceable. Although i would expect an electronics expert to be able to replace the capacitor and re-use the mobo if necessary.

  14. #13
    Gentoo Ricer
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    Galway
    Posts
    10,958
    Thanks
    987
    Thanked
    940 times in 700 posts
    • aidanjt's system
      • Motherboard:
      • Asus Strix Z370-G
      • CPU:
      • Intel i7-8700K
      • Memory:
      • 2x8GB Corsiar LPX 3000C15
      • Storage:
      • 500GB Samsung 960 EVO
      • Graphics card(s):
      • EVGA GTX 970 SC ACX 2.0
      • PSU:
      • EVGA G3 750W
      • Case:
      • Fractal Design Define C Mini
      • Operating System:
      • Windows 10 Pro
      • Monitor(s):
      • Asus MG279Q
      • Internet:
      • 240mbps Virgin Cable
    Yeah, a resolder job is probably doable with a skilled hand, not many would bother though, I suspect.
    Quote Originally Posted by Agent View Post
    ...every time Creative bring out a new card range their advertising makes it sound like they have discovered a way to insert a thousand Chuck Norris super dwarfs in your ears...

  15. #14
    Admin team peterb's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Location
    Southampton
    Posts
    19,078
    Thanks
    2,771
    Thanked
    3,311 times in 2,622 posts
    • peterb's system
      • Motherboard:
      • Nascom 2
      • CPU:
      • Z80B
      • Memory:
      • 48K 8 bit memory on separate card
      • Storage:
      • Audio cassette tape - home built 5.25" floppy drive
      • Graphics card(s):
      • text output (composite video)
      • PSU:
      • Home built
      • Case:
      • Home built
      • Operating System:
      • Nas-sys
      • Monitor(s):
      • 12" monocrome composite video input
      • Internet:
      • No networking capability on this machine
    Quote Originally Posted by DougMcDonald View Post
    Yeah, but if the top blows the capacitor will not distribute it's charge (as far as i'm aware), therefore protecting any component further down the line.
    No! The capacitor blows because it overheats - either as a result of passing too much current (if the ac ripple on the DC supply is too high) or because the dielectric is punctured because the applied voltage is too high, and causes a short circuit internally, which causes a large DC current to flow. Either way, it is an unintended failure mode, and nothing to do with distributing charge! All it does is distribute electrolyte over the surrounding components!
    (\__/)
    (='.'=)
    (")_(")

    Been helped or just 'Like' a post? Use the Thanks button!
    My broadband speed - 750 Meganibbles/minute

  16. #15
    Senior Member Andy3536's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Kent
    Posts
    2,355
    Thanks
    164
    Thanked
    194 times in 135 posts
    • Andy3536's system
      • Motherboard:
      • Gigabyte GA-880GMA
      • CPU:
      • AMD Phenom II X6 1055T 95w @3.8
      • Memory:
      • 4GB Corsair XMS3 1600MHz
      • Storage:
      • 1T WD
      • Graphics card(s):
      • ATI 4870
      • PSU:
      • Corsair 750
      • Case:
      • Antec P-182
    Normally dielectric is faulty or degraded.
    Might be worth giving a try though, you could probobly pick one up for less than a pound!
    I have done electronics servicing for a while and although most modern boards are a right pain to work on still perfectly feasable.
    All you have to be aware of is that the tracking and especially the plated through holes come away from the board very easy.
    If you have any experience de-soldering it would be worth giving it a try, whats the worst that could happen, you'll waist a £1 and 30mins?

  17. #16
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Posts
    232
    Thanks
    3
    Thanked
    11 times in 9 posts
    Hi all,

    Thanks for all your suggestions! To be honest, think I'll just let it go to the great MoBo in the sky - although I'm fine with plugging a computer together, finer soldering electronics is not my forte! Probably end up blowing myself up if I tried!

    LOL Mycarsavw! I'll learn to spell one day!

    Looking at the PSU, I don't think it was exactly a "quality component", so may of been the cause.

    Oh well.....Another day, another blown computer

    Kalniel - you know me, can never pass up a tinker with computers from yester-year!

Thread Information

Users Browsing this Thread

There are currently 1 users browsing this thread. (0 members and 1 guests)

Similar Threads

  1. Scythe Ninja - heatpipes touching capacitors
    By frazered in forum PC Hardware and Components
    Replies: 19
    Last Post: 01-01-2007, 02:23 PM
  2. Bad Capacitors
    By cwl999 in forum Chassis and Mods
    Replies: 6
    Last Post: 05-09-2006, 02:05 PM
  3. For those exploding videos
    By Matt1eD in forum General Discussion
    Replies: 4
    Last Post: 09-08-2005, 01:32 PM
  4. Help sourcing capacitors
    By happytechie in forum PC Hardware and Components
    Replies: 11
    Last Post: 21-07-2004, 10:31 AM
  5. Grrrrr, damned exploding planes..
    By Stoo in forum PC
    Replies: 8
    Last Post: 11-12-2003, 04:09 PM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •