PC Accessories

Why Is My Power Supply Making Noise?

Pc Power Supply

Unlike your computer, which is susceptible to hardware and software issues, you know that any problem with your power supply unit (PSU) is hardware related. Although power supply noise is quite common in older PSU models, newer models are usually quieter, and consistent noise usually indicates something is faulty and is due for fixing.

Quick Answer

Your power supply is making noise because of one of the following reasons: the screws are not tightened adequately to the PSU case; obstacles are blocking the PSU fan from moving freely; the PSU fan is worn out; the vent is clogged, which prevents the free movement of air in and out of the PSU; or your computer is drawing more power than the PSU can provide.

We will outline the five most common reasons your PSU is making noise. We will also explain how you can fix your PSU to eliminate the noise and make it work in optimum condition.

Five Reasons Your PSU Is Making Noise

In a normal machine, once the machine begins to work and generate heat within its internal components, its fan will suck in cool air from the surrounding through its vent and cool the machine’s internal components before it blows out the warm air through its outlet vent. The PSU follows this process and completes it quietly most of the time.

You can usually trace the cause of the noise in your power supply unit to the fan. It becomes noisy when the fan overworks to expel heat from the PSU. Whether more heat is being generated than the fan can cool or something is preventing air intake, everything revolves around the fan. We’ve come up with five common reasons your PSU is making noise.

Screws Aren’t Properly Tightened

Screws help to fasten the internal components of the power supply unit to the case. This is essential for moving parts in the PSU, like the fan, to achieve seamless rotational motion. 

When the screws are loose or absent, the fan vibrates more often, and the moving parts are displaced from their position. The effects of a loose or absent screw can cause the power supply unit to make a noise. Loose or absent screws in the PSU is more common than you think and relatively easy to fix.

Obstacles on the PSU Fan

Although a protective fan grill protects the fan blades, we cannot rule out the possibility that an obstacle made its way to the blades and is causing the power supply noise. The obstacle might be an external object that made its way through the fan grill or an internal component that got entangled with the fan blades. 

Clogged Vents

When the PSU supplies power to the computer, it generates a certain amount of heat energy. The closer the PSU reaches its maximum capacity, the more heat it generates. The PSU fan then sucks in air from the environment through its inlet vent and cools its internal components before blowing out warm air through the outlet vent. 

This is a simple process and is usually seamless, but problems arise when the vents are blocked by dust, debris, and other obstacles, that prevent or restrict air passage. To solve this problem, the fan begins to overwork itself to eliminate the rising heat within the PSU. The faster the fan works, the more noise the PSU makes.

Worn Out PSU Fan

When your fan has been working without proper maintenance for a long time, you risk wearing it out. A fan close to the end of its cycle usually makes a noise when it works. A worn-out fan finds it difficult to cool the power supply unit, and it is a likely cause of the PSU noise.

Running Power-Intensive Programs on Your PC

For optimum performance, do not push or exceed the limits of your PSU capacity. When you run power-intensive programs on your PC, the PSU has to work to its capacity to deliver more power. More heat is generated, and the fan has to run faster to cool the PSU.

When the computer needs more power than the PSU can deliver, the fan will have to overwork itself, and this can cause your power supply unit to start making noise. This also happens when you’ve been running your PSU for a long time without rest. For best results, allow your PSU to rest for a few hours, and do not push or exceed its wattage limits.     

How To Fix a Noisy PSU

Here are some fixes to the most common reasons for a noisy PSU. Let’s go through them one by one.

Tighten Loose Screws

Once you realize that the noise results from loose or absent screws in your PSU, get a screwdriver and tighten the loose screws. Check the internal and external components of your PSU and fix any missing screws. Make sure it is well-tightened to the PSU case.

Remove Obstacles on the Fan

If it is an external obstacle, remove it without taking apart the PSU. If the obstacle is an internal one, take the PSU apart with a screwdriver, remove the obstacle, and reassemble the PSU.

Clean the Vents

With a screwdriver, a can of compressed air, and some cotton buds, you can remove dust or debris from the vents and allow proper passage of air into and out of the PSU. You should do this regularly to maintain the PSU and not just when it malfunctions.

Replace the Worn-Out Fan

If your fan has reached the end of its life cycle, take it to a technician to replace it.

Don’t Overwork or Overload Your PSU

If you realize that your computer needs more power than your PSU can supply, get a new PSU, or do not run power-intensive games on your PC while using the PSU. You should also allow your PSU to rest at intervals so you don’t overwork it.

Conclusion

A noisy PSU is usually caused by a malfunction that requires fixing. Thankfully, this article has addressed the common causes and the ways to fix them. Some of these fixes require taking the PSU apart. To be safer, consult a professional if you can’t take your PSU apart.

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