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RM1000i Tripping AFCI Breaker


Workingman
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Good day all,

First post here and hoping to maybe find a more definitive answer than what I have been researching online Tons of topics but really no solutions after hours of research. I have also sent a ticket to Corsair (on 8/25) and am still waiting on a response.

 

I recently scored a Special Edition White RM1000i (upgrading from an RM750i) to compliment my 500R Carbide White case that I have cut out the side panel and installed a window to show off all the goodies!

My office is setup in one of the bedrooms of my townhouse where I have been living for 10 years, I was the first resident.

The two circuit breakers for the bedrooms are of the AFCI (Arc Fault) type.

In the 10 years I have been here, I have never tripped any of the breakers, until now...

After replacing my new RM1000i with my current RM750i (which I have had for 2 years now), upon first power up it tripped the breaker. I initially thought I may have messed up something with the hookup of the new PSU. After checking and double checking, all looked good.

Rest the breaker and it fired up!

All good until the next day when it took 7 resets of the breaker before the computer was able to fire up (breaker panel 2 floors below my office...) without tripping the breaker.

Started researching and first tried to plug into a non-AFCI circuit. So I ran a extension cord to the nearest other circuit which is a GFCI breaker and no problem. Fires up fine every time with no tripping so I figure I am dealing with a sensitive AFCI...

Next up, I ordered a solid surge protector (Tripp-Lite model HT10DBS), no luck and still trips.

Maybe a faulty AFCI? Ran the extension cord to the other bedroom with the other AFCI and pop goes the breaker.....Can't be 2 faulty breakers.

Now, do I try a UPS? I have read a line-interactive UPS can trip a AFCI as well. I would rather not go to a online UPS since noise can be an issue with them as well as not being too efficient since you go from DC to AC then AC to DC.

What about an isolating transformer?

Swapping out the AFCI for a GFCI violates code here so not an option.

Keeping the extension cable running of of my office and down the hall is not a good look.

I know the specs between the RS750 and 1000 are not that much different but is the powering up of the caps in the 1000 enough to push the AFCI over the edge?

I realize that this is pure vanity since I can reinstall the 750 and not have an issue but the 1000i looks so darn good in my case and I must admit to being a bit of a Corsair fanboy. And I know the PSU works fine since it does not trip the GFCI circuit but just does not play well with the AFCI breaker. I did purchase this 2nd hand but the seller said he used it for a few months and had no issues, but wasn't using on an AFCI circuit.

I have to think that the guru's on this forum or at Corsair know of some solution to this issue and with AFCI breakers now being installed on every circuit in the home is some regions, this problem can only be more widespread over time.

Thank you for reading and any input you may have!

Michael

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  • Corsair Employees

I need clarification on something: "it took 7 resets of the breaker before the computer was able to fire up"

 

How were you trying to power up the PC? The button on the case or are you flipping the switch on the back of the PSU? It's not uncommon for a PSU to have enough leakage to trip an AFCI when you flip the switch on the PSU. You have big caps there that need to charge up. But as long as the PSU is plugged in and the switch is in the "on" position, thus the PSU is in "standby", then it shouldn't be tripping the AFCI since those caps are already charged.

 

Also, you said you tried the PSU in the AFCI plugs of two bedrooms, but are BOTH of those plugs on the same breaker downstairs or are they on two different breakers?

 

Would be great if you could clear that up.

 

The leakage current is typically going to be higher on a higher wattage PSU. So it may not be that the PSU is hitting the AFCI's leakage current limit.. it could be that you were at the circuit's threshold before and this PSU is now pushing it over the top. That would then call into question what else is plugged into this same circuit. Again: The same circuit, not the same plug.

 

If that makes sense, an answer there would help a lot as well.

 

I'm going to throw out any suggestions that the ground is good in the building or that the line and neutral are reversed because then you would have run into issues a long time ago. Still... having a small $10 line tester is always a fun thing to have in the tool box.

 

FYI: A surge protector isn't going to help either. You're not experiencing a surge in voltage. That's not what trips AFCI's. Leakage current does.

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Thank you for the response, jonnyguru.

 

To answer your questions.

I am powering up the PC with the power button on the case with the PSU's power switch in the on position. All is fine with the PSU on but as soon as I hit the case button, AFCI pops. So the 7 resets were: turn on the PSU hit the case button, pop the breaker, turn off the PSU, go down reset the breaker, and repeat, repeat, until, for whatever reason, the breaker held.

The other plug that I tried it on was another room and a different AFCI circuit(2 AFCI's in the house).

Regarding the circuit in my office, I tried unplugging everything that was plugged into that circuit with the same result, tried the same on the other AFCI, same result, popped AFCI.

Thank you for clarifying on the PSU standby. I thought that when the PSU switch is placed in the on position that it is standby, charging the caps and waiting for the command from the case switch so maybe an issue with the case switch?? But why no issue with the GFCI breaker??

Yes, it makes sense that this PSU, and its 250w more, could be pushing the circuit over the edge with everything still plugged in but after unplugging everything on that circuit and still having an issue??

And yes, I have to imagine that the building ground is good since I have never had any other issues and the place is only 10 years old.

I do not have a line tester but I do have a multimeter.

Edited by Workingman
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  • Corsair Employees

First off: Don't turn the PSU switch off. Turn it on. Leave it on. Even if you have to go downstairs to turn on the breaker. Unless you're wearing a fit-bit and are trying to get steps in.

 

Yes... The PSU's switch being on keeps the PSU in standby, but the bulk caps have to be charged first. As soon as you flip that switch, the caps will start to drain. The rate of drainage will vary depending on what's hooked up to the DC side of the PSU. So if the motherboard is plugged in, and any USB devices (which tend to be in "stand by" in 99% of modern motherboards), then those caps will discharge quite quickly. Then, when you have to throw that switch again, those caps will need to recharge causing inrush current and potential ground leakage.

 

To test the outlets without a handheld device, you CAN use a DMM.

 

First identify what SHOULD BE neutral and hot (called "phase" in ROW). Earth (aka "Ground") is self explanatory:

 

attachment.php?attachmentid=30949&d=1504375437

 

Put your meter on AC Volts setting,

 

Connect meter to Hot and Neutral should = ~115 Volts

 

Connect between Hot and Earth should = ~115 Volts

 

Connect between Neutral and Earth Ground = 0 Volts

 

THE SAME WIRE THAT GIVES YOU 115 VOLTS ON TWO OF THE READINGS IS THE HOT (LIVE)

 

Now set meter to Ohms

 

Connect between Earth at the supply intake, and one of the wires = Zero ohms or as near to, will be the earth wire.

 

If you still can't figure this out, the best thing to do is to send the PSU back to Corsair for analysis. It *could be* the leakage current is "too high". This is something that they can repair and return back to you (since it's a special edition, they can't replace it. There were 100 of them).

309573.image1.jpg.4dfbf34483d5b527e55a829d3bf2b3d7.jpg

Edited by jonnyguru
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Thank you again jonnyguru, much appreciated!!

When you say "Connect between Earth at the supply intake, and one of the wires = Zero ohms or as near to, will be the earth wire."

Is that at the outlet or the breaker box?

Heading out now but when I have time, I will report back!

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Wife is delaying so I checked.

Had 120v between Hot and Neutral.

Had 120v between Hot and Ground.

Had 0v between Neutral and Ground.

Had 2 ohms resistance between Neutral and Ground.

I have a decent understanding about electricity but most of knowledge is in the DC realm.

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Looks good. Not even worried about the 2 ohms really.

 

So... like I said.... see if they will let you send the PSU in for repair. At least you have the 750i to use for the time being.

 

An AVR or UPS *might* address the issue if you don't want to ship the PSU. Theoretically, the power has to go through a large transformer and this could act as a buffer.

 

I don't suggest an online UPS for the reasons you stated. They're expensive and inefficient. I only recommend online UPS's when your PC is doing mission critical tasks (like playing PUBG) and your power sucks (read: Florida).

 

Even though I live in Cali now and power outages are few and far between, I still use a UPS (line interactive with AVR). It's like insurance. You hope to not need it, but when you do you're glad you made the investment.

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I may try a line interactive UPS first since I have been wanting the insurance even though, like you said, power outages are few and far between here. Even if it does not work for this issue, I should be using one.

If it is not the remedy, I have no issue sending it in to Corsair. Just not sure why they have not responded to my question that I submitted over a week ago?? And even though they cannot replace it, it has the same guts as a regular 1000i so it should not be an issue.

Once again, thank you jonnguru!!

Whatever ends up being the solution, I will report back!

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Honestly... they haven't responded because they haven't seen the issue before. They pinged me to see if I can figure it out before proceeding with an RMA. That said: I do wish they could have at least responded with "we're looking into it" instead of leaving you hanging.

 

If you want to PM me your ticket number, I can take it and tell them to approve the RMA.

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  • 4 weeks later...

Just wanted to give an update to any that may be interested.

Still waiting on a response from Corsair after they received the PSU last week to see if they found anything.

 

I mainly wanted to report a "work around" to the issue that I was having that may be useful to others in a similar situation with a sensitive AFCI breaker.

So, I tried just about all I could think of or that was suggested to me or what I read on the net with no luck, AFCI breaker trips every time I turn the PC on with the case button.

Surge protector did not work nor did a UPS (line interactive) with AVR (Auto Volt Regulation), but with the UPS, the breaker would still trip but the UPS battery would kick in and the computer would turn on, but I would still need to reset the AFCI. This result gave me an idea!

Instead of plugging the UPS directly into the wall, I plugged the UPS into a surge protector that has a power switch. Now, I turn the power switch to the surge protector that the UPS is plugged into to the OFF position, simulating a power out to the UPS and then turn the case switch on the PC ON, the computer turns on and I then turn the surge protector switch back to ON reconnecting wall power. Boom! Computer turns on and no tripped breaker!!!

Not the most elegant solution but it works, plus it feels good to solve a issue that you cannot find an answer to on the net!!

The UPS I bought is the CyberPower CP1350PFCLCD.

 

Interesting that the UPS can handle the inrush of current that the AFCI can not.

Also to note again, the only change that was made to my PC that began this journey was upgrading from an RM750i to an RM1000i. The breaker handles the RM750i no problem but trips with the RM1000i.

So the question remains, is the RM1000i just pushing the AFCI over the limit of what it is designed to handle or is there one or more extra greedy capacitors or some other culprit in the RM1000i. I tend to think one of the latter since the RM1000i will trip the AFCI even when it is the only thing on the circuit and everything else unplugged and lights turned off. The RM750i will turn on with everything plugged in (3 monitors, modem, router, 250W speakers, printer, 3 lights) and turned on.

At least if Corsair does not find an issue with the PSU, I have a solution that will work instead of a long extension to another circuit or countless trips to the breaker box 2 floors below my office!

Hope this info is of some help to someone!

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Thanks for bringing that to my attention. If you hadn't, we would have never known where to look for it.

 

For whatever reason, the unit went to the Corsair warehouse in Hayward, CA, which is where RMA's typically go. It should have gone to the Fremont, CA HQ. Brian said he's going to contact Hayward and have them ship the unit to Fremont.

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Huh, thank you for the update jonnyguru!

I am a fan Corsairs products but this is my first foray into their service side.

Between the delays of getting a response, delays in getting an RMA and shipping label and now this, a bit of a cluster F to say the least! Thankfully, I am a somewhat patient guy!

Thank you again jonnyguru for your time and updates!

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  • 2 months later...

My apologizes for resurrecting this somewhat dated thread and I wish that I had an update to provide here but Corsair still has my PSU!?!?

They received the unit back on 9/20 and even though I have been asking for an update on the Service Portal, the last reply from them was on 11/1 stating:

"Our apologies for the delayed response, our team is working on the unit, there was a delay due to the Special Edition nature of the unit. Once complete, we will have the unit sent right back out to you."

After nearly 3 months since they received it and 6 weeks since any update, should I be concerned or is this "normal" for them?

My patience has dried up...

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We couldn't find anything wrong with it at HQ, so I packed your PSU in my luggage and took it with me to China so we could test it there.

 

It's on the way back now. Brian will get in touch with you once it lands back in the states.

 

No. This is not "normal". You got one PSU of only 100 made. We have to give the product very special attention, including hand carrying it to its place of birth.

Edited by jonnyguru
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  • 1 year later...
Sorry to resurrect this thread, but I'm facing the same issue with my RM1000i. I recently moved to a new construction home which by code has AFCI breakers. Now my computer trips the breaker on power up. @workingman were you able to get your issue resolved? Did you find a solution other than the UPS bypass trick?
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  • 3 weeks later...

A common cause for AFCI breakers to trip is RFI, solved by running the power cable through a a ferrite (a couple of loops is best.) All electronic circuits create/emit a level of RFI that is being back fed to the panel and your breaker reading it as an arc. Once your PSU is fully 'charged' the emitted RFI diminishes and you are OK.

I doubt this a Corsair only issue as many in the radio biz report the same problem.

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