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RM650x Leaked Transformer Fluid and Died


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Hi,

 

I got a RM650x from Newegg.ca on Mar '19 (refurbished). In Mar of 2021 it died by leaking transformer fluid out the bottom. It has served me well since then in a gaming Rig with a single graphics card (asus RX580 dual) and I considered the psu good quality - 80plus gold, fully modular, etc.

 

However, I didn't expect any power unit to fail by leaking transformer fluid so I wanted to bring this to your attention. Attached is a photo of my gaming computer and the fluid leaking out of the unit. There was more fluid on the floor below the case as well, and it started to crackle a bit when plugged in and smelled like electrical things were burning.

 

Cooler master power supply calculator estimates that this system uses 371W at peak, so it's definitely not straining the psu in this system.

 

Corsair is great quality gear and I don't think I abused it in any way, so I wanted Corsair to know that this one failed in this strange manner.

 

It gave me a black screen but looked like the system was on so I assumed it was the graphics card. Swapped the graphics card and in the process realized that the black screen was likely the psu failing instead.

 

I wanted Corsair and the community to know about the psu failing like this, because it's disappointing with a quality part like this, and I was actually surprised that it had fluid in it.

 

Laszlo Toth

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1762492169_CorsairRM650xpowersupplypsu.thumb.jpg.7da564b50181d0f21fc54097ecce2a53.jpg

Edited by LW_Black4
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there's no transformer fluid inside ^^ that is most certainly electrolytic capacitors breaching and oozing the dielectric out.

There's no saying what kind of caps whoever refurbished that PSU put inside. but to vent them in 2 years only, i am almost certain they soldered the cheapest crap they could put their hands on.

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Since that liquid looks like it is on top of the PSU - any possibility it came from equipment ABOVE the PSU, like that AIO CPU cooler?

 

I considered that as the AIO has coolant in it and I didn't think the PSU had any.

 

At first there was a teaspoon of clear oil without much of a smell to it under the PSU and no evidence of it anywhere else. When I pulled the PSU there was more in the PSU housing so I turned it on it's side to drain it and to get a picture.

 

An AIO leak would have to drip down over- or through the graphics card to get to the PSU in this system and I saw no evidence of that.

 

I agree it's strange and entirely unexpected.

 

Next time I run it it'll be on the desktop with the front of the case off so I can keep an eye on it just to make sure though.

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  • Corsair Employees

I wanted Corsair and the community to know about the psu failing like this, because it's disappointing with a quality part like this, and I was actually surprised that it had fluid in it.

 

 

In my 25 years of doing this, I've never seen that before.

 

The only "fluid" in a PSU is the electrolytic in the capacitors, but it's a very small amount. Essentially, they comprise of a "electrolyte soaked paper" in between two layers of aluminum foil. But when they leak, you're left with a chalky substance. Not a viscous fluid.

 

Example: https://hackaday.com/2019/04/12/ask-hackaday-experiences-with-capacitor-failure/

 

there's no transformer fluid inside ^^ that is most certainly electrolytic capacitors breaching and oozing the dielectric out.

There's no saying what kind of caps whoever refurbished that PSU put inside. but to vent them in 2 years only, i am almost certain they soldered the cheapest crap they could put their hands on.

 

Refurbished PSUs aren't actually refurbished. They're usually "buyer remorse" returns or "user error" returns. They're tested, cleaned and repackaged. They're never opened up to have components replaced. Because the actual failure rate of your average Corsair PSU is < .01%, it doesn't make sense to spend money opening, troubleshooting, repairing, reassembling, retesting a used PSU.

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Refurbished PSUs aren't actually refurbished. They're usually "buyer remorse" returns or "user error" returns. They're tested, cleaned and repackaged. They're never opened up to have components replaced. Because the actual failure rate of your average Corsair PSU is < .01%, it doesn't make sense to spend money opening, troubleshooting, repairing, reassembling, retesting a used PSU.

 

Thought they were refurbished by a 3rd party :) well that's good to know. It's basically second hand with almost no mileage then.

 

Makes that drizzle even more weird.

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Thanks for a good laugh ! Just registered to tell you that there's no transformer liquid in SMPS (there is in industrial oil cooled transformers tho), and as Jon remarked, if that were electrolyte of failed capacitors it would've been much smaller amount of different composition, brownish color, fast drying, not oily viscous fluid as on your photos, that's with 99% certainty a coolant of your AIO. Deepcool AIOs with this exact configuration (tube going out from the pump block and back) are known for leaks, check everything again, you must've missed something.
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Thanks for a good laugh ! Just registered to tell you that there's no transformer liquid in SMPS (there is in industrial oil cooled transformers tho), and as Jon remarked, if that were electrolyte of failed capacitors it would've been much smaller amount of different composition, brownish color, fast drying, not oily viscous fluid as on your photos, that's with 99% certainty a coolant of your AIO. Deepcool AIOs with this exact configuration (tube going out from the pump block and back) are known for leaks, check everything again, you must've missed something.

 

I have repaired a few motor inverters with bank caps the size of what you find on PSUs primary side. the aftermath of the failure was an oily leak exactly like what he had. that's why i wouldn't be too quick on conclusions ^^' (and too quick on powering up that PSU without looking inside)

Usually AIO leaks dry up very fast, and there was no traces of leak on the GPU afaik

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That's what is weird. usually AIO coolant leaves dry green traces. it's very diluted glycol. This one looks really oily but hard to judge from one photo.

 

Maybe it leaked from the coldplate seal, only dripping on the PCIE socket and down to the PSU. hard to spot at fist sight, but, crackle crackle.. bubbles in the radiator and water shorting out stuff...

The GPU shroud may also be hiding more goodies at that point.

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Okay folks upon closer inspection it like it was the AIO that leaked coolant like suggested here. I spotted a little staining on the underside of one of the connections.

 

It killed my power supply and maybe even my RX 580 in the process.

 

I don't expect an AIO to leak, but this one has tubing so stiff it likely puts stress on the connections to stuff it into place - even in my case which has loads of room.

 

I've ran a Corsair H100 and H80 AIO before without any leak issues.

 

I've gone to a Gammex GT air cooler for now.

 

Thanks for taking the time to comment!

 

Cheers,

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