How Long Does a PSU Last?

Has your power supply been acting up lately? Or it is just that you are curious to know how long do computer power supplies last. Don’t worry I have covered you all in today’s article.

Power supplies are the main power system for a computer system to work. it is very important to know how long they are able to work and what can we do to improve their life span. So, how long do computer power supplies last usually?

How Long Do Computer Power Supplies Last ?‎

Power supplies can last for about 5 years under normal intended use. To have its maximum life it is important to not put the power supply under a lot of stress.

Now, there are a number of factors that affect how long a computer power supply will ‎last. For example, the age of the components and their individual ratings, the type of ‎power supply circuit used, and the quality of construction can all play a role in how long ‎a power supply will last. This article will discuss what makes power supplies fail, as well ‎as provide tips to help you provide easy steps to maintain your power supply and some ‎good suggestions. But first let’s get to know what is a power supply and how does it ‎work.‎

Also Read: How To Extend Lifespan Of Graphics Card?

What Is A Power Supply?

How Long Do Power Supplies Last

‎This is the box or cable that converts the AC main supply into the usable DC voltage ‎required for your PC to operate. ‎The first thing to remember is that you can’t just plug in your PC to the wall and expect it to work. You need to have a “power supply”.

This power supply may usually contain a transformer whose output is converted into a regulated DC supply through a series of electronic components including capacitors, resistors and diodes. These components offer several advantages, such as allowing easy regulation of the output voltage, allowing the use of a smaller transformer and the reducing of the number of wires and components needed to be fixed on the board. A motherboard uses at least 5V of power supply.

The Lifespan Of Individual Internal Components Of A Power Supply

The lifespan of individual internal components of a power supply is critical for reliability and safety. This post talks about the lifespan of various internal components of a power supply such as transformers, capacitors, resistors, inductors and others.

We also cover the common pitfalls and failures that can occur in the field. So lets get started!

Cooling Fans

How Long Do Power Supplies Last

The lifespan of a cooling fan depends on the fan, the power supply and the ambient temperature. The fan may become slow and draw more power as it ages, but this doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s failed.

If the fan fails to cool the power supply, it can reduce the lifespan of the power supply. The average lifespan of a cooling fan is around 30000 hours, or 3 and a half years.

So you can see this is a long time. But we have seen some power supplies with fans that have gone for longer. There are some other scenarios that can damage the cooling fan of the power supply. Suppose If the fan is drawing too much power.

The voltage across the fan will increase and cause the fan to run too fast. It will also overheat and fail. There are other reasons for the fan to stop like a bad connection at the fan or one of the wires going to the fan.

A faulty connection can also cause a high current to flow into the fan. Thus rendering it unfit. A word of caution: if the power supply is too hot or too noisy, don’t just replace the fan, replace the power supply.

Integrated circuits

How Long Do Power Supplies Last

The lifespan of integrated circuits can be between 3 and 10 years. The integrated circuit is the fundamental building block of almost any modern electronic product.

An integrated power supply takes care of all the work of converting AC current into DC current. Integrated power supplies are often referred to as “internal power supplies”.

This is because they are integrated inside the computer chassis and usually have no external cables. There are two kinds of internal power supplies: switchers and adapters.

Switchers turn off when the computer is not in use. They can be turned back on again by pressing a key on the keyboard, which turns off the AC power in the computer.

Adapters do not switch themselves off when the computer is turned off, but they supply a constant DC current from the AC power supply to the rest of the computer.

For example, adapters provide DC current for your monitor, hard disk drive, memory card reader, etc. Integrated circuits are used in computer systems to provide a variety of functions. When an integrated circuit fails, it can cause major problems.

One of the most common ways integrated circuits fail is through overheating. This problem is exacerbated by the design of the components themselves. They are often placed too closely together and are therefore more likely to overheat.

Another problem that can occur is slowdowns in the speed of the processor. This can be caused by the circuits becoming too hot, and it can cause the processor to shut down

Coils, Inductors, And Transformers

What do all these things have in common? They’re components of a computer’s power supply. The power supply is a big part of why your computer performs the way it does. It provides regulated voltage and current to all of your devices and peripherals.

If your power supply fails, you might not be able to use any of your computer’s devices. A computer power supply consists of a transformer, an inductor, a capacitor, and a diode. And all of these components together provide the essential start up to kick start your system.

A transformer is a type of electrical device used to step up or down voltage. Inductors are usually made from metal, and are generally coiled around a ferrite core.

Capacitors are used to store electrical energy for later use. Diodes are electrical components that allow current to pass in one direction only. They have two main functions: They block current when forward biased, and they conduct electricity when reverse biased.

The diode is the most important part of the power supply because it rectifies the output from the transformer. The transformer or the inductor acts as a current transformer, which converts alternating current to direct current and vice versa.

A coil or an inductor is used to limit the current to a specific value or to reduce ripple on a power line. The components in the power supply that require cooling are the transformer and the inductor. The primary coil of the transformer is most sensitive to heat, while the secondary coil can handle more heat.

The coil needs to be cooled by the fan to prevent damage. Also If the inductor is too low, the resistor will draw too much current and it will get hot. To get around these problems, we can use a lower voltage power supply. In this case, the voltage will be 5V.


How Long Do Power Supplies Last

The life span of transistors is not predictable. There are different types of resistors. Now If you do not use resistors, your computer could be burning up! Resistors are necessary to prevent excess current from damaging components within the power supply circuit.

Without them, even the smallest surge can cause damage. Resistors are used in the power supply of a computer to limit current and reduce the heat created. They do this by reducing the current, thus saving energy.

Usually we have three resistors in our power supply, one is the filter capacitor. The other two are for filtering and current limiting. The current limiting resistor also acts as a fuse, if the current through the inductor is too high, the resistor will fail and the current will go through the inductor.

The inductor will try to continue to draw the current. Eventually, the inductor will fail and it will get hot. Most damage to resistors can be caused by a variety of different reasons, but when it comes to computers there are 3 most common reasons.

Overheat, electrical shock or static discharge. Remember When you buy a resistor you should get one that is meant for the temperature you need it for.

Higher temperatures can make your resistor burn out faster and if you are working in an environment with high temperatures you should use a resistor that is meant for that temperature.


How Long Do Power Supplies Last

A computer’s power supply uses capacitors to store and transfer electrical energy. The type of capacitor used in a computer’s power supply can make a difference in the performance of a computer.

Capacitor is used to block the electric current when a power supply is disconnected from the wall. We can use capacitor to increase our computer performance or save it from power outage. It stores energy, allowing the voltage of the computer’s power supply to stay constant regardless of the state of the computer.

Over time, the capacitors inside computers can become damaged, allowing current to flow into the motherboard. When this happens, your PC may freeze or shut down unexpectedly. As the capacitors degrade, the computer’s fans will often kick on to remove heat from the motherboard.

This is normal, but it does wear out the fan blades over time. If you suspect your PC has a capacitor problem, you should open up your case to inspect. Another reason a capacitor might fail the size of the capacitor used in a power supply.

As we all know a capacitor, stores electricity. Therefore if the capacitor is too small, the power will not be able to provide the proper voltage. To avoid this from happening you must choose the right size of the capacitor.

Other Semiconductors

The lifespan of a computer’s power supply can be influenced by MOSFETs, transistors, and voltage regulators. The power supply must have the same voltages for components.

Fixed voltages are determined by the component’s value, and are produced by regulators. Semiconductors like transistors and MOSFETs do a lot of the work for power regulation. Repeated heating and cooling cycles can cause these components to lose efficiency over time.

So now you are aware which of the components can shorten or elongate the span life of a power supply. But there lies one another common cause of PSU failure that is going to be discussed in the next section so keep on reading!

Most Common Cause Of PSU Failure

There are a variety of reasons why your power supply unit could fail, but there are a handful that are more common than others.

Let’s take a look at one of the most common ones and how to avoid or at the very least reduce the danger. Power surges are one of the most typical reasons for limiting the time span of your power supply.

When It Comes To Power Supplies, How Long Is Too Long?

It’s a question that we hear a lot, and the answer is that it’s not. We can’t tell you how long to keep a PSU, because it depends on the person using it.

It also depends on the voltage that the PSU provides, the load it’s supplying, and how it’s being used. If you’re using a PSU that’s generating a lot of heat, you should consider replacing it sooner.

The same goes if it’s having trouble keeping up with the power demands of your rig.

Quick Suggestions

This is a bonus! If you haven’t yet purchased a power supply let us share some personal favourites.


This blog was made for those who are curious how long do computer power supplies last, and the factors that affect its life expectancy.

Hopefully, this article has explained all your queries regarding life spans of power supplies, and which of the components play major part in extending its life.

We have also provided some good recommendations on which PSU to go for as a bonus. Make sure you are aware of your system’s requirements before you invest in something big. Best of luck.