Top 5 Reasons Why Power ICs Get Shorted or Burnt

By on January 13, 2015

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

BURNT IC

If you are a seasoned electronic repairer, I’m sure you have came across before a shorted and burnt power IC. Here are the top 5 reasons why power ICs can go shorted or burnt:

1) Power surge- A power surge is basically a spike in your home’s electrical current. The spike is very brief, usually lasting less than a thousandth of a second, but it can still cause severe damage to the power section (which includes the power IC) of an equipment or even your household appliances. One of the most common sources of power surge is lightning.

2) Quality/design of the IC used- There are many maker, quality/design of power IC used in the market nowadays. Those good old days, we could easily recognize from which manufacturers the ICs were made. But now, it is hard to know the manufacturer unless we search for the IC datasheet. Generally a good maker with top quality/design of power IC used has a great impact on the health of the power supplies.

3) Design Problem- In certain power supplies designs, the power section are very robust and rarely have problem. The protection circuit seems to be able to detect a short circuit and shutdown the power supply thus saving the power supply from destruction. However, in some other designs of power supplies, the power section components seem to be easily blown when there is a short circuit either in the secondary side or the load.

4) Bad corresponding components- For example, if the power FET is shorted, most of the time the power IC could be shorted too. It is advisable to replace the power IC if you found the power FET is shorted.

5) Dry Joints- Do not overlook this as dry joints could cause the power section to blow. I have seen main filter capacitor and even the power FET legs had dry joints. The dry joint could cause a prolong intermittent slight arc and eventually causing the FET to get shorted and the power IC will be gone too.

Other factors- Moisture, human error (Coke/Coffee accidentally poured onto the power supply) and lizard could cause the power section to blow also.

Check out how severe the power supply is, caused by lizards:

 http://www.jestineyong.com/circuit-burnt-beyond-recognition/

If you have other reasons why the power IC can get shorted or blow kindly leave a comment below-thanks.

jestineyongpowersupply

 

 

 

 

 

This article is brought to you by Jestine Yong

 

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64 Comments

  1. Des Naude

    January 13, 2015 at 6:13 pm

    Interesting article Thanks

    Likes(5)Dislikes(0)
    • admin

      January 13, 2015 at 8:27 pm

      HI Des,
      You are welcome.

      Jestine

      Likes(2)Dislikes(0)
  2. RJ

    January 13, 2015 at 7:09 pm

    Similar to lizards, a spider web (burned toast smell!)

    Likes(0)Dislikes(0)
    • admin

      January 13, 2015 at 8:27 pm

      HI RJ,

      Another cause of the problem-thanks.

      Jestine

      Likes(1)Dislikes(0)
  3. Salihu Musa Kwoccam

    January 13, 2015 at 7:24 pm

    Thank you. In think fluctuation of electrical signal also contributes to shortening or burning of Power ICs e.g. In Nigeria, where there is no constant light. Please, you may think about it if you comprehend with what I mean. I may be corrected too.

    Likes(0)Dislikes(0)
    • admin

      January 13, 2015 at 8:28 pm

      HI Salihu,

      Yes, an unstable line could cause problem to the power supplies too.

      Jestine

      Likes(0)Dislikes(0)
  4. sean mc quillan

    January 13, 2015 at 8:01 pm

    thanks a lot for all the good tips and info always read all of it and find it very good even after 55 years as tv engineer i still love to read all of it keep up the good work cheers sean

    Likes(2)Dislikes(0)
    • admin

      January 13, 2015 at 8:24 pm

      HI Sean,

      Thanks.

      Jestine

      Likes(0)Dislikes(0)
  5. Mitsuokai

    January 13, 2015 at 8:23 pm

    Another cause I met sometimes is from loosened
    contact at wallsocket and plug espcially in hipower
    household such as inverter fridges, MW ovens,
    induction cookers...

    Likes(0)Dislikes(0)
    • admin

      January 14, 2015 at 7:05 am

      Hi Mitsuokai,

      This is a good one-thanks for sharing.

      Jestine

      Likes(0)Dislikes(0)
  6. Robert

    January 13, 2015 at 9:38 pm

    Hi Mr. Yong,
    I always appreciate your articles and tips; thanks.

    Likes(0)Dislikes(0)
    • admin

      January 13, 2015 at 9:53 pm

      HI Robert,

      You are welcome.

      Jestine

      Likes(0)Dislikes(1)
  7. Merlin Marquardt

    January 13, 2015 at 10:44 pm

    Very good. Lizard?

    Likes(0)Dislikes(0)
    • admin

      January 14, 2015 at 7:22 am

      Hi Merlin,

      Not only lizard there was an article about a snake hiding inside the computer. Check it out:

      http://kalyan-city.blogspot.com/2010/09/real-living-snake-found-hiding-inside.html

      Jestine

      Likes(0)Dislikes(1)
  8. Merlin Marquardt

    January 13, 2015 at 10:47 pm

    Saw your lizard article. Wow!

    Likes(0)Dislikes(0)
  9. Mahmoud

    January 13, 2015 at 10:47 pm

    thanks alot for all your tips it's very useful article

    Likes(0)Dislikes(0)
    • admin

      January 14, 2015 at 7:02 am

      Hi Mahmoud,

      You are welcome.

      Jestine

      Likes(0)Dislikes(0)
  10. Yogesh Panchal

    January 13, 2015 at 11:05 pm

    Sir,
    I have faced shorting problem of IC in PC Motherboards because of lots of dust and corroted IC Leg like clock IC (ICS Marked)or SMT type IC . because this type of IC Pins are too close to each other and due to humidity weather dust get wet and cause short circuit.

    Likes(1)Dislikes(0)
    • admin

      January 14, 2015 at 7:04 am

      Hi Yogesh,

      Another good point-thanks!

      Jestine

      Likes(1)Dislikes(0)
  11. sherif

    January 14, 2015 at 2:40 am

    thanks for valued post i am waiting the next

    Likes(0)Dislikes(0)
    • admin

      January 14, 2015 at 7:02 am

      Hi Sherif,

      You are welcome.

      Jestine

      Likes(0)Dislikes(0)
  12. Lew

    January 14, 2015 at 3:28 am

    How about putting the IC in the wrong way? That taught me the hard way once!

    Likes(0)Dislikes(0)
    • admin

      January 14, 2015 at 7:03 am

      Hi Lew,

      Yes, this is another reason why the power IC can blow- (Human Error)

      Thanks.

      Jestine

      Likes(0)Dislikes(0)
  13. Corriete

    January 14, 2015 at 7:40 am

    yes sir.thanks for the reminder. often times these causes serious faults.Sometimes we wonder why but so true are these points you made.

    Likes(1)Dislikes(0)
    • admin

      January 14, 2015 at 7:47 am

      Hi Corriete,

      You are welcome.

      Jestine

      Likes(0)Dislikes(0)
  14. xaryr

    January 14, 2015 at 10:12 am

    Hi Mr. Yong,
    I always appreciate your articles and tips; thanks.

    Likes(0)Dislikes(0)
    • admin

      January 14, 2015 at 1:46 pm

      HI Xaryr,

      You are welcome.

      Jestine

      Likes(1)Dislikes(0)
  15. Abioseh-sebleh Davies

    January 14, 2015 at 11:06 am

    That analysis is a good one for most causes of blown Power ICs.
    Power FETs when circuit for a long time use in power supplies where fluctuation of power is rampant eventually lead to problems like these.

    Thanks for the vital contribution

    Sincerely

    ASD

    Likes(0)Dislikes(0)
    • admin

      January 14, 2015 at 1:47 pm

      HI Abioseh,

      Yes, a prolong fluctuation could lead to components destruction.

      Jestine

      Likes(0)Dislikes(0)
  16. Gerald

    January 14, 2015 at 11:08 am

    Hi Jestine,
    Interesting story indeed, thanks for sharing. Lizards also destroyed our office printer one day, beyond repair as in your example.
    In Brazil we used to have colonies of red ants taking residence into portable ECG apparatus. It was and easy diagnostic because of the characteristic smell as soon as we opened the protection cover. We had to do the cleaning in the garden to avoid the workshop being invaded by hundreds of ants running away carrying their eggs. If the cleaning was not done quickly the formic acid would damage everything inside the ECG.

    Likes(1)Dislikes(0)
    • admin

      January 14, 2015 at 1:46 pm

      HI Gerald,

      Didn't know that red ants also can contribute to the problem-thanks!

      Jestine

      Likes(0)Dislikes(0)
  17. Goh K S

    January 14, 2015 at 12:02 pm

    Carelessness (e.g. shorting the power supply, water spillage, dropping the equipment etc) can also result in equipment/component failure.

    Likes(0)Dislikes(0)
    • admin

      January 14, 2015 at 1:44 pm

      HI Goh,

      You are right about this-another human error.

      Thanks.

      Jestiine

      Likes(0)Dislikes(0)
  18. Muhammad Akhlaq

    January 14, 2015 at 12:12 pm

    I repaired an Intecolor 21” monitor with burnt power components. The reason of failure was a piece of broken screw which was over tightened by someone earlier. The monitor worked for many years and when shifted to the other location the piece of screw changed its position and created short circuit.

    Likes(0)Dislikes(0)
    • admin

      January 14, 2015 at 1:45 pm

      HI Muhammad,

      Thanks for another piece of good info.

      Jestine

      Likes(0)Dislikes(0)
  19. reza

    January 14, 2015 at 1:47 pm

    hi mr yong
    thank u.

    Likes(1)Dislikes(0)
    • admin

      January 14, 2015 at 1:47 pm

      HI Reza,

      You are welcome!

      Jestine

      Likes(0)Dislikes(0)
  20. Yazid

    January 14, 2015 at 5:55 pm

    Hi jestine good information thanks.
    The effect of a voltage spike is to produce a corresponding increase in current (current spike). However some voltage spikes may be created by current sources. Voltage would increase as necessary so that a constant current will flow and can burn out the power IC and it could be destructive to the power supply.

    Likes(0)Dislikes(0)
    • admin

      January 14, 2015 at 8:03 pm

      HI Yazid,

      Thanks for the comment.

      Jestine

      Likes(1)Dislikes(0)
  21. Mark

    January 14, 2015 at 7:19 pm

    Hey Jestine,

    Good advice! Certain components do tend to fail together. Sometimes even corrosion can be so bad that when contact is regained, a voltage spike can occur.

    Keep up the good work with the articles - they are very much appreciated.

    Likes(0)Dislikes(0)
    • admin

      January 14, 2015 at 8:04 pm

      Hi Mark,

      Thanks.

      Jestine

      Likes(0)Dislikes(0)
  22. Robert Calk

    January 14, 2015 at 9:07 pm

    Hi Mr. Yong,
    Of course, using the wrong Power IC may work great for a while, and then fail later.

    Likes(0)Dislikes(0)
    • admin

      January 14, 2015 at 9:21 pm

      HI Robert,

      Thanks for another point!

      Jestine

      Likes(0)Dislikes(0)
  23. ekau stephen

    January 14, 2015 at 10:35 pm

    All the given possibilities of ,why power ic s get into trouble or failing to work are correct depends on where the electronics device is put on .....But to me a among other things is basically poor soldering mostly by non trained technicians or even trained as well ...Due to either poor workmanship ,too much pressure of all kind,self motivation, .....my contribution is humidity,taking too long to service device,... collects some conducting particles around the ic s plus those given above etc....

    Likes(0)Dislikes(0)
    • admin

      January 15, 2015 at 6:53 am

      HI Ekau,

      Thanks for sharing your points.

      Jestine

      Likes(0)Dislikes(0)
  24. james

    January 15, 2015 at 12:39 am

    Sir.some times due to on and of power no ,not stabilize power also cause damage to the main power i.c

    Likes(0)Dislikes(0)
    • admin

      January 15, 2015 at 6:54 am

      HI James,

      Yes, a weak design will have this kind of problem.

      Jestine

      Likes(0)Dislikes(0)
  25. kaonga

    January 15, 2015 at 4:01 am

    Just like there are many ways a power supply can be affected or damaged, lets also know that even on the socket or plug points can cause dry joint if not well paid attention to, and can lead to over heating and sparks that eventually cause un stable voltages to the power supply. Eventually shutting down the power supply to repairable level. Please ensure that your power plug and sockets are firmly plugged in. Thank you in advance

    Likes(0)Dislikes(0)
    • admin

      January 15, 2015 at 6:57 am

      HI Kaonga,

      Thanks for sharing.

      Jestine

      Likes(0)Dislikes(0)
  26. Abdul Haleem

    January 15, 2015 at 8:14 am

    Glue used to hold primary filter capacitor and other components may cause short circuit when combined with dust and moisture. Also shorted primary winding of SMPS transformer may cause power IC, FET to blow unless the power supply circuit is designed well protective. In ATX power supply if there is a shorted component in the secondary area mostly no components in the primary side blows but the P supply won't start, such a protective circuitry.

    Likes(0)Dislikes(0)
    • admin

      January 15, 2015 at 7:56 pm

      HI Abdul,
      I believe you are referring to decay glue. Yes, decayed glue would cause the power section to blow. Yes, I agreed with you that a shorted primary winding will cause the power IC and Fet to blow also.

      Thanks.

      Jestine

      Likes(0)Dislikes(0)
  27. nilesh patel

    January 15, 2015 at 3:14 pm

    i am working in electronics field since last 18 years in india .
    smps having i/p supply range of 100-264 vac is always dangerous.
    in many temp. controller ,timer, counter due to transient ,power component burned.
    so when there is no.of product lying in same panel
    we used stepdown transformer i.e 240 vac - i/p to 120 vac secondary o/p with appropriate current ratings.
    it helps us lot. if major fluctuation occurs ,transformer will burn but our electronic product remain safe.
    thanks for your support by updating us regularly.
    nilesh patel

    Likes(0)Dislikes(0)
    • admin

      January 15, 2015 at 7:57 pm

      Hi Nilesh,

      Thanks for giving another point.

      Jestine

      Likes(0)Dislikes(0)
  28. Edgardo Torres

    January 18, 2015 at 3:48 pm

    Some common cause of if trouble are ant,cockroach &heavy dust

    Likes(0)Dislikes(0)
  29. Humberto

    January 19, 2015 at 9:04 pm

    Good article, very instructive. Thanks and have a good day

    Likes(0)Dislikes(0)
  30. Bart

    January 20, 2015 at 8:29 pm

    Thank You Jestine for bringing that very informative document to us
    Best Wishes

    Likes(1)Dislikes(0)
  31. Stanley

    March 7, 2015 at 4:39 pm

    Thank you vey much Jestine, you have been a very wonderful person.
    Thanks for the article.

    Likes(0)Dislikes(0)
    • Jestine Yong

      March 7, 2015 at 10:36 pm

      HI Stanley,

      You are welcome.

      Jestine

      Likes(0)Dislikes(0)
  32. Bajee

    March 26, 2015 at 12:11 am

    hi,goodarticle Overuse of equipment/not respecting operating conditions in user manual,tampering with circuits without know-how,wrong design from manufacturers,prolonged use of equipment outside lifetime

    Likes(0)Dislikes(0)
    • Jestine Yong

      March 26, 2015 at 7:41 am

      HI Bajee,

      Thanks for the tips.

      Jestine

      Likes(0)Dislikes(0)
  33. Shaik Jabir

    November 3, 2016 at 5:06 pm

    Dear Sir,
    I have a small query related to Power IC burning case.
    In my Sony Car Audio SYSTEM Power IC burned (Service guy told).
    When I asked for the reason he saying that because of installation of high wattage speakers it got burned.
    No amplifier or woofer connected.
    Is it correct reason for IC burning?
    Because of high wattage speakers does power IC of System will burn?
    Those speakers are passive speakers.

    Likes(0)Dislikes(0)
    • Jestine Yong

      November 4, 2016 at 12:00 pm

      Hi Shaik,
      It depends on the design. If there is a protection circuit and could act fast then it would not burn.

      Jestine

      Likes(1)Dislikes(0)
  34. ransom

    June 12, 2018 at 2:59 am

    Hello, beautiful enlightenment from the writer, but I have worry currently may be concerning power IC, my LED TV of over 2yrs now suddenly stop powering even though it has always been on a surge protector. Pls is it possible for the power i.c to be burnt?

    Likes(0)Dislikes(0)
    • Jestine Yong

      June 13, 2018 at 9:20 am

      Hi Ransom,

      It can be caused by many factors such as blown fuse, shorted power ic, bridge rectifier, open resistor, bulged e-caps and etc. Without hands on assessment on the set I would not know what will be the actual cause.

      Jestine

      Likes(0)Dislikes(0)

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