How Long Do Power Supplies Last?

A power supply, or PSU, is an electronic device that supplies electrical power to a computer. PSUs are designed to be used for a long time, but they will fail eventually. The lifetime of a PSU is measured in years, and it is not linear.

The service life of the power supply depends on the design and use conditions of the computer. PSUs usually last 3-5 years, but can last up to 10 years with proper care. The most important factor in determining a PSU’s lifespan is how often it’s used?

Factors That Affect How Long Power Supplies Last:

Following are some important factors that affect PSU.

Frequency of Use

When it comes to how long power supplies last, the frequency of use is a major factor. The more you use your power supply, the shorter its lifespan. Heavy use can wear out a power supply in as little as 18 months, while light or moderate use can extend its lifespan up to five years. This is why it’s important to choose the right power supply for your needs. If you don’t need a lot of power, don’t buy a high-powered supply that will wear out faster. Conversely, if you need a lot of power, don’t skimp on the wattage and end up with a power supply that can’t handle your devices.

Size and Weight of the Psu

The size and weight of the PSU are important factors to consider when purchasing a new computer. Larger PSUs tend to be heavier, so it is important to find one that is the right size for your needs. Some PSUs are also modular, which means that you can remove unused cables to make the unit smaller and lighter. It is important to find a PSU that fits your needs in terms of size and weight and power output.


The life of a power supply is often determined by the temperature of its surroundings. In general, the hotter the environment, the shorter the life of the power supply. This is because heat can cause components to fail sooner.

One way to help prolong the life of a power supply is to install it in a location that has good air circulation. If possible, try to keep it away from sources of heat, such as vents or other electronics.

The Number of Connected Devices

The number of connected devices is constantly on the rise. According to a study done by Cisco, there will be 50 billion devices connected to the internet by 2020. That’s twice as many devices as there are people on earth. As our lives become more and more connected, it’s important to consider the impact this has on our everyday lives.

One of the main concerns with such a high number of connected devices is the increasing demand for energy. This demand is only going to grow as more and more devices are added to the internet of things. The problem is that traditional power supplies aren’t designed to handle this kind of load. As a result, we could see an increase in power failures and blackouts in the near future.

PSU Aging:

Aging is a natural process that all electronic components undergo. Over time, the performance of a component will degrade and it may eventually fail. This is why manufacturers specify a limited operating life for their products.

The lifespan of a power supply unit (PSU) is greatly affected by the load it is required to support. A PSU that is lightly loaded will last much longer than one under heavy load. Other factors that affect PSU longevity are the ambient temperature and humidity levels of the environment, as well as the quality of the unit itself.

Higher-quality PSUs tend to have a longer lifespan than lower-quality ones. The capacitors and other components in a high-quality PSU are usually of better quality and can withstand more stress over time. In addition, high-quality PSUs are often better cooled, which also extends their life span.

What Are the Most Common Causes of Power Supply Failure?

The most common cause of power supply failure are as followed down.

Overstressing the Supply With Heat

When it comes to how long power supplies last, one of the key factors is how much stress you put on the supply. This can be from heat, as well as other devices drawing power from the same outlet. Too much demand can quickly overstress the supply and lead to a failure.

This is especially true if you’re trying to use an old or undersized supply with a new high-powered device. The extra load can cause the supply to overheat, fail, and potentially damage your equipment.

It’s important to make sure that your power supply is adequate for your needs and that you’re not putting too much strain on it. Otherwise, you could end up with a fried motherboard or a dead computer.


While power supplies are designed to last for a certain amount of time, transients can be a great cause of power supply failure. These are sudden, usually short-lived, increases or decreases in voltage or current. They can occur from events such as lightning strikes, electrical faults, or switching on or off large electric loads.

Transients can cause power supplies to overheat and eventually fail. In some cases, they can also damage electronic equipment. It’s important to take steps to protect your equipment from transients, such as using surge protectors.


When power supplies are overloaded, they can fail. This is often due to the fan not being able to keep up with the increased demand, and the overheating of the supply’s components. This can cause permanent damage to the power supply, and potentially other components in the computer. In some cases, this can even lead to a fire.

It’s important to be aware of how much power your computer is using at any given time. If you’re regularly maxing out your power supply, it might be time for an upgrade. Otherwise, you could be putting your computer—and yourself—at risk.

How to Test Your PSU

There are a few different ways to test a PSU, but the most common is by using a multimeter. You can find multimeters for as little as $10 at most electronics stores, and they’re easy to use. To test your PSU, the Following are the steps for testing PSU

1. Shut off your PSU and unplug the cord.

2. Do not let connect any other cables other than the main AC cable and the 24-pin cable to the power cord from the main circuit board.

3. Bend the paper clip so that it has two ends that can be inserted into pins 4 and 5.

4. Power up your PSU.

5. If the PSU fan doesn’t turn, there might be a problem with the fan itself or the power supply. If there’s no noise at all, it’s possible that the fan has failed and you’ll need to replace the power supply. To test if the PSU fan is working, use a paper clip to shorten the green and black wires on the motherboard header near the CPU. This will turn on the PSU fan. If it still doesn’t work, you might have to take it apart and clean it.

When is it time to replace a power supply?

Some factors that affect how long a power supply lasts include the wattage rating, the type of power supply, and the environment in which it is used. Generally speaking, a power supply will last three to five years. However, if the power supply is being used in an environment with high humidity or dust, it may not last as long. Additionally, if the power supply is being used to power a high-end graphics card or another component that requires more wattage than the standard power supply can provide, then it may not last as long either.


The conclusion is that, after considering the factors listed above and taking into account the recommended maximum wattage rating for each type of power supply, it is safe to say that a computer will run properly if it is equipped with any standard power supply.

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