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If it's going to blow up... Tell us...
  #1  
Old 12-19-2008, 08:13 AM
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Taubin Taubin is offline
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Default If it's going to blow up... Tell us...

I used to be an RMA clerk for a local computer company. Basically, my job involved testing all the hardware that was brought in because it was bad, and send it back to our suppliers. Pretty simple, bland job, but, I learned allot about computers.

A customer comes in one day with a "dead power supply" (PSU). All the SC said was, "It won't turn on no more". No problem, it happens, probably got zapped by lightning or something. The floor person takes the power supply and hands it to me to test, that is when the following happens:

I take said power supply, set it on the L-shaped counter with the rear fans pointing towards me, which happens to also be the floor persons back. The two of them continue talking while I grabbed the PSU tester and plugged it in.

The wonderful thing about this particular test is, when you plug it into the PSU, it closes a loop that allows the PSU to turn on, and it shows a green light if it is supplying power properly. The bad part about these testers is, if a capacitor has blown, it can smell pretty bad, depending on how bad it blew. After a while, you kinda just get used to the smell...

THIS TIME however, that's not what had happened at all... When I juiced up the PSU with the tester in it, a few feet of sparks and flames shot out of the back of it!!! Which, in turn burnt my arm, and set my sales floor persons shirt on fire. Needless to say, neither of us stood still very long. I ran out the front door with the PSU that is at this point on fire, and my co-worker runs to the bathroom to put his shirt out. Things finally settle a little bit, I get my burn taken care of (very very minor burn btw), and my co-worker strips his work shirt off, and just wears the t-shirt he had on under it.

It's what happened next that really blew my mind though... The customer looks at us and says "YEAH!!!! That's EXACTLY what happened when I plugged it in!!!!"

I have never come so close to physically removing someone from my store as I did at that very moment. Common sense would say, if something CATCHES FIRE, you tell the person that is about to test that piece of equipment... I guess that's too much to ask these days though...
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  #2  
Old 12-19-2008, 08:30 AM
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lightmylamb lightmylamb is offline
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That is amazing. I would never think to take something in for repair, that I had once seen burst into flames, and not tell the person doing the repairs about it. That would probably be my complaint actually. "I tried to turn it on and it shot fire at me."

Hope you're alright.

  #3  
Old 12-19-2008, 08:41 AM
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Oh, Taubin, I'm so sorry. I found that hilariously funny.

I'd have given that guy a verbal beat down, though.
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  #4  
Old 12-19-2008, 10:12 AM
Belari Belari is offline
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What a friggin jackass!! That should be illegal, like criminal negligence or something. Imagine if for some reason, you'd been bent down looking right at the thing when it blew!

  #5  
Old 12-19-2008, 10:24 AM
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Taubin Taubin is offline
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Quote:
Quoth RetailWorkhorse View Post
Oh, Taubin, I'm so sorry. I found that hilariously funny.

I'd have given that guy a verbal beat down, though.
He was told, under no terms was he allowed back in my store... Period... (I use the term "my store" very loosely, I was as low on the totem poll as you could go)..


Quote:
Quoth Belari View Post


What a friggin jackass!! That should be illegal, like criminal negligence or something. Imagine if for some reason, you'd been bent down looking right at the thing when it blew!
I learned my lesson about sticking my face right near anything that is electric, or has moving parts when I got my hair sucked into a processor fan while listening for a hard drive noise
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  #6  
Old 12-19-2008, 03:19 PM
Salted Grump Salted Grump is offline
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Worst thing that happened to me, re. Computer parts going 'kaboom' was another PSU (a new 800-watt unit, too, so it had a kick to it) deciding that it didn't like its confining shell. Shrapnel everywhere, and a bunch of scratches and scrapes, but nothing worse than that.

I arbitrarily decided, from that point on, that I'd rather let the professionals fix my comp. :P

  #7  
Old 12-19-2008, 03:24 PM
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Nurian Nurian is offline
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Quote:
Quoth Taubin View Post
I ran out the front door with the PSU that is at this point on fire, and my co-worker runs to the bathroom to put his shirt out. Things finally settle a little bit, I get my burn taken care of (very very minor burn btw), and my co-worker strips his work shirt off, and just wears the t-shirt he had on under it.
Please, please, PLEASE forgive me for laughing at this. Had you been hurt severely, it would be a tragedy...or a civil/criminal suit. I hope he never showed his face there again.
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  #8  
Old 12-19-2008, 03:25 PM
sirwired sirwired is offline
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Heh... a dinky little PC PSU is nothing. I have personally witnessed the PSU for a 3000lb chunk of $M computer equipment shoot a geyser of the magic smoke up to the ceiling. A bazillion watts of three-phase industrial power can make a LOT of smoke.

Luckily all equipment that large is equipped with a Big Red Switch, meant exactly for this purpose, which I used.

SirWired

  #9  
Old 12-19-2008, 04:26 PM
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Electronics don't work too well after you let out that factory installed smoke, and it's tough to get it back in there.

Seriously, that had to be one messed up PSU to literally explode like that. Good thing you guys were ok.
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  #10  
Old 12-19-2008, 04:37 PM
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Yanno... if my power supply was shooting flames out the back when I plugged it in, I wouldn't be taking it to get fixed. I'd buy a new one.

Then use the old one for...erm... teasing my friends. Yeah, that's it. Like when I found a lighter in the washer AFTER doing a load of laundry. Flick it on, 3-foot flame shot out the top. I left it where one of my buddies would likely pick it up to use it. He forgave me a couple years after his eyebrows grew back.
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