We often tend to clean the PC on a regular interval and overlook the condition of the power supply unit inside.
Over time, the volume of accumulated dust increases inside the PSU, and it may hamper the air intake of the PSU fan. As a result, the power supply may heat up and burn out. So, the power supply unit also needs cleansing once in a while.
In this guide, we are providing the complete steps to clean the PSU from the start.
How to Clean a Power Supply Unit?
The Power Supply Unit is located in the corner and consists of several wires, making it quite difficult to access directly from the casing. So, we have provided the steps to remove them for complete cleaning of each part inside it.
Remove Cable Connections and Side Panel
The first thing to do is to disconnect all the connections from the PC to facilitate easy removal of the Power supply unit.
- Push the switch on the back of the PSU to the off state.
- Remove the power cable from the PSU.
- Disconnect the display cables, USB connections, LAN wire, and anything else inserted into the system.
- Bring the casing out and place it on an antistatic mat or a hard-wooden desk.
- Obtain the appropriate screwdriver and unscrew the side panel. Some side panels may simply require turning the bolts.
- Pull out the panel and get to the motherboard.
- If you have an anti-static band, wear it before handling the motherboard. If not, you can touch any unpainted metal to ground yourself and remove any static charge built up on your body.
- Remove the PSU cables connected to the motherboard. There are ATX cables, CPU power cables, PCIe connectors, SATA or Molex cables supplying power to the motherboard and other hardware.
Remove and Disassemble the Power Supply Unit
It is quite difficult to clean the PSU while it is attached to the casing. Also, the dust will get collected inside the casing, which will only create extra work. So, you should remove the power supply unit from the casing.
- Unscrew the four nuts holding the PSU in the casing.
- Pull the PSU from inside the casing. Be careful not to damage the motherboard and other components while doing so.
- Bring the PSU out and keep it on the antistatic mat.
If the PSU has not accumulated much dust, you can clean it without disassembling the power supply unit. So, the steps given below are optional for such a condition.
- Start removing the screws of the frame.
- Do not pull the frame right away since the fan wire will be connected to the circuit in the bottom portion.
- Look whether the fan connector is removable. If it is, simply disconnect the cable and keep the frame aside.
- If you cannot remove the fan connector, find the screws of the fan on the frame and remove them.
- Now, pull out the frame keeping the fan aside. Remember, the fan wire is still connected to the circuit board. So, handle it properly.
Use Blower or Compressed Air
Now we are ready to clean the power supply unit.
As we mentioned earlier, if your PSU does not have much dust, you can clean it without tearing it apart. You should get a probe or stick and insert it in between the fan blade. This will prevent the fan from rotating while cleaning.
Now, the cleaning process is almost the same for both disassembled PSU and the intact one.
- Wear gloves on your hand, a mask covering your mouth and nose, and glass over your eyes. We recommend you stay a bit far to make sure you won’t get covered with dust.
- Put the casing and other hardware, if removed, away from the cleaning area.
- Apply compressed air to the fan to dust off the surface. If you possess a blower, you can use that in the initial stage for ease as it clears the dirt easily
- Dust off the circuit board as well as the bundle of wires that comes out of the PSU.
- Cover all the nooks and corners.
Use Brush and Microfiber Cloth
Now that you have removed the dust from the surface, let’s use a brush or microfiber cloth to wipe off the remainder.
- Wipe the dust from both the upside and downside of the fan using the brush or cloth.
- If the dust does not go off from the fan, you can apply the compressed air alongside the brush.
- Rub off the dirt from the exhaust part of the PSU, frame, and all the corners.
- Pull the cables apart slightly and wipe between them as well. You may have to remove the plastic strip holding the wire bundle.
- After removing the dust, procure isopropyl alcohol in cotton or the microfiber cloth and wipe off all the surfaces.
- Now, screw the fan back into the frame and insert the fan connector into the circuit.
- Arrange the circuit board properly if you have misaligned the wires in any way.
- Put the frame back and screw it.
Clean the Cables, Motherboard, Hardware, and Casing
Before putting the clean PSU inside the casing, you should clean the rest of the components as well.
- Keep the PSU on cardboard and take it away from the desk to ensure the dust does not get inside it again.
- Blow or clean the desk and antistatic mat, if used, and put the casing there.
- Use compressed air and follow similar instructions to dust off the casing, motherboard, and other components.
- Wipe all the wires, corners, and casing fans using the brush and cloth, followed by the use of isopropyl alcohol. You can disassemble the components and clean the entire PC as well.
Reassemble All the Components Back
Now, it is time to reconnect all the components.
- Insert the PSU into the casing from the inside.
- Tighten the two diagonal screws first to hold the PSU. Then, screw the remaining nuts as well.
- Assemble all the components if you have removed them earlier to clean.
- Connect the cables coming from the PSU to the respective ports in the motherboard.
- Put the side panel and place the casing in its proper place.
- Reconnect all the external cables and run the PC.