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So I've got two dead power supplies right now and I was wondering what was possibly salvageable on them. For example, could I reuse the connectors and/or add them onto other power supplies? Are the fans on the inside reusable as case fans?

What can I do with it?

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6 Answers

up vote 8 down vote accepted

What can I do with it?

Dispose of it in a safe manner. The bin won't do.

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I guess this is my only option. –  Wesley Jun 10 '10 at 21:45
    
Am I really the only one who considers "Not in the bin" a lazy half-answer? Everyone who reads this is now afraid to throw away their PSU but still has no idea what to do with it. Edit: search.earth911.com has some local places –  Syntax Error Sep 6 '12 at 18:26
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What can I do with it?

Hurt yourself badly, if you're not careful.

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The power supply is rather dangerous. Capacitors storing large amount of energy can cause burns when dischaged over skin, or unfortunately, a stopped heart. Dissecting the power supply is safe if you know what you are doing, but if you are asking this you shouldn't be doing it.

if you ever want to open the power supply of a computer...

(1) ALWAYS disconnect everything (2) Discharge all capacitors using a resistor (NOT A SHORT) (Protect yourself with gloves!)

usually, in a power supply, if it ever fails, then most likely the capacitors are dead already, so not useful salvaging it. the transformer is usually OK unless your power supply died of releasing magic smoke. the heatsink is usually strudier than anything else. fan usually works. the power plug and fuse unit is quite expensive to buy for hobby crafters, take that out and use that if you need it as well. voltage regulators are usually intact in a failed power supply, but you usually need to desolder it and take it into a new circuit..

that's about it...

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You should NEVER open a power supply (even a dead one) unless you really know what you are doing. They contain (at the very least) large capacitors which could cause a strong electrical discharge or even a small explosion if shorted out. Moreover, there typically isn't anything really worth salvaging in there anyway, unless you get your kicks from transformer coils and rectifiers.

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You can probably take it to a recycling center and get good money for it. Should be a nice bit of copper in there.

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I would go for the fan if there is no problem with it, you can re-use it in a newer PSU if its the same type. But that's all I guess.

(and read Bubu's answer!)

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