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Power supply buyer finds iron shavings inside

power supply iron filingsImage: Reddit user /u/RedditCringe990

Caveat emptor is the rallying cry whenever someone finds a nasty surprise coming along with a purchase. But I don’t think “let the buyer beware” really applies if you buy a product that, in addition to being duplicitous, might just burn your house down. Such was the case with one unlucky Reddit poster, who opened their new 500-watt power supply to find a conspicuous steel box inside. Once opened, the box was found to contain nothing but a plastic bag of iron filings.

Other posters on the Reddit thread (spotted by Tom’s Hardware) immediately suspected that the box was included to add weight to the power supply, going by the ancient received wisdom that if it’s heavy then it must be expensive. But others took a closer look at the PSU, which covered the original Chinese brand with an English “Equites” label sticker. Another poster noted that the power supply has no input protection or output protection, no overcurrent protection, and that its actual output was barely half the 500 watts on the label.

A lack of regulatory or inspection labels seals the deal. As /u/Hattix advises, “Best used with salt, a stake, and a lawyer. Do not use that PSU.”

On the plus side the original poster says that they bought the power supply in a bundle with a NAS case, and had no intention of actually using it for their build. They were, after all, savvy enough to open up the power supply (something you shouldn’t do if you’re a newbie, high-power capacitors can carry a lethal charge!) to inspect it for dodgy components. But let this be a lesson that going cheap on essential parts might just cost you a whole lot more down the road.

Michael is a former graphic designer who’s been building and tweaking desktop computers for longer than he cares to admit. His interests include folk music, football, science fiction, and salsa verde, in no particular order.

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