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Trying to build your dream PC but can’t get it to work? Well, you might have a problem with your power supply. So, we’re here to teach you how to test power supply with multimeter.
This process takes some time and can be somewhat tricky, but you shouldn’t have any problems if you’ve built a PC yourself.
Furthermore, we’ll also cover how to test a DC power supply with a multimeter. So if you’re down for that, make sure to read from top to bottom!
How to Test a PC Power Supply Using a Multimeter
Were you playing your favorite game when your computer shut off and have no idea if your PSU is the culprit? Well, here’s how to test power supply voltage with multimeter:
1. Bend Your Paper Clip
First, get a paper clip and bend it into a U position. With this clip, we’ll be able to measure the voltage using a multimeter.
2. Turn the Dialog to Volts AC
To test your power supply, you first need to set the multimeter to volts AC. That way, you’ll know if you’re getting enough power to start up the PSU.
Please note: your voltage might change depending on your country. For instance, the average voltage in the USA is 120 volts. On the other hand, voltage ranges from 216-230V in the UK.
3. Unplug the Wire Going into the PSU
To start, disconnect your power supply cord. Then, simply remove it from the power supply, and you’re good to go.
4. Identify the Holes on the Power Supply Cord
Before testing your power supply cord, identify the holes on it:
- The hot wire — this is the small plug on your cord
- The neutral wire — this is the big plug on the cord
- The ground wire — this is the plug that looks like a mouth.
5. Test Your Voltage
Place the black lead into the neutral plug, and the red one into the hot wire. If everything is working, you should get 120 volts. Therefore, your power supply cord is working, but we still need to test the PSU itself.
6. Insert the Paper Clip Into the Power Supply
Disconnect your power supply’s cord from the outlet before inserting the paper clip into it. That said, grab your paper clip and then put it into the green pin and the other side into any black. Next, set the meter to volts DC
The number on the left indicates the port’s position, and the V stands for the voltage you should get when testing that port. That said, here’s a diagram for a 24-pin connector:
- 1, 2, 12, 13 — Orange 3.3V
- 3, 5, 7, 15, 18, 19, 24 — Black Ground
- 4, 21, 22, 23 — Red +5V
- 16 — Green PS-ON
- 9 — Purple +5V
- 10, 11 — Yellow +12V
- 14 — Blue -12V
- 20 — White -5V
- 1, 2, 11 — Orange +3.3V
- 3, 7, 13, 15, 16, 17 — Black Ground
- 4, 6, 19, 20 — Red +5V
- 9 — Purple +5V
- 10 — Yellow +12
- 12 — Blue -12V
- 14 — Green PS-ON
- 18 — White -5V
- 19 — Red +5V
8. How to Test Computer Power Supply With Multimeter
Turn on your power supply. Now take the black lead and plug it into the black port. Next up, insert the red lead into the port next to the black lead. After that, work your way down. Please avoid touching the other black wires.
As you are moving from port to port, look at your multimeter and check the reading. Each port is different, and the voltage may change.
If you’re getting the voltage that your chart indicates, then your PSU is still working. If it’s not, replace it.
How to Measure DC Voltage With a Multimeter
Having problems with your DC power supply? Here is how to test power supply with multimeter:
1. Set up the Multimeter
Set up your multimeter, take your red lead and insert it where it says “VΩ,” then plug the black lead into the COM slot. Once that’s done, set the multimeter to 20 DC volts.
2. How to Test DC Power Supply With Multimeter
Place the black lead on the sleeve of the PSU end and the red one on the metal part. Depending on your power supply, your voltage may change. But if you are getting the voltage your unit indicates, it means it’s still working.
If you got stuck somewhere, refer to this short YouTube video:
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Below you will find common questions about power supplies:
How can you tell if the power supply is not working?
If your power supply is not working, it would immediately shut off your computer when running games or other software. Furthermore, it might shut off as soon as you turn it on.
What can cause a power supply to fail?
Like pretty much anything else, your power supply fails when it’s exposed to heat. Bear in mind that your power supply carries a lot of current. This, unfortunately, creates plenty of heat, which can damage the PSU over time.
Can a faulty power supply damage your computer?
Yes, a damaged power supply can damage your computer. But it’s improbable it’ll happen. However, we suggest replacing the power supply as soon as possible. A faulty PSU will shut off your computer and stop you from getting stuff done.
How do you troubleshoot a DC power supply?
First, set the multimeter to volts DC. Now grab the black lead, put it inside the power supply, and then connect the red lead to the metal part.
Find out what was wrong with your PSU after going through how to test power supply with a multimeter guide? We hope you managed to track down the culprit and can now enjoy your favorite games on Steam.
As we said before, testing a power supply can be tricky since you need a diagram to know the voltage each port on the power supply pinout should get. Other than that, there’s not much to it.