Title reads "Weak Power Supply". Picture shows a caution sign with a chain that has a broken link in the middle.

Power supplies do not universally suit any device, and trying to find a suitable unit for your operations can make you feel like Goldilocks testing porridge.

No matter your industry, choosing proper power supply specifications is critical to avoid production delays. System crashes, poor performance, or even damage to your machinery consist of just some of what happens if your power supply is too weak or small.

Power supply size matters, but you don’t have to wait for bad power supply symptoms and operational disruptions to start popping up to ensure you have the right PSUs for your facilities.

We have been in the business of power supplies for nearly three decades, giving us unique insights into the ins and outs of what happens if your power supply is too small for your setup. That’s why we’ve put this guide together to help you diagnose any power supply issues you may be running into.

We’re going to cover what happens if your power supply is not enough for your operations, including how to go about replacing a power supply with those metrics in mind. Without further ado, let’s talk about the risks of using the wrong power supply for your setup.

What Happens if Your Power Supply is Too Weak or Small?

Whether the issue is insufficient power supply voltage or the wrong size, using an improper power supply can wreak havoc on your productivity. 

From repeated system crashes, overheating, and lower power supply lifespan, the list of what happens if your power supply is not enough for your device is nearly endless. Let’s discuss why poorly optimized power supplies cause these issues.

Potential Hardware Malfunctions

Weak PSUs pale in comparison to high voltage power supplies when it comes to how much power they can deliver. So, what happens if your power supply is too weak?

These weak power supplies leave the components of your devices without the necessary power to perform, causing malfunctions and failures across the board. Failures due to low power have a knock-on effect of causing system crashes, data losses, and, most importantly, damage to your devices.

The Effect on the Lifespan of Other Components

Hardware damage is one of the worst results of what happens if your power supply is too weak or small. Low levels of power can cause the components of your device to overwork in an attempt to compensate, which will shorten their lifespan.

Repairing or replacing critical components within your machinery can quickly add up to exorbitant costs, far exceeding the initial costs of a new power supply.

Compromised System Stability

Freezing, crashing, and data loss can happen due to an improperly sized or weak power supply. These unexpected shutdowns will significantly affect your organization’s productivity and frustrate employees.

Data loss events are incredibly frustrating and may lead to a complete halt in production for small facilities and severe consequences for server farms and data centers.

Wastage of Power

When a power supply is too weak or small, it may not be able to efficiently use the power it provides, leading to a significant amount of power being lost as heat.

Weak power supplies work much harder than higher voltage options, and they may not be able to convert the full amount of power coming from a wall outlet. This leads to uneven distributions of power to your device’s components, which then causes another dangerous situation: overheating.

Not only can this lead to damage to your device, but you will even see a direct effect on the energy bills for your facility. This is because your devices will try to draw more power to continue functioning properly in the event they lack the proper amount of power.

Excessive Heat Output

The inefficient power utilization by weak or small power supplies also causes excessive heat. This inefficiency and power waste causes your device to overheat, leading to long-term damage to your hardware and even the risk of fire safety hazards.

These factors feed each other in a downward spiral, as lack of power and inefficiency put excess stress on your machinery, which causes more heat loss until your device crashes. 

If you are lucky, your device and power supply will shut off before significantly damaging the hardware inside your machinery. However, most of the time, you have to live with the consequences of what happens if your power supply is too weak or small: a damaged device.

Hopefully, you don’t already see the signs of a weak power supply, but if you are, it’s essential to recognize them to make a timely switch. That’s what we’ll cover in the next section.

Signs Your Power Supply is Undersized

The signs that it is time to replace or repair power supplies are fairly easy to spot. By the time you are experiencing these issues, your organization may already be feeling the effects on production.

So the moment you encounter freezes, shutdowns, or overheating, it may be time to consider if your power supply isn’t up to snuff.

Unexpected System Crashes or Freezes

While not every unexpected shutdown results from a weak power supply, these events are a telltale sign that there may be an issue. Monitoring machine crashes to detect repeated occurrences before they develop into additional hardware damage is essential.

Overheating or Noise Issues

Undersized power supplies fail to deliver the correct amount of power to your machinery, causing your device to work harder to compensate. This directly leads to decreased efficiency and excessive power loss through heat.

Overheating is a significant cause of component damage to your devices, but it’s not the only sign of a weak or undersized power supply. Weak PSUs can also be detected through the sound of your device’s fans working harder to combat overheating.

The sound of these fans can become disturbingly loud, acting as a distraction to the work environment and lowering productivity.

If you are already seeing these signs or you want to avoid the potential for long-term damage, you may be wondering how to choose the correct PSU for your operations. Let’s review a few of our best tips to help you.

Tips for Avoiding These Pitfalls With Proper Power Supply Sizing

Finding a proper PSU for your system can help you avoid all the nasty consequences of what happens if your power supply is too weak. You should take into account the devices you need to power up, including the potential for future upgrades or additions to your setup.

There are also additional things to keep in mind when shopping, like the difference between AC and DC power or setting up multiple power supplies in series vs parallel for large server farms and data centers. Let’s discuss everything you need to know.

Assessing Your System’s Power Needs

The needs of your facility and devices will play a big part in which power supplies you ultimately choose to purchase. This includes the size of your devices, how many you need to power, along with the internal components like CPUs.

For example, very small devices can get away with lacking power supply regulation, as an unregulated PSU can get the job done. Conversely, a large data center with multiple PSUs will need to maintain a consistent voltage to protect the integrity of the servers and their internal components.

Considering Future Upgrades to the System

Future upgrades to your setup will often require an upgrade in power supply to match. Additional newer components or devices can have a significant power demand on your facility, so choosing a PSU with room to grow helps save you money in the long run.

We also recommend opting for a modular power supply if you are planning on powering multiple devices in the future. But what is a modular power supply, anyways?

Modular power supplies are built with multiple devices and components in mind, allowing you room to grow thanks to their increased efficiency.

Factor in Efficiency Rating and Other Considerations, Too

There are a few other things to keep in mind when purchasing a new power supply.

Power supply efficiency ratings were made with overheating in mind, creating a set of standards that makes it simple for consumers and manufacturers to assess a power supply. Look for power supplies with an “80 PLUS” rating, especially those that are rated gold, platinum, or titanium, as these PSUs only lose less than 10% of their energy as heat.

You’ll also want to purchase power supplies backed by certification and regulation agencies, including CE, RoHS, and UL listed power supplies. These agencies put PSUs through rigorous testing and standards to ensure you receive a high-quality product that won’t fail you.

The best brands for power supplies also come with an established reputation and detailed customer service that can guide you along your journey. Shopping at these reputable dealers is the only way to guarantee a reliable product that lasts for years.

With so much to consider when shopping, it may seem like a daunting task to try to find a perfectly sized power supply that is strong enough to keep your devices running smoothly. There is no need to be concerned, however, as we have just the solution to streamline your shopping experience.

How Bravo Electro Can Help You Prevent Issues With Undersized Power Supplies

From 12 volt DC power supplies to DIN rail power supplies, Bravo Electro is the world’s #1 home for power supplies, fans, and electrical components.

We have been in the business for nearly 30 years, helping consumers and businesses across several industries with all of their electrical needs. This includes our custom power supply design services, backed by a team of dedicated electrical engineers, so no job is too big for us to handle.

Our Santa Clara, California-based facilities are also home to an award-winning customer support team that can help guide you at every step of the process. Whether you need to know the best choice between a 24 volt DC power supply or a 48 volt DC power supply for your setup or just want to talk shop, we’ve got your back.

Our decades of experience selling enclosed power supplies and open frame power supplies have allowed us to specialize in the field. That’s why our inventory only includes the best PSU brands on the market that will never disappoint you.

So if you are ready for personalized guidance with expert engineers or our trained customer support team, Bravo Electro is the best place for you to shop.

Final Thoughts on What Happens if Your Power Supply is Too Small

Let’s summarize our discussion today. What happens if your power supply is too weak or small for your machinery?

Many issues can arise if you use the wrong PSU for your setup, from system instability and crashes to overheating and damage to sensitive device components. These problems can result in significant repair costs and even the risk of fire hazards.

It is vital to watch for those warning signs and replace your power supply as soon as possible. If you are looking for an online retailer of power supplies and electrical components that can help you diagnose an issue, look no further than right here at Bravo Electro.

We have been in the business for nearly three decades, allowing us and our team of skilled electrical engineers to develop specialized knowledge in all things power supply. From custom builds to personalized recommendations, you can find it all right here.

Our blog is also jam-packed with technical articles exploring topics in the world of electrical components, like our comparison article on power supply linear vs switching.

Otherwise, if you are ready to make the switch and save your devices from overheating and damage, check out our inventory of AC DC power supplies or reach out to us today for a personalized recommendation!