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Smell of burning rubber/electronics?

by george-JL / November 9, 2006 10:23 PM PST

Hi all,

I've searched the forums about the smell of burning rubber or electronics coming out from old computers, and many people have said things like: "the PSU or some other component has fried" or "capacitors have blown/leaked".

This kind of scares me!

Because a couple of weeks ago I plugged in an old computer I hadn't been using for a while, and a weird burning rubber/electronic/(maybe chemical?) smell started coming out of the computer. The monitor was still on and it seemed the computer was still functional at this point.

I quickly turned the computer off and took it outside. However, by this point my room had been taken by the smell! I opened the windows to full and aired out my room for about a week, only to return to find that the smell is still there (albeit much fainter).

I tried using a wet rag with water and some mild detergent to clear the smell off the carpet, and it worked to some extent, but there are still traces of the smell in my room.

My main concern though, is this: the strange smell, is it harmful? Like, is a leaking capacitor harmful to your health? Or a fried component?

Thanks in advance for any responses, I apologise if this post went on a bit

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I doubt it
by jackson dougless / November 9, 2006 10:46 PM PST

The concentration of the particles in the room is probably pretty small, despite the smell, though the weaker the smell, the lower the concentration. I'm not an expert, but I would guess it would take prolonged exposure to high concentrations in order to be harmful. However, consulting an actual physician would probably be a better option. Their best guess would be much more educated than mine.

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by george-JL / November 16, 2006 5:35 PM PST
In reply to: I doubt it

Thanks for replying. I am a bit of a worrier at times.

I'm not sure if the smell is even 'the original smell' anymore (maybe from airing it out so much, the outside smells of the night have invaded my room), but right now I'm considering changing the carpet...

Has anyone else experienced similar circumstances? How did you get rid of the smell?

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Those smells
by Willy / November 16, 2006 9:06 PM PST

The causes you read about are true but even then its nothing to worry about as to your health that is. Unless, of course you're suspectable to such, you can proceed on. Understand, since you mentioned you powered-UP an old computer that 'dust' itself can be a smell factor as well. If you ever turned-ON a furance after being off all season until winter, you know what I mean. The smeall should cook off after being used for awhile, just place it in a vented room before returning it back.

FYI - As for the smell, you try to remove *any smell* within reason using white vinger and a clean rag. Soak and wring out the rag and whirl it around a effected room will help start clearing out the smell. Then vent the room of the vinger smell until you return.

tada -----Willy Happy

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Thank you
by george-JL / November 17, 2006 8:21 PM PST
In reply to: Those smells

Thank you for the response =).

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