The Ender 3 has become a popular 3D printer for many 3D printing fanatics because of how affordable and easy it is to use. However, it can occasionally lose power, interrupting your printing process. I decided to research why this happens and some of the potential solutions.
To fix an Ender 3 that keeps losing power, replace any faulty power cables, delete unnecessary files on your SD card, set the Power Supply Unit (PSU) switch to the correct voltage, and replace the SD card. You can also try to replace the bed thermistor, inspect the mainboard, and upgrade it if necessary.
This is an overview of some of the things you need to do. If you want to learn more about each of these methods, continue reading.
How to Fix Ender 3 That Keeps Losing Power
Below are some of the main methods of fixing an Ender 3 that keeps losing power:
- Set the power supply unit switch to the correct voltage
- Turn off the Power Loss Recovery Settings in Marlin
- Delete any unnecessary files in your SD card
- Replace the SD card
- Check the power supply cables and XT connectors
- Replace the bed thermistor
- Inspect the mainboard and replace it or upgrade it if necessary
1. Set the Power Supply Unit (PSU) to the Correct Voltage
The Power Supply Unit often has a voltage selector switch to accommodate different regions with varying voltage standards. So, if your 3D printer keeps losing power, double-check that this switch is set to the correct voltage for your region.
A mismatch here can cause your printer to lose power and may even damage the Power Supply Unit and other crucial components.
One user who had an Ender 3 Pro that experienced random power outages was advised to double-check that they had the proper voltage selected on the Power supply Unit (PSU).
He added that an Ender 3 he had bought faced the same problem when 240V was selected but ran fine on 120V.
Another user recommended checking the switch for the power supply to ensure it was on the correct voltage if you wanted to resolve a power outage problem when 3D printing.
2. Turn Off the Power Loss Recovery Settings in Marlin
In Marlin firmware, the Power Loss Recovery feature allows the 3D printer to detect power interruptions and attempt to resume a print from where it left off once power is restored.
Although this feature can come in handy in some situations, it can also introduce unwanted behavior, such as the printer throwing a “power outage” error every time you want to print. To prevent this, just turn off this feature in Marlin.
The easiest way to turn off this feature would be to send the M413 S0 command to the printer using Pronterface and a USB cable from your computer.
One user who kept getting a “Power Outage” error every time he tried to begin a print said that turning off the Power Loss Recovery settings in Marlin helped to fix his issue. This is after he had attempted different methods of solving the problem with no success.
3. Delete Unnecessary Files on Your SD Card
One way to fix an Ender 3 that keeps losing power is to delete any unnecessary files from your SD card. If the SD card is cluttered with many unnecessary files, it can become difficult for your 3D printer to access them, which can cause power interruptions during printing.
To do this, remove your SD card from the printer and insert it into a computer. Afterward, browse through the contents and delete the no longer needed files, such as completed prints or test files. Alternatively, you can format the SD card and load the printing files afresh.
Here is a video that shows how you can format a MicroSD card for a 3D printer.
One user said his Ender 3 kept powering off whenever he inserted his SD card. However, after deleting old files on his SD card, his problem was fixed completely.
Someone else stated that deleting any .bin files on your SD card would fix any power outage issues. He added that .bin files indicated incomplete prints in your SD card that need to be deleted.
4. Replace the SD Card
Another effective way to fix an Ender 3 that consistently faces power interruptions is to replace your SD card. Sometimes, your SD card may be the culprit since it may be incompatible with your 3D printer.
Typically, a standard SDHC card should work well with your printer. These cards are formatted in the FAT32 file system (the file system that the Ender 3 requires).
Here is the SanDisk 8GB SDHC Memory Card that you can find on Amazon.
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The SD card may wear out, become corrupted, or develop errors that can cause power-related issues during printing. If that is the case, you might need to replace it to eliminate this problem.
One user said his Ender 3 Pro got random power outages after several successful prints. After troubleshooting, he realized that the issues started from using a 16g SD card instead of the 8g that came with the 3D printer. He switched it back, and the problem was resolved.
Another user had a consistent power outage whenever his printer reached a specific point. He tried different prints and checking the board, but that did not work. However, fixing the SD card for loading the prints fixed the issue.
5. Check the Power Supply Cables and XT Connectors
To fix an Ender 3 that keeps losing power, you should first check the power supply cables. Begin by turning off and unplugging your Ender 3 to ensure your safety. Then, keenly inspect both ends of the power cable to ensure there is no visible damage.
Next, trace the cable from the power supply unit to the mainboard to ensure that the connections are snug and secure. Gently press and wiggle the XT connectors to confirm they are seated properly.
This is because loose or poorly connected power cables can cause the 3D printer to lose power.
You should consider using cable ties or clips to organize and secure cables to prevent them from moving around and potentially unplugging when you’re operating the 3D printer.
One user had an Ender 3, which had a power loss after upgrading to a silent motherboard. It turned out he misplaced the cable of the power supply to the board when he was moving the print bed.
He advised anyone with a similar problem to open the mainboard and check the power supply cables’ connectivity at the back of the board. Additionally, he recommended that you unplug the machine while screwing them into place to ensure your safety.
Another user said that his print randomly stopped even though there were no power outages. He discovered that the pins of his XT connector for the power supply were not firmly pushing against the walls.
This made them lose connection randomly. To fix this, he pried the pins apart a bit so they held the connection firmer.
6. Replace the Bed Thermistor
You should try to replace your bed thermistor to help fix persistent power outages in your Ender 3. The bed thermistor is responsible for measuring the temperature of your print bed.
When it malfunctions, it can cause the printer to lose power due to the safety mechanisms built into the printer.
Always follow the manufacturer’s instructions and guidelines when replacing an old/faulty thermistor with a new one of the same type. Check out this video by Tomb of 3D Printed Horrors that walks you through the process of replacing the thermistor of an Ender 3.
One user had consistent power outages for his Ender 3, even though the power had not been interrupted in any way. To fix the problem, he replaced his bed thermistor.
Another user complained that his Ender printed one minute, and the next, it just shuts down, and everything powers off and then turns back on. It turned out that he got a wrong thermistor that would short out the system. Replacing it was the only solution.
7. Inspect the Mainboard and Replace it or Upgrade it if Necessary
If you’ve established that the power cables are not causing your Ender 3 to lose power, the next thing to do is open the printer’s enclosure and carefully inspect the mainboard. Check it closely for any loose wires or visibly damaged components such as burnt traces or capacitors.
Ensure all connectors and wires are securely attached to the mainboard because loose connections can lead to power disruptions. If you find any loose connections, gently reseat them. As a last resort, you can upgrade the mainboard of your Ender 3.
Upgrading or replacing the mainboard often improves performance and compatibility, potentially fixing any power-related issues. Carefully research and select a compatible mainboard for your Ender 3.
However, replacing the mainboard requires technical expertise, so it is always advisable to seek help from experienced users.
Here is a video that you can follow to replace the mainboard of your Ender 3 Max.
One user whose Ender 3 kept making a loud beep, shutting off, and staying dead until he moved the print bed wanted to know how to stop that from happening. A friend told him it was likely a mainboard problem and gave him a replacement board.
Sure enough, it worked perfectly from then.
Another user said that his Ender 3 Pro stopped the print and gave him a power loss error every time he was printing. He discovered a wire on the mainboard from the power supply was not in the terminal block. Securing the wire helped to fix his problem.
A user recommended checking your mainboard to ensure everything was tight, particularly the power wire terminals if your printer kept losing power.
He added that when he first upgraded his Ender’s board, his printer would sometimes lose power or reboot if it jostled too much while printing. It turned out his power terminals were loose and being pushed in and out of place.