Question about UPS's

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Question about UPS's

Postby Nevander » Wed Jan 03, 2018 12:13 am

So yesterday my power randomly cut off hard, everything shut off. My UPS kept my PC on like it should except for the fact that it only stayed on for about 10 seconds. The UPS was beeping really fast and then within seconds it cut my PC off while I was watching YouTube videos (thankfully I wasn't doing anything major). I don't think any damage was done, nothing seems to be showing yet, hopefully nothing will.

My question is... what happened? It would usually keep my PC on long enough for me to safely shut it down but I only had seconds this time instead of around 5 minutes. I did a little research and it could possibly have been that the internal battery is dead or has lost its charge or something. This UPS is quite old, not sure how long I've used it but it's definitely more than 3 years.

Should I replace the battery? I think they are quite a bit cheaper than a whole new unit.
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Re: Question about UPS's

Postby wildweasel » Wed Jan 03, 2018 12:31 am

You probably should replace the battery if it's been more than 3 years. Being that it is a rechargeable cell, it will slowly lose its capacity over time, and unless power outages happen frequently in your area, you'd have no way of knowing how bad it is.
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Re: Question about UPS's

Postby R4L » Wed Jan 03, 2018 10:43 am

Definitely a dying battery. We have smaller "portable" UPSes at my job that die in a matter of minutes, but they're also pretty old.
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Re: Question about UPS's

Postby Nevander » Thu Jan 11, 2018 10:31 pm

Well it might not be the battery. Mine is an APC Back-UPS 550 and it has a light that should be red when the battery should be replaced but it's staying green like everything is fine. Maybe the unit is fucked? Help?

Any good recommendations for a whole new unit that isn't crazy expensive?
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Re: Question about UPS's

Postby R4L » Thu Jan 11, 2018 11:56 pm

Our old shitty one at work does the same thing... There's an LED to tell you when it's bad, but it has yet to come on.

We have an APC Back-UPS Pro BX1000M UPS now. Should be plenty of power.
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Re: Question about UPS's

Postby Nash » Fri Jan 12, 2018 12:09 am

Speaking of UPSes... does anyone have any experience with combining a power regulator/conditioner with a UPS? Which order would you plug them in?
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Re: Question about UPS's

Postby Nevander » Fri Jan 12, 2018 5:20 am

Another concern is that for as long as I can remember, this red light has been on and it says "building wiring fault" beside it. I can't seem to figure out why it's on... perhaps it has something to do with me using a cheater plug? My house outlets are the old connectors with only the two plugs.
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Re: Question about UPS's

Postby phantombeta » Fri Jan 12, 2018 6:10 am

Possibly. From a quick Google search, usually those will light up either if you don't have a ground (which you don't if you use a cheater plug) or the hot and neutral wires are reversed.
I believe that likely means that any surge protection features in it won't do shit, as there's nowhere to dissipate/reroute the excess power to.
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Re: Question about UPS's

Postby R4L » Fri Jan 12, 2018 8:15 am

Nevander wrote:Another concern is that for as long as I can remember, this red light has been on and it says "building wiring fault" beside it. I can't seem to figure out why it's on... perhaps it has something to do with me using a cheater plug? My house outlets are the old connectors with only the two plugs.


Now why didn't you say that earlier? :P

I lived in an apartment that had lath and plaster, with shitty wiring. I could not run a space heater on high settings without tripping something. Just replace the outlet with a grounded outlet. It's much cheaper to do that than buy a battery backup that may or may not work because of your house...
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Re: Question about UPS's

Postby Nevander » Fri Jan 12, 2018 8:07 pm

But it was working before. Same setup, same outlet and plugs. A couple years ago it worked and it kept my PC on for a good few minutes. Now it just shuts off the same time the power does, as if the UPS isn't even here. The same light has always been on. Why would a cheater plug void surge protection? How would I replace the outlets? All of this is just so confusing to me.

The battery is still probably dead.

EDIT: Also, my cheater plug has a grounding tab that connects to the metal outlet cover. Doesn't this give me ground?
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Re: Question about UPS's

Postby wildweasel » Fri Jan 12, 2018 11:18 pm

Nevander wrote:EDIT: Also, my cheater plug has a grounding tab that connects to the metal outlet cover. Doesn't this give me ground?

You should really get an electrician. There's a ton of reasons why this is a bad idea - and really, it's all there in the name, "cheater plug." Otherwise, your shit is dangerously at risk, and I'm not just talking about your UPS battery.
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Re: Question about UPS's

Postby Nevander » Sat Jan 13, 2018 12:26 am

Electricians cost too much and besides I've read that surge protectors and UPS don't play nicely with GFCI recepticles because they constantly get tripped and must be reset, which means any UPS plugged in would constantly be using the battery.

I just want my shit to stay on and be protected from surges without spending hundreds of dollars.
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Re: Question about UPS's

Postby Kinsie » Sat Jan 13, 2018 3:13 am

Nevander wrote:I just want my shit to stay on and be protected from surges without spending hundreds of dollars.
You'll have to pay quite a bit more than hundreds of dollars if your house burns down.
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Re: Question about UPS's

Postby Nevander » Sat Jan 13, 2018 3:53 am

Why the fuck do you people always say the worst that can happen as if it's actually definitely going to happen? Have some optimism for fucks sake. This forum is getting depressing these days.

Anyway, I've ordered a replacement battery. Exact same one I had before. I ran more tests and tried to see how long the battery lasted with a low voltage item and it only lasted 2 minutes. The load from those items are so low it should last way longer than 2 minutes. If my PC was on during that test it would have immediately shut off.
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Re: Question about UPS's

Postby Graf Zahl » Sat Jan 13, 2018 4:06 am

Why am not surprised that you of all people are again acting like a careless fool?

No, it doesn't normally happen - but it can happen. I already got a computer fried by a dying UPS once, a long time ago. It didn't burn down the house, because the electrical system was built to sane standards and the fried UPS just blew the fuse, but the entire system, including motherboard, CPU and *ALL* hard drives were killed. Luckily the data was all backed up so it was only loss of the hardware but it still amounted to a not insignificant amout of money.

No, these warnings are not overly cautious. Damaged electrical systems can cause some large damage if you won't fix them!
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