Need opinions on UPS experiences. (1 Viewer)

TheForce

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I have all my critical electronics on UPS power supplies. None use the software apps.

Years ago I had a great UPS that was 2000 VA and it made the switch over flawlessly. One day after about 8 years the circuit failed and no longer worked. I guess the heat generated finally fried it. It was a heavy duty TrippLite and I bought it used.

Since that box failed I have tried several other brands. APC, Ultra and CyberPower all sold locally by every supplier. They last about 1 year and then need a new battery pair. I can get the batteries locally. Last year I bought two 2KVA Ultras for $200 each and they lasted a year. One fried and is dead as a doornail, no board fuses blown but just dead! Besides neither Ultra unit switches fast enough and the computer crashes. The APC's same problem, they do not switch over fast enough to keep the computer powered and the batteries go bad in about a year. Today, one of the APC's that has lasted about 15 months died. Only thing on it was my router, cable modem and internet switch. It was a 550VA and when new ran the system for over an hour.

Have others had similar poor performance and longevity from UPS products being sold today? If not, what do you feel is a mistake I'm making?

I don't like the idea of having to spend $750 to $800 a year for UPS products for my home. My computers last longer than the technology.
 

sonic2000

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Aug 26, 2004
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I currently have four CyberPower CP 1500 AVR series UPS's in use and have never had a problem out of any. (They actually work better than my homes back up generator system) All the units are 2-3 years old and haven't had to replace batteries yet. I also have one CyberPower 900 AVR that I use in the bedroom on a 37" LCD TV and DVR and just replaced the batteries on last year and that unit is 6 years old. Not to say anything bad about Florida, but recently returned from vacation (Had a great time by the way), and i had numerous problems with the humidity affecting everything electronic from my blackberry to camcorder. I finally gave up on the camcorder as i spent more time drying the moisture out than using it. Could humidity play a factor in the UPS's?
 

TheForce

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Thanks- Humidity is always an issue but one thing I had to learn about Florida when I moved here is how to deal with the cameras. Most of these have what's called a dew warning and shutdown to protect the circuits. What most northerners don't understand is that it's not the humidity that causes this problem. It's condensate. Tourists especially, come down here and put their cameras in an air conditioned hotel room overnight. The device inside and out is very cold. Then they take the camera in the warm moist air outside and this causes condensate to build up inside and outside the camera. Like the glass of ice water "sweats" on the outside. The trick is to not bring your cold camera into the outdoor warm humid air until you first warm it up. If the camera is warmed to outside air temperature in the dry hotel room you will not get condensate. It's really that simple. I will often touch my cameras in the room first to check to see how cold they are. If necessary use the hair dryer to warm them up before taking them outside.

Now back to UPS failures. None of my UPS circuit boards appear less than clean new inside when they fail. I will say that the cyberpower I have in my Home Theater lasts the longest and only had to replace the battery set (4 of them) once in 2 years. I'm on my second set of batteries, replaced in February. The projector is an APC and the circuit goes dead each year.
 

Ilya

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I went through many different brands of UPS over the years: CyberPower, Tripp Lite, APC. They all die sooner or later. Some last as long as 3-4 years, some die after a year or two. It depends on the use, conditions and pure luck, but I can't favor any particular brand over the other. Initially I was replacing batteries, but then I found that for low-end UPS, it might actually be cheaper to buy a new UPS on sale, rather than waste time replacing the batteries. In one case I replaced the battery, but the UPS still died a few months later. So, now I just replace the whole thing when it dies.
 

nsafreak

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Nov 7, 2004
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You must be switching to battery A LOT in order to need a new UPS/battery after as little as one year personally I'd almost be concerned about the quality of the wiring in your house but perhaps its just the power grid in your area. Personally I've had good luck with the APC units (new & old) that I've used and haven't had any problems failing over from the AC to the battery and keeping my PC going without crashing. In your situation you might want to consider investing even more in a higher business grade of UPS, something along the lines of a Smart UPS 750VA or if you have a lot of cash a Symmetra (although the amount of cash you're looking at for those is pretty obscene) series UPS.
 

Ilya

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Before spending too much money on UPS, one should think hard about what exactly is being protected, how often does the power outage occur, how likely it is to cause the damage, and how much damage it can cause (a year). It doesn't make sense to spend more money on protection, than the cost of the possible damage.

For example, there is no need to use UPS with laptops, most of audio (and even video) equipment, home appliances, etc. A surge protector is enough. Personally, the only things I protect with UPS are servers that run 24 hours. I don't use desktops anymore, so that is not a concern for me. One other item I am concerned about (and going to put on UPS) is my front projector, but even with that it's not so obvious. The most typical cause of the power loss for me is a thunderstorm. But I usually power down the projector during the thunderstorm anyway. So the chances of the power failure occurring while the projector is on are rather small. And what will happen in the very worst case? The lamp will die? Well, it has to be replaced every couple of years anyway!
 

jayn_j

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I do keep one in the theater. The only things plugged in are the front projector and the powered recliners. Since I wanted to protect the bulb in the projector, I decided to rely on the backup to get the chairs out of reclined mode, rather than the D cells the chair uses for backup.

I also have battery backup on the sump pump, but that's a different circuit and issue. I do have a couple of desktops. I figure I have them all doing hourly backups, so lost data is not a major deal and can mostly be recovered. One desktop is being converted to HTPC, one is an imac with time capsule to external drive and the third is daughter's which is mostly used to play games and watch DVDs. Not a big deal.
 

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