Back-UPS

When using a uninterruptible power supply such as APC's Back-PS 280, should the power supply be shut off when the PC is shut off or should it remain on ?
dockboy549Asked:
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mikecrCommented:
You should always leave the APC on. 99% of them have line  conditioning and spike features which keep your computer safe but they don't work if you turn it off. Another thing is battery charge, if you turn it on and off over time you will actually lose battery power. Its best just to set it and forget it and just turn your computer on and off.

Mike
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bcwhiteCommented:
Actually...  That's pretty much wrong on both counts, at least with an APC UPS.

1)  Surge protection is a passive action.  It doesn't have to be on for this to work.  As for line conditioning (buck & boost), it doesn't matter if the PC is off.

2)  The UPS will charge any time it is plugged in to the wall.  It doesn't have to be on.

It doesn't really matter either way.

Turning it off will provide slightly better protection against a big spike (since there is another open switch in the circuit), but it's probably not enough to worry about.

On the other hand, the most difficult time of any equipment is during power-up and power-down.  A UPS is pretty simple, so again it's not a big deal.  It's more of an issue for your computer.  You trade power-cycles for up-time and both have their own (and usually different) types of wear & tear on your system.

Me, I leave both my computers (and APC UPSs) on 24 & 7.

-- Brian


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joopvCommented:
I have a APC SmartUPS 1250.  If i switch it off with the little black switch on the back, it is totally isolated from the mains.  It draws 0.0 watts from the mains and does not charge the battery.

I don't know if the APC BackUps 280 has similar beheavior but i would certainly leave it on since you will always want your batterys to be fully charged.


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bcwhiteCommented:
I've charged several APC units before first use and never turned the power on.

In fact, you know it has to be connected to the mains since the switch on the front panel is a "soft" switch.  It just activates a relay inside.  There would be no reliable way to operate the relay without a connection to the mains.  Every Back-UPS Pro and Smart-UPS I've ever seen (in person or advertised) had that push-button switch on the front panel.  If there is a full rocker-switch (or similar) on the back, that may be different.

Once charged, though, it shouldn't draw any noticeable power since the actual electronics would only draw milliwatts.

-- Brian
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joopvCommented:
> Once charged, though, it shouldn't draw any noticeable power since the actual electronics would only draw milliwatts

A fully charged and unloaded SmartUps1250 still consumes about 20 watts.
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bcwhiteCommented:
Jeeze!  What's wasting 20 watts of power?  No APC units that I know of are active systems.  I thought they were all "hot standby" systems.  I've never put a meter to mine.  I think I'll have to.

-- Brian
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joopvCommented:
It is mainly the iron and copper losses in the large transformer that is constantly being fed.

This energy usage could be a reason for dockboy549 to switch off the UPS.

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dockboy549Author Commented:
Some of the other responses seemed to be more complete and therefore, choose to accept one of those.  Thank-you for your response.
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dockboy549Author Commented:
Thanks ! I appreciate your response !
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