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Surge protection in older units

Discussion in Back-UPS & Surge Protectors started by Harris , 12/6/2015 9:49 PM
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Surge protection in older units

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  • Hi, I have two UPS's I scavenged from work because they were replaced, a Back-UPS 550 and a Back-UPS 350.  I don't really need the battery backup, but want to use them for surge protection.  Do they lose the ability to suppress surges, and if so, how could you tell they are no longer protecting?  BTW, one of them gives an extended beep and red light when I turn it on, and the other one doesn't. I imagine that means that the one has a dead battery.  I have had computers etc plugged into them for over a year, into the surge protection side.  Are they now just giving me a false sense of security?  Thanks in advance.

  • The red light and constant beep indicate a disconnected battery or failure of the battery self test. If both units are more than three to five years old, they probably need new batteries.

    The primary means of surge suppression in these units does wear out and will eventually fail after repeated exposure to electrical surges. These units have extremely minimal intelligence and do not to the best of my knowledge have any capability to report a surge suppressor that no longer functions.
    I'm not a fan of these units for computer power protection. I think their inverter capacity is too small for satisfactory runtime of a computer during a power failure. Switching to battery is the only thing these small units can do if the line voltage drops or rises, where the larger capacity models do have the ability to compensate for low or high line voltage without using up the battery. So I always recommend something better for protection of a computer.

    If your equipment is particularly irreplaceable or mission critical, you'd be best served by replacing these units with new ones. While no one can say for sure, odds are the surge suppression circuitry in your units is still serviceable and they'd probably be worth a cheap replacement battery. (Just be aware that APC and Schneider Electric *do not* approve or recommend the use of third party batteries. I am not affiliated with either company and speak only for myself as an end user.)

  • Thanks so much for your reply.  The local Ace Hardware had a black friday special and I picked up two Monster Power surge protectors, one a 10 outlet, 3420 joule with coax and USB; the other an eight outlet, 2160 joule with coax.  I haven't installed them yet.  Is this the type you would suggest?    Thanks again.

  • The surge protectors you bought are probably fine. When you set them up, plug them directly into the electrical outlet, and don't plug another surge protector into them.

    For the best results, make sure the outlet you use is a properly grounded three pin type. (Both of the old APC uninterruptible power supplies have a "site wiring fault" lamp that can alert you to a ground not being correctly connected, if you're unsure and want to check before you put your new surge protectors into place. If this light comes on, your outlets may not be properly grounded and this should be fixed.)

    If you decide to discard the older units, they must not be thrown in the trash. If you do not have a local electronics recycler or collection point, APC has a recycling program. Or you could donate them to a thrift store or something.

  • OMG! It's 6 years old thread. But I will recommend you to use Leviton 51120-3 Volt 3 Panel. I am using this surge protector from much time. Schneider is also good but I will recommend Leviton. OMG! It's 6 years old thread. But I will recommend you to use Leviton 51120-3 Volt 3 Panel. I am using this surge protector from much time. Schneider is also good but I will recommend Leviton.

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