UPS Battery Backup -- useless when the battery dies?
by bdsolomon - 12/7/08 12:28 PM
I have a UPS by each of my DVRs as well as elsewhere (my router/Vonage/cordless phone base). I figured that such action would be good -- if power goes out I have backup, while power is on I have surge protection.
I came home after a vacation, and it looks like the battery must've hit the end of its life, in my APC backup. I went inside and heard a siren, and traced it to the backup on the DVR where I had most of my recordings set.
OK, so that means that I have no protection should the power go out, right? Well if you think that, you're as ignorant as I apparently was. It seems that the backed-up outlets go dead when the battery dies. Does that make sense? Those are the outlets I want to be up as much as possible, and they go dead when there was no power event (I know that because the clock on my microwave is so sensitive that it can get zapped when I don't even notice a power dip).
Had I used a simple surge protector, I would not be able to record when the power is out, but when it came back, the clock would be set again and the schedule would be safe. Because I took what I thought were extra precautions, I ended up with the whole thing shut down for most of my vacation.
Disclosures: I suspect that the batteries were more than 2 years old, so they were likely beyond the "guaranteed" life, but there was no earlier warning beeps to suggest that. Also, it is possible that had I hooked it up to a computer, that there would've been an alert about the battery capacity going to zero. But as I said, I have several battery backups not connected to computers, protecting (or so I thought), other critical equipment.
Is this backup a lemon? Are all backups like this? Are all APC backups this useless?