Friday, February 18, 2011

Back up Power Dangers


With more and more computers being installed in businesses and homes many computer users have found that they need to have a Un-interruptible Power supply to prevent there computers from crashing and losing all its data. When there is a power loss
But these very same boxes that provide the backup battery power can produce a much more undesired result of a fire or electrocution when improperly used.
The Typical UPS consists of a power supply, which converts a 12-volt DC battery
Used for the back up system into 120 Vac. when AC power is lost at the electrical wall outlet. Thou at one time very expensive to buy a typical home 15-minute run time unit can now be purchased for under $100.00
And many computers now utilize them. The units also provide a clean electrical power sine wave and surge protection.
But the problem comes in not with the computer plugged into the unit but all the peripheral items such as printers, modems, scanners, speaker power supplies etc.get plugged into another receptacle on the wall instead of the one the ups is plugged into.
All of these units must also be plugged into and thru the UPS unit or you develop
A difference in ground potential which can cause a floating voltage between computer items and if one of the items goes defective to ground a severe shock or fire can result.
Often times many computer operating flukes and bug problems can be traced directly to this floating ground problem.
This is why almost all modern UPS units have extra non-battery back up receptacles to allow all items the computer is using to be kept at the same potential.
Of course this is clearly spelled out in most UPS instruction manuals but who reads instructions. The other problem is when UPS units catch fire you have Lead Acid batteries with in that can explode and injure those who are putting the fire out.
The best way to put out any type of computer fire is to make sure the power is off to the computer and the switch on the UPS is also off if possible.
A New Style Halon type extinguisher or C02 extinguisher is best used and water should be avoided also do not forget computers put of deadly toxic fumes from all the plastic and electronic parts. Plus older mainframe computers can have large capacitors filled with PCB’s
And depending on the amount of computers being backed up and how long there designed to run you could be dealing with massive amounts of batteries. Some systems utilize a room full of large sized batteries you would use in a truck.
Have a computer in your station and it uses a UPS check and see if it is hooked up correctly thru the UPS you may just answer were those glitches come fro

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