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Loosing confidence in APC UPSes

Loosing confidence in APC UPSes

Loosing confidence in APC UPSes


    I was until this morning a great fan of APC UPSes but in the last few months, I started having problems with them.  My 3 defective UPSes are less than year old.  The first one is one of those small personal ones with 350VA.  I use it to power 2 network switches and it started beeping like crazy while AC was still available. I did some quick tests on that unit and discovered that it couldn't keep any load.  Now I didn't check if it's the recharging unit or if it was the battery itself.  That was about 2 months ago.  Over the past 3 or 4 months, I'd had one Tower SUA1000 that would randomly send a notification indicating insufficient run time available eventhough there wasn't any power failures but it still managed to keep on working until I had a power failure 2 days ago and discovered it too couldn't handle any load.  This UPS also managed to force a clean shutdown last week eventhough there was no power failure.  Then this morning another SUA1000 tower model had it's battery completely drained to the point of forcing a clean shutdown of another server.  All these UPSes were bought at different times so they don't come from the same batch.  I'm going to try and do some more intensive tests when I return to my customer's sites.  I usually have one UPS connected per server and the normal load is about 30% which shouldn't be a problem.  I started ordering 1500 VA recently and hope not see any problems in them too.


RE: Loosing confidence in APC UPSes


are they all at the same site? If so maybe there is a problem with the power supply.

I'd call APC and let them replace them onsite. If your UPSes are that "young" they sould still be in warranty.

BTW, I have around 130 APCs at my customers and none of them has problems that you described.


RE: Loosing confidence in APC UPSes


Unfortunately, that's what you get with APC.  I've had the exact same problems you've experienced over the years.  Have you had the batteries swell up inside the case yet where you have to completely disassemble the unit to remove them?  That's a lot of fun, especially in equipment that needs to be up 24x7.  I've had so many problems with APC units just powering off when they run a self-test that I only purchase servers with dual power supplies and plug each power supply into a separate UPS.

Try Liebert.  (www.liebert.com) I've started replacing my APC units with Liebert and haven't looked back.  I find the Liebert units are very well constructed and supported.


RE: Loosing confidence in APC UPSes

I've used APC since they began selling them.........No problems.
A power audit prior to installing a unit will solve many of the problems mentioned.

Rick Harris
SC Dept of Motor Vehicles
Network Operations

RE: Loosing confidence in APC UPSes

Hello All,

     2 of the UPSes (1000VA and the personal one) is at the same location.  I currently have 2 more 1000VA Tower models and one more personal one running at this same customer.  I already purchased and was going to install a new 1500VA rackmount at this location also.  Both the personal one and the 1000VA were on different circuits.  If any other one die, I'll probably have an electrician look at the circuits.  What really sucks is that when they constructed the server room, the stuck the server location right beside 5 200Amp circuit breakers.  And even worse, there's a huge power transformer (maybe a 3phase to single phase) at less than 6 inches from the servers...  I don't have any data corruption but was wondering if the electrical fields/noise can interfere with the UPSes...  The temperature in the room is about 25 degrees Celsius.  My other 1000VA that is also defect is at another customer's site.

       I've opened the battery compartment on the personal one and the battery didn't swell.  I haven't checked the two other tower ones yet.  I had an employee run some quick tests on the one that died yesterday and the battery lasted about 15 minutes with only a desktop pc and 15" monitor connected (and this is a 1000VA model).  A few months ago, I did some tests on this same UPS and was able to run for at least 40 minutes with a power hungry server (dual zeon with 4 15k rpm hds)connected.  This particular customer is at 200 km from me so I don't like getting calls from them...  I also recommended my other remote sites to use APC.  They VERY far from me.  I'm located in Quebec (Canada) and these extremely far sites are located in Ouest Africa !  I really hope those last !  I'm loosing hope but not ready to switch yet but if they keep on dying, I will definitely switch to Liebert or PowerWare.  I will surely be calling APC once I can confirm the date of purchase and find the bills.  I won't go down without a fight ;)

I guess I haven't been too lucky in the past few months...  I got also about 8 DOA Maxtor 15K RPM SCSI HDs out of 25 or so (I actually lost count)...  I though these hard drives and these UPSes were strong/reliable (server class) toys like the good old Tonkas but they seem to be as flimsy as Fisher Price Toys !  Oh well at least my customer sees I care about them and offer them great service when there's a problem but at my cost !


RE: Loosing confidence in APC UPSes

A ups is not a fix-all for poor power.Sounds like you need to conduct apower audit/verification prior to installing a ups.
I conducted power audits before I install the computer systems. You would be amazed at what a customer/electrician would pass off as "clean power".
I presented one customer a $23,000.00 bill for a service,just because the electrician did not correctly install service.

Rick Harris
SC Dept of Motor Vehicles
Network Operations

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