Protection against power cuts?
Thread poster: Joanne Parker

Joanne Parker  Identity Verified
Local time: 04:09
Member (2002)
German to English
Feb 19, 2004


While surfing, I've just had two consective power cuts. The lights in my flat just flashed on and off, but that was enough to make my PC restart. Twice. This got me thinking how lucky it was that I wasn't working (I'd just finished editing a 116 page document!).

What measures do you have in place? Do you have a UPS or just an anti-surge device? Would an anti-surge device be ok with such power cuts?




Ralf Lemster  Identity Verified
Local time: 05:09
English to German
+ ...
UPS, definitely Feb 19, 2004

Hi Joanne,
A UPS is definitely worth the investment - it's not just power cuts to worry about, but also surges or sags in the power supply (which are nicely evened out by the UPS).

I use two APC SmartUPS - one on my server, and another one on two workstations.

HTH, Ralf


Ulrike Lieder (X)  Identity Verified
Local time: 20:09
English to German
+ ...
UPS Feb 20, 2004

In our neck of the woods, sometimes all it takes is a car running into a power pole (and you'd be surprised how often that happens, even when the weather is good), and bam, the power goes out.

I have a UPS (which in turn is plugged into a surge protector - our power is real "dirty"). Mind you, the UPS is not big enough to keep the computer running for a long time (I think it's about 20 minutes or so), but it certainly is enough to let me shut everything down in an orderly fashion and switch to the laptop (which has 2 batteries).


Oleg Sollogub  Identity Verified
Local time: 08:09
English to Russian
+ ...
UPS is not a luxury Feb 20, 2004

All my servers (I work as IT Manager, BTW) are powered through UPS (APC Smart UPS). I also use a UPS at home (though the power conditions are not really bad in the place where I live).
If you use a UPS, a surge protector is not really necessary. In your case, UPS would certainly help, which could not be guaranteed with a surge protector alone.
Note that UPS is not usually supposed to work on the battery for an extended period of time. The real goal is to have enough time to save your files and shut down the system safely.
System shut down could also be configured to happen automatically when power outage occurs (if the power is not restored during a pre-determined period of time, say 5 or 10 minuts). This feature is supported by some advanced UPS devices (like APC Smart UPS) and usually used for servers.


Joanne Parker  Identity Verified
Local time: 04:09
Member (2002)
German to English
UPS Feb 20, 2004

OK, thanks for your advice everyone, I'll buy a UPS this weekend. My first job after leaving uni involved selling software for UPSs, I never imagined in a hundred years that I would end up buying one of the things!

Thanks again,



Catherine Bolton  Identity Verified
Local time: 05:09
Italian to English
+ ...
Just bought one last week Feb 20, 2004

I got tired of the little blips that were enough to make the lights flicker -- and turn off the computer.
So I had one installed a week ago today. Just yesterday, in the middle of a heavy PowerPoint doc, the lights flickered, my little friend kicked into action, and I kept working.
Boy I am glad I bought it!

RE the autonomy -- 20 minutes during an outage is plenty of time to shut down normally!

[Edited at 2004-02-20 09:19]


Samuel Murray  Identity Verified
Local time: 05:09
Member (2006)
English to Afrikaans
+ ...
UPS and power generator Feb 20, 2004

Joanne Parker wrote:
What measures do you have in place? Do you have a UPS or just an anti-surge device?

I don't know what an anti-surge device is, but a USP is definitely your answer. Some UPSs also protect against lightning strikes (but make sure before buying).

If your life and income depends on having power, and your area suffers from extended power failures, consider buying a small fossil fuel powered generator. I'm serious. Remember New York. Remember California. Your laptop or UPS battery might not last more than a couple of hours.


Nigel Skipper (X)
Local time: 05:09
Swedish to English
Everyone who relies on a computer for their living should have a UPS! Feb 20, 2004

After a number of very irritating brown outs/black outs, I bought an APC UPS. I was suprised at the fact that it only cost me about $130 (here in Sweden!) incl. VAT. I now have no more problems with my electicity supply and to my surprise I have discovered that my incoming mains supply is full of trash! spikes, overtones, micro drop-outs, I've got the lot! I can now save a graph of my mains history and use ít to complain to electricity supplier!
Since I have an LCD screen, I can run my system for about 40 minutes on the UPS (and that also includes the wireless LAN modem/transceiver for my broadband).



DGK T-I  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 04:09
Georgian to English
+ ...
Slightly OT but following on from comments about spikes & surges & trashy electrical supplies Feb 20, 2004

How vulnerable or otherwise is a laptop to ill-effects from these (when plugged into the mains - ie: does its transformer, etc , deal with them at all) and is the risk simply one of the computer being burnt out or its components damaged, or scrambling of software & data (or both)?

Giuli ~
~English Russian Georgian~

[Edited at 2004-02-20 22:22]


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