Uninterruptable Power Supplies (UPS) Buying Advice

Uninterruptable Power Supplies (UPS) Buying Tips

Summers here! … and Summer In Australia means Power Shortages and often leading to Blackouts (no power) or brownouts (low power ie low voltage and current) sometimes these are planned by the Electricity Suppliers to share the extra load during Hot Days… sometimes they occur unplanned because of overloaded or failed equipment either way Your expensive computer or in the case of a business your Server and the data in it could be rendered useless. UPS is the easiest way to protect your hardware and data. For a better and more thorough protection, you need a UPS. It isn’t intended to power you through a blackout though. For that, you would need a generator. Rather, a UPS will let you save your work and power down safely.

A UPS is designed to protect your computer you against such power fluctuations and more importantly, power up your computer even when there is no electricity. Here are a few tips that should help you make a more informed UPS purchasing decision.

  1. Power Outlets

When purchasing a UPS, make sure the power rating is right for your equipment. If you buy one that is rated too low, you might run out of juice before you can power down. Most UPS devices are designed to provide 10 minutes of power. When selecting a UPS, you need to look at the VA rating — or amps multiplied by voltage (240v). The amp rating should be listed on your computer. Add up the VA ratings of everything you will connect to the UPS, then purchase a UPS with a VA rating 20-25% higher. If you are a home PC user, look for a UPS with a 1000-1400 VA rating.

  1. Choose a good length Of Backup time

Don’t expect your UPS to keep your PC running all day. Most UPSes are engineered to provide you a backup time of around 10 to 20 minutes. What they essentially do is save your work when there is a power outage and avoid an abrupt shutdown that could mess up your computer settings. Choose the UPS that meets your backup time demands.

  1. Other features of a UPS

When you are buying a UPS, ask the vendor about more features than just power. This will help you in finding the UPS which has that one additional option that will help you in your buying decision. Of course, the best feature is Automatic Voltage Regulation (AVR) which isolates your PC from voltage fluctuations that lead to computer disturbances. A UPS with AVR conditions the incoming power before being fed to the PC’s Switch Mode Power Supply (SMPS). Most UPSes also automatically initiate a scheduled shutdown sequence when the power is lost, after saving your work, to prevent damage to the computer hardware.

  1. Warranty

Obtain a guarantee before buying a UPS. Undue delays in replacements can affect business. Some vendors offer onsite warranties, where they replace the batteries at your place. If you are planning to use the UPS at work, go for a longer warranty term.

  1. Battery replacement

The general rule is three years. But if you are experiencing low backup times more frequently, you could get the battery replaced immediately if it’s under warranty. If you are facing no problems, expect your battery to work for three years. Its advisable to buy replacement battery cartridges while you are buying the UPS. These cartridges will breathe new life into UPS systems suffering from expired or weak internal batteries.

  1. Power up

Contrary to the myth, its perfectly fine to leave the main switch on even when you are no longer working and the computer is shut down. However, its best to pair your UPS with a voltage stabilizer for additional safety.

  1. Software reporting

The software provided with the UPS is not always accurate with its reports. So don’t listen to it when it says your battery needs to be replaced even though you’ve never experienced low backup times. These faulty reports shouldn’t worry you because they may be trying to get you to purchase the company’s product more frequently (a common problem with print cartridges.) The software is good at its essential function of shutting down the PC properly and saving your work, but you may be the best option to determine whether its time to change the battery.

  1. Tips and tricks

Do not overload the UPS by, for example, connecting external devices like the printer, scanner and the fax machine. NEVER plug a printer into the battery backup system. To optimize the charge of your batteries, you should discharge them completely at least once a month. And lastly, make sure the UPS is properly grounded all the time to prevent any electrical disasters.

  1. Shop around compare specifications against Price..

Standby UPSs are available in the range of 300VA to 500VA for office use, and up to 2KVA to 3KVA for workstations and large servers. Inexpensive standby UPSs ranging in price from $50 to $125 are used by millions of users of personal computers all over the world. Some of them include brands like Belkin, American Power Conversion (APC), Cyber Power, Data Shield, EFI, NCR, SAFE, Pacific Power, Sola and UP Sonic.

Conclusion

Bsically, there are two kinds of UPS systems. The Standby Power System (SPS) and Online UPS System. If you are a home user, go for the relatively cheaper SPS. The price of an online UPS is three to five times that of a standby UPS with the same power rating. For servers, buy an online UPS (online means outgoing power is always drawn from the battery). Expect to pay between $150 and $1,000 for an online UPS. The higher the VA rating, the more you’ll pay. You might also want to consider buying one with advanced-battery features. These features include intelligent-battery management, battery-replacement indicator, and hot-swappable user-replaceable batteries.

Remember

An UPS isn’t intended to power you through a blackout.. For that, you would need a generator. However an UPS is a cost effective way to let you save your work and power down safely.

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Of course the best way is to ensure that your computer and UPS systems are not hazardous in the first place by ensuring that no dangerous electrical currents are present on the external parts of the appliance or hidden faults inside. We at Tested & True ~ test & tag come to your work place at a time convenient to you. We can do an assessment of your Electrical Hazards it can be conducted at the same time as we test and tag your Electrical Equipment. We provide a Full Report with recommendations to clear up current Hazards and how to prevent future risks. Call and ask for a quote. 040 7605568

Tested & True ~ test & tag  Adelaide uses the very latest in Portable Appliance Testing…The STC ProLogger 2 it can perform RCD testing, Earth Leakage Detection and Run Testing all in one neat piece of equipment. On top this all our Technicians are Trained to National Standard UEENEEP008 in test & tag operations by Intertag in Sydney NSW, all our Equipment is in good repair and in Calibration. Most of all we pride ourselves on our Knowledge of OH&S legislation and the current Australian Standards ensuring that you get Quality Service at a competitive price.

Call Now Mobile 040 7605568

Visit us at

www.testedandtrue.com.au

or our Newsletter http://testedtruenewsletter.blogspot.com/

Peter Hill Manager , Tested & True ~ test & tag Lonsdale SA November 2015

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Your Electrical SwitchBoard your backup defence for Electrical Safety

Fuses,Circuit Breakers and Safety Switches

These devices are found in your Switch board understanding these devices and how to use and maintain them will help  your management and understanding of Electrical Safety in the Workplace.

Primary Overload response devices (Fuses & Circuit Breakers)

Fuses and circuit breakers are built to fail in conditions of excess current which can overload the electrical wires in your home. These overloads are often caused by faulty appliances. When an overload occurs, the fuse melts before the wires can overheat, which reduces the risk of fire. Circuit breakers will often trip quicker and more importantly they can be reset to help diagnose and remove faults

  1. Always replace a blown fuse with the correct fuse wire. Never use fuse wire that is heavier than the recommended gauge.
  2. Never use any other type metal or wire.
  3. If fuses keeps blowing, or a circuit breaker keeps tripping, check that your appliances are not faulty.
  4. If fuses continue to blow, or circuit breakers continue to trip after appliances are unplugged, there could be a problem with your wiring. Contact a licensed electrician immediately.

Safety switches and RCD devices

Safety switches or RCD device look similar to circuit breakers and will have a test button to provide a test for the correct earth tripping of the device. The purpose is to they provide extra protection from electric shock. Safety switches monitor the flow of electricity and if any irregularity is detected, the electricity supply is immediately cut off.
Homes with children or backyard workshops should consider installing safety switches to reduce the risk of electrical accidents. It is imperative that commercial premises have them installed and tested regularly.. New homes and Commercial premises are required to have safety switches installed. Licensed electrical contractors can install safety switches in older homes at a reasonable cost. You can also purchase portable safety switches for appliances and extension cords. Useful particularly when using power tools outside ie Electric Lawnmowers, Hedge trimmers, Drills, circular Saws etc  and these portable RCD should also be tested on a regular Basis!

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Of course the best way is to ensure that your appliances are not hazardous in the first place. Tested & True ~ test & tag comes to your work place at a time convenient to you. We can do an assessment of your Electrical Hazards it can be conducted at the same time as we test and tag your Electrical Equipment. We provide a Full Report with recommendations to clear up current Hazards and how to prevent future risks. Call and ask for a quote. 040 7605568..

Note: We also do emergency and preventative maintenance of Switchboards and Mains Wiring

Tested & True ~ test & tag  Adelaide uses the very latest in Portable Appliance Testing…The STC ProLogger 2 it can perform static testing class 1,2 & M RCD testing, Earth Leakage Detection, 3 phase run testing and logs results as you test. all in one neat piece of equipment. On top this all our Technicians are Trained to National Standard UEENEEP008 in test & tag operations by Intertag in Sydney NSW, all our Equipment is in good repair and in Calibration. Most of all we pride ourselves on our Knowledge of OH&S legislation and the current Australian Standards ensuring that you get Quality Service at a competitive price.

Call Now Mobile 040 7605568

Visit us at

www.testedandtrue.com.au

or our Newsletter http://testedtruenewsletter.blogspot.com/

Peter Hill Manager , Tested & True ~ test & tag Adelaide September 2015

Electrical Risk in the Workplace

Electrocution incidents can be fatal, since the year 2000 25-30 people die from Electrocution in Australia (http://www.erac.gov.au/ ) 90 percent of these deaths involve non Electrical workers! Many more are seriously injured while non-fatal shocks can result in serious and permanent burn injuries to skin, internal tissues and damage to the heart depending on the length and severity of the shock.

Electric shocks from faulty electrical equipment may also lead to related injuries, including falls from ladders, scaffolding or other elevated work platforms. Other injuries or illnesses may include muscle spasms, palpitations, nausea, vomiting, collapse and unconsciousness. Those working with electricity may not be the only ones at risk. Poor electrical installation and faulty electrical appliances can lead to electric shock to others at or near the workplace.

How can I avoid electrical hazards?

Dependant on the context and conditions, but may include for example:
  • Ensure only appropriately licensed or registered electricians carry out electrical work
  • Switch off electricity where possible before working on equipment
  • Ensure electrical equipment is in good working order (testing and tagging)
  • Use battery operated tools rather than mains power tools where possible
  • Remove damaged, unsafe electrical equipment or cords from the workplace
  • Ensure tag out and isolation procedures are in place and used
  • Use residual current devices (or safety switches) with portable equipment (as per the WHS Regulations)
  • Don’t overload power sockets. Use power boards not double adaptors
  • Meet electrical safety standards

The best way is to meet electrical safety standards is to have your appliances tested and tagged…

At Tested and True …We test Safety Switches as well as other electrical testing services. We come to your work place at a time convenient to you. We can do an assessment of your Electrical Hazards it can be conducted at the same time as we test and tag your Electrical Equipment. We provide a Full Report with recommedations to clear up current Hazards and how to prevent future risks. Call and ask for a quote. 0407605568 Tested & True ~ test & tag Adelaide uses the very latest in Portable Appliance Testing…The STC ProLogger 2 it can perform RCD testing, Earth Leakage Detection and Run Testing all in one neat piece of equipment. On top this all our Technicians are Trained to National Standard UEENEEP008 in test & tag operations by Intertag in Sydney NSW, all our Equipment is in good repair and in Calibration. Most of all we pride ourselves on our Knowledge of OH&S legislation and the current Australiand Standard AS/NZS 3760:2010 ensuring that you get Quality Service at a competitive price. Call Now Mobile 040 7605568

Visit us at http://www.testedandtrue.com.au  or our Newsletter http://testedtruenewsletter.blogspot.com/

Peter Hill Manager , Tested & True ~ test & tag Adelaide August 2015

Take Care of your Workplace Appliances and Cords

PULL THE PLUG… NOT THE LEAD!

Pulling the plug out of the socket by the lead will eventually expose the single wires which weakens its insulation and therefore increases electrocution risk. The Image below shows what happens to plugs pulled out by the leads
Exposed wires from pulling on lead

KEEP POWER LEADS AWAY FROM HEAT AND WATER.

Heat or water can damage the insulation and create a shock hazard.

POWER LEADS UNDER CARPETS ARE A FIRE HAZARD.

Don’t run electric cords under rugs, through doorways or anywhere they will get excessive wear.

INSPECT POWER LEADS AND POWER BOARDS

Worn, they can cause fires, short circuits or shocks. Check electrical cords and plugs and discard them if they are worn or damaged.

ELIMINATE MULTIPLE CONNECTIONS ON ONE POWER POINT

Plugging a number of cords into one outlet is a fire hazard. It usually indicates that your home wiring is outdated for your needs and that you should have more outlets wired in.

DO NOT CASCADE FROM ONE POWER BOARD TO ANOTHER OR OVERLOAD POWER BOARDS

Generally use Power Boards for Low current devices not Heaters, Kettles, and rotating machinery. Avoid cascading or connecting power boards together in chain arrangement as this may overload a 10 amp power wall socket and cause a fire or compromise the the electrical safety of the items attached to the power boards. Here below is an image of a burnt out power board which ran a 2400 Watt heater plus other electrical items. Note the burnt out socket.
Burnt out Neutral connection _ Personal and Fire Hazard

DON’T USE EXTENSION CORDS AS PERMANENT WIRING.

An extension cord is a handy device to temporarily bring power to an area in your home that does not have an outlet. It was never designed to take the place of permanent wiring. Using extension cords as permanent wiring is an indication that your home wiring is not adequate and should be updated.

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Here at Tested & True ~ test & tag, we can come to your work place and do an assessment of your Electrcal Hazards it is usually offered as an extra service and conducted at the same time as we test and tag your Electrical Equipment. We provide a Full Report with recommedations to clear up current Hazards and how to prevent future risks. Call and ask for a quote. 040 7605568

Tested and True uses the very latest in Portable Appliance Testing…The STC ProLogger 2 it can perform RCD testing, Earth Leakage Detection and Run Testing all in one operation.On top this all our Technicians are Trained to National Standard UEENEEP008 by Intertag in Sydney NSW, all our Equipment is in good repair and in Calibration. Most of all we pride ourselves on our Knowledge of OH&S legislation and the current Australiand Standards ensuring that you get Quality Service at a competitive price.

Call Now Mobile 040 7605568

Visit us at

www.testedandtrue.com.au

or our Newsletter http://testedtruenewsletter.blogspot.com/

Peter Hill Manager , Tested & True ~ test & tag Adelaide October 2013

What Causes a Safety Switch to Trip?

Electrical Safety Switch Tripping possibilities

Electrical Safety Switches  are RCDs ( Residual Current Devices)  that remove the supply to an electrical circuit when the circuit under protection has detected a leakage to earth. The RCD/Safety Switch responds in mere mili -seconds; avoiding an unsafe condition and thereby potentially preventing electrocution or Fire hazard.

Possible Causes Of Safety Switch/RCD Tripping

Faulty appliance – unplug all electrical appliances, does the RCD reset OK? If the RCD resets OK plug the appliances back in one at a time. Reset the RCD as you plug each appliance back in to find the faulty appliance.

Items with motors or pumps starting – many items with motors or pumps, for instance showers and pond pumps, cause momentary electrical spikes that are big enough to trip RCDs. Seek advice from a qualified electrician.

Older washing machines – aging washing machine heating elements can cause momentary electrical spikes that are big enough to trip RCDs.

Certain wash cycle phases – some cycles of the washing machine, for instance the spin cycle, can cause momentary electrical spikes that are big enough to trip RCDs.

Certain dishwasher cycles – some parts of the dishwasher cycle draw a lot of current, a faulty component, for instance the motor, can trip an RCD.

Overloading a washing machine – too many items in a washing machine can cause certain wash cycles, for instance the spin cycle, to trip an RCD.

Fridges and freezers cooling – the fridge or freezer cooling motor starting.

Turning an heating element on after a long time of being off – moisture in heating elements can trip an RCD, for instance in a sun bed or electric fire. Try resetting the RCD a few times so that the heating element can cause the moisture to evaporate.

Moisture in outside electrical distribution boxes – remove the supply and dry the distribution box. Check the weather seals have not perished.

Moisture in outside electrical sockets – remove the supply and dry the electrical socket. Check the weather seals have not perished.

De-frost timer on a fridge or freezer – a faulty defrost element on a fridge or freezer can cause ‘nuisance’ RCD tripping.

Water heating elements – faulty water heating elements can cause nuisance RCD trips when thethermostat tells them to heat the water.

Moisture in wiring – moisture in the electrical wiring is a common cause of RCD trips. Have you just emptied a bath? Taken a shower? Is it raining – rain can get into the electrical wiring under the floors or in the loft.

As you may have found this list contains certain  conditions that may give clue to an RCD tripping. In most cases this concerns appliances or situations that involve at least one or a combination of  three conditions 1) Moisture leaking electricity to earth in the appliance or premises wiring. 2) A heating element that is either faulty or drawing sudden electrical surges. 3) An appliance with an electric motor that is either faulty or drawing sudden electrical surges.

If you have trouble sourcing constant or intermittent RCD/Safety Switch Tripping then Contact us and we can send a Qualified Electrician around to check it they can source and fix it on the spot.

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At Tested and True …We test Safety Switches as well as other electrical testing services. We come to your work place at a time convenient to you. We can do an assessment of your Electrical Hazards it can be conducted at the same time as we test and tag your Electrical Equipment. We provide a Full Report with recommedations to clear up current Hazards and how to prevent future risks. Call and ask for a quote. 040 7605568 Tested & True ~ test & tag Adelaide uses the very latest in Portable Appliance Testing…The STC ProLogger 2 it can perform RCD testing, Earth Leakage Detection and Run Testing all in one neat piece of equipment. On top this all our Technicians are Trained to National Standard UEENEEP008 in test & tag operations by Intertag in Sydney NSW, all our Equipment is in good repair and in Calibration. Most of all we pride ourselves on our Knowledge of OH&S legislation and the current Australiand Standard AS/NZS 3760:2010 ensuring that you get Quality Service at a competitive price. Call Now Mobile 040 7605568

Visit us at http://www.testedandtrue.com.au or our Newsletter http://testedtruenewsletter.blogspot.com/

Peter Hill Manager , Tested & True ~ test & tag Adelaide November 2012

Keeping up with the Standards

As I go about my work I notice that many other workplaces and hence businesses have gone about their Safety Provisions, much the way they always have. Most notably the Construction Industry where outdated and sometimes dangerous practices still exist!

Having quizzed some Builders and Contractors in the Industry I found that they were simply unaware that  their was  updated version of AS/NZS 3012 (the Standard for Electrical installations—Construction and demolition sites), and that had been released in 2010. Though they were still complying with 2003  standard, they were not aware of the superseded AS/NZS 3012:2010

The main differences between the 2010 version and the 2003 version include:

  • new maximum allowable lengths apply for flexible extension leads used with equipment where safety is dependant on reliable starting of motors such as motors that may draw high starting currents;
  • the use of domestic-type double adaptors and multi-plug adaptors is clearly prohibited;
  • the inspection and tests on construction wiring and some of the tests on isolated winding generators must now be carried out by a person authorised to carry out the electrical installation work required, e.g., a licensed electrician;
  • a requirement to protect temporary construction wiring against mechanical damage by use of insulating conduit, flexible electrical hose, armoured cable or equivalent means;

a requirement for energized permanent wiring to be identified and assessed for risk of damage from construction activities.

At about the same time, the  standard AS/NZS 3760:2010.(in service safety inspection and testing of electrical equipment) …has also changed and that there are revised and in some cases new requirements for  testing portable electrical appliances and cord assemblies and their frequency of testing.

Copies of these standard are available from the SAI Global website:

http://infostore.saiglobal.com/store/default.aspx

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All this can be awfully confusing let us help you with your electrical compliance and needs. We come to your work place at a time convenient to you. We can do an assessment of your Electrical Hazards it can be conducted at the same time as we test and tag your Electrical Equipment. We provide a Full Report with recommedations to clear up current Hazards and how to prevent future risks. Call and ask for a quote. 040 7605568 Tested & True ~ test & tag Adelaide uses the very latest in Portable Appliance Testing…The STC ProLogger 2 it can perform RCD testing, Earth Leakage Detection and Run Testing all in one neat piece of equipment. On top this all our Technicians are Trained to National Standard UEENEEP008 in test & tag operations by Intertag in Sydney NSW, all our Equipment is in good repair and in Calibration. Most of all we pride ourselves on our Knowledge of OH&S legislation and the current Australiand Standard AS/NZS 3760:2010 ensuring that you get Quality Service at a competitive price. Call Now Mobile 040 7605568

Visit us at http://www.testedandtrue.com.au or our Newsletter http://testedtruenewsletter.blogspot.com/

Peter Hill Manager , Tested & True ~ test & tag Adelaide June 2012

The SAfer Approach to Managing Electrical Hazards

One method of  reducing Electrical hazards is to use a practical approach which in turn engenders a culture of  electrical safety in your Workplace. One such approach is called the

S A f e r approach

See it (hazard identification) Record the Hazard , its location and briefly/accurately describe the reasons why it is a hazard !

Assess it (risk assessment) Assess the likelihood that a person will be hurt,
how badly they will be hurt, how they could be hurt, how much, how long
and how often a person is exposed to the hazard.

Fix it (risk control) How are the hazards going to be controlled?
If elimination of the hazard is not possible, other controls should be
implemented to reduce potential risks.  These controls may include the use
of Residual Current Devices (RCDs). Other controls that should be considered are: safety switches, regular monitoring, record keeping, the testing of electrical equipment and fixed wiring, safe systems of work and personal protective equipment.

Evaluate once the most appropriate fix has been selected and implemented.
It is important to evaluate whether the fix has been successful in controlling
the hazard. Simply re-assessing the risk again will establish if the hazard has
been eliminated or reduced.

Review after a period of time and if the work environment or work practices change. A review of this process is needed to continually control the hazard.

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Tested & True ~ test & tag comes to your work place at a time convenient to you. We can do an assessment of your Electrical Hazards it can be conducted at the same time as we test and tag your Electrical Equipment. We provide a Full Report with recommedations to clear up current Hazards and how to prevent future risks. Call and ask for a quote. 040 7605568 Tested & True ~ test & tag Adelaide uses the very latest in Portable Appliance Testing…The STC ProLogger 2 it can perform RCD testing, Earth Leakage Detection and Run Testing all in one neat piece of equipment. On top this all our Technicians are Trained to National Standard UEENEEP008 in test & tag operations by Intertag in Sydney NSW, all our Equipment is in good repair and in Calibration. Most of all we pride ourselves on our Knowledge of OH&S legislation and the current Australiand Standards ensuring that you get Quality Service at a competitive price. Call Now Mobile 040 7605568

Visit us at http://www.testedandtrue.com.au or our Newsletter http://testedtruenewsletter.blogspot.com/

Peter Hill Manager , Tested & True ~ test & tag Adelaide April 2012