Power Protection Updates

Power Protection Updates

One common oversight regarding computer installations is not maintaining power protection for a network, server or PC.  The following are some often neglected things:

Old and Damaged Power Strips.

Often while on-site at various companies, I find power strips that have no power or serge protection.  Often there are many that have serge protection, however, the serge protection components have failed. The normal indicator of a damaged power strip is that the rocker switch light and/or the serge light is flickering or burnt out.

UPS (Uninterruptible Power Supply) maintenance.

Under normal circumstances the battery in a UPS battery backup needs to be replaced every 3 – 4 years.  Failure to do this can result in  systems crashing because the battery won’t hold a charge or the battery
drains before the machine can be properly shutdown.

Despite it’s design and intended use, a UPS is not damage proof.  Under heavy usage or extreme power events, since it is an electronic device, it can sustain damage.

I have seen some instances of where the UPS charging circuit has been damaged causing the UPS to overcharge the battery, both damaging the battery, and causing the unit to overheat.  A common indicator of this is the UPS is  extremely hot to the touch (enough to warm coffee, a pastry or burn you). this is also a fire hazard, so It could be putting much more than just your computer at risk.

If PC’s and peripherals have recently been replaced, the older UPS may not be adequate for the job because it doesn’t have the proper wattage and amp rating to support the new equipment.  A recent example of this was with a customer who had a 180 Watt/230 VA UPS, and the new equipment that was installed used a combined total of 500 Watts. When the power to the UPS was disconnected, the UPS couldn’t handle the load, and immediately terminated the power before anything could be shutdown properly.

While you can purchase a UPS for a relatively nominal fee, most cheaper retail UPS units are inadequate for the job of protecting most business  systems.  Most newer business class "Smart" UPS systems allow for line conditioning AVR (Automated Voltage Regulation), surge and brownout protection, as well as automated Server/PC shutdown capability (in the event of a complete power failure).

With the fall storm season fast approaching, right now is the best time to address these issues before they become critical.  CCS can evaluate your needs. make recommendations, and make sure that the proper equipment is both ordered and properly installed.  Please call the CCS Retail Systems Support Department to schedule your power review.


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