UPS(s) ? Anyone use them?

Discussion in 'Equipment' started by iCon, Sep 24, 2010.

  1. iCon

    iCon Supporting Member

    So with winter coming and the possibility of blackouts - Do you do anything to make sure your tanks stay warm? Hugging the tank and manually stirring the water is out of the question :D
  2. sid700

    sid700 Supporting Member

    Heavy blanket at night during frost warnings. I put the blanket over the whole system when power is out.

    Styrofoam w/double sided tape on the tank sides help keep the heat.
  3. Coral reefer

    Coral reefer President

    Ups is weird fir some stuff like pumps. I think it has to do with most of the stuff we use running on ac. most Ups doesn't make a good enough replica of the sign wave that pumps etc are used to, and that can be bad for them. I'm sure someone else can explain it better. O think there are ones that are good to use but they are a lot more pricey.
  4. Kensington Reefer

    Kensington Reefer Supporting Member

    Get a big ups. Get a plastic paint mixer and a cordless drill. Battery opperated airstone (many). Or a generator. You know that the power will go out at some point. Water movement is more imprtant than heat or light. Good luck!
  5. sfsuphysics

    sfsuphysics Supporting Member

    possibility of black outs? Do you live in an area with lots of trees near power lines? Winter usually is a low-load time in the bay area as far as power.
  6. GDawson

    GDawson Guest

    I was looking at UPS at Fry's for my return pump. My pump is 37 watts and the UPS will supply 40 watts of power for about 3 hours. During the summer this should be enough.

    Given the quote above what sould I be looking at? Is there really a difference beteen the type of power a server would use vs a pump? Shouldn't the UPS be duplicating what comes out of the wall plug?

  7. treylane

    treylane Supporting Member

    +1 for what Erin said. My tanks have been through many a power outage and you'd be surprised at the lousy conditions that fish/corals can survive for short periods. Light, heat, skimmer and return pumps - don't bother. You need to keep FLOW in the main tank so battery operated powerheads or airpumps are a good idea, and if you live somewhere hot - battery operated fans to keep the tank cool.

    I don't own any battery operated anything. I just got up and stirred my tank with a spatula at intervals during the PA power outage last year.
  8. GreshamH

    GreshamH Guest

    To answer last first, no, what a server uses (DC - filtered through a transformer) is not anywhere near what a pump uses (AC - straight from the UPS).

    Low end UPS's with a modified sine wave (square wave) are also bad for pumps, they tend to over heat them *if* they get through start up even. If your going UPS go with one that has a "true sine wave".
  9. GDawson

    GDawson Guest

    How do you know if it has a true sine wave? Do they print it on the box? (please excuse the simplicity of the question. I know *nothing* about electricity!)

  10. GreshamH

    GreshamH Guest

    Yes it will say it on the box, and in the price. True sine wave UPSs are not cheap, you won;t find one for $100. The unit I was looking at a few years ago ran ~$1,200

    DO a search here for UPS, this has been covered in the past.
  11. GDawson

    GDawson Guest

    Oooops! the one I was looking at was only $199. Guess it leaves that one out. Wonder if a small generator would be less expensive?

    I'll search here first.


  12. GreshamH

    GreshamH Guest

    Generators depend on where you live. If you live in an area that is HOA controlled, most likely generators are out. Some communities also place DB limits on them making many cheaper generators non usable. I would research that prior to buying as it would suck to get something that would get the cops called or the HOA breathing down you neck.

    True sine wave may have very well come down in price. Like I said, I was looking a few years ago and really haven't done any research on their price since. Try the typical online places first.
  13. iCon

    iCon Supporting Member

    Low-load but PG&E + water + wind and power outages happen :D Never thought of a UPS as necessary on a cost basis since tanks have been fine before but wondered what others did with more fancy-shmancy set ups
  14. GDawson

    GDawson Guest

    Chris (chicken) has an amzing UPS setup he DIYed. It consists of banks of car batteries and some circuit boards he constructed himself. Very impressive, but I don't have the knowledge to give the description justice. IIRC he can keep his setups circulating and heated for 24 hours(?) with UPS and then he has a generator that turns over to keep it going.

  15. sfsuphysics

    sfsuphysics Supporting Member

    Fair enough, I was just curious as to what was fueling your desire. Having backups is always a good thing.

    To add a +2 to what Gresham said, that sine wave is very important to pumps. I tried using a cheap car inverter on my Prius and whammo killed two of them... luckily Target has such a nice return policy :D A UPS probably isn't a true sine wave either, you'll know it in cost and that is definitely something someone would advertise, but mostly because a UPS doesn't need to be, the power supply on a computer converts the AC to DC and regulates it as necessary so "dirty" power (often square wave) goes in, and its no big deal, pumps on the other hand are very picky because they use the AC to create an on/off type of state on an electromagnet and having that gentle off is necessary.

    Now you probably can get away with it on some pumps like a Vortech or Tunze, since those are both DC pumps, where a controller takes the AC and squishes it flat to DC via a transformer. However if you're spending UPS money you might as well get the Vortech battery backup and be done with it.

    There are air pump alternatives as well, battery powered, some which actually plug in and turn on automatically when power goes out
  16. r0ck0

    r0ck0 Guest

    APC makes the best UPS, but not all models they make are the same. I would recommend checking the tech specs on the website.

    This model will provide a true sine wave when running on battery:

    Also if you use a controller, you can setup a profile that only runs certain outlets when their is a power loss. That way you can have the UPS power only what is needed.
  17. GreshamH

    GreshamH Guest

    Huh my Tech friends don't like APC. For the life of me I can't remember the brand they prefer, starts with a B IIRC>
  18. iCon

    iCon Supporting Member

    Thanks for clarifying. I was under the impression you could just plug in a UPS, pop the plugs in and be good to go. Didn't realize the type of wave could be an issue.

    Same opinion on APC...

  19. GreshamH

    GreshamH Guest

    Oh no, not Belkin, that I KNOW for sure :lol: It could have been an M :lol: Now I have to look back over my old threads :(
  20. GreshamH

    GreshamH Guest

    M/B or was it L?


    I dunno :lol:

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