UPS on an extension cord, ok?

Discussion in 'Computer Hardware' started by Matt_Smi, May 25, 2005.

  1. Matt_Smi

    Matt_Smi

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    Is it a problem to run a UPS on a fairly short (20 ft) extension cord? I am pretty sure it is not recommended in the manual. But right now it is the only way I can get it to a property grounded outlet, and after a power outage this morning I really want to get it in service. It will be temporary until I can ground the outlet that is closer to my computer. I really don’t see any harm in it, and I think it would be much better than what it is plugged into now, which is a cheap power strip that has to use an adaptor to plug into the wall, so yes right now my compuer is not grounded...
     
  2. thefultonhow

    thefultonhow Retired Moderator

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    As long as the extension cord doesn't have bare wire or a short anywhere inside it, it's okay to use it between the wall socket and UPS. Then again, if it had either of those problems, you'd be a fool to use it for anything. You're right that it's more important to have proper grounding than to not use an extension cord.
     
  3. David M

    David M Techphile.

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    That depends on the maximum amount of current your UPS draws and the rating of your extension cord. If your UPS draws a maximum of 12 amps for example then make sure your extension cord is rated for at least 12 amps. There is usually a sticker on electrical devices that states the maximum amount of current it uses.
     
    Last edited: May 25, 2005
  4. Matt_Smi

    Matt_Smi

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    Well I got it all setup, everything seems good. I looked in the manual they do state that using the UPS with an extension cord voids the protected equipment warranty, but other than that there is no warning about using one. And about the amp rating, I know the cord is rated for quite a bit because at college it was plugged into our 1,000 watt (8 amp) microwave) and I know that my UPS + computer is not drawing anywhere near that.

    Another question though, is bad to have a UPS plugged into another surge protector? I think I remember reading this that this should not be done, or maybe it was the other way around and I read that you should not plug a surge strip into an outlet on the UPS, but I am not sure. The reason I ask is because I have an outlet mounted surge protector http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E16812120214 that I use for two other devices that I need plugged into the outlet I have the UPS on. For now I removed the surge protector and just plugged the UPS right into the wall. But I need to know if it is no problem to just plug the UPS into that surge protector, because I need the additional outlets. If it is not recommended I guess I will have to get a traditional strip style protector for the other devices.
     
    Last edited: May 26, 2005
  5. thefultonhow

    thefultonhow Retired Moderator

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    General consensus is that you should not daisy-chain power strips. It's better to put them on completely separate circuits because when you split one outlet into six, you already have a large power draw.
     
  6. jamesrpm

    jamesrpm

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    There is no draw from just plugging in a power strip , the draw comes from connecting to the power strip with something.
     
  7. thefultonhow

    thefultonhow Retired Moderator

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    Of course, but connecting eleven devices creates a larger draw than connecting six.
     
  8. Matt_Smi

    Matt_Smi

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    I have it plugged into the protector now. I am pretty sure I got it backwards and read that you should not plug a surge protector into an outlet on the UPS. I don’t see how having a UPS in a surge protector could harm it, if anything it gives an extra layer of protection in a surge. And the outlet is not overloaded, besides my computer, the “extra” stuff I needed plugged in there are low draw devices, a lamp, battery charger, and phone charger. Besides it does not really matter, since I am on a 15 amp circuit, which gives me a total of 1800 watts to work with, that could be all on one outlet or distributed across several.
     
  9. sdkfz

    sdkfz

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    This does not cover the situation, just because the cord 'could' handle the flow does not mean it was rated for it. Personally, I'd head off to the local hardware store and buy the thickest ext cord you can in the length you need. Making sure that the amperage is greater than the max draw of the UPS.

    Another way of saying what you did is, "My truck is rated to tow 5,000 pounds, but I was able to tow my brother's boat which weighs 8,000 pounds clear across the country". Sure the truck could, but I bet it would have suffered some serious wear/damage by doing so.
     
  10. Matt_Smi

    Matt_Smi

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    That’s a good point, but the cord I am using now is pretty heavy duty. It is not a typical orange one. And it is the same gauge and thickness as the UPS’s own power cord.
     
  11. sdkfz

    sdkfz

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    Then you are likely OK. The thicker the wire the more current it can handle.
     
  12. David M

    David M Techphile.

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    Check the wire guage. You cant pull 15 amps through 18 AWG wire without a serious voltage drop. Look for a 14 guage or even a 12 AWG extension cord. 14 guage or even 16 AWG should work for your UPS. The lower the guage, the more current carrying capacity.
     
    Last edited: May 29, 2005

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