UPSforLESS FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

What is a UPS ?

The acronym UPS is an abbreviation for Uninterruptible Power Supply. A UPS is a device that allows equipment to continue working in the event of total power loss (called a blackout) or a serious drop in voltage (called a brownout). In both of these instances, the UPS will continue to provide electrical power to any item connected to it. The equipment connected to the UPS will never know that power has been lost - thus the word Uninterruptible in the name.

How does a UPS provide electrical power ?
A UPS converts battery power into AC power. This process of converting DC battery power to AC electrical power is called inversion.

For how long will a UPS provide power to my equipment in the event of a power outage ?
There is no simple answer because it depends on how much equipment you have connected to a UPS and the size of the UPS itself.

A rough rule of thumb is this: If you read the specs, you will notice that most UPS specificications will state how long that UPS will last when connected to a full load or a half load. So if you have a UPS that supports 500 watts and you have equipment connected to it that is drawing 500 watts of power, then you are using that UPS at full load. If you have equipment that is drawing only 250 watts, then you are using half load. Most of the UPS’s that we sell will typically support a full load for about 7-12 minutes and a half load for about 20-25 minutes.

What do I do if I want to have a UPS power my equipment for many hours ?
We can configure a UPS with external battery packs to provide whatever length of backup time that you require. Please call one of our technical specialists at (866) 577-3628 and we will be happy to help you.

What type of equipment can I connect to a UPS ?
Typcially our UPSs are designed for electronic equipment such as computers, fax machines, telephone systems, routers, cable modems, VOIP phones, VCRs, televisions, security cameras, alarm systems, monitoring equipment etc. Almost any equipment that requires electrical power can be connected to a UPS with one big exception - our UPSs should not be used for any device that has a motor in it. AC motors tend to drain the batteries on a UPS very quickly. We do not recommend our UPSs for use with sump pumps, water pumps, garage door openers, oxygen machines, ventilators etc.

What type of batteries does a UPS use ?
Most UPSs use batteries called Valve Regulated Sealed Lead Acid batteries.

What is the life of a battery ?
Our batteries will typically last from 3-5 years. We continue to get inquiries from individuals and businesses who purchased a UPS elsewhere and found that those UPSs stopped holding a charge after just a year or two. Of course this only came to their attention when they had a power outage and found that the UPS shut down prematurely- indicating that the batteries were not holding their full charge. Our advice remains the same - the quality of the batteries is absolutely paramount. We cannot stress this enough. We pay more than most of our competitors for our supply of batteries and the end result is that our UPSs provide electrical power for longer than many others. So don't compare a UPS just on the make and model - two identical units could have very different batteries inside. If you have the time, ask what brand batteries are used inside the UPSs - all batteres are most definitely not created equal.

So what happens when my batteries are finally dead ?
Depending on the make and model, we offer replacement batteries for your UPS. We sell replacement batteries for every UPS that we sell or have sold in the past. If you have a make and model and it is not shown on our website, please feel free to call us on our toll-free number to ask for a quote.

What is an RBC ?
An RBC is a replacement battery cartridge i.e. replacement batteries for your UPS. The word "RBC" is a registered trademark of American Power Conversion Corp. (APC). We refer to our equivalent replacement battery cartridges as UBC's to avoid trademark infringement. Our UBC's are a direct equivalent for their APC Branded RBC equivalents.

How do I know what RBC or replacement battery that I need for my UPS ?
The original specifications for your UPS will usually show the types of replacement batteries needed. The APC website provides detailed information on RBCs needed for each specific model. Note that not all UPSs are designed to have batteries replaced by the user. If the APC specifications do not show a replacement battery cartridge number also known as an RBC number, then it means that your UPS is not designed for end-user replacement of new batteries. Additionally, in some instances with larger products like the APC Matrix series, calibration or resetting of the control unit is required when changing batteries.

Do you use APC brand batteries in your refurbishing process ?
Actually APC does not manufacture batteries - APC uses batteries from other manufacturers.

What is the difference between your refurbished UPSs and a new one ?
Probably the biggest obvious difference is the price! We are obviously a lot cheaper than if you purchased the same unit in new condition from a retail store. Other than that, there are two major differences.

  1. Most new UPSs come with a 2-year warranty from the manufacturers. Our refurbished UPSs come with a 1-year warranty from UPSforLESS.
  2. Some new UPSs come with manuals, cables and software and our UPSs do not. In most instances manuals and software can be downloaded directly from the manufacturer websites and if you do need the cable to connect your UPS to a computer, then we usually carry them separately for a nominal amount extra.

Will your UPS look like new ?
No, sorry, we simply cannot guarantee that. Our refurbished units will generally have cosmetic blemishes that we are unable to remove or repair. These will include nicks, scratches, dings and possible discoloration of plastic panels. We do not mean to imply that all of our units look very rough but we would rather we set your expectations so that you are not disappointed when you receive our products. These are just outward appearances. When it comes to operating as a UPS, our units will work to original manufacturer specifications. Keep in mind that once you plug in a UPS, it is usually placed unobtrusively in some corner or under a desk and you do not have to look at a UPS until its time to replace the batteries every few years or so. The exception is if you are purchasing a rackmount version that is going to be installed in an equipment rack and in those cases, the cosmetic blemises are rarely on the front panel - usually they are to the top and sides of the units which are hidden from view once the UPS is installed in the rack.

Do you do repairs to UPSs ?
Sorry, no, we do not offer repairs for individual UPSs. 

Do you buy non-working or off-lease UPSs ?
Yes. Detailed information is available at the link on the right.

Do you offer a warranty with your UPSs ?
Yes, we believe that we have one of the most generous warranties for UPS and power backup type products. Please click on the 1-Year Warranty logo on the right side of the screen for more details.

 

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