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UPS Units Have Caught Fire; Are UPS Units Safe?

Boomwebsearch
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I use a UPS unit for protecting many electronics such as my networking equipment, NAS unit, and desktop PC. Although, I stumbled upon an article on APC's site where customers have reported that their batteries within their UPS units have caught fire in the past. In the case that the one I use actually caught fire when not anyone was there; it would most likely cause a lot of damage. That got me wondering if these UPS units are actually safe for home office environments and if a UPS got caught on fire and caused damage, could the manufacturer be held responsible?

 

link to APC's article on batteries catching fire in many of their own UPS units:   https://forums.apc.com/spaces/4/back-ups-surge-protectors/forums/general/81411/1500-caught-fire

Hope this information post was helpful  ?,

        @Boomwebsearch 

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Fires from a UPS are very rare.

 

They do have lead acid batteries, that can catch on fire, esp if not changed when needed.

 

I woudln't worry, just change the battery as needed and youre good.

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12 minutes ago, Boomwebsearch said:

if a UPS got caught on fire and caused damage, could the manufacturer be held responsible?

That would be up to your insurer to argue.

 

12 minutes ago, Boomwebsearch said:

 link to APC's article on batteries catching fire in many of their own UPS units: 

That's not an article, it was a forum post on a forum. Only appears to be one unit that the poster claimed caught fire. We also don't know under what circumstances or how the unit was cared for.

 

UPS's have batteries and if they're not properly cared for and maintained they can explode or catch fire. Should be pretty rare under normal circumstances though.

If you're concerned about your unit, contact the manufacturer and ask them about it and what the best care practices are for maintaining the UPS and if or when the battery should be replaced.

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Well it might catch fire if you don't read the placement instructions that clearly says the UPS should be at least 30CM away from any kind of heat-generating equipment like computers, monitors, screens, heaters, etc and also away from desks or other furniture.

 

Now infamous users tend to put the UPS just next to the PC case or in desks like this one

78a1133e-a5bc-42de-9578-ca348c5759d7_1.0

 

notice where the case is

 

Overheating and lack of maintenance on the fans, that's why batteries catch fire, I've seen users who put pencils into the fans because "they made too much noise" 

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I have to say asking that question is like asking if computers in general are safe.

All electronics are subject to failure it is just a matter of time and how spectacularly they go out is also a game of chance.

APC has built a rather good reputation because of the components they use in their products so I'm willing to stand behind them.

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13 minutes ago, Electronics Wizardy said:

They do have lead acid batteries, that can catch on fire, esp if not changed when needed.

 

I woudln't worry, just change the battery as needed and youre good.

I used to have an older APC RS1300 Back-Up UPS which I had its batteries fail eventually and when I turned it on it would show its bad battery indicator. After that one failed, I decided to not replace its batteries and buy a new one simply because I did not have the time at the moment to change the batteries on that unit and it was getting older. I replaced that one with the CyberPower LX1500GU which has been working well so far without any issues present. Also, I am not really sure when to replace the battery on the new CyberPower model unit which I have, it has a 3 year warranty on the entire unit which includes the batteries. It has two sealed lead-acid batteries which are from CyberPower. Should I wait until the warranty expires to have them replaced or the bad batter indicator shows, is there something one the LCD that will tell me when to have the batteries replaced?

 

 

8 minutes ago, Spotty said:

it was a forum post on a forum. Only appears to be one unit that the poster claimed caught fire. We also don't know under what circumstances or how the unit was cared for.

 

11 minutes ago, Spotty said:

That would be up to your insurer to argue.

I read through on the comments and at least one other user had a similar instance of the batteries catching fire. I try not to vibrate of shake the unit too much to prevent internal electrical damage and it is currently in the corner of my networking/server/computer room. I purposefully picked this model because it did not have a fan and I wanted to have the space be relatively quiet.

 

6 minutes ago, aezakmi said:

notice where the case is

 

Overheating and lack of maintenance on the fans, that's why batteries catch fire, I've seen users who put pencils into the fans because "they made too much noise" 

This one (the CyberPower LX1500GU) has not any fans for cooling which is a feature which I had looked for before buying a unit and decided on this one because it had good reviews and had no fans which meant that there would be less noise and chance that dust got inside of the unit and later needed cleaning out somehow.

 

3 minutes ago, Windows7ge said:

All electronics are subject to failure it is just a matter of time and how spectacularly they go out is also a game of chance.

 

4 minutes ago, Windows7ge said:

APC has built a rather good reputation because of the components they use in their products so I'm willing to stand behind them.

Yes, some users have reported that APC is good in terms of their quality and has good reputation while some others have reported bad experiences and that the circuitry fails easily. Had a used standby unit from a thrift shop which did not work in the end because it would beep and have its lights on although would not power the load. Wanted to give this one a try to see if it would maybe last longer, although I guess that it depends on a lot of factors even going down to the models of units from different manufacturers which are being compared.

Hope this information post was helpful  ?,

        @Boomwebsearch 

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2 minutes ago, campy said:

Cars catch fire, are cars safe?

Houses catch fire, are houses safe?

Toasters catch fire, are toasters safe?

UPS units have rather large lead acid batteries which have been reported to cause issues in the past a lot. Other devices are usually attended. If my toaster caught fire while I was there then I could call the fire department or take measures to try to cease the fire such as going and tripping the circuit breaker. For the UPS units, I am not really sure because I am not able to always be there to attend it to make sure that it does not cause trouble. I trust these units for surge protection and for the equipment for CEGs although that is probably not going to cover anything without the legal process in the case that a unit catches fire and damages other appliances or even the entire site building.

Hope this information post was helpful  ?,

        @Boomwebsearch 

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9 minutes ago, Boomwebsearch said:

Also, I am not really sure when to replace the battery on the new CyberPower model unit which I have, it has a 3 year warranty on the entire unit which includes the batteries. It has two sealed lead-acid batteries which are from CyberPower. Should I wait until the warranty expires to have them replaced or the bad batter indicator shows, is there something one the LCD that will tell me when to have the batteries replaced?

Id change them if there is a battery light or it appears bad physically. If there are hot to the touch or bulging replace them immanently. Chech the batterys every few months.

 

 

 

 

6 minutes ago, Boomwebsearch said:

UPS units have rather large lead acid batteries which have been reported to cause issues in the past a lot. Other devices are usually attended. If my toaster caught fire while I was there then I could call the fire department or take measures to try to cease the fire such as going and tripping the circuit breaker. For the UPS units, I am not really sure because I am not able to always be there to attend it to make sure that it does not cause trouble. I trust these units for surge protection and for the equipment for CEGs although that is probably not going to cover anything without the legal process in the case that a unit catches fire and damages other appliances or even the entire site building.

This is also why you have insurance. Lots of little things can fail and burn your house down. It doesn't happen very often though.

 

 

 

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29 minutes ago, Electronics Wizardy said:

Id change them if there is a battery light or it appears bad physically. If there are hot to the touch or bulging replace them immanently. Chech the batterys every few months.

 

26 minutes ago, campy said:

A decent UPS needs batteries swapped out, even stated as well in that forum, if they were swapped when they got old the risk of failure goes up dramatically.

Okay, the batteries for most of like the budget standby units either can not be replaced or have one battery which would be usually very easy and inexpensive to have replaced. The CyberPower LX1500GU has 2 replaceable batteries although I have not really found many specific guides on battery replacement for this model, if you happen to be able to find one then please include a link within this thread. The ones which I could buy directly from CyberPower would cost a lot (https://www.cyberpowersystems.com/product/ups/lx1500gu/ is the link to this specific UPS unit and https://www.cyberpowersystems.com/products/ups/replacement-batteries/ is the page where genuine CyberPower batteries would be able to be found although it is strange that I was not able to find ones for my specific model on that replacement batteries page), replacement batteries from third parties are available although I am not really sure about how well they would do in this unit. CyberPower says to not use these third party batteries although I am not really sure about that myself and am sort of tempted to use the third party batteries which would be around 28 dollars on the BatterySharks website and because the original and genuine ones would likely be similar to the cost of buying a brand new unit. I will link the re-manufactured/third party batteries within this post for your evaluation, please let me know if these ones would work well for my unit and if they are maybe more likely to catch fire than the genuine ones from CyberPower.

 

link to the aforementioned product which was mentioned within this post:   https://www.batterysharks.com/ProductDetails.asp?ProductCode=LX1500GU_UPS12-9_x2&CartID=2

Hope this information post was helpful  ?,

        @Boomwebsearch 

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