I just purchased my very first UPS unit yesterday made by APC.
XS 900 Model
There's a "building wiring fault indicator" light at the back of the unit. In the manual it says:
"If the rear panel building wiring fault indicator light is lit, a potential shock hazard exsists due to one of the following conditions:
- Open or high resistance ground
- Hot or neutral polarites are reversed
- Overloaded neutral circuit
Improper building wiring should be corrected by a qualified electrician. Do not use the Back UPS until the condition that caused the fault is corrected.
Note: Improper building wiring will not prevent the Back UPS from operating, but it will limit it's protection capability."
Well I took first UPS out of the box happy as ever and plugged it in... Next thing I know I look at the back and the darn light is lit! So I called an electrician who did some small work in my home last year installing a couple of standard light bulbs and new outlets in my basement, and asked him what would possibly be the problem in my home. He was brief yet informative and said "well your house was built around the 40's or 50's and I can't really say much more than that, oh and I remember when I was there I found out that your house has NO GROUNDING whatsoever."
So I called APC tech support and they said that based on what the electrician told me that I'm still able to use the unit but I'll only get about 60% protection from it. He also said to turn off my equipment and unplug the unit from the wall whenever there is a storm.
Corporations like to sell stuff so I can't just say I'd rely on what he said to me. He may have tried to convince me because they wouldn't want me to send it back to the store. So that is why I started this thread in order to hear anyone else's expertise on this matter. Just for the record I took the UPS into almost every room in my home and the indicator still lights up. So it can't just be an issue in one room... I'm pretty sure it would probably be lighting up because I have no ground in my home wiring, but I'm no expert so I can't say that would be all. I've been using my pc for 3 years now on a standard $10.00 six plug surge protector bar connected to the same wall outlet I'd like to use the UPS on. I've had no problems with my pc dying or anything like that in 3 years so I'm hoping it would still be useful and safe to use the UPS.
I purchased the UPS because the lights go out in my home sometimes. The power company turns off power to the entire neighborhood every month or so to perform their routine maintenance around dawn, while I still have my pc on!!! So of course the darn power outage is a bother since my pc goes with it. The second reason why I bought it is because sometimes when you turn the tv on, or turn the heating/air conditioner on at home the lights in the house will blink like a snap. I'm just really trying to protect my computer from those two problems and more if possible... I have really expensive and rare pc parts/equipment I need to protect. I thought a UPS would do the job so I hope I'm still able to use it. Anyway here go my questions:
1. I'd like to know what protection I really have and what I don't if I use this UPS even though the indicator states I have a building wiring fault.
2. What should I watch out for if I use this UPS on a building wiring fault? [ie: unplugging the UPS during storms??? etc]
3. Is there a way for me to find out what exactly the problem in my outlets is by myself? [I'm assuming it's just no grounding since the electrician mentioned it]
4. If this unit will offer me no protection at all and the APC tech support rep was lying please tell me so and I'll take this back. I don't see why I'd need this if it's not necessary. Or if it's unsafe to use... Heck I wouldn't want it to damage my equipment.
5. Please share any other info or advice you may have on this matter.
OH AND REMEMBER I'M NOT AN EXPERT WHEN IT COMES TO UPS AND ELECTRICAL ISSUES SO PLEASE SIMPLIFY YOUR ANSWERS...