Ask Al

Q: We have a generator. Why do we need uninterruptible power supplies (UPS) for our computer and other sensitive electronics?

A: When the utility power fails, it takes time for the engine to start and reach operating speed (RPM) and to transfer to generator (emergency) power. You need some type of backup to keep things running until the generator power kicks on. The transfer of power from the utility to the generator also creates electrical surges and voltage spikes. Use of an UPS system helps prevent premature hardware failure, data error, loss or corruption, and other problems by maintaining power free from damaging spikes and surges at all times, whether connected to the utility or generator power source.

Q: The power went out and my generator came on and powered me back up, but my computer crashed. It's connected to a UPS. What gives?

A: Unfortunately, UPS systems tend to be out of sight, our of mind. UPS systems provide the backup power from an internal battery and batteries have a finite life, usually about 4 years depending on the system. Because time flies and the UPS sits there connected to your computer for years, one day the power fails and so does the battery in the UPS with the result that you have no backup power. We recommend testing the UPS regularly and replacing the batteries every three years for typical UPS systems used in residential and light commercial applications.

Q: We have a 10 year old Generac. There are a number of indicator lights on the control panel that are all flashing. Does that mean that it isn't working? I don't recall hearing it exercise recently.

A: All lights flashing means that the exercise time is not set in the controller. Follow the instructions on the face of the controller and set the exercise time. If the problem reoccurs, call us for service.

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257 Jericho Tpke
Mineola, NY, 11501
(516) 773-8000