Adding UPS to light circuit

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On 2/15/2014 9:11 PM, snipped-for-privacy@snyder.on.ca wrote:

All the 1kw and larger UPS units I own are designed for continuous duty with cooling fans built in and external battery connectors. When I had my shop which was a 150' long building, I had a number of small consumer grade backup power supplies hooked to the CFL flood lights that were available at the time. They were the type with the replaceable long U shaped tube and the current draw was very low. My 12 watt LED light now at my desk puts out more light than those old 9 watt florescent lamps. I could have had a lot of fun with the small SMD LED modules available these days. I could have lit the whole shop with 12vdc LED modules which would use less power than just one of the dual F96T12 florescent fixtures. Here at the ornery old fart's lair, I can be fast asleep and know when the power goes out because I have 8 UPS units plugged in that will start complaining. I even know when there is any kind of power fluctuation because those UPS units will beep for a few seconds. ^_^
TDD
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On Sat, 15 Feb 2014 00:06:02 -0500, "Robert Green"

Correct - as long as all the desired circuits are on the same side of the panel. Not code compliant - but it will work. I did (almost) exactly the same thing for my furnace and refrigerator - but using a generator. The refigerator is on a "separate" circuit - I added an outlet to the circuit right beside the panel. The furnace is also on a "separate" circuit. I did the same for it. Then I wired both circuits to a "pull-out" fuse block - with one on each side of the panel. If the power goes off and I need heat, I pull the fuse block and plug the "widdowmaker" from the generator into the "furnace" plug and fire up the generator. If the power comes on I know because the house lights come on. If I need to cool the refrigerator, I plug the "widow-maker" into the fridge circuit. Now, if the power is off and I need lights in the house, I can shut off the main, plug the generator into the fridge or furnace plug, with the fuse block re-installed, and have power to all the lights on THAT side of the panel as long as I do not excede 15 amps total load - or 20 if I put 20 amp fuses in the "replacement" fuse block. the 1959 Onan generator was only good for 2500 watts.
Now I have sold the little old Onan, removed the extra outlets and gotten rid of the 115 volt "widowmaker". I now have a 7200 watt 240 volt Champion and a big "widowmaker" that plugs into my 30 amp welder/compressor plug in the garage untill I change my panel and install a generator breaker and interlock so I don't need the "widowmaker" any more - and I will be code compliant.
Untill then I just need to throw the main disconnect before plugging in the genset. My "lockout" to make sure no-one accidentally flips the main back on is to pull the cartridge fuses from the main disconnect and put them in the toolbox on the generator.

As long as the circuit the "widowmaker" is plugged into is disconnected (breaker turned off) no power can get out even if the main is not shut off - but you are limited to one circuit per UPS. (and you don't need to check the neighbours to see if the grid came back up)
Much simpler to just have more than one UPS if you want to feed more than one circuit. The tricky part - when the grid is down, is to be CERTAIN which breaker needs to be tripped to isolate the particular circuit you are plugging into , and to be sure you are plugging into the RIGHT outlet to power the desired lights - which makes shutting off the mains a good idea.
Not that a little plug-in UPS is going to do ANYTHING if connected to the (dead) grid, as far as pumong dangerous power out - and when the grid comes back up it will quickly trip the breaker, and, in all likelihood, let all the "magic smoke" out of the UPS.

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Not necessarilly true. Only "dual conversion" UPS work that way - and that is just the high end of the UPS spectrum.

My finished basement runs about 75 watts. The kitchen is about 45 or 50. Each bedroom is 13. The living room can run as high as 55 watts.
We could quite easily manage on less than 100 watts of LED at a time.

And he needs a "hard wire" UPS. Cannot connect a "plug in" UPS permanently to house wiring and meet code.
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On Wed, 12 Feb 2014 19:13:38 -0500, snipped-for-privacy@snyder.on.ca wrote:

Section please?
We have installed industrial shop lights hanging from chain that have a cord and plug so the fixtures can be replaced/moved. Granted it was individual lights and not the feed for many lights, but I don't see any safety issue.
Anita Snugsnatch
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On Wednesday, February 12, 2014 7:19:21 PM UTC-5, Metspitzer wrote:

100 watts. What I want to do is to be able to connect my light circuits to the UPS during emergencies like this ice storm that is coming up. Not wo rried about heat or the fridge, I have gas heater backup and not enough in the fridge to worry about. Are there approved ways of connecting in the UPS that does not involve adding a transfer switch. I was thinking about doing this with outlets and plugs so I could unplug the light circuit and plug i t into the UPS.

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You're not seriously trying to compare a hanging light fixture with a plug/cord to permanenty wiring in a UPS that is not designed nor rated to be permanently wired into house circuits are you?
I don't see anything wrong from a code or safety standpoint if he makes it a temporary arrangement, just like you'd do if you correctly make provisions to connect a portable generator. I see a lot wrong if he takes a typical UPS that you'd used for a PC, ie with receptacles, bastardizes that and wires it into his light circuits.
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On Thu, 13 Feb 2014 05:15:53 -0800 (PST), " snipped-for-privacy@optonline.net"

Let's say the OPs electrical panel is in his open garage. Mount a 1900 box under the panel so it is around 18 inches from the floor. Connected the box to the panel with a conduit. Disconnect the circuit that supplies the lights. Run the feed for the (new) receptacles in the 1900 box to the breaker the lights were on. http://www.garvinindustries.com/Electrical-Box-Covers/4-Square-Industrial-Surface-Covers/1-2-Raised/G1938?gclid=CKzam_O-ybwCFShk7AodjAUAog
Now take a 4 ft length of SO cord and run that cord into the side of the 1900 box. Connect the SO cord to the lighting circuit that came off the breaker that now feeds the receptacle.
Now, what you have is a feed for the lights that can be disconnected by unplugging the receptacle. The receptacle is still in perfect working order.
Plug the UPS and the lighting circuit into the receptacle for 8 hours until the UPS charges. Then, unplug the lighting receptacle from the receptacle and plug it into the UPS.
The UPS has the automatic transfer built in. No back feeding. No jury rigging. Nothing against code I know of.
Anita Snugsnatch
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On Thursday, February 13, 2014 11:35:53 AM UTC-5, Metspitzer wrote:

I don't think you'll find SO cord listed in the NEC as an acceptable wiring material for branch circuits, so there's that.

The receptacle that you've now connected to the panel circuit breaker isn't the problem. That's permissible. It's the branch circuit that you've disconnected and what you're doing with it that's the problem.

So now you have a branch circuit plugged on a cord plugged into a receptacle, ie not permanently wired. I'm sure that's a code violation.
Then, unplug the lighting receptacle from the

And there is the next problem. You now have a branch circuit that's on a cord and the branch circuit protection, ie the breaker in the panel, is no longer protecting the circuit. You could take a 15A branch circuit that's wired with 14 gauge and plug it into a 20A UPS or generator outlet. Or another outlet in the house that's 20A for that matter, when the alternate power source isn't used.
And I would think it may violate other sections of the code, for example grounding conductors. I would expect that you'd find that the grounding for light fixtures, circuits, etc calls for a continous uninterruped ground connection back to the main ground at the panel. By inserting a corded plug that can be unplugged, you're changing what should be permanent into something that can be unplugged.

Taking an existing branch circuit off it's over current protection, ie breaker, at the panel and putting in on a cord and plug sure sounds like j rigging to me. And it's clearly against code. Perhaps Gfre or Bud would like to weigh in on this.
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wrote:

You don't know your code. Around here, anyways, permanently installed house wiring may NOT be connected using a plug. Period. Even getting a furnace to pass being plugged in can be a challenge.
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On Wednesday, February 12, 2014 7:13:38 PM UTC-5, snipped-for-privacy@snyder.on.ca wrote:

100 watts. What I want to do is to be able to connect my light circuits to the UPS during emergencies like this ice storm that is coming up. Not wor ried about heat or the fridge, I have gas heater backup and not enough in t he fridge to worry about. Are there approved ways of connecting in the UPS that does not involve adding a transfer switch. I was thinking about doing this with outlets and plugs so I could unplug the light circuit and plug it into the UPS.

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He didn't say he wanted to plug it in permanently. He only said he wants to use the UPS when power goes out. That mode is no different than using a portable gas generator to power the house which you can do as long as you have a transfer switch or panel lockout kit installed together with an inlet. You then use an extension cord to connect the generator. He could do the same thing with his UPS.
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wrote:

The CONSUMER units for computers only last about an hout. With Extended Battery Packs they can last quite a bit longer, and the old Best Power had a system that had a gas or deisel powered DC generator that started when the batteries got low. They also made a unit for emergency lighting that used the regular lighting system for emergency lighting (roughly 1 light in 4 on the cabinet mounted UPS system)
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On 02/12/2014 06:42 AM, snipped-for-privacy@snyder.on.ca wrote:

Finally someone who knows about Best Power.
I still have one. I worked for a company that sold the units and even visited the company to attend their training school.
Between the ferroresonant circuit and the hysteresis loop charging, those things could not be beat.
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The only problem with the ferro is poor efficiency. The ferro was like a little "micro-furnace".
I sold Best UPs equipment for many years.
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On 02/12/2014 06:04 PM, snipped-for-privacy@snyder.on.ca wrote:

I was in the industrial battery & charger business and UPS's were a side line...but back then ferroresonant was considered pretty good efficiency.
I don't know what the present state-of-the-art is for UPS's but as far as battery chargers...high frequency conversion chargers are now being used. (Of course they were already using them in Europe 25 years ago)
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On 02/11/2014 09:51 PM, Metspitzer wrote:

That's weird, my UPS system will power my laptop for about a year or so.
https://scontent-a-iad.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ash3/t1/1069827_774150599278978_1786645054_n.jpg
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On 2/12/2014 8:03 AM, philo wrote:

http://www.columbia.edu/cu/computinghistory/tubes.jpg
They keep trying to upgrade my processor.
And your UPS would run this for at least TWO years.
http://www.wpclipart.com/computer/PCs/eniac_vacuum_tubes.png
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On 02/12/2014 10:13 AM, Stormin Mormon wrote:

My UPS would run a vacuum tube computer for zero seconds!
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Who needs those wimpy arse vacuum tubes. A real man works with these...
http://www.qsl.net/oz1dku/loran%20PA%20tubes.jpg
These are water-cooled PA tubes for Loran transmitters. Filament current 300A at 12.7V. Plate voltage 15,000 VDC. Output power 1.5MW.
When they went bad we hollowed them out, wired them for 120AC and made 25 lb desk lamps out of them.
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On 02/12/2014 06:03 PM, DerbyDad03 wrote:

I guess they didn't come up with a transistor to replace that one
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They did, but it was many years after I worked on them. The timing equipment had _just_ gone solid state when I started working on it but the transmitters were still vacuum tube.
In fact, when my class finished basic ET school, the guys that were going on to Loran school were split into 2 groups: those that were going to stations with vacuum tube timing equipment and those that were going to stations that had been upgraded. I got lucky. The techs at LorSta Sylt Germany were upgrading the equipment while I was going to school in NYC to learn how to work on it. By the time I got to Sylt the old equipment was in the hallway and the new equipment had just gone on air.
As it turned out, I enjoyed working on the old transmitters more than the new timing equipment so I spent most of my time in the transmitter building, a quarter mile from the main station. At all Loran stations the transmitter building, which was at the base of the tower, was always placed as far from the main station as the tower was high. Even though the towers were guyed to spin straight down if they failed, they still placed them where they couldn't reach main station if they ever fell over sideways.
The thing about the old transmitters is that they constantly needed preventative maintenance and when they broke you actually had to troubleshoot them instead of just swapping out circuit boards. There was always something to do and you got to play with high voltage and real tools. Besides, the station officers were mostly afraid of the high voltage so they left us alone when we were out there.
My favorite troubleshooting time was when we had to find the cause of an arc inside the transmitter. The transmitters had metal plates covering various sections and sometimes they would arc internally where we couldn't see what was going on.
We would remove the metal plates, turn off the lights in the transmitter building, and run the power supply up to the normal 15KV operating voltage. If it didn't arc soon enough for our liking, we'd run it up to 20KV, wait a little while then run it up to 25KV. At that voltage, anything that was going to arc usually did - and with authority. Even though you knew it was coming, it still scared the crap out of you.
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On 2/12/2014 7:17 PM, DerbyDad03 wrote:

http://www.columbia.edu/cu/computinghistory/tubes.jpg

You could attach a circular florescent lamp to a ball cap like it was a propeller beanie and have enough light to work by when you were near the transmitter. ^_^
TDD
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