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First of all, I live in Italy, Europe, so keep this in mind for Volt/Watt considerations. Standard voltage in Italian apartments is 220V.

In my living room I have 2 APC ups, one being an ES-550 and the other an ES-700

They each have 4 slots for surge protection only, and 4 slots for surge protection + battery backup.

Just to give all the information, they both got their battery replaced less than one month ago.

The ES-550 works fine, without any problem. On the battery I have connected:

  • Pc
  • Monitor
  • Sony Bravia 46''
  • 4th slot is empty

The ES-700 has the following on battery:

  • Xbox 360
  • Ps3 (standby when not used)
  • Wii (standby when not used)
  • Netgear 8 port switch (always on)

Here's what happens: the ES-700, randomly, but mostly at night when I'm sleeping, goes like "overload", with the constant beep. If I try to shut it off keeping the power button pressed, nothing happens. The only thing that works is unplugging random stuff (sometimes unplugging 1 console works, other times I have to unplug all 4 devices).

Every time this happens the problem is "real", meaning the 4 devices become unpowered, so it's not just an "alarm no working properly" problem.

While I'm sleeping, of course, the power usage is what described on the list, 2 devices on standy, 1 off and 1 on.

Today it happened again while I was playing with my Ps3. I unplugged it, problem went away. I plugged it again, and it kept working fine.

I just can't figure out what's the problem. The only additional info I can provide is that this behaviour started after a big power outage last december 26 (a blackout that lasted almost all day) but the "surge protection" part of those UPS should be there for those problems, to leverage peaks when power goes away or gets restored.

Another funny thing is, althought it might not be related, for a couple of days after that event the Wii was unable to power on, I thought its power transformer was broken, but then it suddenly started working again. I can be sure it's not the Wii overloading the UPS because the overload happens even if I leave the Wii unplugged.

Any suggestion is really appreciated, and I can provide any additional info, if needed, that didn't come to mind right now.


share|improve this question
When was the last time you tested and/or changed the battery in the UPS? – Ƭᴇcʜιᴇ007 Apr 7 '12 at 23:33
I already stated last time battery were changed in my post. Perhaps you missed that line. – Matteo Mosca Apr 8 '12 at 22:37
Have you contacted APC yet for help troubleshooting the problem? – rob Apr 13 '12 at 10:50
up vote 2 down vote accepted

You appear to not be sure that one or more of the devices connected to the ES700 is the cause of the issue. So, eliminate them all as a potential suspect... or reveal them to be the trouble.

From your setup, you have a heavier load and demand on the lighter UPS. The ES550 is a 330 watt UPS, and the ES700 is a 405 watt unit. The PC, TV and Monitor should be drawing far more power than the game consoles and network switch. So, take a night for this little experiment. Plug all of the consoles and the network hub into the ES550. See if they cause the overload alarm to trip in that unit.

Now... to be sure, you would need to do the reverse as well. That means plugging the PC, TV, and monitor into the ES700. If the unit is fine, there is no reason why this should not work. If the unit is not fine... as in the unit (not the battery) is now defective or broken, this could put your devices at risk... so make sure that your APC warranty is good and will cover any damage to your devices.

I also understand this might not be possible to do... this kind of test, since the ES550 has different output plugs from the ES700. That is unfortunate, since from what you are describing, the problem might not be the consoles. The problem might be the DC power adapters that the consoles use. Even if the consoles are not on, the DC power adapters are still drawing power.

share|improve this answer
I'm well aware that the DC power adapters (being internal for PS3 old model, and external for Wii and Xbox) still draw power even when the consoles are off, or in standby. What puzzles me is that the oveload happens no matter which device I leave connected, I tried to unplug 3 devices and leave 1 plugged, and rotated all of them, and the problem happened with every single one of them. – Matteo Mosca Apr 13 '12 at 15:43
Also the Wii DC adapter that stops working for some time and then it starts working again is rather strange. Maybe it has some internal "protection system" like antishock stuff that disables it for some time when something happens? It has happened twice since now, first time on the power outage on december 26 (resumed working 2 days later) and a couple of nights ago (oveload at 8 am and started working again around 10 pm) – Matteo Mosca Apr 13 '12 at 15:50
@MatteoMosca - Does the problem happen when all 3 devices ( except the router ) is unplugged? – Ramhound Apr 13 '12 at 15:53
It happened once, I tried to unplug all console to see what happened, and after a few nights like that I got woken again by the oveload signal. It doesn't happen every night, so my "tests" take quite some time to produce results. Sometimes an entire month goes well with everything plugged, other times it overloads more than 1 time per night no matter which device is plugged... – Matteo Mosca Apr 13 '12 at 15:56
Since it did happen once when only the router was plugged into the unit, you can discount the game consoles as being the cause of the overload warning. I'm not saying that a defective Wii DC adapter didn't potentially break the UPS, but regardless of what damaged the unit, the UPS itself needs to be replaced. This is not something you can repair. You CAN contact APC and see if they will repair/replace the unit though. – Bon Gart Apr 20 '12 at 15:04

Have you contacted APC yet for help troubleshooting the problem? If you contact APC, they should be able to walk you through the self-test procedure. (I think the test procedure is usually to power it off, then hold the button for many seconds after powering it back on.)

It's possible the unit has been damaged by one or more surges. Surge protection circuitry is often designed so it will absorb surges but will continue to let power through even after the surge protection effectiveness has been diminished.

It's also possible the new battery is defective. If you take the battery to a battery outlet, they will test it for free (at least, they do in the US). If the battery is good, then the only thing left are the electronics in the UPS, the wall outlet, and the devices you're plugging into the UPS.

Try different things, one at a time. You can try plugging the UPS into a few different outlets and/or circuits to eliminate the wall outlet as a problem, and you can try swapping which devices are plugged into each UPS to figure out whether it's one of the devices that's suddenly drawing a lot of power. If none of that helps, then you're back to the electronics in the UPS as the most likely problem.

share|improve this answer
Thanks for the answer. I tried the following: plugging only 1 device at a time and leaving it overnight. Still happens. I tried to connect the problematic UPS through the good UPS, still happens. One thing I noticed is that when it happens and the Wii is connected, the Wii power transformer stops working for some time, meaning plugging it doesn't power the Wii, but it starts working again after some time. The other devices don't show this problem. – Matteo Mosca Apr 13 '12 at 11:42
Oh, and also, I changed the battery because I thought it was the problem, so I don't think it's the battery. It happened before replacement, and still happens now. – Matteo Mosca Apr 13 '12 at 11:43
@MatteoMosca - If they are under warrenty request a replacement unit. I understand you will likely be left without a UPS a good surge protector ( cheaper then an entirely new UPS ) should do for now. – Ramhound Apr 13 '12 at 15:54
I bought them a long time ago, warranty in Italy is 2 years tops for some devices, all other devices is 1 year. I'd better try switching loads as suggested, then if the same ups keeps failing I guess it will be the culprit – Matteo Mosca Apr 13 '12 at 15:59

Connect the ES 700's data cable to a PC. Install the PowerChute CD if the PC is running Windows or apcaccess (there's a Debian package) if you are running Debian Linux (you also need to edit the configuration file afterwards to tell it it use a "smart" USB cable afterward).

Either of these will give you a reading of what the current power draw is in realtime. It should also give you a bit more diagnostic information. It's entirely possible you might actually be overloading it. Doesn't the Wii power on when checking updates? Doesn't the PS3 do the same? These devices may all be fully powering on without you realizing it.

share|improve this answer
Thanks for the suggestion I'll give it a shot. Wii "sleeping" mode, called Wii Connect 24, is turned off, PS3 doesn't have a sleeping mode, xbox can continue a download even when turned off but you have to start it manually, so I'm pretty sure they're doing nothing overnight. I'll try the reading with the pc software and see if anything is out of the ordinary. – Matteo Mosca Apr 13 '12 at 14:53

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