Since my days living off grid where power could suddenly fail, I have kept all computers, TVs, electronics connected to APC BackUPS units. I have preferred APC units over other makers, not sure why, other than that they are what I started with. The other day, an APC unit was a life-saver, literally, when another brand might not have been. Why? The APC units have “building wiring fault” indicators.
In my office, I have several floor-to-ceiling heavy cabinets. Behind those cabinets is an electric outlet that has never been used since we moved here 5-plus years ago. My computer and peripherals are connected via APC BackUPS on a different outlet. Last week, the BackUPS started clicking periodically. A few days later, it went off-line, and screeched, usually the sign to change battery. I unplugged, checked the outlet and it seemed to be working. But I noticed the wiring fault light was lit on the UPS. I reset everything, but fault light still lit and the UPS would not connect to the outlet but continued to screech when plugged in. I switched that UPS unit with a different brand one (with no fault indicator) from another part of the house and that one seemed to work. Hmm. All the other outlets in the room worked fine for a few days, but then started acting wonky. Our electrician lives across the street, so I asked him to come check the outlets. Long story short, after checking all visible outlets, we pulled out the heavy cabinets. THAT outlet had almost completely melted and had started burning the sheetrock around it. Loose wiring. The electrician had never seen one so bad. The melted outlet was in the middle of the leg that ended at my computers. If not for the wiring fault indicator, I probably would have assumed the UPS needed a new battery, until, of course, the house caught on fire. I had not noticed any smell or smoke, and who knows how long it had been melting/burning. Needless to say, we have now had every outlet in the entire house pulled out and checked for any wiring issues. The house was thoroughly inspected before we purchased it, but house inspections typically just check for proper grounding.
No, I don’t work for APC or have any connection to them, but you bet I’m sticking with APC, and am thankful for the unexpected benefit.