Forum Thread

How much extra electricity does a UPS use?

Brian1 6,233 1,370 February 14, 2012 at 06:54 PM
How much extra electricity does a UPS use? I'm looking for a 1000+ watt supply for my home theater. Will it cause my electricity bill to go up much?

25 Comments

1 2

Sign up for a Slickdeals account to remove this ad.

Joined Jun 2007
L8: Grand Teacher
3,846 Posts
2,207 Reputation
#2
Once it is charged, it really takes no more the the amount of things plugged into it. The amount to power its electronics and keep topped off should have a negligible difference on power bills.
Reply Helpful Comment? 0 0
#3
It won't be noticeable on your electric bill. Be careful buying a UPS for your home theater. VIsit some AV forums to see what they recommend as the output my not be optimal for your stereo equipment.

http://www.hometheatershack.com/f...tions.html
Quote :
I would look at APC SMART UPS line, these are the true sine wave models which provide you with cleaner power. The problem with other square wave generating UPS units is that many modern power supplies may not function properly when they don't detect a correct sinewave. Especially if your PSU is an automatic unit that detects incoming line voltage.
http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/ar...77883.html

http://cocoontech.com/forums/topi...e-theater/
Quote :
Be very careful of the output wave form. If it is not a full wave it could cause your tv to go bad quicker than expected and your sound to have a loss in fidelity. After trying a few I gave up and just went with a psaudio powerplant.
I'm not an audiophile; I just play one on the internet Cool
Reply Helpful Comment? 0 0
Joined Sep 2005
L10: Grand Master
6,233 Posts
1,370 Reputation
Original Poster
#4
Quote from flea View Post :
It won't be noticeable on your electric bill. Be careful buying a UPS for your home theater. VIsit some AV forums to see what they recommend as the output my not be optimal for your stereo equipment.

http://www.hometheatershack.com/f...tions.html


http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/ar...77883.html

http://cocoontech.com/forums/topi...e-theater/


I'm not an audiophile; I just play one on the internet Cool
Interesting. I've done some research on AVS, but apparently not enough to turn up this information. Thanks and I'll keep researching this.
Reply Helpful Comment? 0 0
Joined Aug 2005
L10: Grand Master
16,562 Posts
3,123 Reputation
#5
Quote from flea View Post :
VIsit some AV forums to see what they recommend as the output my not be optimal for your stereo equipment.
They would also be full of crap.

Note the second quote:

Quote :
After trying a few I gave up and just went with a psaudio powerplant.
The cheaper PS Audio Powerplant, the P5, is a $3500 piece of hardware (The P10 is a $5000 piece of hardware). Both of which are just batteries attached to a power strip (with audiophile fairy dust sprinkled liberally). The type of person who purchases this item is the type of person who spends $700 on a power cable [dedicatedaudio.com]. Several hundred years ago, it would be known as snake oil.

In all seriousness, your stereo (computer, TV, etc) is not a delicate and fragile flower. So long as it's supplied a 110-120V 60hz AC current, it will function correctly.
Reply Helpful Comment? 0 0
Last edited by kakomu February 14, 2012 at 09:53 PM
Joined Sep 2005
L10: Grand Master
6,233 Posts
1,370 Reputation
Original Poster
#6
Quote from kakomu View Post :
In all seriousness, your stereo (computer, TV, etc) is not a delicate and fragile flower. So long as it's supplied a 110-120V 60hz AC current, it will function correctly.
I like your thought process and my gut feeling about this agrees with what you said. However, my main goal is to try to protect my equipment from power surges.

What do you think is the best solution for my goal?
Reply Helpful Comment? 0 0
Joined Aug 2005
L10: Grand Master
16,562 Posts
3,123 Reputation
#7
Quote from Brian1 View Post :
I like your thought process and my gut feeling about this agrees with what you said. However, my main goal is to try to protect my equipment from power surges.

What do you think is the best solution for my goal?
A regular surge protector should protect you from most power surges.

However, a UPS is probably a better choice as it does more than protect from surges. It will protect equipment from Brownouts and Blackouts. It will also step in if voltage dips.

If you own your house, you may want to consider a house surge protector installed at the fuse box.

I do want to point out that what is said above is true: Cheaper UPS devices will output a square wave AC current, which is different from the typical sine wave AC current. However, each component in your home theater system more than likely uses an AC/DC inverter, meaning that the power is transformed at least once, if not many times. However funky the AC current may be, it shouldn't directly affect your system in any way you can actually perceive including lifespan or audio quality.
Reply Helpful Comment? 0 0
Joined Sep 2005
L10: Grand Master
6,233 Posts
1,370 Reputation
Original Poster
#8
Quote from kakomu View Post :
A regular surge protector should protect you from most power surges.

However, a UPS is probably a better choice as it does more than protect from surges. It will protect equipment from Brownouts and Blackouts. It will also step in if voltage dips.

If you own your house, you may want to consider a house surge protector installed at the fuse box.

I do want to point out that what is said above is true: Cheaper UPS devices will output a square wave AC current, which is different from the typical sine wave AC current. However, each component in your home theater system more than likely uses an AC/DC inverter, meaning that the power is transformed at least once, if not many times. However funky the AC current may be, it shouldn't directly affect your system in any way you can actually perceive including lifespan or audio quality.
Gotcha.

Any recommendations on a UPS that can handle about 1200-1400 watts?

What's a ballpark of how much a whole house surge protector costs?

Does it damage the equipment if the power simply fails?
Reply Helpful Comment? 0 0

Sign up for a Slickdeals account to remove this ad.

Joined Aug 2005
L10: Grand Master
16,562 Posts
3,123 Reputation
#9
Quote from Brian1 View Post :
Any recommendations on a UPS that can handle about 1200-1400 watts?
I've not dealt with a unit that used that much power. Is this a ballpark estimate of what you're actually using? Where did you get the numbers? How about two smaller units?

If this is an estimate (especially based on specifications taken from a web site), you may want to get yourself a Kill-a-watt device. This will measure the power draw from the outlet of any devices you are using. I actually measured my own home theater system. Despite the specs pointing to around 800W of power use (from the HTPC, TV and stereo), I found I was using < 300W with everything on.

Quote from Brian1 View Post :
What's a ballpark of how much a whole house surge protector costs?
I've not personally dealt with them, but I was seeing them offered at all of the major home improvement stores, most of which were < $100. Here's a link [homedepot.com]. I've read about the whole house surge protectors being able to readily handle a lightning strike. This is a stark contrast to any outlet device that may just explode if lightning hits (thankfully it rarely hits).

You will want to discuss one of these devices with a specialist, such as an electrician. You will also want to have a specialist install the device for you.

Quote from Brian1 View Post :
Does it damage the equipment if the power simply fails?
A sudden power failure shouldn't harm your device. It's just the same as pulling the plug. What will kill hardware would be fluctuations in power. This includes Brownouts, dirty power and inconsistent power (blackouts turning on and off in quick succession).
Reply Helpful Comment? 0 0
Joined Sep 2005
L10: Grand Master
6,233 Posts
1,370 Reputation
Original Poster
#10
Quote from kakomu View Post :
I've not dealt with a unit that used that much power. Is this a ballpark estimate of what you're actually using? Where did you get the numbers? How about two smaller units?

If this is an estimate (especially based on specifications taken from a web site), you may want to get yourself a Kill-a-watt device. This will measure the power draw from the outlet of any devices you are using. I actually measured my own home theater system. Despite the specs pointing to around 800W of power use (from the HTPC, TV and stereo), I found I was using < 300W with everything on.
According to the manufacturer's specs on the three main things hooked up to the power strip (TV, blu-ray player, and receiver), it's probably pulling a max of 800 watts. I was told to get a bigger unit than I actually need. Maybe 1200-1400 watts is overkill. What would you recommend?

Maybe it would be easier for me to just get a Kill A Watt and see exactly how much power everything's using.

Quote from kakomu View Post :
I've not personally dealt with them, but I was seeing them offered at all of the major home improvement stores, most of which were < $100. Here's a link [homedepot.com]. I've read about the whole house surge protectors being able to readily handle a lightning strike. This is a stark contrast to any outlet device that may just explode if lightning hits (thankfully it rarely hits).

You will want to discuss one of these devices with a specialist, such as an electrician. You will also want to have a specialist install the device for you.
Thanks a lot. I'll certainly look into these.
Reply Helpful Comment? 0 0
#11
Quote from Brian1 View Post :
According to the manufacturer's specs on the three main things hooked up to the power strip (TV, blu-ray player, and receiver), it's probably pulling a max of 800 watts. I was told to get a bigger unit than I actually need. Maybe 1200-1400 watts is overkill. What would you recommend?

Maybe it would be easier for me to just get a Kill A Watt and see exactly how much power everything's using.



Thanks a lot. I'll certainly look into these.
Definitely get a Kill-a-watt but I'll just say its nearly impossible that they're actually using 800W, even at peak. A receiver might be rated at 200W, but you'll never EVER be using that much power. Ever. 10W can be earsplitting depending on the efficiency and design of the speaker being pushed.

Along with a TV and blu-ray player, I can't imagine either adding up to 800W. A PS3 on load will maybe top out at 150W, as its basically a computer. A standalone BD player will be a fraction of that.

As for the TV, a large, old, inefficient plasma might be around 500W. I think my 42" uses less than 100, or 150W. So I think youll be more than safe with 1000W and thats probably overkill.
Reply Helpful Comment? 0 0
Joined Sep 2005
L10: Grand Master
6,233 Posts
1,370 Reputation
Original Poster
#12
Quote from dark_velocities View Post :
Definitely get a Kill-a-watt but I'll just say its nearly impossible that they're actually using 800W, even at peak. A receiver might be rated at 200W, but you'll never EVER be using that much power. Ever. 10W can be earsplitting depending on the efficiency and design of the speaker being pushed.

Along with a TV and blu-ray player, I can't imagine either adding up to 800W. A PS3 on load will maybe top out at 150W, as its basically a computer. A standalone BD player will be a fraction of that.

As for the TV, a large, old, inefficient plasma might be around 500W. I think my 42" uses less than 100, or 150W. So I think youll be more than safe with 1000W and thats probably overkill.
Hmmm, interesting. So, the actual, everyday, real-world usage sounds like it will be much lower than the power consumption specs listed in the manual (which are probably maximums). I'll get a Kill A Watt and see, then research a UPS based on what I learn.
Reply Helpful Comment? 0 0
Joined Sep 2006
L10: Grand Master
10,112 Posts
1,270 Reputation
#13
A real UPS, that is, something that continuously puts out power from an inverter powered by the battery and has no switchover time, could add 20% to your power consumption, according to APC for one of their 1400VA true sine wave units, and sine wave backups tend to be less efficient than the more common stepped square wave models:

OTOH a regular backup that switches from line AC to battery power should use only a constant amount of power, to trickle charge the battery, and I measured 11W for my 650VA APC.
Reply Helpful Comment? 0 0
Joined Aug 2005
L10: Grand Master
16,562 Posts
3,123 Reputation
#14
Quote from Brian1 View Post :
Hmmm, interesting. So, the actual, everyday, real-world usage sounds like it will be much lower than the power consumption specs listed in the manual (which are probably maximums). I'll get a Kill A Watt and see, then research a UPS based on what I learn.
This is a good idea. I'm actually in the market for a living room UPS as well. Initially, going by the specs, I thought I would need a super huge UPS as well, but after using a device to measure my actual power usage, I found it to be far less than I anticipated.
Reply Helpful Comment? 0 0
#15
If you're going to get a real surge protector, get one that doesn't have a MOV (varistor). All MOV surge protectors do is divert the surge to the ground. When you have a house full of connected devices, diverting the surge back into the ground line isn't the smartest thing in the world. Especially if your house is filled with a lot of nice equipment.

Basically, 95% of surge protectors on the market use the same technology. There's no sense in spending over $40 on a surge protector unless you're going to do it right.

If you're interested, look at companies such as Brickwall and Zerosurge.

http://www.zerosurge.com/resident...et-models/

These are called series mode surge protectors. They don't have a joule rating because they can literally take anything (outside of a direct lightning strike). Lifetime surge protectors.

Personally I don't see the point in a UPS. After three years the battery will end up being close to dead anyway. I'd much rather spend my cash on a real surge protector. Look into it when you get a chance.
Reply Helpful Comment? 0 0
Last edited by SoMuchToGrok February 15, 2012 at 09:05 AM
Page 1 of 2
1 2
Join the Conversation
Add a Comment
 
Copyright 1999 - 2016. Slickdeals, LLC. All Rights Reserved. Copyright / Infringement Policy  •  Privacy Policy  •  Terms of Service  •  Acceptable Use Policy (Rules)  •  Interest-Based Ads
Link Copied to Clipboard