UPS as Backup for security system?

Anything related to security system panels, installations, and other stuff.
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ericj
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Tue Sep 29, 2015 12:12 am

I would like to know if I can use a UPS similar to that for a PC as power backup for security system. I know that it may sound a foolish question, but I don’t know anything about electrical and electrical devices. My security system got malfunctioned recently and the person who came to repair it told me that the problem occurred due to power outages and recommended me to get some backup power system in case of power outages. I own a Staticon UPS and I wonder if similar UPS will work for security devices. Any advice will be really helpful. Thanks!
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Robert A
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Tue Sep 29, 2015 9:52 am

Most (if not all) security systems have either a 12VDC power supply running straight into the can, or a transformer and rectifier in the cabinet to step 120VAC down to 12VDC, with a single 12v sealed lead acid battery inside them. In the event of a power failure, the battery powers the system, and when power restores, the wall current takes over. It may void your warranty/coverage if you were to substitute any of that with a 12v UPS.
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Tue Sep 29, 2015 6:14 pm

Your questions go in several directions. I have some questions in return.

Is this security system in a residential or commercial/industrial setting?

How often does the power fail?

How long are the power outages?

The typical security system has a backup battery sized for 24 hours of operation and then 5 minutes of alarm condition. UL applies the same rule to basic fire alarm systems. If your system has properly sized batteries in good condition it should be able to handle a power outage up to 24 hours.

You asked about a UPS for a PC. The typical UPS is designed to operate a PC only for 10 to 15 minutes. That will get the PC through an outage of a few minutes and allow time for an orderly shutdown which prevents data loss. The computer I am writing this on is connected to a UPS. It will operate the computer, monitor, router, and DSL modem for about 10 minutes. The battery in my UPS is only slightly larger than the battery in my security system.

You also supplied a link to an industrial UPS system which you say you own. It is entirely possible to supply the primary power to your security system from that UPS. Then the battery in the security system is providing backup for the UPS in the cases of malfunction or it running down. The question that comes to mind is how many other loads is that UPS supplying? If it is already supplying other loads it may not run as long as the battery already in your security system.

It is also possible that your location had high voltage spikes. Those can also damage equipment. Many fire alarm panels are designed to sense high voltage and transfer the system to battery operation. I don’t know if your (or most) security systems have this capacity. Many industrial UPS systems have the capacity to protect against high voltage input conditions and switch the loads to internally generated power.
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ccs46
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Tue Sep 29, 2015 7:28 pm

Retired STR-SG wrote:It is also possible that your location had high voltage spikes. Those can also damage equipment. Many fire alarm panels are designed to sense high voltage and transfer the system to battery operation. I don’t know if your (or most) security systems have this capacity. Many industrial UPS systems have the capacity to protect against high voltage input conditions and switch the loads to internally generated power.
My GE at home has that feature. It's pretty nice. :)
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Tue Sep 29, 2015 9:46 pm

yes, you can stick a security system on a 120vac UPS without any issues. it's not as efficient as security systems with built in chargers, but it'll work just fine.

we've had places that had dirty power before and used UPS's to clean it up. in one case, power would drop down to 100volts, then go back up 120 (should never go below 114)... we told the customer to call the power company out because a phase was dropping out or something, eventually they did and it cleared up all their problems.
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