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UPS and power strip interactions?

I have heard that plugging a server into a surge protector (cheapo power strip) is not good.

Is this accurate?

For instance:

Server --> Fellows Power Strip --> UPS


marked as duplicate by Chris S, splattne Dec 8 '10 at 18:31

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  • Sorry, for some reason did not see the other ? – Josh Brower Dec 8 '10 at 19:18

I wouldn't say it was a bad idea, just a bit pointless as UPS's generally provide far smoother power than any power company. That said if you have a device on the spur that's creating it's own interference - that could bother other devices on the same spur - then you could put that single device behind a line conditioner - not for it's benefit but for the benefit of everything else.


Definitely not a good thing. The UPS, by design, has surge suppression built in.

If you need more ports than the UPS provides, invest in a good PDU.


Well more to the point, in many areas (at least in the US) this is probably against the electrical code. You can't daisy-chain power distribution devices (power strips), and for all intents and purposes a UPS, with 6+ outlets on the back, is a power distribution device.

Servers generally draw quite a bit of power. Most UPSes that I've seen have more than enough outlets. If you need more than the UPS has, I'd say it's a good bet you're overloading the UPS.

Your best bet, if you have rack-mount equipment, would be to get a hardwire kit for the UPS, and hard-wire in rack PDUs or vertical rack power strips.

Can I ask why you'd want to plug a power strip into a UPS that already has 6-8 outlets?

  • The large UPSs we have only have a single 240v and two 120v outlets on the back. You're expected to bring your own distribution scheme. – Chris S Dec 8 '10 at 18:29

Your Equipment Protection Policy may be void if you do so. The surge supressor does things to the power supply that can cause problems for the UPS and attached equipment. If you need new plugs use a distribution strip that doesn't do surge suppression.

See http://nam-en.apc.com/app/answers/detail/a_id/1372/kw/warranty for some details.

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