Surge Protector and a UPS?

Author: Dave Norwood

Is it OK to plug a surge protector into a UPS?  We have had several clients ask this question.  The easy answer is, “No.”  The output of a UPS is usually a square wave and not a sine wave. Surge protector circuits are designed for a sine wave input creating a mismatch. Even in rare case that the surge protector is designed for a square wave, it’s best not to do it.

The output of the UPS operating battery will look like small surges to the surge protector, thus causing it to push power to the ground wire, quickly draining the UPS’s battery and destroying the surge protector. (Surge protectors are usually MOV type, which are degraded every time they activate.)  A UPS provides surge protection, plugging a UPS into a surge protector or vice versa is the same as stringing together surge protectors. Due to the potential for feedback into each other’s circuits, one or both could blow up and cause a fire.

Author: Dave Norwood

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