Solved apcupsd continually reporting failures

stratacast1

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I checked my logs today on my server and saw that there is a ton of reported power failures from my APC UPS to my FreeBSD box. Sadly, I'm not at home to hear if my UPS is ticking, but my family hasn't said there were any weird power issues going on. I tested to see if my power outlet was good a while back and all came up as grounds were correct, etc. etc. So I'm wondering if there's something going on with the reporting? For a time it was saying there was a power failure every 8 minutes and then literally 2 seconds later Power is back. UPS running on mains.

Nothing funny is showing up with apcaccess (I think)

Code:
APC      : 001,036,0954
DATE     : 2019-05-28 03:36:23 -0700
HOSTNAME : castleDefense.home
VERSION  : 3.14.14 (31 May 2016) freebsd
UPSNAME  : apc650
CABLE    : USB Cable
DRIVER   : USB UPS Driver
UPSMODE  : Stand Alone
STARTTIME: 2019-04-09 15:49:30 -0700
MODEL    : Back-UPS ES 650G1
STATUS   : ONLINE
LINEV    : 122.0 Volts
LOADPCT  : 17.0 Percent
BCHARGE  : 100.0 Percent
TIMELEFT : 52.7 Minutes
MBATTCHG : 5 Percent
MINTIMEL : 3 Minutes
MAXTIME  : 0 Seconds
SENSE    : High
LOTRANS  : 92.0 Volts
HITRANS  : 139.0 Volts
ALARMDEL : 30 Seconds
BATTV    : 13.7 Volts
LASTXFER : Unacceptable line voltage changes
NUMXFERS : 440
XONBATT  : 2019-05-28 00:18:47 -0700
TONBATT  : 0 Seconds
CUMONBATT: 815 Seconds
XOFFBATT : 2019-05-28 00:18:49 -0700
LASTSTEST: 2019-05-07 07:03:05 -0700
STATFLAG : 0x05000008
SERIALNO : 4B1718P32746
BATTDATE : 2017-05-07
NOMINV   : 120 Volts
NOMBATTV : 12.0 Volts
FIRMWARE : 906.W1 .D USB FW:W1
END APC  : 2019-05-28 03:36:46 -0700

Looking at my log, it seems this has been happening since I left for my long long trip (of course). Some 8 minute intervals of failure, and mixes of no issues for hours/days. No system instability. Any thoughts? It's connected via USB. Maybe the thing is already damaged even though it's less than a year old? Bug in apcupsd? My power really sucks and only the tool sees that?

(edited to fix my crappy formatting)
 

k.jacker

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You can set the power quality to 3 different levels in apcupsd.conf or the ups itself. Not sure now, I’m not at home. Setting the power quality to a lower level, will prevent the ups from going to battery mode when there‘s only a short drop in voltage. The ups will then be less sensitive. I do that in Norway, too. Voltage drops all the time, especially in winter.
 

shepper

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Sometimes another device on the same circuit can cause a voltage drop that is interpreted as an impending power outage. A common scenario is a LaserJet printer. A typical home circuit is behind a 15 Amp breaker but the breakers do not have to respond as quickly as a UPS.

APC website on UPS laserjet printers.

When a Laserjet wakes from hibernation, or a cold start, the power draw is impressive:

23 Amp draw from a typical Laserjet on cold start
 
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stratacast1

stratacast1

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Shouldn't be that. All I have on my strip are:
  • My server
  • Thinkcentre virtualization box (basically just idle except when I have tests)
  • Desktop (fully off)
  • monitor (fully off)
  • PC Engines APUC2
  • 8 port switch
  • Ubiquiti AP
I've ran a lot more juice through my UPS when gaming on my tower but it never reported failures like this
 

trev

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LASTXFER : Unacceptable line voltage changes -- maybe you just have dirty power?
 
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stratacast1

stratacast1

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That's something I've wondered. I did a ground tester and that's it (it passed). Don't notice issues in other areas of the house, that I think suggests dirty power (I'm also not smart with electricity), but we have had other issues that suggest the people who put our house together probably hardly knew what they were doing, or at least cut corners a lot
 
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stratacast1

stratacast1

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I found out the issue! My family installed the AC unit upstairs while I've been away and the power warnings seem to align with when the cooler was installed/is running. My house sucks haha. Not sure how it has survived my server + AC + me having 3-5 friends over for game nights with their beasty boxes too
 

shepper

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Unless you can tweak the UPS settings to be more resilient to power line sags, your UPS battery is getting a workout. Depending on the battery type, frequent, shallow discharge/recharge cycles can "set" the battery. Also most non-lead batteries are good for about 200 discharge/recharge cycles, you may need to replace the battery frequently.
 
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stratacast1

stratacast1

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Got anything in particular? I'm not even sure where to begin with that. Or maybe some sort of line conditioner? (though the prices are pretty nasty)
 

shepper

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MBATTCHG : 5 Percent MINTIMEL : 3 Minutes MAXTIME : 0 Seconds SENSE : High LOTRANS : 92.0 Volts HITRANS : 139.0 Volts
I'm wondering if you lower the sensitivity, will the switch to battery will require a greater voltage drop?

One other thought, is to replace power cords if the ones you have are overly long and have small gauge wires (18g -> 16g). Also look at the power cord to the AC unit.
 
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stratacast1

stratacast1

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Interesting. It seems apcupsd completely ignores my sensitivity setting. I set it to L and it kept it at HIGH. I had to disable the service, do acptest and set the sensitivity there and then start the service again. I'll do some more watching


As for cables, I do have shorter cables already, I'll have to check when I'm back home. 2 days left and then I'm back with my devices. In the meantime, I'll set the sensitivity to LOW (giving medium a try) tomorrow if the same messages pop up.
 

k.jacker

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I don't know your UPS model, but I set the sensitivity from the menu in my ups's frontpanel (got a SMT1000L). I haven't set that at all in apcupsd.conf.
 

dave

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The sensitivity settings may prevent the constant warnings, but won't solve the problem. You should be looking at plugging your computer system(s) into a different circuit than the AC.
 

Phishfry

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I have an outdoor light that is tied to the same circuit as my UPS.
When my outdoor light turns on by the photo sensor my UPS goes nuts with on-off chatter.
Turns out the outdoor compact fluorescent light 'cycling' was causing the issue. I switched it to LED and it ended.
 
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stratacast1

stratacast1

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The sensitivity settings may prevent the constant warnings, but won't solve the problem. You should be looking at plugging your computer system(s) into a different circuit than the AC.
Wishful thinking. I'd have to move my entire workstation to a different floor where there is no space
 
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stratacast1

stratacast1

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I have an outdoor light that is tied to the same circuit as my UPS.
When my outdoor light turns on by the photo sensor my UPS goes nuts with on-off chatter.
Turns out the outdoor compact fluorescent light 'cycling' was causing the issue. I switched it to LED and it ended.
Last year I switched my lightbulbs to LED and that helped solve other issues since 6 fluorescent lightbulbs really sucked the juice. I'm doubtful that there is such a thing as a more effective AC unit, but then again, this sucker has to be almost 10 years old now...maybe there's something better that won't cause all these power issues.

I did end up having to set the sens to low...and now that I'm here, the UPS isn't making clicking noises.
 
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stratacast1

stratacast1

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I set the sensitivity to LOW and that seems to have helped! Medium wasn't sensitive enough apparently. I'd say this issue is solved :) Thank you for all the suggestions
 
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