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[ The PC Guide | Systems and Components Reference Guide | Power | External Power | Uninterruptible Power Supplies | Parts of the Uninterruptible Power Supply ]

Output Power Receptacles

The output receptacles are where you plug in the equipment that you want the UPS to protect. The number of receptacles provided by the UPS depends chiefly on its size and cost; of course, less expensive units generally provide fewer outlets. More expensive units can have 10 or more receptacles. Power to the outlets is controlled by the UPS's main power switch.

Most less expensive UPSes provide standard wall outlets for use by standard equipment. Some of the larger units provide non-standard receptacles for equipment that has a higher current draw (see the discussion of the UPS power cord for more on this.) Some better UPSes actually have an adjustable receptacle configuration; by swapping out a plate or other portion of the UPS, you can change from one type of receptacle to another.

There are some items that you use with your PC that do not need UPS protection. For example, there is usually absolutely no reason to plug in a printer, scanner or other I/O peripheral into a UPS. Laser printers in particular can draw large amounts of power and should never be used on a UPS that has a rating below 1400 VA. Plugging unnecessary peripherals into a UPS will only increase the size of UPS required and reduce run time for your critical components. Since these items do need some protection from line noise and power surges, they would need their own surge suppressor, which would be an inconvenience. For this reason, many UPSes provide bypassed outlets. These outlets are wired so that they are filtered and conditioned, but not fed by the inverter and battery.

One output power receptacle (of four) on
a consumer UPS, as well as the input and
output modem/network protection jacks.

Most better UPS models also include protection (filtering and surge suppression) for your modem and/or network connection. (See this page for a discussion of why this is important.)

Next: Status Indicators

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