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Most UPSes come with a variety of indicators to tell you the current status of the UPS. These normally come in two basic categories. Visual indicators (usually LEDs) are used to indicate the general status of the UPS as well as problem conditions. Audible indicators, sometimes called alarms, are used to draw attention to problem situations specifically. The exact number and type of indicators varies from model to model, with more expensive units generally having more of each type. As always, check your user manual for details.
These are some of the typical status indicators that you will find on a typical UPS:
Note: Some units will illuminate the "Replace Battery" LED when the battery is low due to having been discharged during a power failure. Always try to charge the battery by plugging in the UPS and leaving it off before concluding that the battery is shot.
Note: Some units
intentionally make some of the LEDs flash in "railroad-crossing" or
"marquee" patterns to tell you if the unit has shut down due to its battery
running low after a power failure. Check your unit's manual. Any unusual illumination or
flashing of one or more LEDs on your UPS that is not mentioned in your user
manual may be an indication of a problem within the unit. If so, contact your
manufacturer's technical support department.
Since under normal circumstances PC users do not sit staring at their UPSes waiting for LEDs to turn on--well, most don't :^)--good units also sound audible alarms for problem conditions. It is common for a few beeps to be emitted by the UPS every minute or two when the unit switches from normal line operation to battery power. More serious conditions such as an overload condition, or the battery being low or failing a test, may be accompanied by more urgent tones.
In addition to these simple status indicators, better models come with special software for controlling and monitoring the UPS, which can be very powerful on larger boxes. They may also have an LCD control panel for checking and controlling the unit.