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Old 05-06-2016, 04:37 AM   #1
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Backup power for Home security system.


Hi,

We have just installed a home security system in our home. Everything works well. We want to make sure system works well even if there is a long power outage. Should I provide a backup power supply manually like for example, connecting to an inverter or a UPS like those for a PC? Do you think they are safe? We have previous experience with a security alarm system malfunctioning after a big power outage in our previous home. We don't want to task a risk any more and want to avoid such a situation arise again. I would love some advice here. Thanks!

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Old 05-06-2016, 10:52 AM   #2
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Re: Backup power for Home security system.


your only solution to a long power outage is a generator.

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Old 05-06-2016, 02:57 PM   #3
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Re: Backup power for Home security system.


Yep - what Craig said.

Hopefully, you have natural gas in your area that can be used to fuel a generator. Propane can also be used, but the tanks can be large, un-sitely and you can run out of fuel in an extended outage.
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Old 05-06-2016, 03:48 PM   #4
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How long is long? Also how does the alarm report to you if you are not at home ? Old fashion Pots line would be best (plain old telephone line). They seemed to work through most power failures. Cable, DSL and the like can fail during power outages so it way a moot point if the security system can not notify you .

A generator would be the way to go if you have natural gas available. Gasoline generators are gas pigs and you probably don't want to run it 24x7. They themselves can be a theft target. You might get away with a smaller UPS if it only had to run when the generator was off.
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Old 05-06-2016, 04:33 PM   #5
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Re: Backup power for Home security system.


Quote:
You might get away with a smaller UPS if it only had to run when the generator was off.
"You might" is correct. Many UPS units will tend to cycle in and out, or not charge correctly when fed by a generator that is running at a low load percentage.

Many less expensive generators suffer from drifting voltage and/or frequency when operating with small loads. It often "confuses" the electronics of the UPS.
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Old 05-06-2016, 04:36 PM   #6
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Re: Backup power for Home security system.


What kind of security system? I have an older combination wired/wireless ADT system and its 12 volt based. As such, it came with a small 12 volt battery for when the power goes out. That battery would last between 4-8 hrs.

Those small batteries can be replaced to a larger amp hour and even several batteries can be added in parallel. We did the latter ourselves which required buying a second power supply to properly charge the much larger backups that we added; doing so was well under a hundred for the power supply and batteries - the setup will last for days when the power is out.

This is not an uncommon upgrade for alarm systems and likely much cheaper than a UPS or generator.

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Old 05-07-2016, 05:59 AM   #7
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Re: Backup power for Home security system.


i have both, battery backup and generator. where i live the electric goes out 4 or more time a year. sometimes for couple hours. computers and home entertainment center are connected to two ups battery backups, kinda of hard to tell when the electric goes out, but when it does i go outside and start my generator then switch my place over to it by a manual transfer switch box. been doing this for 15 + years with never any problems.

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