UPS 101 - Knowledgebase
Below are some common power problems and the effects
they have on your critical loads.  
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Common Power Problems: Causes and Solutions
COMMON POWER PROBLEMS
COMMON SOLUTIONS
Power
Disturbance
Waveform
Effects
Typical Causes
Generator
Regulating
XFMR
Offline
UPS
Online
UPS
Healthy Sine Wave
 
Sag
Systems lockup, loss of
data, shutdown
Equipment start up
inrush, faults, overloads
No
Yes
No
Yes
Surge / Swell
Nuisance tripping, equipment
damage and reduced life
Load changes, utility
faults, backup
generator output
No
Yes
No
Yes
Spike
Loss of data, equipment
damage and reduced life,
system lockup
Lightning, switching
impulses, utility fault
clearing
No
No
No
Yes
Momentary
Interruption
Loss of data, equipment
damage, shutdown
Utility faults, breaker
tripping, component
failures, switching
No
No
No/Yes
Yes
Blackout
More than 30
seconds
Loss of data, equipment
damage, shutdown
Utility faults, breaker
tripping, component
failures, switching
No/Yes
No
Yes
Yes
Notching
Systems lockup, Loss of data
Light dimmers,
rectifiers, arc welders,
variable speed drives
No
No
No
Yes
Harmonics
Overheating
equipment/wiring, breakers
trip, systems lockup
Electronic Loads
(Non-linear loads)
No
No
No
Yes
Noise
Loss of data, systems lockup
Fluorescent Lights,
transmitters, faulty
equipment, poor
grounding
No
Yes
No
Yes
Frequency
Variations
Synchronous equipment
failure
Backup generator
output
No
No
No
Yes