UPS strategy(backup power).....a little confused


New member
Hello. I am planning my backup power strategy in case of a power failure. I have all my equipment set, but now I need to figure out how to handle my apex.

My plan is to buy a 12v power supply from Neptune (unless I can find one somewhere else cheaper?). Plug that into the wall and test for loss of power to the 12v supply using the 'power monitor' feature. If I lose power to the 12v, I want the apex to send me an email.

As I understand it I should hook up a eb8 to a UPS, and hook up the apex to the eb8 via aquabus. That way the apex is powered by the eb8, which is powered by the UPS, when the power goes out. This should give me enough juice for the apex to send an email. this a good plan?

Next, I assume I have to plug my modem and router into the UPS as well. Do I need to have my computer on a UPS? Does my computer play any role in this? Or is my apex doing the emailing? I am confused about this part.



Depending on what you have running on your EB8, that could require a fairly large UPS. You can supply all the power the controller needs through the 12v wall wart. A small UPS in the 300 watt range would run that, your router and modem for long enough to get an email and then some if that's all you're worried about. Now, if you really want to power your pumps, etc. off a UPS, then that's a different story.


New member
I really don't need to supply power to the devices on the eb8 at all. The idea was just to keep it powered long enough to power the apex so the apex could report a loss of power.

I like your the UPS to the 12v wall wart. However, I am not sure how to test for loss of I testing the eb8 for loss of power?

Also, if I lose power to either device (12v wall wart or eb8), won't the UPS keep them both powered until the battery runs out? (thus never registering a loss of power until too late) I am confused about this part too.


New member
You can test either the EB8 or the 12V wall wart for power loss. Whichever one is on the UPS, you want to test the opposite.

If you put the UPS on the wall wart, you will just power the Apex base unit and not the EB8. That way you'll be able to send emails and sound alarms when the power goes out.

If you put the UPS on the EB8, you will power the outlets on the EB8 *and* the Apex base unit. You'll be able to send emails and sound alarms, and also run items on the EB8. You can also include programming for your EB8 outlets to turn off certain outlets while it is running on the UPS. So you can turn off your lights and heaters, and just leave a few low wattage powerheads running for circulation.

And agree... no reason to put the computer on the UPS - unless it is somehow controlling your internet access. Basically, you need to maintain power along your entire system to the outside world.


Premium Member
Also note that if you do go the route of powering the system from a UPS, you'll need to look a a pure sine wave output model (e.g., APC Smart-UPS), rather than the cheaper models that produce only stepped-wave approximation, if you want to run pumps with it.


New member
I've run Koralias and some Marineland HOB stuff from stepped wave UPSs several times, for several hours, with no ill effects. All pumps still work just fine. But that doesn't mean it works with *all* pumps and *all* UPSs... just sayin' it works for me!


New member
One other potential issue. I and a few others have base units that will not properly detect loss of power on an EB8 while using the 12VDC adapter. This is unrelated to the Power Monitor option. I eventually worked around the issue when I added a second EB8. I have a large UPS that powers one of the EB8s and eliminated the 12VDC adapter. Critical items are on the EB8 that is on UPS. The Apex responds by putting those items into power saving operation and sending an email.



New member
You can get a 12v N mA wall wart from Radio Shack or its local equivalent to you.

As to what to power and how... You should be able to set the APEX to turn off certain plugs on the EB8 and leave others on based on the power out detection.


New member
This thread is a little old, but I would like to re-visit bazaniti's post about pure-sine and stepped sine output. You mention pumps, can you be more specific? I ask because I have a Tunze 1073.05 which is a DC powered pump. It uses like a computer ac-dc transformer, but Im pretty sure its different than the standard pumps. I also have Vortech mp10's just curious where and how to look to figure out what can and cant run, and does the apex eb8/eb4 triac's have issue with the power type? or just the pumps?


New member
I've found that *yes*, the triac outlets *may* have issues with a UPS that doesn't put out a pure sine wave.

As I mentioned in the earlier post, I've run Korallias, maxijets (the good ones), Marineland HOB stuff, and a Mag3 pump off of a UPS that puts out a fairly decent stepped-wave sine wave. The UPS is a Xantrex PowerSource 400, which I think has been discontinued. Good sine wave approximation, but not a pure sine wave. I never had any issue with *those* pumps, and they're all still in working order. However...

I had my EB8 plugged into this UPS, with programming to shut down everything but a few pumps. Heaters were to be shut off. And this worked with all the testing I did. EXCEPT... one day when a power outage hit "for real", one of my two heaters decided to switch on and stay on - running off the UPS. (I had the two heaters in two different outlets.) It was "off" when the power tripped off, and for whatever reason the triac decided to turn on that outlet. And leave it on. Luckily, I was watching remotely and had my wife (who was home) unplug the heater once I realized the tank was heating up when it should've been cooling down!

In discussing this with folks here and other places, the only conclusion I could come up with was that the triac didn't like the "dirty" sine wave I was feeding it. I also experienced issues with the triacs shutting down my PC ballasts when using this UPS, a problem that went away when I switched them to the mechanical outlets. At the time, I just figured it was something to do with how the ballasts played with the UPS, but now realize that was probably a triac/UPS issue also. Since then, I've changed my power outage strategy and added a EB4 (mechanical relays) to handle the UPS stuff.

So yeah... I found that the triacs may not work consistantly with my UPS. I would suspect that a DC pump running off a transformer would be OK, since the transformer is converting the dirty sine wave into what your pump wants to see. But I'm no electrical engineer, so that's just me thinking out loud!