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2012 Reports

20 July 2012

Well now, that wasn't pretty. We had a massive power outage that affected most all of southwest Raleigh in the aftermath of a thunderstorm. But hey, no problems. The UPS units didn't miss a beat and the generator kicked in as it was supposed to. But wait, the USP units are still beeping and on battery. What is going on here?

Well, it took me about 15 minutes to figure it out.

The generator was working just fine. The UPS units were working just fine. But the circuit breaker in between the generator and the UPS units was not working so fine. It had blown taking out a 20 amp bank of outlets in which eight UPS units were plugged into that powered 10 computers. I finally figured it out when I saw the grouped pattern of down machines leading to a single power source. What was so confusing is that one of the UPS units powers a rack switch so it looked like all the computers on that one rack were down. It was only about one-third of them. The others were up and running, but just not able to communicate through the switch making it seem like a power problem rather than a comm problem as well.

With the breaker blown, the juice from the generator was not getting to the UPS units on that one circuit and when the batteries died, that was all she wrote. Flipped that breaker back on and BINGO -- all was well immediately.

I now have checking the breakers on my checklist in the event of a power failure.

Only about one-sixth of the system was down; the rest was up and running just fine.

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