Uninterruptible power supplies (UPS) provide backup power for almost any critical device. However, choosing a UPS for devices like laser printers with exceptionally high power draws is challenging.
The UPS battery backup you choose for your laser printer must have a battery capacity that exceeds the printer’s peak power usage. In many cases, that means buying a UPS with a capacity of 1,500 VA or more. Also, check the manufacturer’s warranty terms, as laser printers might void some of them.
Finding the right UPS for your laser printer is challenging but not impossible. Keep reading to discover what you need to know to get the correct model for your needs.
Should A Laser Printer Be Plugged Into A UPS?
Before you explore the question of how to choose a UPS battery backup for a laser printer, there’s another question you must answer first:
Should you be using a laser printer with a UPS battery backup in the first place?
Unfortunately, the answer to that question isn’t a straightforward yes or no.
Recap: How Do Uninterruptible Power Supplies (UPS) Work?
Firstly, let’s recall the purpose of an uninterruptible power supply (UPS) battery backup. The primary purpose of a UPS is to provide your critical devices with backup power during a power supply disruption (e.g. a blackout or brownout).
UPS units also help protect those devices from other harmful electrical faults like voltage spikes or surges.
What’s The Problem With Plugging A Laser Printer Into A UPS?
The challenge with laser printers is that they draw an incredibly high amount of electrical current compared to other printer types.
For example, while a typical household inkjet printer might consume 30-50 watts of power, a laser printer consumes 300-550 watts instead.
That higher power draw is often much more than a standard UPS model can handle. When the power draw is greater than the battery’s capacity during a blackout, that leads to overloading that will harm the UPS.
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That problem is so severe that it leads many UPS manufacturers to issue warnings against using their UPS units with laser printers. In some cases, using a laser printer can even void the manufacturer’s warranty coverage of that UPS model.
Despite that, there are some situations where you must have a backup power supply for a laser printer. Thankfully, some UPS brands and models can support laser printers during a blackout.
However, you must do your homework to understand which ones are safe to use with your particular laser printer model.
How Do You Choose A UPS Battery Backup For A Laser Printer?
As mentioned above, there are some situations where you must have a UPS backup for your laser printer. If that’s the case, you still have plenty of options to choose from on the market.
Here is a step-by-step process you can follow in choosing a UPS battery backup for your laser printer:
Step 1: Identify Peak Power
Laser printers draw an exceptionally high amount of power when you use them. That’s the primary challenge with using laser printers and UPS units together.
So, the first step of this process is to understand the power demands of your laser printer.
More specifically, you’ll want to find out its:
- Peak power: This is the maximum power your laser printer can draw at any time. The peak power is always higher than printing or ready power, and the UPS you choose later must always have a higher capacity.
- Printing power: This is how much power your laser printer draws when you’re actually printing something. The printing power of a laser printer is higher than other printer types.
- Ready power (or idle power): This is the power draw of a laser printer while it’s turned on but doing nothing, i.e. when it’s idle and ready to print.
You can find this information in the printer’s user manual. However, some manufacturers don’t include all the information, so you’ll have to contact them directly to find out more.
Step 2: Find UPS Models That Exceed That Peak Power
Now that you understand the power needs of your laser printer, you can begin shortlisting UPS models that can cater to that power need.
Typically, the power capacity of a UPS model is rated in volt-amps (VA). However, when it comes to laser printing, the rule of thumb is to find models with a minimum capacity of 1,500 VA or larger.
Again, you must ensure that the capacity exceeds your laser printer’s peak power.
Step 3: Check Warranty Terms
Once you create a shortlist of UPS models with enough power to support your laser printer, the next step is to check their individual warranty terms.
Never overlook the warranty terms of your UPS unit. Each UPS is a significant investment you’ll rely on to protect your critical devices for at least 3-5 years.
Fixing and replacing faulty UPS parts can cost a lot of money. So, you must ensure you’re not violating the manufacturer’s warranty terms by using the UPS with a laser printer.
Step 4: Consult Manufacturer And Seller
Given the challenges of using a UPS battery backup with a laser printer, it’s worthwhile to chat with the manufacturer or the business selling it to you.
Remember: the people who manufacture and sell UPS models have plenty of first-hand knowledge that can be helpful to you.
They can give you recommendations that will save you plenty of time and effort. Better yet, their advice can save you from purchasing the wrong UPS for your laser printer.
Step 5: Consider Value-Added Features
Today’s uninterruptible power supplies (UPS) are much more than just a backup battery in a box. Manufacturers now compete with each other by providing plenty of additional features and functions on their models to benefit their users.
So, once you’ve identified the UPS models that can work with your laser printer, consider their value-added features. Choosing the model with the best features ensures you get the most value for your money.
Some common examples of UPS features include:
- Remote monitoring and management: This feature allows you to check in on your UPS and adjust its settings online from wherever you are in the world.
- LCD screens: Entry-level models have flashing lights as indicators. However, many models these days also have LCD screens that can display much more information, including error codes.
- Predictive alerts: Some UPS models can predict problems before they happen. For example, they can warn you to replace your worn-out battery before it fails.
- Hot-swappable batteries: This is a crucial feature for many, as it allows you to swap the UPS backup batteries without shutting the unit down. As a result, your UPS could run for much longer as long as you have charged batteries to put into it.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Here are a few more questions and answers to help you find a UPS for your laser printer:
How Much Power Does A Laser Printer Use?
Many laser printers use a maximum of 1,500 volt-amps of power. Your UPS battery backup must have a capacity that exceeds its peak power use.
How Do You Solve UPS Overload?
To stop or prevent your UPS from overloading with a laser printer, ensure that no other devices are plugged into the same UPS. Laser printers have a high current draw and should not share the battery backup with other devices or appliances.
How Do I Know If UPS Is Overloaded?
You’ll know your laser printer has overloaded your UPS when a continuous alarm sounds and the overloading indicator is turned on or flashing. Some UPS models will shut themselves down during overloading to protect themselves from damage.
What Causes A UPS Battery To Swell?
There are several possible causes of UPS battery swelling. One of the most common is repeated or excessive overloading. When the battery swells, you must remove and replace it immediately.
How Do Laser Printers Work?
Laser printers generate static electricity and heat to fuse ink toner onto the paper. That’s why they draw much more electricity when printing.