UPS for security panel


Active Member
I'm considering ways to have the components of a security/HA panel (M1G, M1XEP, maybe a LAN switch, maybe a Hubitat, etc.) plug into a typical UPS. The benefits would be additional battery backup time, surge protection, etc. The UPS's are too big to put inside the panel, so here's how I'm thinking about having it outside the panel. Note that the panel (Elk SWB28) will be in a bedroom closet, recessed into the wall. The wall has 2x6 studs, so there's plenty of depth in the wall.

The panel will have an outlet with a double receptacle in the bottom. Instead of outlet being powered directly from a circuit, the romex wire will go to a male outlet receptacle like this...

MIDLITE 4642-W Single Gang Décor Recessed Power Inlet

...that will be located a few feet away next to a regular 120v outlet receptacle. The UPS will plug into the live receptacle, and a short extension cord will be plugged in between the UPS outlet and the male receptacle, and that will power the outlet in the panel. The M1G gets plugged into one of the receptacles in the panel. A power strip gets plugged into the other receptacle to allow for multiple transformers, etc. The results are...

1. Additional battery backup and surge suppression for the M1G.
2. A place to plug in multiple devices (with or without transformers) and give them battery backup and surge suppression.

Anyone know if the above will meet code? Any comments, positive or negative, or other solutions? I have a Tripp Lite AV550SC UPS that is made to go inside a panel, but it takes up a lot of space.

I had a sort of similar set up done on a new build in Fl in 1999.

Only had the contractor prewire LV to a custom closet in the laundry room. He did start by routing all alarm LV wires to one of two master bedroom closets. I stopped the alarm contractor and had him wire alarm wires to the laundry room closet. The contractor gave me 3 days to wire my adds at the time which were more RG6, cat5e, speaker cables. This was around 1999. I did wire for pairs of speakers in the pool lanai, bathrooms, bedrooms and wired great room for 5.1 sound. LV panels in the laundry room closet went from the ceiling to almost the floor. I did have a UPS there. Surge protection on the fuse panel and my then Rainbird controller always tripped fuses during lightning storms.

Stopped the telephone company from doing a daisy chain of cat5e cable for telephone as he went room to room and made him run separte cat5e to patch panel in closet.

Only kept the Omni pro alarm on two batteries. Rest of closet was on a ups.

Today in the Midwest have telco wall in the basement using be leviton 42" media panels. IE modem firewall poe switches 2 voip boxes failover lte telco modem and op2. No code for LV and code only for 120 stuff. I ran two new circuits here to the telco wall and the server room which are separate. I do now have micro pc servers on the telco wall which work fine for me.

Way back in the early 2000's for work we were doing custom lockable LAN in a CAN boxes for remote airline company offices. Very simple ...just a router and switch and battery inside of these LV media panels custom made for us.

I do not see an issue with your endeavor. I am currently utilizing a skinny tall APC 1250 UPS on the telco wall.

Here NUT is running on an RPi which is connected to the UPS and managed by Home Assistant.

Where are you located geographically. I saw a few totally hacked Alarm / security / door card configurations in the 2000's in FL and TX in commercial building and private residences. Both very mickey mouse configurations. Redid a neighbors house in FL built in the 1990's. The alarm company pulled 120VAC wires down from the ceiling. No romex...what a joke.


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It's not clear to me what you are planning to do with the inlet receptacle.

Where will the UPS be located? A 550 VA UPS is pretty small - it's not going to buy you a lot of run time.

Using a UPS to power the M1 is an inefficient way to do things. You will be converting AC power to DC in the UPS and then back to AC to provide standby power to the M1 transformer.. That AC will then be converted back to DC to power the M1. For a given size battery, it will provide more run time powering the M1 (and anything else) directly.

Running on a UPS, the M1 will lose its ability to sense loss of AC power until the UPS battery dies.

A better way would be to:

1. Increase the M1 battery size so it provides sufficient run time during your power loss. If this requires larger batteries than will fit in the SWB28, move them external.

2. Use a true aux standby power supply, such as an Altronix AL400 to power your other devices. Many devices like modems, routers and switches run off of 12VDC, so this eliminates the AC-DC-AC-DC conversion for them, too.

3. If you want better surge protection for the M1, install a surge protected receptacle, like the Leviton 5280.
The UPS will sit on a shelf above the closet clothes rod. I will put a power outlet and the male receptacle in the wall near where the UPS will be. The UPS will plug into the power outlet to get its power. I will plug the male end of a short extension cord into the UPS power outlet and the female end into the male receptacle. The male receptacle will be wired to the outlet in the panel. That will provide power to the outlet in the panel that the M1 (and other stuff) will plug into.

So the power goes... circuit breaker -> wall outlet -> UPS -> male receptacle -> outlet in the panel -> M1 and other stuff.

So the M1 will act as if it is plugged into a regular outlet. It will never seem to to lose power because I will have a standby genset. So unless the genset fails, power will never be off for more than about 30 seconds, which the UPS should easily take care of. Since it's only about 30 seconds of power loss, I'm not too worried about inefficiency, or extending battery time. The main benefit is that any device in the panel that has a wall wart will have UPS-provided power (battery backup and surge suppression), regardless of its power requirements (within reason) because I will continue to use their wall warts.

Because I have a genset with an ATS, I can utilize M1 zones to detect any combination of power states, e.g., utility power on/off, genset power on/off, and I think the position of the ATS solenoid. I don't really need the M1 itself to detect a power outage. It will be "notified" via zone input when one occurs.