So....... My trusty Mac Pro 3,1 has been randomly shutting down. Needless to say, as I believe it says in Leviticus somewhere, "that doth sucketh."

My Mac is 11 years old. The UPS battery back up is about 5. Recently, the computer started shutting down randomly while plugged into the battery back up side of the UPS. So, I switched it over the "filtered power" side.... but no battery backup. Problem seem solved for a while. Then it started shutting down randomly again.

Some background. I live in a 60 year old (more or less) apartment with a power supply that involves three 20 amp circuit breakers. That includes two window A/C units..... fridge.... microwave... electric teakettle.... and a Mac... and two monitors (the old Apple LCD displays.... one 20 incher and one 17 incher). And a cable modem, router, and speakers with subwoofer. And two printers.

Years ago, I got this "Monster Power Center" kind of thing that's supposed to be for audio equipment.... but.... that's another long story. I don't use it for that intended purpose anymore (stereo system temporarily on sabbatical). So.... I've got half of the Mac plugged into the UPS and the other half (the monitors) plugged into the Monster Power gizmo.

After the random shut downs, I tried plugging the Mac into the Monster Power Center. Still randomly shutting down (oh.... did I mention that half of the Monster Power Center no longer works due to a bolt of lightning that struck about 10 feet away from my house one day?).

So..... I plugged the Mac itself..... nothing else...into another outlet. Still randomly shutting down. "Crap-o-la" I thought to myself.

So.... I really don't have much money these days, but.... I do have a little room left on my first credit card in 10+ years, and went to a local big box retailer, and what I could afford was a 650 VA / 360 Watt thing. Before purchase, I looked up the specs at Every Mac on the 3,1.... but surprisingly, the watt usage on the power supply is not listed. My gut tells me that 360 watts is not enough. But here's the thing.

So..... I ran an extension cord across the living room floor (not really my idea of a great look when guests come..... LOL), and I plugged the Mac Pro and the 20 inch LCD display into the new battery back up. The idea was that the plug across the room is on a different circuit breaker than what I've got the rest of the Mac plugged into.

Knock on wood. 48 hours later, I've been having no problems (Phew!).

So...... the old battery backup (which I got from Costco) is apparently just too funky for words. Can they be repaired? Or recycled? Is it of any use? Knowing Costco's legendary return policy, would anyone here have the temerity to take it back after 5 years and say, "here, it doesn't work....." LOL (that was more rhetorical than anything).

I was looking up specs on watt usage of Mac Pro towers later that day (I decided to wait to reboot until the new battery backup had charged up sufficiently), and I saw figures from 600 to 900 to even 1000 watts.

So..... is this new battery backup... the 360 watt one...... likely to not be any good in case of a real bona fide power failure (which again, knock on wood, are fairly rare where I live)? Should I take this one back and save my pennies for a bigger model? And again.... what to do with the old one.... other than use it as door stop?