Based on user feedback on Reddit (opens in a new tab), the CyberPower CP1500PFCLCD and CP1350PFCLCD uninterruptible power supplies (UPS) can potentially cause a fire hazard. An unverified scan seems to point to a specific adhesive that could eventually become conductive, short out some components and cause a fire.
The current concern over CyberPower units first surfaced in January in the Canadian market RedFlagDeals (opens in a new tab) forum. Thread starter quoted a Youtube video (opens in a new tab) a year ago when computer engineer Mark Furneaux discovered that at least the first and second revisions of the CP1500PFCLCD and CP1350PFCLCD used the everyday yellow glue. The adhesive, which may be available in other colors, is common in electronics, as manufacturers typically use it in their products to glue large components to the circuit board to prevent movement.
The use of yellow glue in electronics dates back to the 1970s. The problem is that the adhesive apparently becomes corrosive and conductive over time. In addition, the life of the glue varies and depends on the temperature of the environment. When the color changes from yellow to brown or black, it is a sign that the adhesive has changed its properties.
A few users on the RedFlagDeals forum reported that their units stopped working, but offered no explanation for the inverters dying. However, once the news reached Reddit (opens in a new tab) and Hacker News (opens in a new tab), other user reports of the failure have come to light. A Redditor (CP1000PFCLCD) provided a video (opens in a new tab) of smoke coming out of his unit shortly after replacing his battery as recommended by CyberPower.
It seems that units that catch on fire are not entirely uncommon among CyberPower UPSs. Several user reviews on Amazon (opens in a new tab) (some dating back to 2017) claim that CyberPower units pose a fire hazard. One owner said he saw smoke billowing from the unit and a smell of burning plastic, while another said he heard a bang before the inverter went bad.
We contacted CyberPower and a company representative told us that they could not identify the issue from the Reddit video due to lack of information. However, CyberPower recommends that the affected user or users send in their units to identify the root of the problem. As for the yellow glue, CyberPower assured us that it tested the adhesive thoroughly, and the results passed industry and UL standards, deeming it safe for use in the brand’s inverters.
The CP1500PFCLCD and CP1350PFCLCD have been around for a while, so they are on the third revision now. User reports so far correspond to the first and second revisions; it is uncertain whether the latest revision uses the same yellow glue. In any case, it’s probably not a widespread problem as there have been positive reports from other owners of CyberPower units, some with several years of operation under their belt. Nonetheless, CyberPower should investigate the allegations, as obviously the potential to start fires is a serious matter.
You can read CyberPower’s official statement in response to our questions below:
We are aware of the video.
We take all product inquiries regarding proper function and safety seriously. All CyberPower products and components are UL listed and tested for safety. More generally, our intention is to offer our customers around the world safe and high quality power protection products.
In the case of the video provided, it is not possible to exactly confirm the user’s claim as it does not offer a full explanation of usage, failure analysis, test results or device status. Currently, we do not know if this user has contacted us directly or opened a case with one of our technical agents and we urge them to do so as a full analysis is the only way to validate the root cause.
As for adhesive feedback, we have thoroughly tested the adhesives we use and our results meet industry and UL standards. We have conducted a comprehensive laboratory study of the adhesive used in our products and believe it is safe for this application.
We encourage all CyberPower customers with issues, questions or issues to contact our technical support team at 1-877-297-6937. Our team is available 24/7 for product support and assistance.
Cyber Power Systems (USA), Inc.