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APC Battery backup Dead. Need new battery or just dead?

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Hi,

I have a couple 900 APC Back-XS units that have been in basement for couple years. Trying to use them now and they don't go on or light up their LED status lights.
The surge ports still power though. Would new batteries fix the power issue? or are they dead?

Thanks
 

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Pull the batteries out and test them with a multi-meter. I think that unit uses two 12v batteries in series for 24v total. But check each battery individually and see if they are putting out 12v.

My guess is the batteries are cooked.

If you want to test if the units are still good without buying new batteries, you can hook up pretty much any 12v lead-acid batteries(car or morocycle etc) for a short time just to test if the units work.
 
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Yeah, if they have been sitting for a couple years, the batteries may be fully discharged (or even shorted internally). That will prevent the UPS from turning on. I have used my old motorcycle battery charger to charge these batteries. My charger works for 6 and 12V batteries. A car battery charger will work too. Just make sure you use the right voltage.

newtekie1 is right and those units use two 12V7Ah F2 SLA batteries strapped in series for 24V total. If you want you can use 12V8Ah or even 12V9Ah batteries to give you longer run times. You do NOT need to buy replacement batteries from APC. I NEVER EVER do as they cost way too much. Just pay attention to how the batteries are strapped. They often use a plastic spacer between the batteries - save and reuse that, as well as any strapping wires.

Note that F2 is the size of the terminal. Make sure you get the right one. There are adaptors but the battery compartment is usually very cramped and adapters may not fit.

I buy my replacement batteries from Amazon or other on-line sites - whoever has the best prices (factoring in shipping) that day. Prices change regularly. But note shipping can take awhile because it must go by land and sea, not air.

Check your local listings for battery recycling centers to keep the old batteries out of landfills.

One last time - I have had batteries that sat for a long time leak. Not good. So be careful when you open the battery compartments up.
 
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Yeah, if they have been sitting for a couple years, the batteries may be fully discharged (or even shorted internally). That will prevent the UPS from turning on. I have used my old motorcycle battery charger to charge these batteries. My charger works for 6 and 12V batteries. A car battery charger will work too. Just make sure you use the right voltage.

newtekie1 is right and those units use two 12V7Ah F2 SLA batteries strapped in series for 24V total. If you want you can use 12V8Ah or even 12V9Ah batteries to give you longer run times. You do NOT need to buy replacement batteries from APC. I NEVER EVER do as they cost way too much. Just pay attention to how the batteries are strapped. They often use a plastic spacer between the batteries - save and reuse that, as well as any strapping wires.

Note that F2 is the size of the terminal. Make sure you get the right one. There are adaptors but the battery compartment is usually very cramped and adapters may not fit.

I buy my replacement batteries from Amazon or other on-line sites - whoever has the best prices (factoring in shipping) that day. Prices change regularly. But note shipping can take awhile because it must go by land and sea, not air.

Check your local listings for battery recycling centers to keep the old batteries out of landfills.

One last time - I have had batteries that sat for a long time leak. Not good. So be careful when you open the battery compartments up.
Thanks guys for all the useful information. So going to probably buy some new batteries. Only problem is I can't get these out of the compartment. Its like they are stuck in there!

Anyhow not sure if I can recharge these batteries. Considering cost of new ones and environmental factors buying a recharger would be way to go?

Thanks

How are these?

ExpertPower 12v 9ah Sealed Lead Acid Battery with F2 Terminals (.250") / 4 Pack
by ExpertPower Direct
Learn more: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01CUZTW10/ref=cm_sw_em_r_mt_dp_U_QTQXEbB283GAV
 
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Only problem is I can't get these out of the compartment. Its like they are stuck in there!
They probably are stuck. It sounds like they have swelled up - that happens some times when they get too hot and go bad. You will have to work them out a tiny bit at a time and they should eventually come out. Don't use any tools that might crack them - or you will get battery acid all over the place. Not good.

Yeah, that seems like a good price for those batteries. But I would try to get your current batteries out first to verify they really are 12V.

Not sure what to tell you about a charger. But you can get a small one for not very much money: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B001G8AIMU/ref=ox_sc_act_title_1?smid=A10QFO4IXVZNRN&psc=1

That one is nice because it is 6 and 12V.
 
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Thanks for the pointers. Yeah battery acid bad. Anyhow if APC unit fails to charge them why would I assume buying a charger help at all?
Thanks
 

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Thanks for the pointers. Yeah battery acid bad. Anyhow if APC unit fails to charge them why would I assume buying a charger help at all?
Thanks
If the batteries are swollen, don't bother charging them. Just work on getting them out and replacing them.
 
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If the batteries are swollen, don't bother charging them. Just work on getting them out and replacing them.
Agreed. If swollen, they are already damaged. If swollen, that means there has been (or currently is) excessive internal pressure inside the battery - typically due to heat from excessive current, likely caused by an internal short. Charging now could result in rupture. Not good.
Anyhow if APC unit fails to charge them why would I assume buying a charger help at all?
Because at this point in time, you don't know with 100% certainty that the UPS charging circuits are working properly. While it is unlikely both UPS decided to fail at the same time, it could happen. And external, separate charger can help determine that. It would not be good if you spent good money and bought new batteries only to learn the UPS is bad.

With that little charger, if the battery is good (forget the swollen ones - they are bad), you can charge the battery, then put a 12V load on it to see if it "holds" under load. A good test load would be a 50W 12V lamp used in RVs and boat. Even a car head light would work (just note bulbs get very hot - quick).

I use an old 100W adjustable 10Ω ceramic resistor (from back in the day when I used to repair audio amplifiers to simulate 4 - 8Ω speakers) to test my batteries. I charge them, stick a multimeter and the resistor on them, then watch the voltage. If the battery is bad, it will drop dramatically almost immediately. With a light bulb, the bulb will get very dim (if it lights at all) very quickly if the battery is bad.
 
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Ok I finally was able to get the batteries out of one of the units. Took a lot of fist thumping on back side to get them out.
After pealing the APC label was able to read that they are 'CP 1270 12V 7.0AH Vision' batteries. According to volt meter
they are practically dead. One registered 0.4 volts and the other one just about 1 volt. I didn't see any leaking acid or
anything. Its possible they have swelled but hard to tell. So going to buy new ones I guess because like you guys said
trying to recharge defective batteries is a bad idea and not worth the risk.

But wanted to give some back history on these units. When I bought them the first one arrived dead on arrival. Possibly
because the batteries were already drained. Not sure but APC sent me a new unit immediately after I called and complained.
They let me keep the defective unit which I placed in the basement for a few years then after I placed the second 'Working' unit in the basement as well
for a couple years after I didn't need it for what ever reason.

Thanks.


visionbattery.jpg
 
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Try swapping your existing battery sets between the two units. If one has bad batteries and the other has bad electronics, this might yield one working unit at no cost.
If you get one set of new replacement batteries, you can try it in both units.

Sometimes, UPS batteries come with paper or very flat plastic straps installed around them to make them easier to pull out of the battery compartment.
 
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Its possible they have swelled but hard to tell.
If they were stuck in there, they swelled. You should be able to see the sides are not perfectly flat but bulged out a little.

And again, as long as the replacements are 12V, have F2 terminals, and are physically the same size (should be standard), you can replace the 7Ah cells with 9Ah cells. It will not hurt the UPS in any way but more importantly, will give you longer run time.
One registered 0.4 volts and the other one just about 1 volt.
I suspect one developed an internal short and it then totally drained the other too. Trying to recharge them is not a "bad" idea, it is just most likely a waste of time.
 
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Just to update the thread just received bran new 12V 9aH batteries this afternoon and they're working like a charm. The unit powers up like it should and the LED lights are on. Now have to install it on my other unit across town tomorrow and see what happens.

Thanks
 
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Great! A bit of a PITA, I know, but a new learning process is always good - plus replacing the batteries is a lot cheaper than buying two all new UPSs. On top of that, since you replaced the 12V7Ah cells with 12V9Ah cells, you increased the run time capacities in the process.

The only downside is now, what to do with the old batteries. Not sure where you live but many places will take the old batteries off your hands (at no cost to you) for recycling. Best Buy, most auto parts stores, even some local Walmarts recycle. Call around. Something like 99% of the materials in each battery can be recycled - including the lead and the sulfuric acid, both of which can be recycled over and over again.

If you live in the US, you can start your search here.

Note that many battery recycling centers also take other types of batteries, such as Li-Ion (including CR2032 CMOS batteries) and alkaline batteries too.

Thanks for keeping us posted. And remember, depending on how your batteries are used, they will have to be replaced again in 3 - 5 years.
 
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Great! A bit of a PITA, I know, but a new learning process is always good - plus replacing the batteries is a lot cheaper than buying two all new UPSs. On top of that, since you replaced the 12V7Ah cells with 12V9Ah cells, you increased the run time capacities in the process.

The only downside is now, what to do with the old batteries. Not sure where you live but many places will take the old batteries off your hands (at no cost to you) for recycling. Best Buy, most auto parts stores, even some local Walmarts recycle. Call around. Something like 99% of the materials in each battery can be recycled - including the lead and the sulfuric acid, both of which can be recycled over and over again.

If you live in the US, you can start your search here.

Note that many battery recycling centers also take other types of batteries, such as Li-Ion (including CR2032 CMOS batteries) and alkaline batteries too.

Thanks for keeping us posted. And remember, depending on how your batteries are used, they will have to be replaced again in 3 - 5 years.

Will have to take them to bestbuy. Got a couple other old units in the garage that will take there as well. Thanks.
 
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Our local BestBuy has a drop-off spot right inside the front door. Don't even have to talk to a "Geek". ;)
 
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One of the units is now making a humming sound. Maybe its just charging the batteries or should I be worried?

Thanks
 
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Probably the fan for cooling it.

As long as you wont use battery power much, the batteries last almost forever (if kept charged).

lead batteries are called "starter" batteries for a reason, they dont like to be discharged/cycled
so its basically "start" the device and then get charged right back to full by the generator.
hence, shutting down pc within min after experiencing blackout and keeping load low (no game/bench/prime95 test etc)
will make them last longer.
same for charge, always keep the topped of/recharge as soon as possible.

major reason why i might switch to using lipos to run the UPS once my battery loses capacity.


check with a local autozone/advanced auto store, they usually give 5/10$ credit for smaller batteries.
 
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Hi,

Whats a Lipo?

Anyhow I shut it off last night and physically turned power off. Took 10 -20 seconds for noise to go away. This morning not as loud but still
its an uncomfortable sound to listen to. Seems like APC is plagued with this issue as I found dozens on top of dozens of complaints online
about the sound. One guy who claimed to be an engineer said it was cheap fans they use that cause this issue. I just hope it doesn't
catch fire. So I shut it off at night now.

Thanks
 
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lipos are mainly used for having lots of current/high density ratio.
wiki
since there arent many deep cycle batteries that fit a UPS (and the ones that do usually cost about 100$ a piece),
and lipos can handle the sudden/high power draw as well as the cycling (battery charge dropping below 95%).
just not sure about charging, as well as that all cells have to be balanced (so not to overcharge one/more),
which the build in stuff (on a UPS) cant do.

look at Noiseblocker/Blacknoise, they have some nice smaller fans and probably something that fits.
 
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One of the units is now making a humming sound. Maybe its just charging the batteries or should I be worried?
The batteries should have come with a near-full charge, meaning they should only need a few hours to top off. Once fully charged, and if not operating on battery, there would be no need for the fan to be running. So I doubt it is the fan, but suspect transformer plates or coil windings are vibrating. That's not uncommon. You would need to open up the UPS case completely to determine which.

But first, assuming it has had time to fully charge the batteries, feel all around the UPS case. It should be cool or only slightly warm. Compare it to the non-humming unit. If you feel some very warm or hot spots, and you are certain the batteries have had time to fully charge, the UPS maybe faulty.

If these APCs have a USB port, you can connect it to your computer and install APC PowerChute UPS monitoring software (its free). It will tell you the battery/charge status.

If no excessive heat issues noticed, I would turn off the UPS and unplug it from the wall, then open it up. So if able, open the UPS and position it so you can power it on while open. But WARNING! There are exposed and deadly voltages in there! Hopefully, you will be able to see the fan and if you can, gently and momentarily touch the center hub of the fan. If you can reach it safely with your finger, fine. If not, a wooden dowel or Popsicle/glue stick will do. Nothing metal. This will temporarily slow down the rotation speed of the fan. If it is the fan making the noise, the pitch of the fan noise will change as it slows down and speeds up again. If it is not the fan making the noise, the sound of the noise will remain constant.

If the humming noise is coming from a transformer or coil, there may be nothing you can do about it. However, it can last for many years without worry. In some cases, you can apply some epoxy resin or hot glue to the transformer plates or coil windings to stop them from vibrating.

You might also make sure your wall outlets are wired properly - for peace of mind if nothing else. Every home and every computer user should have access to a AC Outlet Tester to ensure the wall outlet is properly wired and grounded to Earth ground. I recommend one with a GFCI (ground fault circuit interrupt) indicator as it can be used to test bathroom and kitchen outlets (outlets near water) too. These testers can be found for your type and voltage outlet, foreign or domestic, (like this one for the UK) at most home improvement stores, or even the electrical department at Wal-Mart. Use it to test all the outlets in the home and if a fault is shown, have it fixed by a qualified electrician.

But question is are the batteries I bought comparable to what APC puts in their units?
Yes. As I noted before, I NEVER EVER buy replacement batteries from the UPS maker. When you own a Ford F150, are you going to buy a replacement battery from the Ford Dealer? Or from Walmart, or AutoZone? APC just slaps a label on the them and jacks up the price. Other than that, they are the same.

lead batteries are called "starter" batteries for a reason,
Oh? As a tech, I've been using UPSs to support computer and other critical communications systems for over 35 years. I never heard or referred to SLA batteries used in UPS and other battery backup devices called "starter" batteries. Got a link for that?

Yes, SLA UPS batteries use the same battery technologies as car batteries, which are definitely used to "start" engines. But they typically are called "storage" batteries as they sit there holding a charge until needed. But for sure, as the car is parked, the battery is still being used to keep all sorts of electronics in the car "alive" - including the security system, clock, the computer itself, and more.

These type batteries are also commonly used in electric start gas powered lawn mowers and similar equipment, but still, I have never seen a LiPo (lithium polymer) battery pack capable of supplying the necessary 24VDC needed to provide several 100 watts of 120VAC power needed to support a PC and monitor for several minutes. Got a link for one of those too?

Also, as seen here, LiPo batteries can cost more than typical SLA cells. So not sure of the economical feasibility for using them here ESPECIALLY when the primary reason for using a good UPS with AVR is for the automatic voltage regulation capability - which regularly uses the batteries to "boost" the output voltage during low voltage anomalies (dips, sags and brownouts) without kicking over to full battery power.
same for charge, always keep the topped of/recharge as soon as possible.
I really don't understand this statement. It suggests an unfamiliarity with how a UPS works. For sure, as soon as grid power is restored, the charging circuits of the UPS kick in and and top off the charge for the UPS batteries.
 
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Thank you. I am truly impressed with the level of knowledge you guys have explaining it all in detail. I really learned a lot. After two hours of use this morning the sound has leveled off. Its still there but steady and less crackly as it was before. Also I installed Powerchute last night and first thing I did was to test it out and it passed so good there. Installed the unit at my girlfriends house but have a wall tester at home I have to bring next time. Was curious also if there was grounding issues.

Thanks.
 
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